The Bold Skye Terrier

descriptive textDog breed info
Skye Terrier
Weight: 25 — 40 lbs
Height: 9” — 11”
AKC Rank 2008 #141
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin: Scotland

Dog Breed Info—The Skye Terrier

Breed Overview

Origin: 1500’s. Original function: Fox and Otter hunting. Today: Earthdog trials.

The Skye Terriar developed along the coast of Scotland where they hunted fox and otter. Most of these dogs were on the Isle of Skye which is how the breed got it’s name. The breed was known for the long coat and had been described in the sixteenth century. The true Skye became prominent in 1840 when Queen Victoria took a liking to the breed. This, of course, increased the popularity with high society and among commoners and the breed soon arrived in America. The AKC registered the breed in 1887 and it did very well in the show rings. However, in spite of a good beginning, the breed has all but disappeared from America with only a few remaining and the name “Skye” is almost unheard of here now.


Most Skye Terriers are relatively easy to train and do especially well with clicker training with positive reinforcement. They are alert and want to please. Keep training sessions short; 10 minutes at the most and two or three times a day so the dog doesn’t get bored.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Skye Terrier puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Skye Terrier puppy is often hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. They learn slowly. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.



The Skye Terrier is a tough, fearless rodent hunter. She is also a calm, loving, affectionate, playful, good natured family pet and house dog that thrives on attention, loves a nice walk and some play time with older, well-mannered children.. She’s a good watchdog but not much of a guard dog. This breed needs a lot of early (starting at 4 or 5 weeks) socialization with continued socializing through her life or she will not be the mild-mannered dog described above. Small dogs have a way ot taking over the house and running things their way if not managed by an authoritative master. In other words, the dog needs an alpha pack-leader to keep her under control and at the low end of the family hexarchy. Keep this dog on leash, as she tends to run off chasing any small animal moving.

If you happen to get a Skye with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Maybe. Will pick and choose her dog friends. Can be aggressive toward some dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

The Skye Terrier should be raised with other house pets for best results. There is a tendency to chase cats and be aggressive towards strange dogs but not so much if she is raised from a puppy with them.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Reserved, cautious with strangers. Not a people-oriented dog, other than her own family.


Quite playful. Give her some games and spend time playing with the dog. She’ll love it.


Very affectionate. A little too large to be a lapdog, but she can share the sofa with you! She’s loving, quiet and companionable.

Good with children?

Okay with older children 6 to 7 years and up, especially if raised with them. Actually, if the dog is raised with th kids, they can be younger and do all right. Early socialization for the dog is the important key to this.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Skye Terrier is a good match for seniors. The dog is affectionate, playful, easy to care for, needs minimal exercise, loves to have fun, is a good watchdog and a great companion. That’s what a senior needs.

Living environment

Apartment, flat, condo, farm, ranch all okay. She needs to live indoors with her family. The apartment or flat is fine as long as she gets out for exercise and walks.


Energy level

Low to moderate. On a scale, give her 3 bars out of 10 for energy.

Exercise needs, daily

Low to moderate. One or two quiet walks on leash and maybe a little play time in the yard is plenty of exercise.


Good watchdog. Will alert to doorbells and anything happening outside.

Guard dog

No, not really.


Sheds some.


Comb three times a week to prevent matting and tangles. Trim as needed to maintain a neat appearance. Bathe only occasionally, as this won’t soften the coat. Clean around the eyes and mouth.



Suggested Reading—The Skye Tererier

  • Book at the far left—”Skye Terrier, Complete Owners Handbook” is a hardcover book with an excellent rating that covers all you need to know about your new dog.

  • 2nd book from the left is “50 Games To Play With Your Dog” which is a collection of simple to teach and play activities to keep your Skye interested and busy. It’s a fun book and especially good if you have children.

  • Book at the far right is by the American Red Cross and deals with health, emergencies and injuries. It’s a valuable first aid reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

Skye Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Skye Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. Skye Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale. As I write this, the link is showing only 4 Skye Terrier breeders world wide. Try an online search for Skye Terrier breeders or puppies for sale.

Skye Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Field Spaniel Rescue group in your area, here is a link that might help:
Petfinder - Skye Terrier Rescue As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 11 dogs available to adopt in the USA. That might be enough, but in case you want more selection, go online and search for Skye Terrier Rescue or Clubs or kennels. This is a VERY rare breed in the USA. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.

Dog Health Issues For The Skye Terrier
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Skye by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • No illness or medical problems have been reported for the Skye Terrier in any of the books or articles we have access to.. While this is most likely a very healthy breed, there are obviously certain dog health problems or medical issues this dog is prone to that have not been reported or documented.

Other health problems could occur with your Skye Terrrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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