Skye Terriers
Get A Look At That Gorgeous Coat!

The fashionable appearance of Skye Terriers would hardly lead anyone to guess that they were originally used as an earth dogs to bolt fox and badger and a few other small animals.

Crufts 2019- NEC, Birmingham- 08-March 2019 - 46608117224

However, they apparently did this with much success owing to their strong and well-muscled body, plus a powerful set of jaws.

These small but robust dogs take their name, and most likely their original home, from the island of Skye situated off the northwest coast of Scotland.

Knowledge of this very old breed has been recorded for around four hundred years. Their lifespan, with good care, is between 12-14 years.

In their heyday, Sykes were very popular companions of kings, queens and the aristocracy and have also been featured in famous works of art. Mary Queen of Scots was known to admire this small terrier dog breed.

Physical Stats

Height: 9-10 inches
Weight: 35-45 lbs.
Color variations: From black to all shades of gray, as well as cream and fawn. Points of black are seen on the muzzle, ears and tail.

The hallmark of the breed is its flowing coat that is as long as the dog is high. It has a moderate sized head with prick or drop ears that are veiled, along with the face, in softer long hair.

The profuse hair framing the face provided good protection when this valiant little dog was in pursuit of its quarry, not only from the rugged terrain, but also from bodily attacks.

Skye TerriersCream And Gray Skye Terriers
Courtesy User at Russian Wikipedia

Grooming Skye Terriers

Skye Terriers have a profuse coat that needs weekly brushing with a pin brush and comb to loosen dead hair and prevent matting.

An occasional trim and bathing is handled on an as needed basis.

Also pay attention to the ears that get hidden underneath all that hair and can attract parasites. Clean as needed to remove foreign matter and any excess wax. Keep nails trimmed and teeth brushed.

Characteristics of the Skye

The Skye is known to be unsurpassed in loyalty to those he holds in regard.

Here is an awesome breed fact, in support of this trait:

In 1858, a Skye Terrier from Edinburgh, named Greyfriars Bobby, kept a 14-year vigil at his master's grave until, he too, passed on.

Wow! now that's devotion!

Townspeople fed the dog and kept up its license. Later this statue was put up which has become a popular visitor attraction in Edinburgh.

skye terrier statueGreyfriars Bobby
Commemorative Statue

Owners of the breed describe them as a good-natured sensitive dogs with a friendly and cheerful demeanor. They are affectionate and playful and enjoy having a lot of love and attention.

Like most terriers, they are independent-minded and selective about whom they will befriend. They are wary of strangers and prefer to approach them on their own terms.

Early socialization with people, places, events and other animals is encouraged to bring this trait into balance.

Skye Terriers are intelligent dogs and like to be trained in a persuasive manner. Owners should establish leadership and be firm, but never forceful.

Like most smart dogs, they easily become bored if the sessions are too long or repetitious, so keep things short and interesting.

Health Notes

While Skye Terriers can live up to 14 years and are overall pretty healthy, some diseases have been noted that owners should be aware of and discuss with their breeder when seeking a puppy.

They include:

  • Renal Dysplasia - a hereditary condition caused by malformation of the kidneys (one or both). More often seen in puppies and younger dogs.
  • Hepatitis - a liver disease
  • Occurrences of Cancer
  • Hip Dysplasia -  degenerative condition identified by the separation of hip bones from their sockets
  • Luxating Patella - dislocated kneecap caused by anatomical deformities from birth

How Active Are Skye Terriers?

This breed is not fussy about exercise, but all dogs need to get out and shake a leg on a regular basis.

The Skye Terrier has lots of stamina and a daily walk will keep him more fit and healthy.

Due to their long and low physical shape, it's best to discourage a lot of jumping on and off furniture to protect - especially as puppies - against injuries.

Ideal Living Space

The Skye Terrier is adaptable and will be quite happy in small quarters - either a house, condo or apartment.

He can even get by without a yard, as long as he is taken out for exercise, fresh air and daily needs.

Children and Skye Terriers?

Children will easily fall in love with this pretty dog, but they will get along better if they are raised with them from the puppy age.

Because both children and pets can be unpredictable, the caution remains that any breed of dog should always be supervised when they are playing in the company of children.

With Seniors Or Less Active Families?

Skye Terriers have several attributes that make them ideal for seniors or the more sedentary family:  very devoted temperament, low exercise demand and their love of companionship.

Do You Have A Skye?

If you have a Skye you'd like to tell the world about, we are all ears.

We invite you to share your knowledge about this affectionate and loyal little terrier. Pictures would be great too!

We've made it quick and easy for you to brag about your special dog with us and our visitors. Just go here to get started. It's fun, plus he'll be famous with his own web page!

We can't wait to have your dog join our community!

Further Reading

Skye Terrier Owner Manual
Skye Terrier Comprehensive Owner's Guide

Current resource on breed history, characteristics and pet attributes, breed standard, grooming, puppy care, house training, nutrition and feeding, training, up-to-date health care and the potential disorders that may concern the breed. Includes many pictures.

Interested in more information about the breed? Find it at the Skye Terrier Club of America

  • Greyfriars Bobby Image: by Michael Reeve under License:
  • Skye Terriers Cream and Gray source: user from ru.wikipedia

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