The Skye Terrier hails from Scotland’s Isle of Skye and dates back to the 16th century. Originally this breed was tasked to seek out and kill otters, foxes, and badgers that threatened farmer’s livestock. Their long coat was their shield and protected them from injury and inclement weather conditions.
During the 19th century, Queen Victoria, an avid dog lover, gained an interest in the breed while visiting Scotland and insisted that the dogs should be fashionable pets of noble ladies.
The Skye Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887.
- Weight: 35 to 45 lbs.
- Height: 9 to 10 inches
- Coat: Double coat with a short, soft undercoat and a hard, straight topcoat
- Color: Black, blue, cream, platinum, fawn, silver, or gray
- Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
What’s the Skye Terrier like?
The Skye Terrier is like most other terriers: fearless and friendly towards people he knows but wary of strangers at first. He’s very intelligent and can pick up on certain vibes or emotions. When first meeting someone he will study them before deciding whether or not to let them pet him. Like most dogs he doesn’t like to be alone and is definitely not a backyard dog. Contrary to popular belief this little guy has great stamina and strength and loves to go on walks but will accompany you for a little R&R time on the couch. He has a mind of his own and may tend to wander away so keep an eye on him and start training immediately to avoid future problems.
Although the Skye Terrier’s double coat looks like it would be high maintenance it’s really not. No trimming is necessary and a weekly brushing should keep things in order. When bathing your furry friend it is recommended to squeeze or pull the shampoo through the coat so it flows easily in order to prevent breaking of the hairs on the coat.
Skye Terrier’s can be affected by “Skye limp” or “puppy limp” which occurs in puppies between 3 and 10 months of age. They may also suffer from genetic forms of liver and kidney disease so it’s important to talk to the breeder about medical histories. Also watch for any of the following conditions:
- Lens luxation
- Von Willebrand’s disease (a blood clotting disorder)
- Ulcerative colitis
- The Skye Terrier is a cheerful dog that would be suitable for any family.
- The Skye Terrier is very independent so you may want to keep an eye on him when let loose outside.
- The Skye Terrier does shed moderately so if you have allergies this breed could increase them.
- If left alone for too long the Skye Terrier may start to become destructive, training can prevent this behavior or you could try to limit your time away from him.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
The Purebred Skye Terrier
Information and Pictures
Bear the Skye Terrier at 6 years old—"I have had Bear since the day he was born, at one time I raised this wonderful breed. He is so very loyal and loving. This breed is very rare, but if people knew what wonderful pets they make they would be a very popular breed. Bear has been raised with my grandchildren and loves them very much. He loves when they come to visit."
Other Dog Breed Names
The Skye Terrier is a long, low to the ground dog, with the length being twice as long as the height. The head is long, tapering to the muzzle with a slight stop. The nose is black. The teeth meet in a level or scissors bite. The eyes are brown darker is preferred in the show ring. The symmetrical ears are either erect or dropped (dropped are rare). The tail is long, hanging with abundant feathering, pendent and never curled. The long, large feet are hare-like, pointing straight forward. The double coat has a soft, woolly undercoat and a flat, straight, hard outer coat that is about 5 1/2 inches long (14 cm) and hangs down on each side, parted in the middle from head to tail. The solid-colored coat comes in black, blue, gray-blue, dark or light gray, silver platinum, fawn or cream. There may be black points on the ears, muzzle and tip of the tail. There is sometimes a small amount of white on the chest. Puppy coats often change in color by the time they are adults.
The Skye is very good-natured, loyal, polite, loving and affectionate. Brave, bold, spirited, playful and happy, it loves attention. Can become a bit willful with a meek or passive owner, needing a handler with a natural air of authority. Socialize well with different people, noises and sights. This breed likes to chase take caution with other small non-canine pets. Do not allow this breed to develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes it is the boss of the home. When this is allowed to happen the dog’s temperament changes for the worse, and may include such behaviors as dog aggressiveness, suspicion of strangers, overprotectiveness, obsessive barking and, in the worst cases, biting.
