Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Silkese

8-10 inches
7-12 lbs
13-16 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Seniors, singles, families with older children, people who live in an apartment
Affectionate, energetic, curious, intelligent, spirited, friendly
Comparable Breeds
Maltese, Silky Terrier
Silkese Basics

The adorable appearance might be what draws people to the Silkese, but it is its amazing personality that wins them over. Beneath the plush toy looks, these pooches hide a big heart and a fun, lively temperament! This lovely designer dog breed was developed by crossbreeding two toy dog breeds, the Maltese and a Silky Terrier. Owing to this unique pairing of parental breeds, the Silkese will be ideally suited for a role of a companion dog for seniors and singles. Additionally, if socialized on time, this designer dog does well in families with children old enough to know how to behave around pooches.

Designer dog breeds are a growing trend, and many people think that mixed breed pooches have something special to them. Let’s find out if what makes the Silkese unique!

These small dogs thrive in apartments and family settings where they get to be the center of the attention.


Even though designer dogs are a fairly recent occurrence, their origin is still not documented well enough. Until recently, crossbreeding of purebred dogs was usually just a matter of accidental mating, rather than a deliberate effort to create a hybrid. Naturally, this makes it quite hard to pinpoint when the Silkese became an official designer dog breed. Most sources agree that the most popular crossbreeds were created sometime in the last 20 years in the United States.

Luckily, there’s nothing unknown about the more important aspect of a designer breed’s origin- the parental breeds. The Silky Terrier and Maltese mix dog has parents that boast international recognition and popularity. Both of the breeds that were used to develop this hybrid have impressive qualities and make wonderful companions.


The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the Silkese or any other designer dogs as breeds. Therefore, it’s impossible to obtain an official pedigree from this canine organization. However, a pedigree is simply proof of lineage and good breeding, and one look at the parents of your Silkese puppy is enough of a guarantee.

The Maltese is a breed that can be traced back to ancient times and is thought to be the oldest toy breed in Europe. For centuries, these tiny white dogs were companions to royalty and lap dogs for nobles, before becoming cherished family pets. The Silky Terrier is a newer breed, and, interestingly enough, also a hybrid dog like the Silkese. This petite soft-coated pooch was developed by breeding Yorkshire Terriers with Australian Terriers in an effort to improve coat quality.


While dogs are not the pickiest eaters, there are things about canine nutrition that are important to know. You might be tempted to indulge your new puppy with everything they want, from table scraps to crunchy dog biscuits a few times a day. However, your pooch needs to have a well-balanced ratio of protein, healthy carbs and essential vitamins and nutrients in their diet.

This is why a toy dog breed such as the Silkese does best on high-quality dry dog food that’s tailored for their needs. This means kibble that’s specially made for their size (toy), age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level (low to moderate). Not only that this type of commercial pet food diet will meet all of your pet’s dietary needs, but it’s also convenient, as it’s easy to find in every pet store. Additionally, you’ll know exactly how much food to serve your pet, thanks to handy feeding guides printed out on kibble bags.

In case you’d prefer your pet to be on a raw food diet or eat meals you’ve cooked them at home, make sure to talk with a veterinary nutritionist first. Without getting advice and instructions from a professional, you can’t be sure that your meal plan is suitable for your dog’s needs.

Intelligent and eager to please, these designer dogs have no problem learning commands.


Both the Maltese and the Silky terrier are highly trainable dogs that are ideal for beginners. If a Silkese happens to be your first pet or the first you’re about to train, you’re in luck. Intelligent and eager to please, these designer dogs have no problem learning commands. From learning how to walk on a leash to stay when told so, you’ll find that positive reinforcement methods do wonders with these tiny pooches.

If you adopted a Silkese puppy, the first thing you should do is housebreak them. All puppies pee and poop everywhere until they get potty trained, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit patience and effort to teach your pooch. Additionally, teaching your new pet not too pull on a leash and some basic commands such as sit, drop, stay is a must. These will not only make your pet well-behaved and obedient, but they’ll also ensure their safety in potentially dangerous situations. Silkese is also prone to separation anxiety as they’re very attached to their families, so it would be smart to crate train them on time. Once they start viewing a crate as their little safe nook, they won’t feel so anxious when they have to stay alone at home.

In addition to basic training, a Silkese puppy should be properly socialized at a young age. Unless taught how to act around children, strangers, and other dogs, these bossy pooches might be nippy or dominant, which won’t make them a favorite with other pets.


Crossbreeding doesn’t always have uniform results. In fact, it rarely does! Hybrids vary dramatically in appearance, sometimes even across one litter, and the differences only increase when the parental breeds don’t have much in common. Although the Silky Terrier and the Maltese might not look much alike at a first glance, they’re both in the AKC Toy group. This leaves no room for surprise, at least size-wise, for their mix breed puppy. A fully grown Silkese will also be toy-sized and weigh between 7 to 12 pounds.


