Let's talk Skye Terriers

The Skye Terrier hails from Scotland and boasts an elegant, long body and abundant coat. Originally bred to hunt, the Skye Terrier has evolved into a devoted family companion with strong watchdog skills. Once trained, they will get on especially well with older children who aren’t too boisterous. Thanks to their compact size, the breed adapts well to most living environments so long as they get enough exercise. Today the Skye Terrier is very rare, so be patient if you have your heart set on finding one.

Official name: Skye Terrier

Origins: Scotland

Black and white portrait of a Skye Terrier
Drooling tendencies Very low Warm weather? High
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? High
*Energy Level Low *Friendly pet? Medium
Compatibility with other pets Medium *Can stay alone? Low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

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Illustration of a Skye Terrier
25 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
16 - 18 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
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12 - 14 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2-12 months
 Adult age  1-7 years
 Mature age  7-10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Blonde Skye Terrier sat in a tree, peeking through two branches


Get to know the Skye Terrier

All you need to know about the breed

Once you’ve stopped admiring their impressive facial hair (fringe envy, anyone?) you can discover the Skye Terrier’s hidden depths. With working dog roots, the Skye Terrier has a bold character, often wary of strangers but never aggressive - they’re just making sure their humans are not in any danger. Then there’s that elegant-looking appearance and devoted character, which makes the Skye Terrier a loyal and affectionate breed to live with.

Small in stature, Skye Terriers are just as content living in an apartment than the countryside, although you will need a secure fence if it’s the latter. Otherwise their curiosity will have them chasing after people or trying to take on bigger dogs. This is a terrier after all.

Those little legs will require around 30 minutes of daily exercise and so long as they’re getting that, your Skye Terrier should be calm indoors. They prefer the company of older children to tiny tots who may be too energetic, although supervision is always required. Unfortunately smaller animals will awaken their prey instinct so it’s best to avoid any upset.

Life with a Skye Terrier is all about give and take. Show them affection and they will throw it right back at you. Anything less and they may resort to barking, chewing and digging to get your attention. But with all their great qualities, it’s hard to be separated from them for too long!

A black and a blonde Skye Terrier laying in the grass


2 facts about Skye Terriers

1. From rags to riches

The breed caught the eye of none other than Queen Victoria during her frequent holidays to Scotland. The Skye Terrier’s popularity shot through the roof, making them a fashionable canine companion throughout the Victorian era.

2. Curb their barking

Terriers are one of the more vocal dog breeds. Skye Terriers will benefit from early training to keep their barking in check (and avoid any upset with the neighbours). However, you don’t want them to lose it completely - their bark is one of several qualities that makes the Skye Terrier an excellent watchdog. Life is about balance, right?


History of the breed

The Skye Terrier can be traced back four centuries and unlike many other terrier breeds, their appearance has not significantly changed in all that time. Today’s Skye Terriers are just a bit longer and larger than their canine ancestors, with more fur. Their flat-lying double coat protected them from wet Scottish weather, while allowing them to hunt vermin through bushes and burrows with nary a scratch. Those short, sturdy legs can take on the harshest of terrains and are great for digging, a lifelong terrier passion.

During the Victorian era, the Skye Terrier was a very popular dog in England, thanks to Queen Victoria who fell in love with the breed and even bred them herself (maybe not with her own two hands, but still). Perhaps the most famous Skye Terrier from this period of history was Greyfriars Bobby, born in 1856. Edinburgh built a statue to commemorate Greyfriars Bobby’s loyalty, as he guarded his owner’s grave for an impressive 14 years. Today, sadly, Skye Terriers are incredibly rare dogs with an “endangered” status from the American Kennel Club.

Black and white portrait of a Skye Terrier


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Skye Terriers

1. Body

Body is long and low, with short, sturdy legs.

2. Coat

A double undercoat with head hair framing the forehead and eyes.

3. Ears

Ears are large and feathered, pricked or drop-eared.

Blonde Skye Terrier sat in grass in front of a wall


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Skye Terrier
Black Skye Terrier stood on pebble road, side on


Caring for your Skye Terrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Surprisingly, the Skye Terrier’s luxurious double coat only requires one weekly brush to keep it sleek and no hair trims are necessary. Their ears should be checked weekly for wax build-up and nails need to be kept trimmed. Schedule a bath date once a month to keep their coat nice and clean. Frequent tooth brushing (daily if possible) is important for good dental hygiene. The Skye Terrier is not overly energetic, requiring around 30 minutes of exercise per day. Their sociable temperament means they enjoy interactive play sessions with their human family. Do keep your Skye Terrier on a leash while walking in busy areas, to avoid them chasing after other animals. When it comes to training a Skye Terrier, the good news is they’re intelligent but they’re also a little stubborn (a classic terrier trait but don’t tell them that). Start training early and adopt a positive, patient and consistent approach. The Skye Terrier will also benefit from early socialisation, like any other breed, to feel more comfortable around people and other dogs.


All about Skye Terriers

It can be said, the Skye Terrier does like to bark. Usually at other dogs (the bigger the better) or if they’re left unattended for too long. Early training will help to temper this terrier trait, and on the plus side, it comes in handy when they’re on watchdog duty.

No, despite all that fur that holds so much hairstyling potential. The Skye Terrier does shed, like any other breed, but moderately. Your furniture and carpets are not at risk.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/