The Skye Terrier is known to be a heavenly breed with the heart of a lion. It is an elegant but sturdy aristocrat breed that was bred as an exterminator on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. They are known to be courageous and good-tempered. Let us know more about the Skye Terrier Breed.
The name Skye Terrier was taken from the Island of Skye, which lies off the northwest coast of Scotland. It is the largest of the Inner Hebrides which is a group of islands. The breed is known as the oldest terrier breed of Scotland which dates back to the fourteenth century.
The presence of Skye Terriers on the island is recorded prior to 1588. Based on studies about the Vikings, it shows that they took dogs with them which may also have an influence on how the breed was developed.
The Skye Terrier was used to hunt badger, fox, and otter. If follows them into their burrows and pulling them out to kill them. Based on the first book on dogs by Johannes Caius titled “Of English Doggies” written in 1570, the Skye Terrier was described as to be brought out of barbarous borders from the uttermost countries northward. This is the reason of the length of their hair.
However, before the breed became known as Skye Terrier, they were called different names such as the Clydesdale Terrier, the Fancy Skye, the Glasgow Terrier, the Paisley Terrier, and the Silky Skye. Queen Victoria was also a fan of the breed that’s why she kept and bred Skye Terriers. There was a time when Skye Terriers were one of the most famous terrier breeds around.
In 1887, the Skye Terrier breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The first ever Skye Terrier to be registered by the AKC was Romach which was also in 1887. In 1938, the Skye Terrier Club of America was founded.
Even though a Skye Terrier can also make a good companion, it is a rare breed. In fact, it ranks 146th out of the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC. They are also considered an endangered dog breed.
Characteristics of Skye Terriers
Skye Terriers belong to the Terrier dog breed group. Their ideal height is 10 inches for males and 9.5 inches for females and they can weigh from 25 to 40 pounds. They can live from 12 to 14 years.
They have an elegant and stylish coat and a short undercoat that is soft, wooly, and covered with an outer coat of straight hair with a hard texture. They have Lana Turner bangs that veil their foreheads and eyes and they also sport a beard and apron.
Skye Terriers’ coat comes in black, dark or light gray, blue, cream, or silver platinum. You may also see varying shades of the same color in the full coat. Some have black points or markings on their ears, tail tip, and muzzle. Oftentimes, puppies have wider variations in coat color until they mature at about 18 months of age.
Skye Terriers are known to be brave, good-natured, and loyal to his family. However, they do not make friends with just anyone and they prefer people to take time in approaching them. This breed is reserved and cautious towards strangers, making it a great watchdog.
A Skye Terrier also has a long memory, meaning, they will remember slights or mistreatments. They also love to be part of the family and they will easily become bored and unhappy when neglected.
Caring for Skye Terriers
Skye Terriers are known to be healthy dogs and the only health problem they might have are orthopedic ones which could occur during their growth. It’s because they are achondroplastic, meaning, they have large bodies on small legs. Therefore, you should wait until they are 18 to 24 months old before you take them on long walks or let them jump and climb.
Since Skye Terriers have long and luxurious coats, they need weekly brushing using a long-toothed comb or a pin brush. Make sure that their coats are tangle free before bathing them. They also need dental hygiene and nail care. You should brush their teeth at least two times a week or even daily and trim their nails once or twice a month as needed.
When feeding them, the daily amount of high quality dog food needed is 1 3/8 to 1 7/8 cups divided into two meals. The amount will depend on your pet’s size, build, age, activity level, and metabolism.
Skye Terriers are indeed great pets and watchdogs as well. But we should really take good care of them since they are considered an endangered dog breed.