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Skye Terrier

Quick facts

Skye Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 9 - 10 inches
Weight: Male: 35 - 40 pounds Female: 25 - 30 pounds
Colors: fawn, blue, dark or light grey, and black with black points on ears and muzzle and as long as the nose and ears are black
AKC recognized in: 1887

The Skye Terrier is under serious threat of extinction, with some experts estimating that in forty years the breed will completely vanish. Origins of the breed have several versions, although they have eventually reconciled. One theory is that in a shipwreck in the Isle of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides in the 17th century, the shipwrecked Spanish crew had Maltese dogs that mated with the local terriers in the isle. The other theory is that it was the result of the crossing of the Swedish Vallhund owned by Viking invaders and the local terriers in Scotland, centuries before the Maltese breed was ever conceived. Both theories have been accepted as true.

This dog breed has basically two types characterized by the structure of its ears. The Skye Terrier with drop ears hangs them low and is larger. They remained flat against the head and have little or no muscle movement. But, the Skye Terrier with prick ears carries them high on the skull and has a slight outward angle.

Hair on its body is long and the shorter hair on the head veils or covers its eyes and forehead. There is a moderate beard and the entire body has locks of hair that look like fringes.


Skye Terrier Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training two paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

The Skye Terrier is a polite and affectionate dog but it needs a strong-willed owner who can control its moods and tendencies to impose on others. It needs to be trained to socialize with all sorts of people and animals, except short non-canine animals that it might mistake as prey. It loves to chase these small animals.

Because of its unstable behavior and tendency to bark or bite, it should be trained to behave well, which are said to be caused by human factors like poor training and weak leadership over the dog. It is very playful and loves companionship.


The average lifespan of the Skye Terrier is 12 to 14 years.

While the Skye Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease - Disc degeneration is a disease affecting the spine. Although for most dogs it does not become a problem, in certain doga degenerated disc can cause severe chronic pain if left untreated.
  • Hypothyroidism - An under-active thyroid gland, which can result in obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and skin conditions.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - This is a blood disease that causes a deficiency in clotting glycoproteins. This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans.


Because of its size and robust body, the Skye Terrier is equally comfortable both in the city or in the country. She can adapt well to apartment life, as long as she gets walked at least daily.

A 20 to 30 minute play session or vigorous walk is sufficient for her exercise needs.

To maintain a Skye Terrier's double coat free of tangles, a brushing using a long toothed comb must be done at least once a week. Mist the coat lightly as you brush to prevent breakage. Baths should be given every two to three weeks to keep the coat clean. Be sure to brush out any tangles before that bath.

Visitor Comments

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