Silky Terriers are active, energetic little dogs--but because of their small size, their exercise requirements aren't too extensive. Much of these dogs' daily activity needs will be met by them just running around being their busy little selves. They will, however, need more daily exercise than most other toy breeds.
The typical adult Silky Terrier, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need about 45 minutes of proper exercise per day, which you can accomplish with a couple of walks and a dedicated period of play. You can start exercising your Silky puppy at 10-12 weeks of age by taking it on short (5- to 10-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.
A few precautions to observe when exercising your Silky Terrier: first, puppies younger than 7-8 months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, and navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, dogs of this breed will need to be leashed when in public. For one thing, they have high prey drives, and will chase interesting-looking critters like birds and squirrels if given the chance; they're also extremely feisty, and will be confrontational with strangers and other dogs--especially big ones! A leash will help you control your Silky in these situations. Finally: Silky Terriers get cold pretty easily, so it's best not to exercise them outdoors in frigid temperatures.
Safeguards aside, it's important to exercise your Silky Terrier every single day. These dogs are naturally feisty and demanding, and if bored or restless they'll become disobedient and fussy, and will bark and dig nonstop! Consistent exercise will be great for the dog's peace of mind--and for your own sanity as well. A few exercise ideas:
- Walking: Two 20-minute walks per day is a good target
- Fetch: Can be played indoors or out
- Hide-and-Seek: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
- Canine Sports: These dogs excel in agility trials and other competitions
- Hiking: Silky Terriers actually make great companions on short to moderate hikes; bonus if you can find a remote area where the dog can be off-leash
When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Silky access to one or more balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.