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Skye Terrier Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Oh, look at that little thing peeping at you…

With his large, round eyes through his bushy eyebrows. He can see a miracle with all the hair on his face: such a beautiful creature, the Skye Terrier.

The first thing you’ll notice about this little guy is his gorgeous long, smooth, glossy, and somewhat shiny silky gray coat. But don’t fret; even with all these good looks, he is NOT a high-maintenance pet, and his skin is easy to care for, even if some of his nicknames might make you think otherwise.

Nicknames such as:

The Fancy Skye Terrier, the Clydesdale Terrier, Silky Skye Terrier, the Paisley Terrier, the Glasgow Terrier, or just Skye.

Right away, we should also point out that the “Skye” is a tough little dog, relentless when chasing small animals, and loves barking and digging. He is one of those adorable small dogs that are so much in demand these days.

So, where is he from?

This popular small breed is from the Isle of Skye, just off the coast of Scotland.


The Skye is often compared to Maltese Dogs and other dogs in the Toy Group category. But he is a working terrier. He shares much in common with other short-legged dogs such as the Scottish Terrier, Australian Silky Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and the Australian Terrier.

 He is only a companion dog these days.

But there was a time when Skye was bred as a hunting dog. It was his job to hunt foxes, otters, and badgers. Thanks to his firm, muscular, short legs, and fast movements, he was good at that.

He can be stubborn.

Skye is a tough, independent-minded dog. But can be trained to become a well-behaved pet. The training and socialization should begin right from when he is only a puppy. Use a mix of firmness, praise, and food rewards in the activity.  It’s important to remember that you’re always going to want to get your Skye Terrier Puppy from good, reputable breeders who know what they are doing.


Generally, going to a “Puppies for Sale” at a pet store or puppy mill is never a good idea. They are not ethical about how they breed the puppies and cannot be trusted.

You can read the rest of this article to learn more about this little dog from the Isle of Skye.

 Skye Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Scotland, UK

Original Purpose:  Fox and otter hunting

Height: 9 to 10 inches

Weight: 35 to 45 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Terrier group

Life Span: 12 to 14 years

Origin of the Skye Terrier Dog Breed

The Skye Terrier is from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This purebred dog has been around for centuries, roaming the Scottish countryside. Johannes Caius first referenced this dog in a 16th-century book of English dogs.

Mr. Caius described Skye.

As “brought out of barbarous borders fro’ the uttermost countries northward … which, because of the length of heare, makes showe neither of face nor of body.

Well, that’s 16th-century English; make of that what you will!

Queen Victoria was an admirer of this breed.

There is a famous portrait of the Queen by the artist William Nicholson which depicts her holding her favorite pet, a Skye Terrier named Rona II.

Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby was perhaps the most famous Skye Terrier of all time. This dog stood at the grave of his owner, a gardener, at Greyfriars for 14 years from 1858 until he died in 1872. He became a legend throughout Scotland for his loyalty.

 Skye in America

The Skye Terrier was brought to the United States in the 19th century. He made quite an impression and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887. He is no longer as popular as he used to be but remains a perfect family pet, intelligent, loyal, and charming.

Physical Characteristics

We discussed how the Skye Terrier has the most beautiful, silky coat. The coat hides the fact that this is a strong, robustly built, muscular dog with a low base and short legs.

His eyes: The Skye has the most adorable eyes, round and large, with a long and arched neck, feathered tail, black nose, and sharp teeth. He has a bushy beard, mustache, and thick eyebrows covering most of his eyes. Amazingly, he can see through them!

His coat is thick and luxurious, with a soft undercoat and a straight outer coat. It can be of different colors, such as blue, fawn, gray, black, or cream. The hair is parted right at the center.

Personality and Temperament

The Skye Terrier Puppy is the cutest thing in the world. The adult Skye is just as cute but more reserved.  The Skye is a friendly, loyal Terrier dog who forms a strong emotional bond or connection with his owners. He is more comfortable with adults or older children than with small children.

He is funny, charming, entertaining, and always moving about the house. He is blessed with enormous energy reserves and always has time for play.

Just one other thing…

He could be more friendly with strangers. Don’t expect him to wag his tail or yap happily when someone on the street talks to him or pats him on his head. Well, that’s not his style!

Health Problems

The Skye Terrier is one of the healthiest dog breeds out there. He has a high life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. This is not surprising, as most small breeds have high life spans.  He does have one or two orthopedic issues because of his physique – a large body with short legs.

Some Skye Terriers develop premature closure, a degenerative disc disease resulting in bowed legs. This makes walking very difficult for this dog.  Female Skye Terriers can also suffer from Mammary Cancer, a dangerous condition.

 Apart from that…

The Skye Terrier can suffer from other common ailments such as allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia.  This is not to say that your Skye puppy will suffer from all or any of these diseases. But as a dog owner, you should be aware of them.

Also, you should know that treatment at top-rated vet clinics is costly.

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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