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Skye Terrier

Stylish, graceful, and elegant, all because of its plush coat and prominent features, the Skye Terrier is one of the most adorable terrier breeds. One of its notable features is its ears that could be big and feathery, standing up like a bat’s wings. Alternately, it may also have drop ears lying flat against its long head.

Originating in Scotland’s Isle of Skye, the breed was developed to control badger and fox. Fearless and loyal, these great house pets are ideal for older kids, but not recommended for little ones.

Of the several prominent terriers recorded in history, Greyfriars Bobby’s name tops the list as it has the reputation of guarding its owner’s grave for 14 long years. Charlie is another notable Skye Terrier who emerged victorious in the National Dog Show of 2015.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Skye
  • Colors:Black cream, fawn, blue, gray, and silver
  • Life Expectancy:12 – 15 years
  • Height:Male – 10 inches; 
    Female – 9.5 inches
  • Weight:35 – 45 pounds
  • Temperament:Loyal, friendly, well-tempered, intelligent
  • Good with Kids:No (only with older children)
  • Exercise requirements:Moderately low
  • Hypoallergenic:No
  • Litter Size:4 – 9 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:High
  • Health Problems:Hip dysplasia, luxating patella, skin allergies, mammary cancer
  • Trainability:Moderate
  • Origin:Scotland

Skye Terrier’s History: Timeline


    Gained popularity among British nobles as a farm dog


    Queen Victoria gave it a fancy status, and kept both the drop and pick-eared varieties


    Vero Shaw, in his Illustrated Book of Dogs, included the Skye Terriers’ colored lithograph


    Recognized by the AKC


    Formation of the Skye Terrier Club of America


    Attained recognition by the UKC


    Their numbers were depleting rapidly with only 30 of them born in the United Kingdom

Skye Terrier Dogs
Skye Terrier Puppies


They do not need too much exercise, content with whatever physical activity their owner decides to give. A 30-minute walk a day, teamed with short play sessions indoors or outdoors, is sufficient to channelize its physical and mental energies well.

Its agile nature makes for a good participant in earthdog events, obedience, and agility.

However, you should keep in mind not to take your pet on long walks or make it jump before it is 24 months old. This is because the Skye Terrier’s legs are smaller than its body, and over-exercising the puppies could hinder the development of the growth plates causing them to limp.

The Skye Terrier’s long flowing coat that adds to its beauty and grace, could be a bit of a task to maintain. While the outer coat is hard, flat and straight, the inner coat remains short, woolly, and soft.

Brush and comb once a week, use a pin brush, or even a long-toothed comb to ensure shine and prevent the formation of tangles.

The good news is that it doesn’t need the extra clipping or trimming sessions like most other terriers. Give it at least one to two baths a month to keep it clean.

Other than this, take care of its dental hygiene well by brushing it twice or thrice a week, trim its nails one or two times in a month, and check its ears weekly for any wax buildup.

Whether homemade or store-bought, ensure to give the Skye Terrier high-quality dog food, containing adequate nutrients. While choosing readymade food Royal Canin, and Pedigree Adult Nutrition are the preferred brands you may opt for.

This calm and intelligent dog would not be too difficult to train if the master can handle its strong-willed nature skillfully.

They are good with their kin but maintain a reserved attitude upon encountering an unfamiliar face. Socialize it since it is a puppy, and expose it to different kinds of experiences, the good and the bad. This would help it differentiate between a friend and a foe.

Moreover, they even do not mingle well with other dogs, leave alone small pets like cats, rabbits, or hamsters, whom they would always be eager to chase. Hence, socialize them right from the beginning if you have additional dogs in your family.

Obedience training should also be given importance, keeping their stubbornness in mind. Commands like “Stop,” “Sit,” and “Stay” when grasped well, would help them develop a pleasing personality eventually.

Also, teach them to wear a leash since they are young, else they could get uncontrollable when taken out.

Picture of a Skye Terrier
Skye Terrier Images

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