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Breed Spotlight: Skye Terrier 

February 15, 2024

There is a very sweet and very special little dog bounding into the spotlight this month. The Skye Terrier is one of the most endangered dog breeds out there! Skye Terrier Day is one of February’s official doggy holidays. This article by a local North Redington Beach, FL veterinarian discusses this fun and feisty Scottish pooch.


Skye Terrier: Basic Information


It’s hard not to be charmed by Skye Terriers. These little guys are cute, fluffy dogs with silky coats. Overall, they aren’t very large: they rarely stand over ten inches tall. These guys are more long than tall.  Males tend to weigh between 35 and 40 pounds (16 to 18 kilograms), while females weigh between 25 and 31 pounds (12-14 kilograms). Fido can live up to 15 years, like many other small breeds. Some Skye Terriers sport pointy ears, but there are also some with floppy ears. 


How Active Are Skye Terrier Dogs?


All of our canine buddies need regular exercise to stay healthy. Skye Terriers are no different. However, your little buddy can get a decent workout just running around the house on those short little legs. You won’t have to take Fido on long walks. If you do, you’ll need to be careful not to tire him out. Otherwise, a few short walks and daily play sessions will suffice.


You will need to be careful with Fido’s workout regimen. Skye Terriers have elongated spines, which increases their risk of back injuries. Puppies can injure themselves just from going up and down stairs, or from jumping onto hard surfaces. Ask your North Redington Beach, FL veterinarian for specific advice.


What Is The Origin Of The Skye Terrier Dog?


Originally from the Isle of Skye, Fido became known for his talent for hunting foxes and badgers. He was quite skilled at this, since his small size allowed him to fit into their dens. He’s also quite skilled at being a cuddly lap dog.


Is The Sky Terrier An Old Breed?


Fido definitely isn’t the new kid in town. It is believed that Skye Terriers have been around since the 1500’s. In fact, they were once popular with British royalty, who favored them as pets. Queen Victoria also favored Skye Terriers. In fact, she bred them in her royal kennels. In part because of that royal approval, Fido got quite popular in England during the Victorian era. They joined the AKC back in 1887, and were featured in some of the first dog shows.


Is The Skye Terrier Noisy?


Fido is a great dog for apartment dwellers due to his size and activity needs. However, he does tend to bark a lot. If you want a pet that will let you know if anyone’s around, these little guys could be a good match! 


Is The Skye Terrier A Good Family Pet?


Skye Terriers possess wonderful traits and can be an ideal addition to certain households. Their need for minimal exercise is complemented by their strong loyalty towards their owners. These compact canines are undeniably charming, playful, and affectionate. It should be noted, though, that they may not be a good match for families with very young children. They can be rather indifferent towards unfamiliar people, and may not get along well with other canines, especially those they do not know.


There are a few cons here: Fido can be a bit stubborn, and he is very independent. He also digs a lot, and may very well turn your garden into a doggy construction zone. This needn’t be an issue. If you want to grow flowers or produce, use raised beds or divide your yard into sections. 


Is the Skye Terrier Dog Endangered?


Due to the current trend of small designer dogs, such as Doodles, Skye Terriers have not only fallen out of fashion, they are now at risk of extinction. They currently rank near the bottom of the AKC’s breed roster in terms of popularity. Since their demand has dropped so much, they have become quite rare and are now listed as one of the UK’s most endangered breeds.


What Are Some Famous Skye Terriers?


Although celebrity Skye Terriers are not common, there is one notable example: Greyfriars Bobby. This loyal canine was the constant companion of John Gray, a night watchman who passed away from tuberculosis in 1858. Bobby followed his owner’s funeral procession and then remained at his gravesite, despite attempts by locals to persuade him otherwise. Eventually, the town constructed a small shelter for him, where he spent the remainder of his days.


This remarkable dog is now honored by a statue in Edinburgh. The statue stands near Candlemakers Row and George IV Bridge, close to Greyfriars Kirkyard, where Gray is buried. The story of this incredibly loyal puppy that has touched many hearts. In 1961, Walt Disney made a film about him: Greyfriars Bobby. It was remade as The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby in 2005.


What Are The Grooming Requirements For Skye Terrier Dogs?


Skye Terriers have naturally shaggy coats, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are high maintenance. In fact, their grooming needs vary depending on their lifestyle. If your canine companion mostly stays indoors, he will most likely stay clean without much effort. However, if he spends a lot of time outdoors or enjoys playing in muddy areas, it may be necessary to bathe him more frequently. 


In addition, it is important to regularly brush your furry friend’s coat with a comb or soft brush to prevent mats and tangles. Though the Skye Terrier’s fur does not require clipping, it may be helpful to gently trim any excess hair that may obstruct their vision. Regular nail trims are also essential. Don’t forget to keep those cute ears clean as well!


When you bathe Fido, use a gentle shampoo and avoid scrubbing or rubbing too hard: that could break his hair. Your North Redington Beach, FL veterinarian may also recommend diluting the shampoo.


Are Skye Terrier Dogs Usually Healthy?


These guys are usually pretty sturdy and plucky. The AKC does not recommend any specific tests. However, Fido is at risk for a few things, including Intervertebral Disc Disease and eye problems. Your vet may also recommend regularly screening for things like cancer, autoimmune disease, skin allergies, and hip dysplasia. 


It’s also important to note that the Skye terrier’s silky coat can hide many issues, such as lumps and bumps and skin problems. We recommend inspecting Fido regularly. (Of course, you can do this during cuddle time.) 


You’ll also need to take your pet to the North Redington Beach, FL animal clinic regularly. During intervals between visits, keep an eye out for signs of illness or injury, and contact us as soon as possible if you notice anything unusual.


Conclusion: A former royal favorite, the Skye Terrier is actually endangered today. These cute, lively, and charismatic little dogs are great apartment dogs. These little dogs can be both fun and feisty.


Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Have you recently adopted a Skye Terrier? Feel free to contact us anytime with questions about the Skye Terrier. As your local North Redington Beach, FL,  pet hospital we are here to help!

Posted in Dog Care