What is the Skye Terrier? This old and majestic breed has an interesting history. Today, it faces extinction. Here’s what you should know about the Skye Terrier of Scotland.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “Long, low, and level, this unique earth dog is among the AKC’s most distinctive-looking breeds.” And nothing is closer to the truth! The Skye Terrier stands around 9 or 10 inches tall with a flat-lying coat. Its little snout pokes through its long hair in what the AKC called a “peekaboo” style.
Underneath their coat is a strong dog bred for work. Muscular legs and deep chests help this breed hunt. Their coat colors vary from black and blue to fawn and cream, and they weigh between 25 and 40 pounds.
History of the Skye Terrier
The history of the Skye Terrier is somewhat unknown because at one point multiple different breeds were referred to as Skye Terrier. The name and history of the breed we today call Skye Terrier can be traced back to the 1600s. The farmers of the Inner Hebrides islands in Scotland used the dog to hunt foxes and badgers. The breed’s popularity peaked around the late 19th century. Queen Victoria was a big fan of the breed, and other members of the royal court began keeping the Skye Terrier, as well.
Skye Terrier Temperament
Don’t let his size fool you. The Skye Terrier, like other terriers, is a hunting dog. These dogs are fiercely loyal and affectionate to the humans who they choose to love. Skye Terriers are often standoffish with people they are not familiar with or have chosen to be loyal to. This breed is somewhat willful, and they are known to be protective, bark, and alert their owners.
When it comes to visitors in the home, the Skye can be suspicious of strangers, so socialization is crucial. Skye owners should take their dogs to different environments to meet different people and pets. That’s the best way to ensure they don’t exhibit problem behaviors later.
Training can be tough with the Skye Terrier. The independent Skye needs a trainer who is unyielding. There is no negotiating with this breed. Consistency and confidence are what Skye Terriers respond to.
Exercising and Feeding a Skye Terrier
Skye Terriers don’t need too much exercise. They are often content going with you for walks or having a little romp in the yard. These dogs certainly enjoy the mental stimulation that comes with exercise, so be sure to schedule an activity a day! The Skye enjoyed canine sports, dog shows, agility training, and obedience training.
Since the Skye doesn’t need too much exercise, great care should be taken to avoid overfeeding. Obesity can have very detrimental effects on the terrier’s small frame.
Grooming a Skye Terrier
The Skye’s long coat needs lots of love. While it is quite long, their coat just needs weekly bruising with a soft brush. Long toothed combs will also leave them free of tangles. The dog needs no clippers or trimming. Their long ears should be checked at least weekly to clear dirt and other debris. Baths should be done as needed, and when the dog is bathed, the skin should not be scrubbed as it can mat the fur.
Possible Breed Extinction
Unfortunately, there were only 30 Skye Terriers born in Scotland in 2005. Today it’s considered a vulnerable breed in Scotland. It is forecasted that in 40 years, there will be no Skye Terriers left in the world.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s breed spotlight! The unique Skye Terrier needs to spend more time in the spotlight so that it can continue.