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Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier is a tough, courageous yet mild mannered dog that makes an amiable family pets. This working dog was initially developed as hunting dog. The breed originated during the 16th century in the Isle of Skye, off the coast of Scotland and hence named Skye Terrier.

There are various theories regarding the origination of this breed. Some believe that Skye Terrier breed dogs were developed from Maltese type dogs that came from a shipwreck.

However, as this is an achondroplastic breed, somewhat resembling Welsh Corgi, some believe that Skye Terrier dog breed could have been developed by crossing local Celtic terriers with Swedish Vallhunds of the Viking invaders The breed particularly became popular during 1840s when Queen Victoria fancied the breed.

Physical Appearance

Skye Terrier dog breed is smaller than other terrier breeds and are closely related to Scottish Terrier and Cairn Terrier dogs. The body is long, muscular and head is large.

There are two varieties of these dogs as some of them are drop eared and some are prick eared. The ones with drop ears are considered good for farms. There is long feathering on ears.

Eyes are medium in size and brown in color. In case of show dogs, dark brown eyes are preferred. Stop is slight and muzzle is moderately full. Tail is long and well feathered.

Color: These dogs are mostly blue, black, fawn, greyish blue, cream or, dark or light grey in color.
Height: On an average, Skye Terriers grow to about 10 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 35 to 40 pounds. The average weight of the bitches is usually around 25 to 30 pounds.

Health Problems

These dogs have short legs. So, they are susceptible to Skye Limp or premature closure of distal radius. They are also vulnerable to degenerative disc disease and other common dog diseases.

Life Expectancy: Average Skye Terrier life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: 3 to 6 puppies

Grooming Requirements

The breed is characterized by double hair coat consisting of flat, straight, hard outer coat (almost 5.5 inches long) and wooly undercoat. Thus, the dog needs to be brushed frequently to avoid matting.

The average hair coat can also be clipped. Other, Skye Terrier groomingactivities include regularly checking and cleaning eyes and ears, trimming the nails, occasional bathing etc.


Skye Terrier temperament is fearless, friendly, docile, easy going, calm, sensitive, loyal, affectionate and active. These adorable dogs are wary of strangers. Therefore, Skye Terrier puppies should be socialized right from the beginning.

Proper training is also essential to avoid problem behaviors like obsessive barking, aggressiveness and even biting. When trained well, these alert and responsive dogs can be entrusted with watchdog duties.

These charming and adorable dogs thrive on loving human companionship. In addition, they are playful with older and considerate children.

The same cannot be said about their compatibility with other household pets, though because they are not likely to get along well with other pets unless extensively trained and socialized. They are good at obedience, agility and therapy work as well.

Moreover, they are fiercely loyal. In fact, it is said that a Skye Terrier named Greyfriar’s Bobby guarded the grave of his master Constable John Grey who had been the dog’s owner for 14 years. Later, in the honor of the dog, a statue was placed in Edinburgh after the dog’s death.

Key Points

These agile and energetic dogs are relatively active indoors and do well in apartment situation with quiet environment, even without a yard.

Besides, they enjoy the ritual of daily walks and love to play in open areas. Skye Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest terriers but the breed is rare these days and is almost on the verge of extinction.