Its length should be twice its height.
Height: 10 inches (25.5 cm) average
Weight: Males 35 - 40 pounds (16 - 18 kg)
Weight: Females 25 - 30 pounds (11.5 - 14 kg)
The Skye Terrier is good for apartment life. It is relatively active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
The Skye Terrier needs a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of its exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill its primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. These dogs will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
If the coat is kept long it needs to be brushed frequently or it will mat. Some owners choose to clip the coat shorter for easier care. It may take several years for the full adult coat to come in. This breed is an average shedder.
The Skye Terrier is among one of the oldest terriers known today. In the early 1600s a Spanish ship wrecked off the island of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides. The ship had Maltese dogs onboard that survived and mated with the local terriers, resulting in the Skye Terrier breed. The dogs were used to hunt down vermin, fox and badger that would prey on the farmer's livestock. In the 19th century Queen Victoria took a liking to the breed and the Skye Terrier became very popular for a while, especially among the nobility. A Skye named "Greyfriar’s Bobby" was said to have guarded the grave of Constable John Grey, who was his master, for 14 years. Townspeople came and fed him until he died at age 16. A statue was placed in Edinburgh in the dog's honor. The Skye was first exhibited in England in 1864. The AKC recognized the breed in 1887.
- ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
- ACR = American Canine Registry
- AKC = American Kennel Club
- ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
- APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
- CET = Club EspaГ±ol de Terriers (Spanish Terrier Club)
- CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
- CKC = Continental Kennel Club
- DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- FCI = FГ©dГ©ration Cynologique Internationale
- KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
- NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
- NKC = National Kennel Club
- NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
Magic the Skye Terrier at 15 years old lives in Thailand. Since the climate in Thailand is quite hot, he gets trimmed every two months.
"This is my 14-15-year-old Skye Terrier named Sam. I have had him for all but the first year as he was a SPCA rescue dog. The intelligence that he displays is really something. It’s almost as if he can figure things out to get what he wants. He would probably like Flyball or something. He has learned tricks, etc., but only comes when called if he knows the reward structure is in place.".
This is Ailie (Skye Terrier rescue). Yep, she's a pistol!
See more examples of the Skye Terrier
The Material contained herein may not be reproduced without the prior written approval of the author. Contents & Graphics Copyright © Dog Breed Info Center® (C) 1998-. All Rights Reserved. Our work is not Public Domain.
Like his fellow terriers, the Skye was created in Great Britain — on the Isle of Skye, one of Scotland's Inner Hebrides islands, to be exact — to rid farms of den-dwelling creatures whose holes were a hazard to livestock. Distinguished by a lush coat, long body, and gracefully feathered prick or drop ears, the Skye's versatility enabled him to vanquish vermin and keep company with duchesses, both with equal aplomb.
How did a tough little terrier become a fashionable companion? Queen Victoria, who frequently vacationed in Scotland, was responsible for bringing the breed to public notice. He won further recognition when renowned portrait artist Sir Edwin Landseer featured him in paintings. Soon it was said that a duchess would be almost ashamed to be seen in the park without her Skye Terrier by her side.
The Skye has always been more than a vermin-buster in a fancy coat, however. He's fearless and self-assured, but he's also friendly, happy, and devoted to his people. Strangers who wait for him to make the first move will find he accepts them as well — once he's decided they aren't pushy or a threat.
He has a mind of his own when it comes to training, but he's sensitive and responds well to a firm voice and positive-reinforcement techniques that involve food rewards, praise, and play.
Like any self-respecting terrier, the Skye is ready to take on other dogs of any size, and he shouldn't be left alone with small furry pets such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, or gerbils. They look a bit too much like lunch.
On the plus side, he's an excellent watchdog, and more low-key than most terriers. His small size makes him adaptable to any environment, including an apartment or condo — though his barking might annoy the neighbors.
While the Skye isn't needy, he expects his fair share of your affection and attention, not to mention respect. Neglect him at your peril. The Skye will inform you of your error by digging, chewing, and barking to express his irritation.
