Skye Terrier Day

The Skye Terrier, with its distinctive long body, erect ears, and luxurious double coat, is a small breed with a big personality. Hailing from the misty Isle of Skye in Scotland, these charming dogs have a rich history and make for devoted companions. These cute little pups definitely deserve their turn in the spotlight: As a former royal favorite, the Skye Terrier is now endangered. That’s really sad, because these cute, vibrant, and charismatic little dogs make excellent pets. A local Greenbrae, CA vet discusses this Scottish pooch in this article.

What Is The Origin Of The Skye Terrier Dog?

The Skye Terrier has been around since the 1500s. Fido comes from the Isle of Skye, off the coast of northwest Scotland. Legend has it that the Skye Terrier descended from Scotch terriers and small white dogs, which were similar to the Maltese, which were brought to Skye by shipwrecked Spanish Armada sailors in the 16th century. Fido’s first job was to hunt foxes and badgers. He was quite skilled at this. Because of his small size, he could fit into dens easily.  

In the mid-16th century, Skye Terriers were favored pets of the nobility. They were very popular with British royalty. Queen Victoria bred Skye Terriers in her royal kennels! Fido became very popular during the Victorian era because of that royal approval. The AKC accepted Skye Terriers in 1887. They also appeared in some of the first dog shows.

What Are Some Famous Skye Terriers?

Although there may not be a plethora of famous Skye Terriers, there is at least one notable pup: Greyfriars Bobby. This loyal pooch was the constant companion of John Gray, a Scottish night watchman who passed away from tuberculosis in 1858.  Bobby followed his owner’s funeral procession, and then remained at his gravesite afterward. Despite numerous attempts by townsfolk to lure him away, Bobby always faithfully returned to his master’s resting place. Eventually, the locals built him a small shelter, which became his permanent home until he passed away.

Today, there is a statue in Edinburgh in honor of Bobby, which is located near Candlemakers Row and George IV Bridge, close to Greyfriars Kirkyard, where Gray was buried. Walt Disney made a movie about him: 1961’s Greyfriars Bobby. The film was remade in 2005 under the title The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby.

 What Does A Skye Terrier Look Like?

The Skye Terrier is a cute little pooch with a long, silky coat. Fido can wear various colors, including shades of black, blue, gray, and cream. Some have stand-up ears, while others have floppy ears. Skye Terriers are more long than tall, but are in general not very large. They don’t usually stand over ten inches tall. Boys weigh between 35 and 40 pounds (16-18 kilograms), while girls weigh 25 to 31 pounds (12–14 kilograms). Like many smaller breeds, they’re pretty long-lived: Fido can reach 15 years of age with proper care. 

How Healthy Are Skye Terrier Dogs?

Fido is usually pretty sturdy. However, he is at risk of some things, such as Intervertebral Disc Disease and eye problems. The AKC does not recommend any specific tests, so we suggest contacting your veterinarian. It’s a good idea to have him screened for certain things, such as cancer, autoimmune disease, skin allergies, and hip dysplasia. You’ll also need to regularly inspect your canine buddy for parasites and skin problems, as you may not be able to see them through those long locks. Fortunately, this should be pretty easy to work into cuddle time.

As with any dog, you’ll need to watch for signs of illness or injury between visits. Contact us immediately if you notice anything wrong.

How Active Are Skye Terrier Dogs?

Like any other dog, Skye Terriers need proper exercise to maintain their health. However, your canine little buddy may get pretty tired just running around on those short legs. You don’t have to take your canine pal on long walks. If you do, take care not to tire him out. Otherwise, daily play sessions and a few short walks will suffice.

You will need to be careful with what kind of activity your pup gets. Skye Terriers are at risk of back injuries because of their elongated spines. Puppies can injure themselves just going up and down stairs or jumping onto hard surfaces. Ask your vet for more information.

How Loud Is The Skye Terrier Breed?

While Fido’s size and activity needs make him a great choice for apartment dwellers, his volume knob may be a problem. Skye Terriers sometimes do tend to bark to express themselves, though some are quieter than others.

Does The Skye Terrier Make A Good Family Pet?

Skye Terriers possess many positive qualities and are well-suited for many households. They require minimal exercise and demonstrate unwavering loyalty to their owners. These cute little dogs are full of character. Their small size only adds to their charm. They are playful and endearing companions who show great affection towards their human companions.

However, families with young children may want to consider a different breed. Skye Terriers may not be the best fit as they can be a bit stubborn. They also have a tendency to have conflicts with other dogs, especially those they do not know. Fido is also fond of digging, which may turn your prized garden into a doggy construction site.

Why Are Skye Terrier Dogs Endangered?

As a result of the current trend of small designer pooches, such as the Doodle breed, Skye Terriers have not only fallen out of fashion, but are now being overshadowed. They are now one of the UK’s most endangered dog breeds, ranking near the bottom of the AKC’s breed roster.

How Much Grooming Is Required For Skye Terrier Dogs?

Though Skye Terriers are typically quite shaggy, their grooming needs really vary, depending on their lifestyle. If your pup spends most of his time indoors, you won’t have to worry too much about keeping him clean. However, if he enjoys being outside or playing in mud puddles, he will require more frequent bathing. Your Greenbrae, CA vet may recommend diluting the shampoo before bathing Fido. Don’t scrub or rub too hard, and use a gentle shampoo. Otherwise, you may break his hair.

You will need to regularly brush your furry friend with a comb or soft brush to prevent mats and tangles from forming. While you won’t need to trim his fur all over, it may be necessary to gently trim any hair that is obstructing his eyes. Regular nail trims and ear cleaning are also essential for maintaining your pup’s overall hygiene. Be sure to ask your vet for specific advice as to your pet’s beauty care needs.


In conclusion, the Skye Terrier is not just a beautiful dog with a distinctive appearance but also a wonderful companion with a rich history. Their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature make them an ideal choice for those looking for a devoted four-legged friend. 

If you have any questions about the Skye Terrier, please feel free to contact us anytime! As your local Greenbrae, CA pet hospital, we are dedicated to providing the best care possible for your pet.

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