Skye Terrier

He has a long silky gray coat that is relatively easy to care for, and his large ears can stand upright or hang down.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Skye’s long double coat looks as if it would be high maintenance, but no trimming is needed and it can be easily cared for with weekly brushing. Some sources recommend daily brushing, and the frequency really depends on the individual dog’s coat and lifestyle as well as the groomer’s ability. A thorough brushing all the way down to the skin may well be all that’s needed for a pet dog who doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors getting down and dirty.
A show dog or a dog who enjoys spending time digging in the yard or hunting for critters may need daily care. Use a pin brush or a comb with long teeth that will get all the way through the coat to ensure that mats and tangles don’t get overlooked. The coat sheds moderately, but regular brushing will help to keep hair off your floor, furniture, and clothing.
Bathing frequency is also a matter of circumstance. A dog who is kept brushed and doesn’t have a lifestyle that involves hunting and digging will probably need fewer baths than one who’s more active outdoors or walks on dirty city streets.
To avoid breaking the hairs on the coat, the Skye Terrier Club of America recommends squeezing or pulling the shampoo through the coat or diluting shampoo so that it flows more easily through the coat. Rinse thoroughly and apply conditioner the same way. Then brush and comb the coat while drying it, or let it air dry and brush it out. Just be sure your dog is in a warm room with no drafts. For a finishing touch, pull the hair on his head back with a barrette or coated rubber band.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Exercise Tips

The Skye Terrier has minimal exercise needs and will usually be content with whatever level of activity is comfortable for his owner. Even a short daily outing will benefit him both physically and mentally. Skyes enjoy play sessions and participating in canine sports with their people, and the breed can be found competing in dog shows and agility, obedience, and earthdog events.
With this said, Skye Terrier puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.

Feeding Tips

If you get a Skye puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It’s also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it’s important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

Health Tips

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
Because of their long and low structure, Skye Terriers can experience disk injuries, and Skye puppies should never be allowed to go up and down stairs excessively or jump onto hard surfaces from any height. Owners should closely monitor their Skyes for any potential signs of cancer, such as mammary cancer and hemangiosarcoma. Other conditions that responsible breeders screen for include autoimmune disease, skin allergies, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas.


Training will be difficult, which might not be suitable for a first-time dog owner. Patience and perseverance are required to adequately train them. Professional obedience schools can also be helpful.
Like all terriers, they can be stubborn, but they enjoy the interaction with their humans and are eager to please. The Skye is reserved by nature and should be well socialized from a very young age to ensure a happy and outgoing personality. For those who understand the breed’s temperament and raise the dog with love and proper training and socialization, there is no more delightful companion.
Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They’re successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.


Skye is the largest, most northerly of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides islands. In the 1600s the rugged, hard-coated terrier bred by the island’s farmers to control the fox and badger population became a favorite of British nobles, an unusual development for a working farm dog. The peak of Skye popularity came in the late 19th century, when Queen Victoria championed the breed. These were the days, a historian wrote, when “a duchess would almost be ashamed to be seen in the park unaccompanied by her long-coated Skye.”
The American Kennel Club recognized the Skye in 1887. He’s no longer a fad but remains stylish, elegant, and dignified at 160th among the breeds registered by the AKC.