Breed Group: Terrier
Color: Black, blue, gray, silver, fawn, or cream, preferably with black ears, muzzle, and tail tip. Adult color may not be present until 18 months.
Height: Male: 10 Female: 9.5 inches
Weight: 18 – 20 lbs
Description: The Skye Terrier is an elegant, long and low terrier. Its length should be twice its height at the withers. It has a powerful muzzle, a black nose, dark brown eyes, and either upright or falling-down ears (although, falling-down ears are rare).
Its tail is pendent and never curled. Its undercoat is soft but its 6-inch outer coat is long, hard, straight, free of any rippling and parts down the middle of the back.
The colors of its coat are either gray-blue, dove or cream, always with black ears. A small amount of white is permitted on the chest. The hair also shields and protects the eyes and forehead.
The teeth should form a scissors bite. The hare-like feet are long and large, pointing straight forward.
Temperament: The Skye is very good-natured, polite and affectionate. Courageous, spunky and bold. Loving and playful, yet more serious than many terriers. They need a lot of attention to be happy.
Loyal, protective, and a bit willful. This breed requires extensive early socialization with people or he may grow up to be overly suspicious of strangers.
He often does not like to be touched by strangers and may bite. Be careful around other small animals, as the Skye likes to chase, and they can be a bit dog-aggressive. These little dogs like to bark.
Health problems: This is a very healthy breed.
Living conditions: The Skye Terrier is good for apartment life. It is relatively active indoors and will do okay without a yard.
Exercise: Little exercise is needed.
Life expectancy: About 12-15 years
Grooming: The long straight coat needs frequent attention or it will mat. The puppy’s coat is quite different from the adult coat. It may take several years before the adult coat develops completely. This breed is an average shedder.
Origin: The origin of the Skye Terrier is connected with a shipwreck.
In the early 1600’s a Spanish ship came to grief against the rocks of the island of Skye in the Scottish Hebrides. Among the survivors were Maltese dogs that mated with local terriers and produced this new extremely pleasing and unique breed. In the mid-1800’s Queen Victoria took a fancy to the breed and it became very popular for a while, especially among the nobility.
Later the breed’s popularity waned. The Skye Terrier is very loyal and strongly connected to his master.
Legend has it that a Skye named “Bobby” stayed faithfully by the grave of his deceased master for ten years before he, too, passed away.
Townspeople fed him. The breed was first shown in England in 1864 and first registered with the AKC in 1887. Today the beautiful Skye Terrier is primarily a companion, though he can still help control vermin.