Showsight Presents the Silky Terrier

“The Silky should have good body substance which they get from the Australian Terrier. The coat texture is SILKY as is the Yorkshire Terrier.”

thick dark eye rims can appear to have eyes that look round when at a distance. You then check for a strong and well aligned, scissors bite. Th is is where our fi rst serious fault comes in, “An undershot or overshot bite is a serious fault”. Th e rest of the exam is similar to many other breeds with the exception of bone and coat texture. Th e Silky should have good body substance which they get from the Australian Terrier. Th e coat texture is SILKY as is the Yorkshire Ter- rier. We have all types of coat, from soft to wooly and some coarse. A true silky coat will have sheen or as the standard says, “glossy”. It re fl ects the light, where incorrect coats are dull! It should be a single and straight coat. Silk also has a cool touch, where wooly is warm. Don’t check the topline on any single coated dog that is parted down the body, by running your hand back and forth on the topline. It is not necessary and only messes up the coat and can then give a false picture of the topline going around. A single coat lies fl at, so view the topline while the dog is moving!! Th ere are two statements being used today which I feel are important to judg- ing. Th e fi rst is, “examine on the table and

judge on the ground”, the second is some- thing like, “ fi nd the dogs of good breed type and then the soundest of these”. When I have the dog gaited up and back, I want to see a fairly loose lead which allows the dog freedom of movement. Upon their return is where you assess the placement of the ears either by allow- ing the exhibitor to bait for expression or doing it yourself. Th en on the go around, you again get to look the proportions, bal- ance as well as topline. Th is includes the tail carriage and set. When the dog is in a standing position, the tail can go to a two o’clock position. Th e standard reads, “ Th e tail is docked, set high and carried at twelve to two o’clock position”. In my ring, I want the dog to show itself. A Silky is not a statue. If this is done, you lose some of the character of the breed. Being a Terrier, I prefer to have the handlers stand with the dog, realizing they must get down or bend over to groom after the examination, but not for any length of time. As for color, the Silky standard allows any shade of blue from a dark slate to sil- ver. However, with that blue body coat, the dog must have good tan on its face (muzzle, between and slightly over the eyes), ears, legs and around the vent. Th e hair on the top of the head (fall/topknot) is to be silver or fawn. Th e fall should be clear in color as an adult, free of dark shad- ings, but may not be on a puppy. However, the puppy should show signs of breaking without any black hairs. So, when you look at the expression, the face and ears should be tan with the fall a lighter con- trast of fawn or silver (important to breed type). A beautiful sight when correct, and is another thing that shows the di ff erences between the Silky and the Yorkshire Ter- rier. Silkys are born black and tan, so that many times you will see black on the ends of the blue body coat and the fall. Th is is just a maturing process. At the end, I like to place them in the order I think I want

them, go around together, and occasional- ly you might change a placement. I believe you learn by comparison and you certainly judge that way. Mr. W. A. (Fred) Wheatland, a pioneer of the breed, stated, “ Th e Silky must be of Australian Terrier Type, as distinct from Yorkshire Terrier. Any leaning must go toward the Terrier type rather than sole- ly to the Toy type”. Meaning the Silky is more Australian Terrier in type, but with the silky coat of the Yorkshire Terrier. Another important quote, “Look for the good points in your dogs, and put them up for their virtues and not down for their defects”. Words to judge by!


My start in Silky Terriers was in 1971, opening up my whole world in dogs. Being fortunate to start with a nice bitch, exhibiting and

breeding (some of the top winners of their day) was to follow. My prefix is Weeblu and is found in many of the top winners of the breed. I started judging in 1990, but was then hired by the AKC as an Executive Field Representative, covering mainly shows in the Northern California area. After 16 years in that position, I retired and returned to the world of judging and now I’m approved for the Toy and Non-sporting groups. Included in my many club a ffi lia- tions, I have always been a strong sup- porter of Judges’ Education at the breed level, serving as Education Coordinator for the Silky Terrier Club of America prior to my employment with the AKC, and now, back in that position. I thank “Showsight Magazine” for asking me to write this article and sharing my views of this wonderful breed.


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