When they first see the Silkese, a tiny, fluffy pooch with soulful eyes, people assume that they have a shy, docile personality and a gentle soul. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong! Yes, these designer dogs are sweet and affectionate, but they are also very spirited and extroverted.

Smart and brave, these petite doggos act like they’re not aware of their small frame. Their huge heart and personality are just a part of their irresistible charm, though. Of course, their belief that they’re a big, scary dog, combined with their natural alertness, might make them prone to excessive barking. Unless trained not to bark all the time, these watchful hybrids will yap at every potential “intruder”- from mailmen to squirrels.

As the offspring of two companion dog breeds, it’s no surprise that the Silkese is a very affectionate dog. They’re cuddly, love to snuggle, and love nothing more than getting belly scrubs and ear scratches. These canines tend to get very attached to a favorite human- their devotion and loyalty know no bounds. Unfortunately, this might cause separation anxiety issues for some, as they’ll start panicking when their owner is not around. This can be corrected with crate training and by promoting independence from an early age.

It goes without saying, though, that a Silkese potential to be a friendly, sweet dog that charms everyone probably won’t be fulfilled unless they’re socialized. Most toy dogs are nippy and easily irritated when their socialization is neglected, and they tend to have an innate distrust of strangers.

Common Health Problems

The Silky Terrier parent’s origins make it clear: crossbreeding is usually done in an effort to create offspring with improved traits. For the Silky Terrier, it was a more desirable coat color, for others it’s honing certain qualities or an attempt to eliminate breed-specific issues. One of the most pressing concerns when it comes to purebred dogs are their genetic health problems. From brachycephalic breeds with their breathing and eye problems to congenital heart defects and bone issues that occur in large dog breeds, what were once predispositions became the norm in cases where irresponsible breeding is involved.

In an effort to remedy that, some breeders started crossbreeding dogs, hoping to encourage ‘hybrid vigor’ in the designer dog offspring. While it’s still early to say if these hybrids have improved health in general, the Silkese is a relatively robust pooch.

There are no major inherited health concerns that this breed faces, but there are some issues typical for toy-sized dogs that could pose a risk. Silkese could be prone to diabetes, intervertebral disc disease, hip dysplasia, and kneecap dislocation ( patellar luxation). Additionally, as they age, small dogs are more likely to face the loss of vision and early teeth loss.

Life Expectancy

The Silkese is a small dog, and a generally healthy at that- this means good life expectancy prognosis. While this designer dog breed is too rare and recent for anyone to claim with certainty what their lifespan is, a close look at its parents tells us a lot. With proper care, these dogs can live at least for 13 to 16 years- and get to their golden years with no major bumps on the road.

Exercise Requirements

The Silkese is an indoor-only pooch. Provided that they’re not too yappy, these dogs are really an ideal choice for an apartment, as they don’t need much space or exercise to be happy and healthy. On average, 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity is all it takes to keep your Silkese fit. Take them for a few short walks around the neighborhood, or play a game of fetch in a securely fenced backyard. Just don’t let them exert too much: these are, after all, toy dogs.

In addition, you should make sure your new pet exercises its mind, too. These dogs are very intelligent, and unless they’re challenged, they’ll quickly get bored, depressed and destructive. To prevent this, spend time playing engaging games with your pet and get them an i nteractive puzzle toy (or a few) to keep them entertained while you’re busy.

On average, 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity is all it takes to keep your Silkese fit.

Recognized Clubs

In the world of traditional breeds, the Silkese might not be recognized, but there are plenty of canine organizations that see value in hybrids. Those of them that recognize the Silky Terrier- Maltese mix include American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America, and International Designer Canine Registry.


With a name such as Silkese, it’s not hard to imagine what type of coat this designer dog has. The silky strands of the fine hair are a point of pride for this hybrid, whose both parents flaunt lovely coats. Additionally, both the Maltese and the Silky Terrier are non-shedding breeds, which makes them nearly hypoallergenic. While there can’t be any guarantees with crossbreeding, the Silkese might also not shed at all or shed minimally, making them a good choice for people with mild dog allergies.

Of course, the soft, long hair this dog boasts will need a bit more grooming, though. Daily brushing to prevent tangles and matting is an absolute must, and you’ll need to give them a bath every few weeks to keep their coat soft and clean. Occasional trims will also have to be a part of your pet’s beauty routine- so be prepared to take them to a professional grooming salon when they need a haircut.


Even though Silkese puppies will probably be the cutest thing you ever saw, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to train them. Their charm might help them get away with a lot, but setting boundaries early on will be for their own good.

Once they grow up, Silkese dogs make perfect companions for seniors, singles, and people with older, well-behaved children. These petite pooches thrive in apartments and family settings where they get to be the center of the attention.

Photo credit: Erik Lam/Shutterstock; michaelheim/Shutterstock; mikeledray/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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