Bred to find and kill badgers, foxes, and otters on farms, the Skye Terrier temperament is loyal, good-tempered, and fearless. Skye Terriers make devoted family companions especially to the member they bond with the most. They do well in homes with older children and can be dog selective – especially if you do not raise them with other dogs.
Hailing from the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the Skye Terrier is an old breed., of which, Queen Victoria was a fan.
She bred and kept Skye Terriers and they eventually became one of the most popular terrier breeds.
Today, the Skye Terrier enjoys life as a loving companion dog.
Skye Terrier Temperament and Personality
The best way to know whether the Skye Terrier is the right kind of dog for you and your family is to examine the aspects of the Skye Terrier temperament.
Let’s take a look at some of the personality traits that make the Skye Terrier a Skye Terrier.
They Show True Terrier Traits
The Skye Terrier dog is a classic Terrier – fearless yet friendly with people they know.
They are clever and sensible as well as incredibly canny.
Like other Terriers, they are also, very independent dogs. If they sense anything “wishy-washy” about you, they will walk all over you like a doormat.
But if you hold your ground, especially while training them, they will learn to respect and listen to you as the leader of your home’s “pack”.
They are Wary of Strangers
True to the Terrier heritage, Skye Terriers are cautious and reserved around strangers.
They tend to study humans carefully and only give affection to those they deem worthy.
Once they decide to give you affection, you have it for life.
However, it is important that you socialize this breed as much as possible while they’re still young, else a switch can flip, and their wariness of strangers can become suspicion.
You run the risk of your dog trusting only you and your family for life if you do not properly socialize him while he’s still young.
Thanks to their caution towards strangers, Skye Terriers make excellent watchdogs. Expect to know when an intruder is near with this breed!
And while they may look like fancy mops, Skye Terriers are actually heavier and stronger than they look. So, if the need ever arose, they could be great protectors as well.
Love to Be Part of the Family
Skye Terriers devote themselves to their humans and love to be part of everyday life.
In fact, if you’ve ever had a pet who chooses one human in the family to shadow, then you are already familiar with this dog.
Prepare the family to feel jealous once this dog picks his favorite!
Because they are so close to their humans, however, this breed will become unhappy and bored if they feel neglected.
And, as we all know, an unhappy and bored dog quickly becomes a destructive one, so don’t let this happen if you can help it.
They are Better with Older Kids
When it comes to children, properly socialized Skye Terriers are wonderful with older children but are too feisty for children under six.
Not only that, but they have a low tolerance in general for shenanigans.
For instance, if you tease them or handle them aggressively, they may retaliate to show you they won’t stand for such disrespect.
That said, you should steer clear of this breed if you have a child at home who is too young to know better.
They Are Dog-Selective
Skye Terriers may be aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs but will get along well with dogs and cats you raise them with.
However, as is common for a Terrier, you cannot trust the Skye Terrier around smaller animals, like rabbits or hamsters.
While your particular dog may not have hunting training, it’s still in his blood, and he may give in to the urge to chase and potentially even kill a smaller animal he understands to be prey.
They Adapt to Any Environment
Because of their small size, Skye Terriers will adapt to any environment – from a country home to an apartment life.
What Does a Skye Terrier Look Like?
Asking yourself, how big does a Skye Terrier get?
The answer is, the Skye Terrier breed is a short breed, with a height of only 9-10 inches tall when full-grown.
Their weight ranges between 35-45 pounds.
As for colors, the Skye Terrier comes in black, blue, fawn, and light and dark grey.
A Brief History of the Skye Terrier
The Skye Terrier is actually one of the oldest Terriers in all of Scotland.
The breed gets its name from the Isle of Skye, the location where people could find the purest bred Skye Terriers in Scotland.
The Skye Terrier’s long coat grabbed people’s attention and led to the first official sighting of the breed in the 16th century.
The breed’s popularity grew, even more, when Queen Victoria fell in love with it.
The Skye Terrier soon made his way to the U.S., with the AKC officially recognizing the breed in 1887.
If you’re interested in Skye Terriers, then you may have heard of Charlie the Skye Terrier back in 2015.
Charlie, a then-4-year-old Skye Terrier, made headlines when he won Best in Show at the National Dog Show, his 79th Best in Show title over the course of his career.
The dog show aired on the NBC network on Thanksgiving Day.
How Do You Train a Skye Terrier?
Skye Terriers are intelligent but strong-willed. However, they aren’t as stubborn as other terriers and are open to training – provided it is a positive experience.
Skye Terriers only respond to positive reinforcement – they withdraw from negative or harsh training.
Make sure training sessions are filled with lots of praise and lots of treats.
They are eager to please and love human interaction. But this is a breed that is reserved with strangers and should be socialized from a young age.
When socialized properly, they will grow up to be a happy and outgoing adult.
How Do You Groom a Skye Terrier?
Skye Terriers have an elegant, stylish coat that flows straight down their sides with a middle part.
