Illustration of Skye Terrier

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.

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Small House
Minimum Garden Size
Over 12 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

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.

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