The Skye Terrier believes in a give-and-take relationship. If he's given the respect, affection, and attention he deserves, he will lavish the same on his people. A Skye will always make you laugh, but when you need to cry, he and his long coat will be there to absorb your tears.
- Skye Terriers are best suited to homes with older children who understand how to interact with dogs.
- Skye Terriers need early socialization to people and other animals. They are naturally reserved, and socialization will help prevent shy, timid, or aggressive behaviors.
- The Skye Terrier requires weekly brushing and a bath every two to three weeks. He's considered an average shedder.
- Skye Terriers can be very destructive if they are bored or are frequently left alone for long periods.
- Although the Skye Terrier has a moderate activity level and is quiet indoors, he still requires daily exercise. Expect at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
- Skye Terriers can do well in apartments.
- A Skye Terrier needs a fenced yard to prevent him from running after other animals or people who pass by his property.
- Like many of the terrier breeds, Skye Terrier enjoys digging after all, that's what he was bred to do.
- The Skye Terrier is a great watchdog.
- Skye Terriers can be aggressive toward dogs they don't know and will chase and kill smaller pets.
- Skye Terriers respond best to positive training techniques, a firm tone, and consistent expectations. They have a mind of their own and can make training difficult if they choose to.
- Never buy a Skye Terrier from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
The Skye is an old breed of terrier that originated more than four centuries ago on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He was used to hunt badger, fox, and otter, following them into their burrows and pulling them out to kill them.
To this day, he has remained relatively unchanged, with his short, sturdy legs made for digging and his double coat to protect him from rough brush, thorns, and bites from his adversaries, as well as inclement Scottish weather.
What may have been the first book on dogs, Johannes Caius' Of English Dogges, written in 1570, describes the Skye Terrier this way: "brought out of barbarous borders fro' the uttermost countryes northward. which, by reason of the length of heare [hair], makes showe neither of face nor of body."
Through his description, we know that the breed was already well established at that time. The breed has not always been known as the Skye Terrier. He has also been called the Clydesdale Terrier, the Fancy Skye Terrier, the Silky Skye Terrier, the Glasgow Terrier, and the Paisley Terrier.
Queen Victoria was a fan of the breed and kept and bred Skye Terriers. At one time the Skye Terrier was one of the most popular terrier breeds around.
The Skye Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887, and the first Skye to be registered by the AKC was Romach, that same year. The Skye Terrier Club of America was founded in 1938.
Despite his potential as a companion, the Skye Terrier is a rare breed, ranking 146th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.
The ideal height for a Skye Terrier is 10 inches for a male and 9.5 inches for a female. Generally a Skye Terrier weighs 25 to 40 pounds.
The Skye is brave, good-natured, and loyal to his own family. He doesn't make friends with just anyone and prefers people to take their time in approaching him. He's reserved and cautious toward strangers, traits that make him an excellent watchdog.
The Skye has been called canny, a Scottish word with a variety of meanings, all of which can be applied to almost any terrier — prudent, astute, skilled, and steady. He's sensitive but not submissive with a mind of his own.
He has a long memory and will remember slights or mistreatment. Skyes like to be part of the family and will become bored, wilful, and unhappy if neglected.
Like every dog, Skyes need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when young. Socialization helps ensure that your Skye Terrier puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
The Skye Terrier is a very healthy breed. The only issue that's a potential concern is orthopedic problems that could occur during growth. The Skye is achondroplastic, meaning that he has a large body on small legs. If he's allowed to jump or climb excessively during puppyhood, before the growth plates in his legs have closed, he may limp or develop a condition called premature closure, which occurs when the growth plates don't close properly. Wait until he's 18 to 24 months old before taking him on long walks or letting him do any jumping or stair climbing.
Thanks to his small size and moderate exercise needs, the Skye can adapt to any environment, from apartment to country home. Regardless, he should live indoors with his people.
When outside, he should be in a fenced yard or on leash so he's protected from traffic and encounters with other dogs, toward whom he's likely to express some dislike.
