• Skye Terriers
  • Skye Terriers in UK
  • Skye Terrier Dog Breed
  • Skye Terrier Pet in the UK
  • Skye Terrier Breed
  • Skye Terrier Breed information
  • Skye Terriers Pets in the UK
  • Skye Terrier Dog
  • Skye Terrier Dogs
  • Skye Terrier
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 25 - 26cm M | 25 - 26cm F
Weight: 16 - 18kg M | 12 - 14kg F
Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 Years

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The Skye Terrier originated from Scotland as a prized badger, fox and otter hunter. Weighing 18 to 23 pounds and standing 23 to 25 centimetres, this breed is friendly and loving toward its family but reserved toward stranger. It is better suited for families with older children that know how to handle dogs.

Are you thinking of getting a Skye Terrier? Here is a brief background of this elegant and dignified dog from Scotland.

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The origins of the Skye Terrier can be difficult to trace because of varying stories. One belief is that it is an ancient breed having been around more than four centuries ago on Scotland’s Isle of Skye. Another story states that the breed came from the Maltese dogs that survived a Spanish ship that sank along the coast of the Isle of Skye. Also known as the Fancy Skye Terrier, the Clydesdale Terrier and the Silky Skye Terrier, it became a prized badger, fox and otter hunter. Queen Victoria fell in love with the Skye Terrier and bred it in her kennel for several years, making the breed very popular during her reign.

Today’s Skye Terriers have remained quite unchanged in terms of their physical appearance. The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club under the Terrier group in 1993. However, its numbers remain low and the Skye Terrier is included on the list of vulnerable native breeds in the UK.

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Appearance and Grooming

The Skye Terrier is an elegant and dignified dog breed that is small yet hardy. Weighing 18 to 23 pounds and standing 23 to 25 centimetres, it is low on the ground and is twice as long as it is tall. Underneath its charming flowing coat is a powerful long head with a slight stop, a strong muzzle, a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite, a black nose, and dark brown medium eyes with a curious and intelligent expression. Its ears can either be pricked or dropped. It also has a long, slightly crested neck, broad shoulders, a deep chest, and a level back.

What makes the Skye Terrier more beautiful is its double coat comprising of a moderately long, straight, flat, and harsh outer coat, and a short, soft, woolly and close-lying undercoat. The hair on its head is shorter and softer with bangs veiling the forehead and eyes. It sports a fringe on the side as well as a beard and longer hair on its chest fondly referred as an apron. The accepted colours are solid black, along with grey, fawn and cream with black points.

When it comes to dog grooming, the Skye Terrier is high maintenance since its elegant coat requires daily brushing with a long-tooth comb or pin brush to avoid knots and tangles. It needs to be bathed every two to three weeks to keep the coat clean. Its muzzle has to be cleaned every after meal because food usually gets stuck in the hair and its teeth must be brushed daily, if possible, to maintain good oral health. Also trim its nails every two weeks or when you hear clicking sounds on the floor. Lastly, clean its ears as too much wax build-up can cause serious infections.

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Temperament and Intelligence

The Skye Terrier is a loyal, charismatic and affectionate dog to its owners. Although it gets along with everyone in the household, it tends to build the strongest bond with one person, usually to the person that takes care of it. Because of its adorable appearance, people are usually tempted to hold it and shower it with affection but it is actually not a friendly dog toward strangers. It can be aloof and would prefer to get to know people from afar before warming up to them. This characteristic makes it a good watchdog.

When it comes to children, it is not a big fan of younger ones and is better off to a family with more mature kids that know how to handle dogs. Regardless, parents must always supervise interactions and teach their children to treat all dogs with kindness. It usually gets along with other dogs as well as cats it grows up with but this does not apply to other people’s pets. Because of its high prey drive, owners must be cautious when it comes to smaller animals as they are often considered fair game.

The Skye Terrier is a full-fledge terrier, albeit calmer. It is feisty, prudent and wilful and would require a firm yet gentle hand. It is a sensitive breed but it is not submissive. It will thrive in a household with experienced owners that know how to handle this type of dog. Once it knows its place in the pack and rules have been set, you will appreciate how intelligent it is and how easily it learns. It is important for lessons to be short and constantly interesting as it easily gets bored.

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Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Skye Terrier is 1 to 1.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Keep in mind that as with other breeds, the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Always talk to your veterinarian to discuss the nutritional needs of your dog in the different stages of its life.

Typical calorie needs of adult Skye Terriers per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 590 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 660 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 730 calories daily

The Skye Terrier thrives on a diet rich in protein and low in carbs. The number one component of its food should be meat such as beef, chicken, lamb, or fish. Carbs should come from complex sources such sweet potato, oats or barley and not from fillers with no nutritional value like wheat, soy and corn. Omega 3 and 6 will help keep its coat shiny and healthy.

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Health and Exercise

Skye Terriers are generally healthy dogs that can live between 12 and 15 years. However, it can be prone to certain health issues such as allergies, eye problems, liver and kidney diseases, Skye Limp, Ulcerative Colitis, and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Not all Skye Terriers will suffer from these health issues but knowing about them is important.

In terms of exercise, the Skye Terrier will need at least one hour a day of physically draining and mentally stimulating activities considering that it is an energetic and intelligent terrier. When it is unable to release its energy or if it feels neglected, the breed will exhibit unpleasant behaviour like being destructive and noisy. Take time to do fun activities with it such as walking, jogging and playing interactive games. Also give it access to a secured back garden so it can let off steam as it pleases.

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Cost of Ownership

If you are interested in purchasing a Skye Terrier, you would need to go on a waiting list as this breed is on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds. The price for a well-bred Kennel Club-registered pedigree puppy is at least £500. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you will need to feed your dog high quality dog food and treats, which can set you back £20-£30 a month. You would also need to spend on dog accessories such as leads, collars, eating bowls, crates, beds, and toys. The combined initial cost for these things is estimated at £200.

Moreover, you need to consider paying for pet insurance to offset veterinary bills in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. Depending on where you live and your dog’s health and age, a time-limited cover can cost £24 a month while a lifetime one can cost up to £44 a month. Generally, insurance companies do not cover routine veterinary consultations, initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering or spaying, so you may also have to spend an additional £800 annually for these services.

On average, the minimum cost to care for a Skye Terrier is £50-£80 per month depending on your pet insurance premium. This estimate does not include the rates for other services such as walking and grooming.

Skye Terrier Breed Highlights

  • The Skye Terrier is a full-fledge terrier: active, feisty and prudent.
  • It is affectionate and loving toward its own family but aloof toward strangers.
  • This adorable dog has high-maintenance grooming needs.
  • As an energetic and intelligent dog, it requires at least one hour of exercise.
  • It is on The Kennel Club's list of vulnerable native breeds.
Skye Terrier

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