Skye Terrier illustration
Terrier

Skye Terrier

Elegant and dignified terrier of the Hebrides

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Small house
Grooming
More than once a week
Coat length
Long
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
Yes
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
Small/ medium garden

About this breed

One of the original terriers of the Hebrides, the Skye was described by Dr John Caius, Court physician to Elizabeth I in his book “of English Dogges” in 1570. The Skye plays a part in the development in all the terrier breeds of Scotland.

He was used to hunt fox and badger so needed to be game and fearless. Despite these qualities in the field, it is the most loyal and devoted of companions – a quality made legendary in the story of Greyfriars Bobby, a dog owned by a Scottish shepherd. When his master died Bobby returned daily to the grave for 14 years and was fed by local residents. When Bobby died in 1872 a monument was erected in Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh. Queen Victoria acquired a Skye in 1842 and this helped to widen popularity of the breed.

The modern Skye is larger and longer and more heavily coated than its ancestors.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Terrier breed group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

 

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Cream Black Points
  • Dark Grey
  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Light Grey
  • Silver
  • Silver Black Points

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Currently there are no additional health screening schemes or DNA tests for this breed. You may want to speak to your breeder, vet or local breed club about any health issues in the breed.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Skye Terrier.

Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

More information

Dog in Kennel Club bed

Sign up to The Kennel Club

Create an online account and enjoy the many benefits, including your own online dashboard, as well as access to our newsletters and learning centre.

Find out more
Girl with dog

Visit us at Discover Dogs

Unsure of which pedigree dog to choose? Visit Discover Dogs where you can meet hundreds of pedigree dogs and speak with experienced owners/breeders.

Find out more
Labrador and girl

Use our Find a Puppy service

The Kennel Club's Find a Puppy service provides contact details for breeders who have puppies available. Let's help you find your new best friend.

Find out more