The Skye will enjoy a daily walk or active play in the yard. Without regular exercise and training, he'll become bored and unhappy, which invariably leads to destructive or noisy behavior.
Take some environmental precautions when raising a Skye puppy. The Skye Terrier has bowed front legs, which provide a curve for a deep chest. A young Skye Terrier should never be allowed to climb up stairs, or jump onto or off or furniture. Allowing a Skye Terrier to do these things when he's young can put unnecessary stress on his front legs.
Train the strong-willed Skye with positive reinforcement techniques, but be firm and consistent in what you require. If your Skye thinks he can get away with disobeying you, he'll always try.
Recommended daily amount: 1 3/8 to 1 7/8 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.
How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog.
The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.
Keep your Skye Terrier in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.
First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.
For more on feeding your Skye Terrier, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Skye wears an elegant and stylish coat that hangs straight down each side from a part that runs down the back from head to tail. The undercoat is short, soft, and woolly, covered with an outer coat of straight hair with a hard texture.
On the head, Lana Turner bangs veil the forehead and eyes. (Many owners opt to hold the long bangs back with an elastic or barrette.) The Skye also sports a beard and apron (the longer hair on the chest).
The Skye's coat comes in black, blue, dark or light gray, silver platinum, fawn, or cream. It's one overall color at the skin, but you may see varying shades of the same color in the full coat. He may also have black points, or markings, on the ears, muzzle, and tail tip. Puppies often have wide variations in coat color until they mature at approximately 18 months of age.
The long and luxurious coat requires weekly brushing with a pin brush or long-toothed comb. A bath every two to three weeks keeps the coat clean. Be sure to brush or comb out any tangles before bathing the dog. Once they get wet, they tighten up and are more difficult to remove. If you're brushing a dry dog, mist the coat with water as you brush to prevent hair breakage.
Other grooming needs include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Skye's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the accompanying bacteria. Daily is better.
Trim his nails once or twice a month, as needed. If you can hear the nail clicking on the floor, they're too long. Short nails keep the feet in good condition and won't scratch your legs when your Skye jumps up to greet you.
Begin accustoming your Skye to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth and ears.
Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.
Children And Other Pets
A Skye Terrier can make an excellent companion for older children if he's properly socialized. His terrier temperament may make him too feisty to be a playmate for children younger than six years old, however.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
The Skye Terrier can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn't know, but he should get along well with dogs and cats he's raised with. He's not recommended for homes with smaller pets since he may view them as a tasty snack.
Before contacting a breeder, consider going to a Skye Terrier rescue group.
The dog of the isle is a loyal watchdog. On the day Queen Mary of Scots was to be executed, her loyal Skye terrier was present. Queen Victoria also made the breed popular but Vera Shaw’s 1881 “The Illustrated Book of the Dog” greatly increased its popularity. The world-famous Grey Friars Bobby also sealed the loyalty of the breed. In 2005 however, the breed produced in its home country the United Kingdom were only 30. The Skye terrier has now become one of today’s endangered species. Discover more about our Skye Terrier puppies for sale below!
Over 400 years ago the Skye Terrier was found on the Isle of Skye, which happens to be one of the largest Islands located in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Since the time of its discovery, the breed has remained almost unchanged. The sturdy short legs created to dig, the thick double coat that serves as a protective shield from rivals, bites, thorns, and rough brushes all remain the same with just a few slight changes. In the past, the worker dogs bred by farmers were to be used in hunting and chasing vermin.
The Skye Terriers origination is said to have started from a Spanish shipwreck that occurred near the island. Maltese dogs were said to have been among the survivors of that wreck and thus farmers began to mate the Maltese with their local terriers. When the mid-1800s rolled in, Queen Victoria had found strong affection for the breed resulting in its entire domestication by rich nobles and aristocrats.
The queen’s fondness for the breed might have built a new foundation of popularity for this companion dog, however in 1858, a dog named Bobby who lost his master and sat at his grave for 14 years before passing on went on to become legendary thanks to his unmatched level of loyalty and dedication.
