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Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier

The Skye is an ancient breed, originally developed to hunt otters, foxes and badgers on the Islands of Skye and Colonsay. They were reportedly the ‘aristocrats’, belonging to the laird (lord of the manor) and not kept with the other hunting dogs. The breed reached its height of popularity after Queen Victoria acquired her first Skye in 1842. There are two varieties of Skye – the prick ear and drop ear, the prick ear being the most popular at the present time.


Average lifespan

Skyes can live up 15 years of age.

Average height & weight

25cm to 26cm
4kg to 10kg

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament

The Skye Terrier is cautious and reserved with strangers, requiring careful, early socialisation to mould their independent character. The Skye Terrier is happiest as a house dog and is devoted to their family, although will generally attach themselves to one particular family member.

Compatibility with other pets

The Skye Terrier will not look for a fight, but if provoked can be a ferocious adversary. Dogs kept together will establish their own hierarchy, however, entire males will vie for top spot and may have to be separated. They will accept other animals if brought up with them from an early age, or if socialised correctly with them.

Care requirements

The Skye Terrier has a thick double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and harsher topcoat. The coat will require a good brush with a pin brush and comb once a week, an occasional bath, toenail trim, and trimming of the hair between the pads. The Skye Terriers love their walks and will benefit from a daily 20 to 30 minute walk.

Please take note

Socialisation of the Skye Terrier must be taken seriously otherwise they may resent being handled by strangers. Your puppy should be trained at an early age to lie on its side for grooming, as this will make the experience much more pleasant for the owner and dog.

Decision time

Ideal owners

The owner should be happy to have the dog in the house because Skyes need to be with their family. Skyes, especially males, can be dominant, therefore require a master who will ensure their dominance is kept in check. Puppies are fine with children if brought up with them, although children should be taught not to poke and pull at the puppy.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.

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