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Silky Tzu (Silky Terriers & Shih Tzu Mix)Dog Breed: Pics, Guide, Info, Care & More!

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

silky tzu_Ivan Popovych, Shutterstock

Silky Tzu (Silky Terriers & Shih Tzu Mix)Dog Breed: Pics, Guide, Info, Care & More!

The Silky Tzu is a loyal, outgoing, and affectionate companion that enjoys playing and interacting with her family. These dogs get so attached to their families that they are prone to separation anxiety. This dog breed is well-suited to indoor living, as they don’t require a lot of exercise.

Breed Overview


6 to 8 inches


8 to 13 pounds


12 to 15 years


Fawn, cream, brown, black, red, and white

Suitable for:

Apartment dwellers, people with allergies, adult-only homes


Energetic, lively, affectionate

As small dogs, Silky Tzus make excellent companions for people in small living spaces, especially if you don’t have a backyard or live in an apartment. They’re not prone to barking, and they aren’t bred as a guard or watchdogs, so you won’t have to worry about them annoying your neighbors. Since Silky Tzus have coats made from hair rather than fur, they are considered hypoallergenic, making them ideal pets for people with allergies.

Silky Tzu Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Silky Tzu Puppies

Silky Tzus puppies are known to be friendly, confident, and affectionate. They are highly social animals that enjoy being around people, and they sometimes referred to as “velcro dogs” because they tend to stick close to their owners. Silky Tzus are also intelligent and trainable, but they can be quite independent, so they may require consistent training and positive reinforcement. This breed is not typically wary of strangers, but they may be aloof with people they don’t know, so socialization from an early age is important to make sure that they are well-behaved and friendly around people and other animals. Silky Tzus are also known to have a moderate energy level, so they make excellent family pets for families who enjoy an active lifestyle

Silky Tzus are typically a small to medium sized breed, with a long, luxurious coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and white. They have a distinctive appearance, with the shaggy coat and expressive face of the Shih Tzu, combined with the energetic, playful personality of the Silky Terrier.

Parent_breeds_Silky Tzu
Image Credit: Left-  strangewriter42, Pixabay | Right – sylviesi, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Silky Tzu 🧠

Silky Tzus can make the perfect family companion. They are funny creatures that crave one-on-one time and personal attention. They are well-suited to busy families as they don’t require a lot of exercise. That said, they can be prone to separation anxiety, so they won’t do well in a home where they are alone a lot of the time.

Your Silky Tzu will love having a variety of toys to play with by day and curling up on your lap to cuddle at night. If they are well socialized as puppies, they can learn to enjoy being around other people and dogs.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Whether your Silky Tzu is a good choice for your family will be entirely dependent on how well she is socialized as a puppy. The importance of early socialization will show in this dog’s interactions with children and other dogs, as they are not naturally inclined to get along with them.

Silky Tzus do better with children if they are raised around them, but they do better with older children who aren’t as rough to play with.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

Silky Tzus see smaller animals as worthy prey and tend to chase them. For bigger dogs, they like to challenge their authority. If you are keeping a Silky Tzu in a home with other pets, it is best that they are other dogs around the same size. This breed will also get along better with other animals if they are properly socialized as puppies.


Things to Know When Owning a Silky Tzu

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Since a large portion of your pet’s cost will go towards food, it’s important to feed high-quality dog food. Be aware of bargain dog food brands that contain mostly wheat and corn, as they can be hard on your dog’s digestive system.

Quality dog food should contain fish or meat as the primary ingredient and be grain-free whenever possible. Making sure your dog has healthy treats is important too. While they are harder to find, making sure your pet has adequate nutrition is worth it.

It is possible to avoid feeding dog food and feed your Silky Tzu a raw diet. They can eat raw beef, chicken, fish, or eggs. If you choose to feed a raw diet, make sure to incorporate greens to make sure your dog has an adequate nutrient balance. It’s important to do your homework before adding human food ingredients to your dog’s diet, as some of them can be toxic.

