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Adopt a Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen



Area of origin:


Original function:

fox and otter hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 10, Wt: 18-20

Average size of female:

Ht: 9.5, Wt: 18-20

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Skye Terrier Dog Temperament

The Skye terrier's soft look belies her tough nature. She is a fearless and a deadly rodent hunter. She is also a mild-mannered house pet. She still needs daily exercise in a safe area or on leash, however. She is sensitive yet stubborn. The Skye is affectionate with her family but cautious with strangers. She gets along fairly well with other dogs in the same household. She is extremely courageous and game and makes a good watchdog.

Skye Terrier Dog Care

This is a hunting dog at heart and enjoys a daily outing, exploring in a safe area. She also needs a short to moderate walk to stay in shape. The Skye enjoys life as a house dog, and prefers not to live outdoors. Regular combing (about twice a week) is all that is needed to keep the Skye looking good. An occasional bath will not soften the coat too much, as is often the case with other terriers. The hair around the eyes and mouth may need extra cleaning.

Skye Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: premature closure of distal radius
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Skye Terrier dog breed?

Scotland has long been a stronghold of small plucky terriers, and the Skye terrier is among the oldest of them. They developed along the west coastal area, where they hunted fox and otter from among the rocky cairns. The purest of these dogs were found on the Isle of Skye, and the dogs were thus dubbed Skye terriers. She was first described in the 16th century, when she was already noteworthy for her long coat. Some confusion exists in tracing her history because, for a time, several different breeds were grouped under the name Skye terrier. The true Skye terrier became prominent in 1840, when Queen Victoria fancied the breed, keeping both drop- and prick-eared dogs. This enhanced her popularity both in high society and among commoners, and the Skye soon came to America. The AKC recognized the breed in 1887, and she quickly rose to the top of the show scene. Despite this strong start and the breed's distinctive appearance, her popularity has waned, and she is now among the least known terriers. The most famous Skye of all time was Greyfriar's Bobby, who slept on his master's grave for 14 years until his own death; he continues his vigil still, being buried where he waited next to his master. A statue commemorates this most loyal of dogs.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Skye Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Skye Terriers ready for adoption:

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