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December 27, 2011 at 3:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Skye Terrier

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Does a smaller dog that is vigorous outside and calm inside strike your fancy? Wonderful! This is a fun, stylish, and hardy breed that is content cozying up on the couch with their favorite family member.

Believed to have derived from the Waternish (Cairn ancestor) and Australian terriers, the Skye Terrier is named after its original home, the Isle of Skye, the largest island off the coast of Scotland. You're unlikely to see many of these dogs out and about, as only a few dozen are born in the UK annually. Because of this, the Skye Terrier has been named a "Vulnerable Native Breed" - a list of dogs that may vanish entirely within the next 40 years.


A terrier breed, the Skye was bred to to be an excellent hunter, with a great sense of smell, a muscular build, and a long double coat that keep them safer from rain and injury.

Lap Dog Ruffian

The Skye Terrier is known as a serious breed outside and a calm one indoors. As with most terriers, the Skye has a tendency to be leery of strangers and to react if provoked. This breed needs an assertive owner to set clear rules and boundaries. With proper training and socialization, this a good breed with children.

The Skye Terrier is considered a medium-sized dog - long and low (twice as long as it is tall) only standing in height of 9 -10 inches and can weigh 23 - 28 pounds. They are a hardy build with strong bones and a muscular body.

The Chase Is On!

The Skye is has a low activity level. They are a breed that enjoys going for a 20-30 minute walk once during the day and just lying around for the rest of it. Of course, it would be unwise to forget their natural urge to hunt. They can be very active in the field or in your backyard chasing rabbits and squirrels.


Personally, I LOVE those ears, which can be "pricked" or "drop." This terrier has a double coat - a soft, wooly undercoat and a shiny outer coat - that falls straight all around the body and can come in shades of black, gray, blue, silver, fawn, or cream and can sometimes include black points on their ears, muzzle, and tips of their tail. Weekly brushing is a must for this breed.

Clean Bill of Health

Overall, this breed is very healthy, though there are two things you will need to be aware of if you are thinking of getting a Skye: Copper Toxicosis (affects the liver) and Hypothyroidism. Skye Terriers usually live between 12 and 15 years.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Skye Terrier, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

Photo Credit:


Canada Pet Grooming

Dog Wall Papers


Dog Bible, Edited by Kristin Mehus-Roe, 2005

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