One of the most endangered native dogs of the UK, Skye Terrier, is also one of the most important and oldest of the terrier breeds, with an elongated body that is double the size of its height, long head, tapered muzzle, brown to dark eyes, and with ears erect and rarely floppy. With only 30 individuals of the breed born in 2005 in the UK, it is the country’s one of the ‘Vulnerable Native Breeds’, which might face extinction within 4 decades from now.
|Coat||Double, dense, straight, long|
|Color||Blue, fawn, light to dark grey, blonde, black|
|Group (of Breed)||Terrier, Hunting Dog|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Weight/Size||Male: 35 to 40 pounds; Female: 25 to 30 pounds|
|Height||10 inches (average)|
|Temperament||Affectionate, intelligent, loyal, aggressive, playful|
|Country of Origin||Scotland|
|Litter Size||5 to 9 puppies|
|Good with Children||No|
|Competitive Registration||CKC, FCI, AKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CET, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA|
The Skye Terrier is a breed that rose to popularity since the reigns of the British Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, with a pet terrier hiding under the petticoat of Mary, Queen of Scotts, during her execution ordered by the former queen, while the latter made it popular with her strong liking for the breed, which made it an extremely stylish pet amongst the aristocrats, and hence amongst the commoners too. Originating in the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland for protecting the farm by hunting down badgers, foxes, otters etc., preying on livestock. History has it that, during a ship wreck in the 1600s, near the island of Skye in the Hebrides, the few Maltese dogs onboard that could withstand the destruction, mated with the local terriers, thus giving birth to the Skye Terrier dog breed.
Formerly known as the Terrier of the Western Isles, the Skye Terrier mixed with several dog breeds, and has breeds like the Cairn Terrier prototypes, that were formerly included in its class. The other popular mixes are:
This hardy, attention-seeking terrier is on one hand loving, affectionate, loyal, happy and brave, but stubborn and willful on the other, at times, unless handled by the owner with authority, without which it might develop ‘small dog syndrome’, trying to induce its own authority. This might further lead to worse situations like excessive barking, suspecting strangers, attacking, aggressiveness, or even biting. They are fearless hunters and would attack animals like rodents but more of a house pet and do not enjoy living outside of its owner’s house. Being suspicious to people, they make a good watchdog.
Train them to socialize as a puppy to avoid behavioral issues, as discussed above (see ‘Temperament and Behavior’), including destructive and noisy behavior. Deliver positive reinforcement techniques consistently, so that the puppy might never think it can get away by ignoring your commands, or else, they would repeat this time and again.
Not being too much of an active dog, they do not need high calorie foods, and hence, go for such dog foods meant for less active breeds, especially the dry dog foods which might keep away their dental hazards, although wet food too being fine, both can be served half a can in the morning as breakfast. Inversely, 1 3/8 to 1 7/8 cups of high-quality food, divided into two meals sounds good. Change your dog’s drinking water leftover every day, and wash the bowl. Supply them with vitamins and supplements only if it is required or has been prescribed, else not.