The silky terrier, not to be confused with his smaller cousin, the Yorkshire terrier, sports a long, flowing mane of hair. This long coat offers a pretty 'do, and is surprisingly easy to maintain considering its length. Silkies hardly shed, offering a good pet possibility for those with dog allergies.
Thou Shalt Not Shed
In most cases, having a dog means finding the pooch's hair all over your home and clothes when he sheds his coat. The silky's single-layered coat resembles human hair in texture, and sheds very minimally compared to other breeds. It's typically the dog's undercoat that leaves the hair all over, and your silky simply doesn't have one. You may find occasional lost hair during seasonal changes, or when your puppy transitions into adulthood, but it won't even come close to the shedding many thicker-coated breeds cause during their coat changes.
Brush Your Troubles Away
Just because your silky doesn't drastically and dramatically lose his coat like other breeds doesn't mean he needs no grooming whatsoever. Because of the length of his hair, those few strands that are shed would cause a big problem if left to tangle together with the rest of his coat. Tangles cause mats, and mats can cause skin irritation, trap dirt and just make your pup look pitiful. Use a pin or slicker brush to smooth his coat out two or three times a week to make sure he looks his best. Mist his hair with a detangler spray to encourage a smooth, easy brushing and prevent future tangles.
A Little Snip Here, A Little Snip There
Like your hair, your silky's coat never stops growing. If left unfettered, your pup could turn into a regular Rapunzel, complete with a long, flowing train of hair trailing behind him. Regular trims help keep him comfortable and looking neat, and removes frayed split-ends at the same time. The show standard involves a coat that falls below the lines of the body, but does not reach the floor. Trust a groomer to trim him up, including his face and feet, whenever he starts looking scruffy.
Most dogs can go for months without a bath, but your silky's coat is much closer to human hair texture than any other breed. Imagine only washing your hair once every three months. Your silky needs a bath once a month, and can use a gentle human shampoo. A thorough wash, a quick condition and a complete rinse to remove all residue, and your silky is squeaky clean. Squeeze the excess water from his hair, comb him through to remove any loose hair and let him air dry.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.