As Silky Tzus are toy breeds, they don’t require a lot of food. Usually, ½ to 1 cup of dry dog food per day, fed in two meals is sufficient.

Exercise 🐕

Silky Tzus don’t need a lot of exercise, but it’s still important to keep them moving on a regular basis. These dogs were bred for indoor living, but they enjoy being outside too. As Silky Tzus are a toy breed, it is possible to over-exercise them. They won’t do well on long hikes or bike rides and will be satisfied with one or two 10-to-15-minute walks each day.

While Silky Tzu’s love to play, it’s best to be careful with taking them to dog parks. They are very small dogs and don’t do well with rough play. They should be trained at a young age to keep their distance from large dogs to avoid becoming injured.

Training 🎾

Silky Tzu puppies should begin training from the moment you bring them home. They can be difficult to train and somewhat stubborn, but they will become responsive to your commands if you persist.

Shih Tzus and Shih Tzu cross, like the Silky Tzus, are known for being difficult to potty train, so they require consistency and patience. A popular method of potty training these dogs is to place a bell near the door that your puppy can reach with her paws. Each time you take them outside, have them nudge the bells, so they learn to associate the bell with needing to go out. Over time, your dog will ring the bells herself to get your attention.

Training your Silky Tzu should be fun and focused on positive reinforcement rather than punishment. With regular rewards and praise, training should go quickly. If your dog has a stubborn moment, be firm and consistent, but avoid scolding. Early training and socialization are important for helping your Silky Tzu be the best dog she can be. So be patient and stick with it!

Grooming ✂️

Silky Tzus have dense coats and require daily brushing with a slicker brush to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Frequent baths should be avoided, as they strip away the natural oils from their hair and lead to flaky, dry skin.

The hair of a Silky Tzu can be straight or curly. They are non-shedding dogs, so they will require professional grooming to get a haircut once in a while. Be careful with shaving, however. While it seems like a great way to keep your dog cool in the summer months, it can make your dog’s coat thinner and duller over time.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Silky Tzu is popular because it is part of the breeder’s efforts to crossbreed dogs like the Shih Tzu to avoid reducing the genetic population. As such, crossbreeds are usually healthier than purebreds and less likely to inherit genetic health conditions. There are some, however, that they can still inherit.

Minor Conditions
  • Dental issues
Serious Conditions
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Spongiform Leukodystrophy Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

To reduce the chances of your Silky Tzu having a genetic condition, be sure to ask the breeder to show the health documents for your dog’s parents. The conditions of the breeder’s facility and their living conditions can also give you a good indication of whether your dog will be healthy.

divider-pawMales vs. Females

Male Silky Tzus are slightly more affectionate than females. Males have also been proven more reliable with regards to accepting small children and other pets.

Female Silky Tzus have a tendency to bond with a single person, whereas males have more than enough affection to go around.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Silky Tzu

1. They come from Australia and China.

Since the Silky Tzu is a crossbreed, they hail from two different parts of the world. The Chinese prized Shih Tzu dogs as companion dogs for centuries, while Silky Terriers are a crossbreed of their own, hailing from Australia.

2. They have a strong hunting instinct.

Since Silky Tzus is part terrier, their hunting instincts are strong. Therefore, they are prone to chasing cats, rabbits, or other fur-family members. This instinct is tough to train out, as they are genetically predisposed to the behavior.

3.They get “small dog” syndrome.

Although they are toy-sized dogs, Silky Tzus still have a very playful and competitive nature when it comes to other dogs. It’s important to train them as puppies to interact appropriately with other canines, or they will be found challenging the biggest dog at the park.



Silky Tzus is overall a fun-loving dog breed that makes a great indoor pet. Since they don’t need a lot of exercise, they are good companions for older single adults. They can be good family dogs if they are well-socialized as puppies but are prone to separation anxiety and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.

Featured Image by: Ivan Popovych, Shutterstock

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