A Silky Terrier's fine, flowing coat will require a good bit of grooming. The hair is very similar to a human's--so like human hair, it will need plenty of TLC. Below are details on proper care for a Silky's coat, plus some ideas on popular Silky Terrier hairstyles.
Silky Terriers' fine, smooth, long-haired coats are comparable to human hair, so they will need frequent coat care. Silky Terrier grooming should happen 4-5 times per week (if not daily); they will need baths every 3-4 weeks, and--depending on the grooming style--an occasional trim to keep the coat manageable.
To brush: first wet the coat with mist from a spray bottle; many Silky owners add a leave-in conditioner to the water to keep the hair, well, silky. Use a slicker brush to comb through the hair, starting at the head; slowly work through the body hair and finish at the tail. Use a greyhound comb to gently work through stubborn tangles. If bathing the dog, finish the brushing process first, then bathe the dog in lukewarm water, using gentle canine shampoo and conditioner (available at pet stores). Then towel- or blow-dry the coat, and finish with another quick brushing.
To give the dog a trim, use scissors or clippers. Silky haircuts can be tricky, so it might be a good idea to learn from a professional groomer, who can advise you on how to groom a Silky Terrier; video on YouTube or comparable sites offer further instructions.
A Silky Terrier's coat, as the breed's name suggests, is quite silky; it's normally parted at the back and falls nearly to the ground, and has abundant hair on the head--almost like a human wig. Many Silky owners, therefore, prefer their dogs' coats at full length; others choose from a variety of Silky Terrier haircuts, the most popular of which are described here:
- Puppy Cut: The Silky Terrier has its coat shaved to 1.5-2 inches all over. Some owners prefer slight modifications, such as leaving the hair on the face, head, and/or the legs slightly longer. This can be done at home with clippers and scissors, but it's best to get instructions from a groomer on how to trim a Silky Terrier in this style.
- Schnauzer Cut: This Silky Terrier cut makes the dog resemble a Schnauzer. The body hair is shaved close; the leg hair is left longer, and the facial furnishings are cut to look like a beard. This style is best done by a groomer.
- 3-Layer Cut: Also known as a "3-Stack," this style sees the head hair cut to just below the shoulders; the body hair is cut to about 3 inches above the ground; and the leg hair is cut to just above the ground. This style creates three "levels" of hair. This is a cut definitely for groomers only.
- Designer Cuts: These styles rely on a groomer's creativity. Some examples: a shaved body and long facial hair; medium-length body hair, short facial hair, and long tail hair; some groomers even shave the dog's body hair, then use an electric razor to etch designs into the hair on its back!