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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. It’s a miracle he can see with all the hair on his face. Such a beautiful creature, the Skye Terrier.

The first thing

You notice about this little guy is his gorgeous long, smooth, glossy and somewhat shiny silky gray coat. He is NOT a high maintenance pet, and his coat is easy to care for.

He is called by many names…

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

The Skye

…Is a tough little dog, relentless when chasing small animals; loves barking and digging. He is one of those adorable small dogs that are so much in demand these days.

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 actually a working terrier.

He shares a lot 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 the Skye was bred as a hunting dog. It was his job to hunt foxes, otters and badgers. He was pretty good at that, thanks to his strong, muscular, short legs and fast movements.

He can be stubborn.

The 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 the time he is only a puppy. Use a mix of firmness, praise and food rewards in the training.


Always get your Skye Terrier Puppy from good, reputable breeders who know what they are doing.


As a general rule of thumb, it never a good idea to go to a “Puppies for Sale” at a pet store or puppy mill. They are not ethical about how they breed the puppies and cannot be trusted.

Read the rest of this article to find out more about this cute 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 is a purebred dog that has been around for hundreds of years, roaming the Scottish countryside. The first reference to this dog was made in a 16th century book of English dogs by Johannes Caius.

Mr. Caius described the Skye

As “brought out of barbaraous borders fro’ the uttermost countryes northward … which, by reason 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 by the name of 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 his death 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 still remains a perfect family pet, intelligent, loyal and charming.

Physical Characteristics

We have talked about 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, long and arched neck, feathered tail, black nose and sharp teeth. He has a bushy beard and mustache and thick eyebrows that cover most of his eyes. It’s amazing that he can see through them!

His coat

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 Terrier, a loyal 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 and entertaining and always moving about the house. He is blessed with enormous reserves of energy and always has time for play.

Just one thing

He is not too 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 – large body on short legs.

Some Skye Terriers develop a condition called premature closure, a degenerative disc disease, which results in bowed legs. This makes walking very difficult for this dog.

Female Skye Terriers can also suffer from Mammary Cancer, which is 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 is going to suffer from all or any of these diseases. But as a dog owner, you should be aware of them.


You should be aware that the treatment at top-rated vet clinics is never cheap.

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 right 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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