Showsight Presents the Silky Terrier

JUDGING THE SILKY TERRIER By Florence A. Males Weeblu Silky Terriers A ssuming you’ve read the Silky Terrier Standard and understanding that the Silky originated, (breeding of the Aus- tralian Terrier to the

Yorkshire Terrier in the late 1800s) in Australia, I’ll try to give an overview of what I look for when judging the Silky. Foremost in my mind when they come into the ring, I want the proper tempera- ment. I prefer to have all entries go around before being tabled, even single classes. Th is not only gives the dog a chance to become familiar with the ring, but does a lot for me as a judge. A Silky Terrier should go around with the air of a Ter- rier, alert and aware of his surroundings. Th e Silky standard states, “…shyness or excessive nervousness to be faulted, the manor is quick, friendly, responsive”. Th is is not always “showmanship”, but “tem- perament”. Th e term, “he won because he is so showy”, may only be that the dog is true to its standard. Temperament in any breed is of major importance and all should be speci fi c to their breed. At this time, I can also assess the size, color, out- line and balance. When viewed from the side on the table, you can see size and substance of bone, proportions, and the length of coat. I’m big on proper size, (no more than 10 inches at the withers) as its part of type and, as stated in the standard, “of re fi ned bone structure, but of su ffi cient substance to suggest the ability to hunt and kill domestic rodents”, for which most Silkys are very good. So, not as fi ne as the York- shire Terrier or as heavy as the Australian Terrier. If being shown on the grass, you get a false sense regarding the length of coat. It should follow the body outline. “It should not approach fl oor length” and should be “well groomed but not SCULP- TURED,” in other words, the coat should look as natural as possible.

Th e dogs with the proper silk texture have to be careful in their grooming. Silk is strong; therefore it does not break eas- ily. So, it can be so long that careful trim- ming is required, but again, to look natu- ral. As for head hair (the Silky having the Yorkshire Terrier in its immediate back- ground), it should not resemble the glam- orous Yorkie by having excessive head and

facial hair. Th ey should have fairly clean muzzles, ears, feet and short hair on the docked tail with dark hair on the tip as in the Australian Terrier. Going to the front of the dog, I cup my hands behind the ears and jaws. Th is gives me a chance to view head shape, eyes, nose and shape of ears. When viewing the eyes, pay close attention to shape as a dog with

222 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014

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