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Silky Terrier vs Yorkie: Which is the ideal pet for you?

brown and black yorkshire terrier puppy

Are you fond of tiny Terriers but can’t decide which one to bring home? You are not the first to get confused between Yorkies and Silky Terriers due to their similar appearance and temperaments. The similarities come from the fact that Yorkies led to the creation of Silky Terriers, making both breeds closely related. This article has covered various subtle differences that can help you decide between the two based on their temperaments, exercise, grooming and health needs. 

Refer to the table below for a quick overview of the differences between the two breeds, from standard sizes to their drooling capacities. We’ve got it all covered for you.

DifferencesSilky TerrierYorkie
Height9-10 Inches7-8 inches
Weight8-10 pounds7-8 pounds
CoatStraight, silky and glossyLong, straight silky feeling coat
Coat thicknessSingle LayeredSingle Layered
Color and MarkingsBlue & Tan, Silver & Tan, Grey & Tan, Silver Black & Tan, Black & TanBlue & Tan, Black & Tan, Black & Gold, Blue & Gold
EyesDark black, brownDark brown, black
Bred forWorkingWorking
HabitatHot weatherAdjustable with both weathers
Lifespan13-15 years11-15 years
Breed RecognitionRecognised as a breedRecognised as a breed
Registration with
Genetic FamilyYorkie and Australian TerriersBritish Terriers
Litter Size3-5 puppies5 puppies
Adaptable to small
Kid Friendly5/55/5
Dog Friendly5/53/5
Stranger Friendly5/55/5
Prey Drive3/51/5
Easy to train2/52/5
Exercise needs4/55/5
Easy to Groom3/52/5
General Health4/53/5
Good for novice owners1/51/5
Tolerates being alone1/51/5
Barking Level4/53/5
Drooling Level1/51/5

Key Differences in Detail between Silky Terrier and Yorkie

Origin and History

The Silky Terrier’s history has many theories making it unclear to track the breed’s exact origins. The most common view is that they came into existence by cross-breeding Yorkshire Terrier and Australian Terrier in Sydney, Australia, in the 20th century. They were initially named Sydney Silkies, later changed to Australian Silkies and eventually Silky Terriers. They are giant dogs in toy breeds. It is also believed that they were made larger than Yorkies to exterminate the slightly more giant vermin over there.

Yorkies originated from 19th-century Victorian England, and their name derived from their place of origin, i.e. Yorkshire. Since breeding records were not well kept during that time, Yorkies are believed to be a mixture of several terrier breeds, including Clydesdale, Paisley and Skye terriers. They were used in mines in Yorkshire to exterminate rats and other vermin, which also contributes to their name. Despite their vermin-hunting capabilities, they became lap dogs for upper ladies in England and have been lap dogs ever since. A show dog named Huddersfield Ben became the father of the modern Yorkshire Terrier in 1865.

two brown dogs


Both Yorkies and Silky Terriers are toy breeds that are feisty and playful, but there is a slight difference in their temperaments. Yorkies are affectionate dogs with family and children with high energy levels to play and exercise. Silky Terriers and Yorkies are alert, friendly, and quick dogs that do not always get along with children and have lower energy levels. We recommend early socialization and giving your children and Terriers time to get comfortable before leaving them unsupervised.

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 The Silky Terriers are much more cautious about their owners. In contrast, Yorkies can easily be lazy about their owners in the comfort of their laps all day long. Yorkies suffer from separation anxiety and cannot be left alone for extended periods compared to Silky Terriers, who are much more independent and tolerate being left alone. We recommend crate training and teaching quiet commands to Silkies to avoid Silkies getting territorial or dominating other breeds and unnecessary barking.

 Both Terriers can get destructive when bored; to avoid such happenings, investing in various toys to keep them busy and playful is the best option. We recommend holding a pre-meet with all your other household pet before bringing your Terrier into the home to help in early socialization and avoid them feeling threatened by any other more significant threats in the household.

