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Skye Terrier  Information

Description of a Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a working dog with a beautiful coat and distinctive personality. They are very low to the ground dogs being almost twice as long in the body as they are from the ground at the shoulders. The outer coat is absolutely straight and parts down the back, falling about six inches. It is black, dove or dark gray, cream or fawn, but always with black points including the ears. The ears are either erect or falling down, and are well fringed with long hair. There is long hair on the forehead to protect the eyes, and the muzzle is very strong and powerful. The breed is very athletic and flexible and the long, narrow feet give lots of traction to suddenly change directions even at full speed.

Temperament of the Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a one-person dog, often bonding very strongly with one member of the family while still being affectionate towards others. They tend to be very aloof with strangers and do not like to be petted by people they don't know. While a bit more calm than other terriers they still have lots of energy and are known to chase other animals and be dog-aggressive. Proper socialization is critical for this breed. They are very intelligent and easy to train and will work diligently to learn new tricks and routines provided they are given lots of praise and attention. As a true people dog they do not do well when left alone and tend to dig and bark to excess when bored. The Skye Terrier is an excellent dog for older children but may not respond well to younger kids that may tease or grab at the dog.

Grooming & Shedding of a Skye Terrier

An average shedder the Skye Terrier requires frequent grooming on a regular basis to prevent the long hair from becoming hopelessly tangled. Since the coat is naturally water-resistant, it should only be bathed when absolutely necessary to prevent drying the coat. The puppies of the breed have a much softer coat and the adult coat will not be completed developed until two or three years of age.

History of the Skye Terrier Breed

The Skye Terriers are believe to be a result of a cross between a Maltese and the local mixed terriers that lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the 16th century. The Maltese was introduced when a Spanish ship was wrecked just outside of the Isle of Skye and the small and unique look Maltese were rescued by local fishermen. Queen Victoria began breeding Skye Terriers in the 1800's, which led to the rapid and dramatic increase in popularity of the breed. Originally bred to control rats on farms and in houses they are now predominantly a companion dog.

Skye Terrier Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: premature closure of distal radius
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: none


Characteristics of the Skye Terrier


10 inches (25.5cm)


25 pounds (11.5kg)


10-12 years







Young Children


Need exercise space

No – regular walks

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