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Skye Terrier Mobile

Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a long-bodied, low to the ground dog of robust build and a long, hard, straight coat. Ears may be pricked or dropped.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight:  16 – 18kg
Height:  25 – 26cm
Colours:  The coat comes in black, dark or light grey, fawn, cream, all with black points.
A small white spot on the chest is occasionally seen
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Terrier


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 2/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5


Devoted to their owners, the Skye Terrier is typically a one-person dog. Strong willed and determined, they can be suspicious of strangers but are devoted to their owner and should be good tempered and cheerful, lively and with a sense of fun.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland

Originating in the rugged Western Isles off Northern Scotland, the Skye Terrier takes its name from the Isle of Skye, where their tough, tenacious nature and short legs allowed them to go to ground after their quarry.  

Once Queen Victoria acquired a Skye Terrier in 1842 however, this breed’s popularity as a show-dog and companion increased dramatically, and as a result the breed was altered physically. They became longer, heavier and a more profuse coat was encouraged, but the terrier characteristics, a ‘never say die’ attitude and a strong belief that they are far bigger than reality remains to this day.

Did You Know?

  • Most people have heard of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier famous for his dedication to his owner, so much so that he sat at his owners grave-side in Greyfriars Churchyard for 14 years until he died of old age. 
  • Most people don’t know that the character ‘Dougal’ from the 1960’s children’s television show ‘The Magic Roundabout’ was (probably) a drop-eared Skye Terrier.
  • Sir Edwin Landseer (a painter and sculptor best known for the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square) created a great many paintings of Skye Terriers and his work helped to popularise the breed during the Victorian era.
  • Skye Terriers were incredibly popular with the aristocracy in Victorian England and apparently duchesses would be ashamed to be seen walking without one in the park.
  • It’s thought that Mary, Queen of Scots had a Skye Terrier (though some believe it was a Maltese) and when she was beheaded, her loyal dog hid beneath her petticoat.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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