Appearance and Coat

Both breeds have a similar appearance, and some might even say that Yorkie is a daintier version of Silky. The Silky Terriers stand between 9 to 10 inches and weigh around 10 pounds. In contrast, Yorkies stand 7 to 8 inches tall and weigh about 7 pounds, but they can be smaller. 

The main difference is in their ears; Yorkies have smaller ears that are further down the side of their head, giving them a minor appearance, compared to Silky Terriers with V-shaped ears set high on their head, giving them a more prominent appearance.

Yorkies have coats that change colour as they grow older, making it easy to guess their age based on the hues of their skin. Yorkie puppies have black and tan coats that evolve into blue and gold colouring as they grow older. In contrast, Silkies have black coats initially in puppies which later change into tan and blue.

Both breeds share black and tan coat colourings as the most common. However, according to breed standards, Yorkie has four colour variations, and Silky has over six colour variations. Yorkies come in Blue & Tan, Black & Tan, Black & Gold, and Blue & Gold, whereas Silky Terriers come in Blue & Tan, Silver & Tan, Grey & Tan, Silver Black & Tan, and Black & Tan.

Yorkies and Silkies are low shedders making them great pets for allergic people, but they require daily brushing to avoid getting their coats tangled and dirty.

Intelligence and Training

Silky Terriers and Yorkies are intelligent breeds adaptable to new environments, eager to learn and quick to learn new tricks and commands. Engaging your terriers with games and mind-stimulating toys is essential to avoid destructive behaviours arising from boredom. The Silky Terrier is a little easier to train compared to Yorkies as they are more eager to learn and reward-focused, which helps in training. Yorkies can be lazy and strong-willed, so if they aren’t in the mood for training, they won’t be participating.

Yorkies are protective of their masters as they are more anxious than Silkies, who are more easygoing and prefer lazing around the house. You can minimize anxious behaviour by initiating early socialization, which will help them tackle various unfamiliar situations with animals of all shapes and sizes. Both breeds need proper crate training, especially Yorkies, who tend to get anxious as crates help calm them.

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Diet Requirements

Regarding food, you’ll find that Yorkies eat slightly less than Silky Terriers due to their small size and low energy levels. Yorkies will eat around 1 cup of goods daily, whereas Silky Terriers will need 1 ½ cups of food to meet daily requirements. 

It is important to feed these two breeds appropriately, and a common mistake owners make due to their small size. They will do best on a high-quality diet that contains dry kibble, which helps break down plaque and prevent the risk of facing periodontal diseases. We recommend feeding them three or more times to avoid overfeeding and balance their sugar levels throughout the day.

Exercise Needs

Silky Terriers need more exercise than Yorkies which often becomes the deciding factor for the owners as The Silky Terrier needs a minimum of 45 minutes daily routine. In contrast, Yorkies can survive happily on 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day. Since Silky Terriers are very curious, they will need a variety in their exercise routine to keep them engaged, like running, fetching, tug of war, and much more interactive games. In contrast, Yorkies need short walks around the neighbourhood or in your house garden. 

We recommend getting a high garden fence for both Terriers to avoid finding your dogs chasing a rat or cats endlessly, especially Silkies. If you wish to get a house dog, Yorkies are the best lap dogs that need minimum activity and playtime, but if you are looking for an active member to blend into your adventurous and energetic household, The Silky Terrier will be a perfect choice.

black and brown yorkshire terrier on white textile


The lifespan of both breeds is up to 15 years, and they are prone to facing various health problems like hypoglycemia and diabetes are among the most common diseases. It is essential to feed them a good protein diet to balance their sugar levels and follow regular checkups with the vet and medicines to avoid any life-threatening diseases. 

They are also susceptible to frequent eye infections or other eye conditions, which makes checking their eyes regularly a routine to be followed strictly by owners. Additionally, Yorkies can suffer from Luxating Patella. This dislocated kneecap should be thoroughly inspected before buying your pup from a breeder.

