Fun Skye Terrier Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Discover Skye Terrier facts including puppy appearance, coat grooming, diet, and other pet tips
Age: 3-18
Read time: 14.0 Min

The Skye terrier is purebred (not bred using other breeds) and was founded in Great Britain in one of the core Hebrides (which are a group of islands in Scotland) called the Isle of Skye. This terrier dog breed is a medium-sized dog that is long and low and has an origin that dates back to more than 400 years ago and was acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1887. These terriers were bred to get rid of vermins. These dogs chased out the badgers, foxes, and otters. Theycan be illustrated as aware, sturdy, and having a decent temperament. They can be a little timid at times, but most of the time, they are friendly, and early socialization may aid them in loosening themselves around people. This breed is very adaptable, and being a medium-sized dog, it is manageable to keep them in an apartment, although it is not suggested to leave them alone for too long. They are strong-willed, fierce, and extremely loyal, characterized by their luxuriant double coat. The outer coat is straight and tough, while the inner coat is soft and short. The short coat frequently covers the forehead and eyes of the dogs, which looks likes a beard.

They werebrought to attention by Queen Victoria, who visited Scotland very often. Queen Victoria was very fond of this breed, and she had both types of the breed, the drop ears, and the prick ears. The Skye terrier was depicted by John Caius in one of his works, which is considered as the first book on dogs, named 'Of Englishe Dogges.' This breed now ranks 161st among the American Kennel Club's most popular breeds, though five years ago it was ranked 138th. They were on the verge of extinction. In 2013 only 17 Skye terrier puppies were born, which makes them even rarer than pandas! They are regarded as one of the most vulnerable breeds of native dogs in Britain. These terriers are not interfering but very responsive, especially to firm commands and optimistic reinforcement strategies. Being guard dogs, they have their very own intellect and always prepare to encounter anyone or anything, but it is advised not to leave them alone with any other smalls animals like rodents. This breed of terrier is not in constant need of attention but expects love, affection, and care like every other breed. In addition, they need extensive care for their coat, and as their energy level is generally on the higher side, the dog parents need to attend to their exercise needs. The other names from Skye terrier may include the Paisley terrier, the Glasgow terrier, and the fancy Skye terrier.  

If you want to know more fascinating facts, then keep reading this article. Please go and check our articles on Schipperke facts and Newfoundland dog facts.

Skye Terrier Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Skye Terrier?

The Skye terrier is a part of the terrier breed of dogs. They were originally watchdogs and chased out the badgers, foxes, and otters.

What class of animal does a Skye Terrier belong to?

These terriers belong to the class Mammalia. Other types of terriers include the Yorkshire terrier and Airedale terrier.

How many Skye Terriers are there in the world?

The Skye terrier, which was once a symbol of royalty, is now on the verge of extinction. From the last survey, which took place in 2012, it was concluded that only 3000-4000 Skye terriers are left in this world, and the numbers have only deteriorated with every passing year.

Where does a Skye Terrier live?

Skye terriers are purebred which have an origin dating more than four centuries back. They were discovered in Scottish Hebrides, and the peasants or the locals bred them. Queen Victoria, who visited Scotland very frequently, brought back this breed of dog with her to England, and thus it started gaining popularity. Later most of the Duchesses were seen with a Skye terrier for company. However, In the late 18th century, Skye terriers were finally acknowledged by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and became famous all over the world. They are very adaptive, and they can adjust to any climatic condition hence they can survive outside of Britain. With the declining population of this breed, there are only a few thousand left all over the world.

What is a Skye Terrier's habitat?

Since their discovery, Skye terriers have been raised as home pets. They are watchdogs who once chased the vermins away later became the mark of royalty. They are mostly kept in the home as home pets, and because they are very adaptable, they can adjust to any condition. They are comfortable living in apartments with the family, in large homes, or in the countryside as long as they have humans around them. Although being agile, yet space plays a trivial role. However, they do require proper grooming and activities like strolling, running, etc. Early socialization is essential to develop a good temperament as they live in homes and have a wide exposure to human beings.

Who do Skye Terriers live with?

Skye terriers live with humans. They formulate a strong bond with the humans and like to be around them. They have a good temperament, but one should never leave them alone for too long because their temperament may change. It is better not to keep a pet, especially a rodent with this dog because they are watchdogs, and they might hunt down the other pet. They can also be aggressive towards the same sex to show their dominance, but they get along with children very well, and early socialization may help them to behave properly around other dogs and humans.

How long does a Skye Terrier live?

The Skye terrier's lifespan is around 12-14 years. They are a healthy breed and adaptive, but they can develop health complications. If it shows any uncommon symptoms, it is best to contact the vet as soon as possible.

