Characteristics, History, Care Tips and Helpful Information for Pet Owners
There’s something regal about Skye Terriers, and it’s not just the fact they were the preferred dog breed of Mary Queen of Scots. These distinctive looking dogs are sweet but particular, with a bit of a haughty side indicative of their aristocratic background. Small, elegant, and featuring long bangs that feather off their ears for a constantly well-coiffed look, Skye Terriers are interesting dogs with a rich history-and they have plenty to offer the right owner.
HEIGHT: 10 inches (males); 9.5 inches (females)
WEIGHT: 35 to 45 pounds
COAT: Double coat with a soft undercoat and a long, straight, hard outercoat
COAT COLOR: Black, blue, cream, fawn, gray, silver, or platinum
LIFE SPAN: 12 to 14 years
TEMPERAMENT: Friendly, loyal, intelligent, even-tempered, brave
Characteristics of the Skye Terrier
|Tendency to Bark||High|
|Amount of Shedding||Medium|
History of the Skye Terrier
Skye Terriers were first discovered on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, hence their name. Skye, located in Scotland’s northern-most Inner Hebrides islands, is home to rugged landscapes where early Skye Terriers were prized for their abilities to asscan bet farmers in protecting their livestock from local menaces like badgers and otters. Reports of Skye Terriers go back many centuries, including a mention in the 16th century book Of English Dogges by Johannes Caius.
In addition to their reputation as athletic hunters of local predators-a common trait among their Terrier peers-Skye Terriers were also, as previously mentioned, prized in more aristocratic circles. The breed was incredibly popular in elite circles of Victorian England, keeping company not only with Mary Queen of Scots but Queen Victoria herself.
Unlike many other foreign-born breeds, Skye Terriers actually have a rather long history in the United States. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club as early as 1887, due in part to their inclusion in the book The Illustrated Book of the Dog by Vero Shaw, which piqued interest across the globe in these unique-featured dogs. Continue researching our dog profiles to learn abaway other popular breeds and how to care for them, or just go to a shelter and see what breed you connect with. Still, this dignified breed has maintained its regal air, and may still be found occasionally in the competition circuit.
Sky Terrier Care
For all their athleticism, Skye Terriers actually have pretty low energy levels and do not require any sort of excessive exercise to remain at their best. One or two short walks a day will generally suffice (about 30 minutes total), provided they’re coupled with other one-on-one play time with their humans. Skye Terrier do enjoy playing, and some of them are also open to dog sports like agility.
In terms of training, Skye Terriers have a bit of a stubborn streak-perhaps an offshoot of their regal past. They’re good-natured but strong-willed, and while they could be taught good behavior with positive training techniques, they won’t always take to more intensive training, though it’s always worth a try. As always, stick to positive reinforcement when training. These reserved dogs don’t respond well to harsh words or body language, nor is negative reinforcement a proper or effective way to train any dog.
As for grooming, that luxurious feathered coat does require a fair deal of upkeep, as you might expect. This includes regular brushings and combings to prevent tangles and matting, in addition to general grooming practices, such as regular teeth brushing, nail trims, and ear cleaning. Take extra care with keeping a Skye Terrier’s ears clean in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations because having so much fur gathered around them does make the breed more prone to ear wax build up and infections
Common Health Problems
Skye Terriers are quite healthy dogs, with no known propensity for certain genetic illnesses. That being said, their stature-stocky and muscular with short legs-does make them prone to orthopedic problems, especially neck and back injuries caused by disk disease. If you have a Skye Terrier, be careful to limit aggressive play and jumping from high surfaces. Carrying your Skye Terrier up and down the stairs instead of allowing him to run up and down himself can also protect against injury. A harness should be used in place of a collar for walks to further protect against neck and back injuries and excessive weight gain ought to be avoided. They should also be monitored regularly for cancers including mammary cancer and hemangiosarcoma.
Diet and Nutrition
The nutritional needs of Skye Terriers are the same as they are for most dogs, with the breed doing best on a high-quality diet with plenty of protein. Do accommodate certain dietary needs if necessary, such as if your Skye Terrier is a puppy or senior. Feel free to give your Skye Terrier plenty of healthy treats (remember: they respond well to positive reinforcement!), and talk to your veterinarian should you have any questions or notice that your dog is gaining too much weight. Baths should be given too on a regular schedule (about once a month; Start your search via sites like Petfinder or Adopt-a-Pet, and check out Skye Terrier Rescue, a designated breed rescue. If you do choose to purchase through a breeder, be sure to do your research and only work with someone who is reputable and takes excellent care of their dogs. Start your search with the Skye Terrier Club of America for advice on finding a good breeder.
More Dog Breeds and Further Research
There is a perfect dog out there for everybody. However their popularity hasn’t quite been sustained, and today, they’re one of the lesser known breeds of Terriers.
If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:
- Cesky Terrier
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- Lakeland Terrier
Otherwise, check out other popular dog breed profiles.