Their undercoat is soft, short and wool-like while their outer coat has a hard texture.
Their coat comes in black, blue, light or dark grey, silver, cream, or fawn.
Skye Terriers require weekly brushing and a bath every two to three weeks to keep their coat clean.
They are average shedders, not too much but not little enough to skip the weekly grooming session.
Because of their grooming requirements, some owners opt for a Skye Terrier short haircut.
Is the Skye Terrier Hypoallergenic?
This breed is not what you would call hypoallergenic.
What this means is, if you tend to have an allergic reaction around dogs, then the Skye Terrier is not a good match for you.
Staying Healthy: Skye Terrier Health Issues
The Skye Terrier is a healthy breed. However, even healthy dogs are not immune to diseases or genetic conditions. The Skye Terrier, in particular, is prone to:
- Hyperthyroidism (a thyroid gland disorder)
- Von Willebrand’s disease (blood clotting disorder)
- Ulcerative Colitis
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
What's the Skye Terrier Lifespan?
The Skye Terrier has a life expectancy of 12-14 years.
Skye Terriers require minimal exercise. They are fairly relaxed while indoors, and they are typically content with whatever their owners are doing.
This breed needs nothing more than a short daily walk or a quick game of fetch in the backyard.
However, Skye Terriers also excel in dog sports such as agility and obedience.
This is because they have lightning-fast reflexes – which is also why you should keep them on a leash at all times unless you’re playing with them in an enclosed area from which you’re sure they cannot escape.
Finding the Perfect Skye Terrier
Ready to add a Skye Terrier to your family? You have a couple of options to find your perfect Skye Terrier. You can purchase a purebred Skye Terrier puppy from a breeder or, adopt one from a rescue organization.
Skye Terrier puppies are a great option for families who want to raise a puppy – and have the time to do so. Puppies are cute, but they are hard work!
If you don’t have time to raise a puppy, consider adopting an adult dog from a Skye Terrier rescue. Adults are far less time-consuming and often have a solid training foundation.
Skye Terrier Puppies for Sale
Purebred Skye Terrier puppies for sale will cost between $700-$900.
If you are looking for a puppy with a superior lineage, expect to pay closer to $900 or more.
The Skye Terrier price depends on the breeder location, lineage, and litter availability.
Skye Terriers for adoption will cost between $200-$500 depending on the rescue organization.
Skye Terrier Rescue and Adoption
If you decide Skye Terrier rescue is for you, the Skye Terrier Club of America is the perfect place to start.
They have a rescue section where you can contact a member of the rescue committee if you are interested in adopting one.
Adopting an adult Skye Terrier is a great option for busy families who are short on time – meaning they don’t have time to raise a puppy!
If you aren’t looking for a purebred but perhaps a mixed breed, your local animal shelter might have Skye Terrier mixes available for adoption.
Skye Terrier Breeders
To find a Skye Terrier for sale from a breeder, your first stop should be the AKC Marketplace. They AKC Marketplace is a great search tool. You can search for breeders based on location, whether they have puppies available, and if they are of champion bloodlines.
Take your time and do your research to find a breeder. Not all Skye Terrier breeders are reputable. Reputable breeders will be able to answer your questions, provide applicable health certificates, and treat their dogs and puppies with love and respect.
It may take some time, but through research and home visits, you’ll find your ‘perfect' Skye Terrier!
Skye Terrier Mixes
If a Skye Terrier mixed breed is what you’re after, there are a few to choose from.
For instance, you could take home a
- “Skye-Pap,” which is a Papillon mix,
- “Skypoo,” which is a Poodle mix.
- There’s also the Scottish-Skye Terrier, which is a mix of Skye and Scottish Terriers.
Skye Terrier Frequently Asked Questions
If, after reading this, you still have questions about the Skye Terrier breed, here are some answers to some of the more frequently asked ones:
Q: Is it possible to buy a Skye Terrier puppy from a reputable pet shop?
A: No. No pet shops are reputable. If you want an outlet you can trust, seek out a reliable breeder or rescue organization.
Q: How early should I start training my Skye Terrier puppy?
A: After you’ve brought a new puppy home, it is rarely too early to start training them. Typically, you can start training a new puppy as young as six weeks old – the earlier, the better to help those lessons stick!
Q: Is the Skye Terrier a rare breed?
A: Yes. In fact, the Skye Terrier is an endangered breed in the U.K. In fact, there were only 3,000 to 4,000 Skye Terriers in the world as of 2013.
Conclusion: Why the Skye Terrier?
The loyal, good-tempered, and fearless Skye Terrier temperament makes them a devoted family companion.
Some may even complain the breed is too devoted in that many dogs of this breed will select one family member in particular as their favorite.
Because of their size and good nature, they adapt well to any environment, and they make for great watchdogs.
Skye Terriers have minimal exercise requirements, but they do need weekly grooming.
And be sure to heap on the praise and give out the occasional treat to make training more interesting.
If you are looking for a friendly, intelligent dog, the Skye Terrier is for you.