Skye Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Terrier of the Western Isles
Country/Date of origin:
  • Scotland
  • 1600′s
  • 9 to 10 inches
  • 19 to 23 pounds
  • Friendly and loyal to those he knows but reserved and cautious with strangers.
  • The Skye has an aloof personality, even within its family circle.
  • Not recommended for homes with other pets.
  • May be overprotective with property.

Relatively unchanged for four hundred years, the Skye Terrier is a product of the harsh and demanding Outer Hebrides Islands off the northern coast of Scotland.  The long coat offered the dog protection from the weather and the dangerous animals such as the badger, fox, and weasel that he hunted.  Rarely seen now, the Skye was the most popular terrier in the world until the end of the 19th century.  Skyes were one of the foundation breeds of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Body Type:
  • Long, lean, and lanky, this short-legged terrier has a body that is twice as long as it is high.
  • Ears, which can be either drop or prick, are not altered.  Prick ears are much more common than drop ears.
  • The long tail, which is carried in a downward curve, is not altered.
  • Double weather-resistant coat.
  • Outer hairs are long, wiry, and lay flat.  The undercoat is short, dense, soft, and woolly.
  • Any solid color is allowed, and a dark muzzle and dark ears are prized.
  • The most common colors are varying shades of gray and cream.
  • Hair on the head is shorter and softer than elsewhere, and forms a veil over the forehead and eyes.
  • Body hair is parted along the midline of the back and must be at least five and a half inches long.
  • It may take three years for a young Skye to develop the proper length coat.
  • Requires professional grooming.
Health and Wellness:
  • Overall a healthy breed.
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Copper hepatopathy.
  • Some hypoplasia of the larynx.
  • Occasional colitis and bowel irritations reported.
What you should know:
  • Low exercise requirements make the Skye an ideal city or apartment pet.
  • Part of the breed’s popularity is due to the affection Queen Victoria lavished on her Skye, Boz.
  • Skyes often bring a smile to observers because their long body and apron of hair concealing their feet gives them the appearance of caterpillars.
  • The motto of the Skye Terrier Club is “Wha daur meddle wi’ me” or “Don’t mess with me”.
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