Puppy Price

The price of a Yorkie starts from $800 and can go up to $10,000 if it is closer to its bloodline and breed standards; the average price can cost between $800 to $1,500. The Silky Terrier costs between $900 to $2,000. In contrast, Yorkies are much more popular today, allowing breeders to charge more. The Silky Terriers are much rarer, costing them more. It is essential to buy your Yorkie or Silky from a reputable breeder or professional to bring home a well-bred, healthy, vaccinated dog.

The initial cost of owning a Yorkie can easily be between $500 to $1,500 and $1200 for Silky Terrier. This cost includes grooming essentials, surgeries, medical treatments, licenses and registrations, and initial vet and vaccine costs. 
The yearly maintenance cost of owning a Yorkie goes from $1,400 to $3,000, which lies between $1,160 and $ 2,800 for a Silky Terrier.

Grooming and Shedding

When looking at the grooming needs of both breeds, you will find it somewhat the same as they both have long silky coats that require regular brushing to keep their locks from tangling and to remove any excess dirt or dander from hair to keep it clean. We recommend bathing both breeds once every 8 to 12 weeks with dog products prescribed by your vet. 

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Yorkies need daily brushing to keep their coat healthy and regular trimming to maintain an adequate length to avoid it getting too long. Silkies need less grooming than Yorkies as they can suffice on two to three weekly brushings. Apart from keeping their coat healthy, their eyes will need regular cleaning and brushing of their teeth twice a week to keep them healthy and strong.


No wonder people get confused between Silky Terriers and Yorkies due to their similar visual appearance. Both breeds share much more than just their appearance, as mentioned below. 

  • Genetic Family- Yorkies were made in England in the 1800s. Silky Terriers were born by cross-breeding Yorkies and Australian Terriers, which explains the similarities the two breeds share. 
  • Physical Appearance- Both Terriers come in tan, and blue coloured breeds with a straight, silky feeling coat, which, when trimmed, makes them look alike. 
  • Working dogs- Yorkies and Silky Terriers were bred to hunt mice and rats but later became popular lapdogs. They have a working ancestry but make perfect companies.

Conclusion: Silky Terrier vs. Yorkie: Which One is Better for you?

When comparing The Silky Terrier and Yorkie while deciding which spunky little toy terrier you wish to bring home, you will find both breeds are highly similar with a few differences. The Silky Terrier is much more energetic out of the two, which often becomes a deciding factor for most owners. 

Yorkies make better pets for novice owners than Silkies with proper training. They make ideal pets for the elderly as they do not need much exercise. When it comes to the best pet to join your children for playtime or walks, Silky Terrier becomes the best choice. Both Terriers have a prey drive due to their working ancestry, which can lead to stubbornness which can be dealt with with patience and proper training.

There is no clear winner out of the two terriers as they are both extremely adorable, friendly dogs that make great companions and even greater lap dogs. It all depends on whether they fit into your lifestyle or not. This article will help you make this crucial decision and fall more in love with adorable little terriers as we have.

brown and grey Yorkshire Terrier with red bandanna


Which breed is Hypoallergenic out of the two species?

The Silky Terrier and Yorkie are both considered relatively hypoallergenic breeds. It is essential to remember that even though they have short coats, it doesn’t guarantee them being hypoallergenic as much as a hairless dog.

Are Yorkies a bit more aggressive than Silky Terriers?

In reality, Silky Terriers are more aggressive than Yorkies which is why they require early training and socialization with patience and a firm hand to get the best results. But Silkies are always eager to learn, which makes things manageable.

Do Yorkies make good therapy dogs?

Yes, Yorkies can become excellent therapy dogs even the first therapy dog was a Yorkies named Smoky, which was discovered in the trenches of WWII that later toured hospitals and nursing homes. There is also a monument to Smoky in Cleveland.

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