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Skye Terrier

SkyeTerrier

An Affectionate Watchdog

Courageous, mild-mannered, tough

Skye Terriers are fearless, loyal, and companionate small dogs. These terriers can be stubborn, but are calmer than many other terrier breeds. Skye Terriers form very strong bonds with their owners, are exceptional watchdogs, and are typically cautious around strangers. They are great companions for city dwellers, seniors, active individuals, and families with older children. To stay in shape, daily exercise from moderate walks or exploring games outdoors is ideal.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:9.5-10 in. Weight:25-45 lb Lifespan:13-15 years

Size
2

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
4

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Skye Terriers are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and play sessions. They have a tendency to chase small animals; always leash walk your Skye Terrier. A harness is recommended! They are athletic dogs that excel at dog sports like agility, obedience, and tracking.

Grooming: Regular brushing and grooming is needed to keep their coat beautiful.

Dental: Skye Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don't worry—your veterinarian will show you how!

Skye Terriers are fiercely loyal and dignified, but also lively and entertaining with their family.

Positive Traits:

  • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

  • Bold, steady, and fearless

  • Devoted, loyal, and protective

  • Playful and energetic

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

Negative Traits:

  • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

  • Can be snappy with children

  • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

  • Prone to separation anxiety, with associated destructive chewing behaviors

  • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership


Whether you are considering adding a new Skye Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Skye Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Skye Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Skye Terrier could encounter:

The Skye Terrier was originally bred in Scotland to destroy vermin. Skye Terriers became a popular companion in the UK after being made fashionable by Queen Victoria and when the story of Greyfriars Bobby spread throughout the land. Bobby exhibited the breed’s undying loyalty by guarding the grave of his master for 14 years. Skye Terriers are now a rare breed and are under the threat of extinction. Skye Terriers are elegant, friendly, and happy dogs; they can make a great therapy dog. They do require early socialization and obedience training to prevent the typical terrier problems such as barking, digging, and aggression. The Skye Terrier is not as active as many of the other terriers and enjoys just cuddling on the couch after a short walk.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Skye Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Urine leaking when awake

  • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing

  • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

     
  • Care

    Routine Care: Skye Terriers are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and play sessions. They have a tendency to chase small animals; always leash walk your Skye Terrier. A harness is recommended! They are athletic dogs that excel at dog sports like agility, obedience, and tracking.

    Grooming: Regular brushing and grooming is needed to keep their coat beautiful.

    Dental: Skye Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don't worry—your veterinarian will show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Skye Terriers are fiercely loyal and dignified, but also lively and entertaining with their family.

    Positive Traits:

    • Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    • Bold, steady, and fearless

    • Devoted, loyal, and protective

    • Playful and energetic

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    Negative Traits:

    • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

    • Can be snappy with children

    • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

    • Prone to separation anxiety, with associated destructive chewing behaviors

    • Willful and stubborn if you don’t show strong leadership


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Skye Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Skye Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Skye Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Skye Terrier could encounter:

  • History

    The Skye Terrier was originally bred in Scotland to destroy vermin. Skye Terriers became a popular companion in the UK after being made fashionable by Queen Victoria and when the story of Greyfriars Bobby spread throughout the land. Bobby exhibited the breed’s undying loyalty by guarding the grave of his master for 14 years. Skye Terriers are now a rare breed and are under the threat of extinction. Skye Terriers are elegant, friendly, and happy dogs; they can make a great therapy dog. They do require early socialization and obedience training to prevent the typical terrier problems such as barking, digging, and aggression. The Skye Terrier is not as active as many of the other terriers and enjoys just cuddling on the couch after a short walk.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Skye Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Urine leaking when awake

    • Pain when opening the mouth or chewing

    • Painful eye, excessive tearing, eyes may appear asymmetric or cloudy

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

       

Skye Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Skye Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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