The Silky Terrier's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Australia Original purpose: pet, showdog Name: Derived from the texture of its coat Historical notes: Generally believed to have first developed in the closing decade of the 19th century. There were some disagreements in the first half of the 20th century as to the specific designations of the breed since it was once called the Australian Terrier with two variants, the Harsh and the Silky. Crossbreeding between the two was soon ceased and the Silky type stabilized. In 1955 the name for the official breed in Australia became the Silky Terriers.