The fearless and self-assured Skye Terrier has a mind of its own. Like many terriers, the dog is active and always ready for a chase, it doesn’t matter the size of the animal. To get the Skye terrier to behave, you would need a trainer with a strong voice and a consistent attitude. Crucial to the success of the training is the need for a positive-technique that rewards the Terrier with play and food.
Just like many companion breeds, the Skye terrier loves to be around family and can be extremely loyal and good-natured. He is usually reserved towards strangers this is one of the reasons why he makes such a superb watchdog.
Skye Terriers can adapt, what is needed is continuous re-affirmed training techniques. The dog is one that fits easily into any environment so it doesn’t quite matter what type of place it finds itself, be it indoor, outdoor or the countryside, however, some precautions need to be taken especially if your home is outdoorsy. Just like many Terriers, the Skye Terrier loves a good chase and so to prevent him from chasing and running after people or other animals a fenced yard is of the essence.
Although built to chase, the energy level of the Skye terrier compared to some other terriers is average. The terrier is a great companion and indoor dog that requires as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day. When outside there would be a need for some mental workouts like basic obedience exercise. For 8-10 months Skye’s, exercising, jumping and chasing would ruin its bone growth, which would cause him severe pain and lead to a badly bowed leg.
Rule number one, do not allow the coat to get matted, this means having to properly brush the coat once or twice every week. With a coat as thick as his, the terrier is still considered an average shedder. Attention should also be given to areas around the mouth and eyes, this would require more frequent cleaning. Then there is the need to avoid tartar buildup by brushing daily.
Our Skye Terrier puppies for sale come from either USDA licensed commercial breeders or hobby breeders with no more than 5 breeding mothers. USDA licensed commercial breeders account for less than 20% of all breeders in the country.
The unregulated breeders who are selling outside of the USDA regulations and without a license are what we consider to be “Puppy Mills.” We are committed to offering Skye Terrier puppies who will grow up to become important members of your family. We only purchase puppies from the very best sources, and we stand behind every puppy we sell.
Contact us today to learn more about the availability of our Skye Terrier puppies for sale. We look forward to helping you find your next family member. Our pet counselors can answer any questions you have about our Skye Terrier puppies.
Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions About the Skye Terrier
- CanSkye Terriersbe Destructive?
Yes, this is mostly if they are bored and are left alone for a long period.
- How Aggressive canSkye Terriersbe?
The Skye terrier’s moderate activity level has nothing on him in terms of how it loves to chase and kill smaller pets. He can also be aggressive towards other animals.
- Where’s the best place to get a Skye Terrier?
The best place would be from a breeder who is reputable and can provide guarantees and health clearance. Petland offers all of that plus more! Contact us today to learn more about the availability of this breed.
- DoSkye Terriersdo well in a small apartment?
Skye Terriers enjoy outdoor activities, but they are usually quiet when inside which makes them perfect for small apartments, and they enjoy living indoors as well.
- What color doSkye Terrierscome in?
There are 6 colors cream, black, grey, fawn, silver, and blue.
- How large canSkye Terriersget in terms of size?
Females Skye terriers can usually weigh between 25-30 pounds while the males are between 35-40 pounds.
- What’s the feeding requirement for a Skye Terrier?
The quality of the dog food matters as it needs 13/8 to 17/8 cups daily. This should be divided into two high-quality meals.
- What health concern should an owner look out forSkye Terriers?
The Skye terrier is typically a healthy breed when gotten from a licensed breeder. However, for baby terriers, excessive jumping can cause Achondroplastic, an orthopedic problem caused by its large body on small legs.
- What are the key qualities of theSkye Terrierbreed?
The Skye terrier has a mind of his own, although very sensitive. It is typically curious when it encounters strangers but is fiercely loyal and good-natured to his own family.
- How is theSkye Terrieraround children?
Skye Terrier is an excellent companion for older children. However, you must teach children to approach the dog, this is to prevent biting and pulling from either the dog or child.