- Height: 6-8 inches
- Weight: 8-13 lb
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Group: Not Applicable
- Best Suited For: first-time dog owners, seniors, singles, families with older kids, apartment dwellers
- Temperament: affectionate, energetic, loyal, alert, friendly
- Comparable Breeds: Silky Terrier, Shih Tzu
Silky Tzu Basics
The sweet-natured little Silky Tzu is a playful combination of the often feisty, headstrong Shih Tzu and the lively, super-alert Silky Terrier. While this wee one does best in homes without younger children and other dogs, he is highly adaptable and is the perfect choice for those living in smaller homes without yards or apartments.
The sweet-natured Silky Tzu is a playful combo of the feisty Shih Tzu and the alert Silky Terrier.
The Silky Tzu brings together the Shih Tzu that dates back to ancient Tibet around the year 800 and the Silky Terrier that was developed in the late 19th century and crossed a Yorkshire terrier with a native terrier dog. In spite of his impressive lineage, the Silky Tzu himself likely dates back to the 1980s when breeders first began crossing pure-bred dogs to create pups not only free from the health issues of their pure-bred parents but often gentler, smaller and hypo-allergenic.
Because the Silky Tzu is the product of 2 different pure-bred dogs, he doesn’t qualify to be a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) however both parent breeds are members; the Silky Terrier was named to the “terrier” group in 1959 while the Shih Tzu joined AKC’s “toy” group in 1969.
The Silky Tzu is a busy boy and will need a top-quality kibble that delivers the nutrients he needs based on his size, age and activity level. Because he can be prone to joint issues as he gets older, its important his weight be controlled so choose a food that is low in fillers that may cause him to overeat. Plan to feed him 2 to 3 small meals daily versus free-feeding.
The Silky Tzu is a busy boy.
While a stubborn streak makes for a pooch that is full of personality, it requires a little extra patience when training so be prepared! The Shih Tzu is known to be a house-breaking challenge so begin at a young age and take a firm, consistent approach. Socialization is also critical with this dog as he can become aggressive around new doggy faces. Rewards versus scolding are the best way to see results and offer lots of praise with treats as earned to net quicker results.
The Silky Tzu will weigh between 8 and 13 pounds when fully grown.
The Silky Tzu is a wonderful pet who is friendly, loyal and loves to hang out with his human pack. He is a great companion dog for singles and seniors as his activity needs can be met with short walks and interactive playtime and while he can also be a loving option for families with older kids and without other dogs, early socialization is important to make it work. This dog is an occasional barker which makes him poor watchdog material but great for apartment living. Active and feisty, he also loves to cuddle on a welcoming lap and is highly affectionate to his owner.
Common Health Problems
The Silky Tzu is generally a healthy little dog however it’s important you be aware of what their new pup could inherit from his pure-bred parents. For the Silky Tzu that can include joint issues including patellar luxation and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, diabetes as well as respiratory issues if he inherits the flatter face and shorter nose of the Shih Tzu.
The Silky Tzu has a life expectancy of 12 and 15 years.
The Silky Tzu is a high energy little dog but his smaller size means that his exercise needs can be met fairly easily. In addition to a couple of short daily walks, this pooch loves interactive play including tossed balls and other toys and will do well at a dog park. The terrier in him may cause him to chase smaller animals such as squirrels, but he’s no threat.
The Silky Tzu is loyal and loving to his owner but doesn’t always get along with young children and other dogs.
The Silky Tzu doesn’t qualify to join the American Kennel Club (AKC) because he is not a pure-bred dog however he is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
The Silky Tzu will have a thicker, double-coat that is silky soft and often wavy. Both parent breeds are considered hypoallergenic so this little dog would be a great candidate for those suffering from allergies. He is a low- to moderate-shedder however will need frequent brushing to keep his long coat from becoming matted and tangled. Occasional visits to the groomers can be expected to keep it trim and shaped. As a floppy eared dog, he can be prone to infections so plan to inspect and clean his ears weekly and brush his teeth a minimum of 2 to 3 times per week to help prevent periodontal disease.
The Silky Tzu is a headstrong little pup that needs early socialization to ensure he grows into a dog that gets along well with other animals and children. Housebreaking will require patience and so start early and while this peppy little pooch loves to play, he can be prone to joint issues later in life so be careful to not over-exert tiny limbs.
Photo credit: Pepsco Studio/Shutterstock; Ivan Popovych/Shutterstock