The Skye Terrier is one of the oldest of all Scottish breeds and also one of the oldest of all Terriers. Those dogs originated in the northwestern islands of Scotland and they are named after the Island of Skye. It is believed, that dogs similar to Skye Terriers live in this area at least for the last four centuries, but nobody really knows, what is the certain ancestry of this breed nor what is the exact time or place of origin.
2) Greyfriars Bobby
One of the most famed Skye Terriers of all time is definitely the Greyfriars Bobby who lived in 19th century in Edinburgh. I mentioned in the beginning of the video that the Skye Terrier is loyal and no one proves that more than the Greyfriards Bobby, who spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died himself on 14 January 1872. Today, you can find his statue near the graves and his story is well known in Scotland.
This is one of the most elegant terriers of all, but do not be fooled by that, the Skye Terrier is a brave, tough and courageous worker, that was primarily used to protect farms from badgers, otters or foxes. They do have higher prey drive and are known as skilled hunters. And the elegant Skyes coat helped to protect them from those animals and their bites.
4) Noble dogs
But not all the Skyes worked on farms. These little dogs were favourite breed of English royalty. Mary, the Queen of Scotts owned a Skye Terrier and also the big dog lover Queen Victoria owned few of them and made them very popular. It is safe to say, that the Victorian era was the time, when Skye Terriers had the biggest popularity and they were the darlings of Victorian society.
5) Rare dogs
Sadly, since the Victorian era, numbers of those dogs dropped drastically, so as their popularity. There are big concerns about the future of the breed, with only few dozens of Skyes born each year in the UK. They are the most endangered native breed of Great Britain and according to the AKC, they are ranking 146th among the 155 in the USA.
The Skye Terrier comes in two varieties. The only difference between those two types are their ears, because they can be either pricked or dropped. The prick ears are set high on the skull and point upward, while the dropped ears are somewhat larger, set lower, and point downward. The rest of the appearance is same for both varieties, just as their temperament.
Talking about the temperament and personality, this is very loyal, calm and dignified dog breed that bonds very closely to its owner. On the other hand, they are quite alert and suspicious when they see new people or animals, which is why extensive early socialization is essential for this breed. This dog can also be quite independent, which is why they are not total pushovers to train. Firm and patient training is required.
8) Living with
Skye Terriers love outdoors. They love exploring, chasing and sniffing as you would expect from a breed that was used for hunting for a long time. They do need at least few daily walks to stay healthy and happy. If you will provide them with enough outdoor activities, they will love to live indoors, next to their people. These dogs will be happiest around its family, around its pack. If they do not get enough attention and exercise, they are known for being very loud and vocal. You should also be prepared to brush their coat once or twice a week to prevent tangles and minimize the shedding.
The Skye Terrier has relatively large body and head in comparsion with its short legs. The average height is around 10 inches, which is 25 cm and weight is typically between 25-40 pounds, which is 11-18 kg. There are no extremely big size differences between males and females.
The Skye Terrier is considered as a very healthy breed with average lifespan between 12-15 years. The biggest health concerns are orthopedic problems that could occur during growth, like puppy limping, which is why you should not overdo it with the exercise until the Skye is at least one year old. Puppies should not jump up and down or climb over objects and even very long walks should be avoided for the first 8 to 10 months to prevent later problems.