How do they reproduce?

Like all the other breeds, terriers reproduce by copulation. When they attain puberty, the estrous cycle begins in females. This duration is also known as heat, and this heat cycle can take place twice a year. During this time, the female mates with the male and produces puppies. The gestation period may vary from 50-70 days.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this breed of terrier is Vulnerable, and they are at a high risk of extinction. They are as vulnerable as a panda! Regardless, clubs are striving towards raising funds and awareness for this breed. Their gene pool has reduced, which is the prime reason for their declining population. A survey held in 2012 analyzed that there are only 3000-4000 purebred left all around the world, and only 30-40 puppies are born each year. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is number four among the most endangered dog breeds.

Skye Terrier Fun Facts

What do Skye Terriers look like?

The Skye terrier has both pricked up and droopy ears, which is remarkable.

Skye terriers are medium-sized pure breeds, recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887. These dogs are identified for their unusual double coat, which comes in various colors. The double coat has two distinctive layers. The outer layer has long and hard fur, which is also called the topcoat, while the second layer has short and fluffy fur, which is also called an undercoat. The short layer covers their forehead and eyes and acts as fringes which blend with their sidelocks. The Skye terrier dog breed may vary in color, but they do not display any variation in the pattern. They are of solid colors, but often the double coat is a blend of two different shades. The color ranges from blue, dark or light gray, black, blonde, and fawn, but their ears and nose are commonly black. However, they may have a white blotch on the area of their chest, which is also a common phenomenon. The ears of the Skye terrier are unique as they are of two types: prick ears and drop ears, the prick-eared Skye terrier dog breeds have a high skull slightly portrayed outwards and are of medium size.

The size of an adult Skye terrier dog breed is around 9-10 in (24-25 cm) with the male Skye terrier dog being around 10 in, with the female Skye terrier being 9-9.5 in ( 22-24.1 cm). These dogs weigh between 25-40 lb (11-18 kg). The physical appearance of the Skye terrier dog is exquisite, and once these dogs were reckoned as a symbol of royalty because more or less all the Duchesses were seen accompanied by Skye terriers. This breed of terrier achieved complete recognition when Sir Edwin Landseer presented this breed in one of his paintings.

How cute are they?

This medium size pet is adorable with its long outer coat. This coat covers their eyes and forehead, which look like fringes. They are cute both as puppies and as adult dogs, and it is delightful to have a pet like them around. They have tiny feet and enjoy affection and attention. They are full of vigor and enthusiasm, which makes them great pets.

How do they communicate?

There are various ways of communication, just like other breeds of terrier. Skye terriers incorporate various physical gestures along with barking. Most terrier breeds have a high intellect and respond in different ways. They sniff and encircle other dogs when they meet, and if they are cautious about somebody or something they may bark. As they cannot express themselves vocally, the Skye terriers form an extraordinary bond with humans, which makes communication easier.

How big is a Skye Terrier?

Their size is more or less the same among the breeds of terrier. A Skye terrier male is around 9-10 in ( 24-25 cm) while the female is around 7-9 in (20-24 cm); hence the size difference is insignificant. The Scottish Skye terrier is half the size of the wheaten terrier, of Irish origin, and they are 18-19 in (45.7-48.3 cm), which is twice the size of the Skye terrier. In comparison, the Cairn terrier is quite similar, with an average for males being 11.5 in (29 cm) and females being 10.5 in (26.5 cm).

How fast can a Skye Terrier run?

Skye terriers are watchdogs, and hence they enjoy running around and chasing other animals. They are quite fast and highly active, but the exact speed of this dog has not been estimated.

How much does a Skye Terrier weigh?

Skye terriers weigh around 25-40 lb (11-18 kg). They are medium-sized pets where the male is 35-40 lb (16-18 kg), and the female is a bit lighter, weighing around 25-30 lb (11.5-14 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males are known as dogs, and the females are known as bitches.

What would you call a baby Skye Terrier?

A baby Skye terrier is called a puppy.

What do they eat?

Diet plays an integral role in all breeds; hence when we decide to get a pet, we need to take proper care of their diet so that they do not develop any health problems. Breeds like Skye terriers require meals twice a day which consists of all the vital nutrients for the development of their bones and muscles. They are carnivores, and hence non-vegetarian meal is required. Their food can be prepared at home, or else there is high-quality dog food available in the market. The amount of food to be fed depends on the size, metabolism, and activities of the breeds. A dog with a high metabolism and indulging itself in more physical activities requires more food than the dog who mostly remains indoors.

Are they hypoallergenic?

In Skye terriers, the hypoallergenic attribute is absent. However, the Cairn terrier happens to be hypoallergenic.

Would they make a good pet?

The Skye terrier's temperament can be distinguished from most of the terrier breeds. Skye terriers are extraordinary watchdogs who are courageous, good-tempered, strong-willed, and extremely loyal to their family. This breed of dogs takes time to get along with people and wait for the other person to approach them. However, they are always cautious of strangers. These dogs can be a little susceptible at times, but being strong-willed, they have an intellect of their own. They are described as 'Canny', which is a Scottish word and has multiple meanings associated with it. 'Canny' is frequently used to describe Terriers because of their temperament, which is shrewd, adroit, and steady with a high energy level. However, their energy levels are not as high as Cairn terriers.

Early socialization among the terrier breed is advised because it helps them to develop a broad spectrum of experiences, and they grow up with a lot of exposure to different people, sensations, scents, and activities which keeps them rooted as they become adults. Skye terrier puppies and adults both need proper grooming and care. The coats of the Skye terrier puppy and the adult are unique and require weekly brushing and occasional trimming so that they do not tangle. The outer coat and the inner coat require washing which can be done at home or a pet care center. The Skye terrier likes to indulge itself in various dog sports, which keep them active and fit. These dogs require reasonable exercise, and they can adjust themselves in any environment, even in an apartment, and prefer to be around people, but when outside, it is better to keep them in a fenced area or put a leash on them to keep them away from traffic and other dogs. Their exercise needs should be taken care of by the dog parent. It is favorable not to leave them around any other pets, especially rodents like rabbits or hares, because the general instinct of these breeds would be to hunt them down.

Skye terriers have relatively small legs compared to their bodies, due to which they suffer from various orthopedic problems as they start aging, and this is why they should not be involved in extreme dog sports or activities like jumping or climbing from a young age.Hence it is better to wait for two years before involving the puppy or the dogs in activities like climbing and excessive jumping as this may lead to premature bone closure, leaving the dogs with a limp. No matter how healthy or strong a dog is, it is always vulnerable to various diseases, and hence vaccination is essential. Certain conditions may be transmitted genetically. However, they are susceptible to glaucoma, ulcerative colitis, and allergies. These are few facts one has to keep in mind before getting a Skye terrier puppy. All of these make it a great pet. However, their number is decreasing day by day, and therefore it is the need of the hour to adopt more Skye terriers. This is also a reason behind the steep Skye terrier price, which is approximately $1500-$2000 USD for a puppy.

Did you know...

Here are some fascinating facts about this vulnerable breed.

In 1587 when Mary Queen of Scots was guillotined, it is assumed that the dog which was hidden under her gown was a Skye terrier.

In 1969 a dog show was held in Westminster where a Skye terrier called Good News secured first place as the best in the event. Since then, five Skye terriers have won this show, and the last winner was Charlie, who won in 2015. In 2014, Charlie the Skye Terrier also won the most reputed annual show, the American Kennel Club Invitational Dog Show.

The most famous Skye Terrier is Bobby, who was born in 1856 and after his master passed away because of Tuberculosis, Bobby slept on the grave of his master for fourteen long years until he died and was buried next to him. A  statue was also erected in his memory in the Greyfriar grave.

In 1961 Walt Disney adapted the story of Bobby into a feature film that went on to become a huge hit.

It is assumed that this breed of Terrier can be traced back to the Spanish shipwreck demolition close to the Isle of Skye, where peasants bred regional Terriers with the Maltese dog breed.

What was the Skye Terrier bred for?

The Skye Terrier originated in the Isle of Scotland name Skye. This Terrier breed was mainly raised to get rid of vermins which often caused potential damage to agriculture. The dogs chased badgers, foxes, rodents, etc. These dogs are fiercely loyal, affectionate, and great guard dogs that are ready to take down any challenge.

Why are Skye Terriers a royal breed?

There are explanations why Skye Terriers are considered a royal breed. This Terrier breed was discovered by Queen Victoria in Scotland which she chose to bring back to Britain and since then it caught the public eye and was considered as a mark of royalty. Later it became a favorite companion of nearly all the Duchesses. Sir Edwin Landseer presented this breed in one of his famous paintings because of which these dogs achieved more glory. Even after all the glory and royal heritage, it ranks 178 according to the AKC and on the verge of extinction.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Welsh terrier facts and Pyrenean shepherd facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Skye Terrier coloring pages.

Skye Terrier Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Meat, Fish, Eggs

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

25-40 lb (11-18 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?


Where Do They Live?


How Long Were They?


How Tall Were They?

9-10 in (24-25 cm)







Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

What Do They Look Like?

Dark Gray, Light Gray, Black, Blue, Cream, Fawn

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Highly Endangered
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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