The Skye Terrier has a reputation of being a hardy, high energy dog with a loving and devoted personality though not as high energy as other terriers, as they are somewhat heavier and more powerful. They were bred for hunting badgers and foxes and are extremely alert, agile, game and fearless with quick reflexes. The breed is temperamentally very well suited to life outside as they are extremely active and playful and enjoy a daily outing but should not be exercised too much at a young age. They are not suited to living outdoors all the time and enjoy living inside as a house dog. They are also tough, stubborn and headstrong and need to be taught respect and good manners with absolute consistency from early on.
Pleple2000, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
They need socializing right from the start because their temperament is such that they can be wary of strangers. They are also not the best dogs where there are very young children. Like many terrier dogs, they are not as laid back as some other breeds, when it comes to clumsiness or being teased.
Skye Terriers have a double coat which should be brushed at least twice a week and benefits from an occasional bath. The undercoat is short and soft while the top coat is hard and straight. Without regular grooming, the coat can become very matted and would need to be trimmed regularly to avoid it becoming unsanitary. If possible, it is important to brush and comb the undercoat of these dogs on a daily basis to maintain the natural beauty and shine of the hair.
Their top coat comes in many different colors, blonde, black, light or dark gray, fawn and blue, while the undercoat is usually lighter in color. The nose and ears are always black. Some Skye terriers have drop or floppy ears, while in others, the ears are pricked up
They are great family dogs and very loyal but may attach themselves particularly to one person. Their loyalty is exemplified in the story of Greyfriars Bobby, a nineteenth century Skye terrier that kept vigil at his master’s grave for fourteen years before he himself died. Local residents fed him and erected a rudimentary shelter for Bobby when they saw that he could not be persuaded to leave his post guarding the grave. A statue was erected to him to commemorate his faithfulness and this can still be seen in Greyfriars churchyard in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Michael Reeve, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
The Skye terrier is a strong, confident, and intelligent dog that is well balanced physically. They have a high prey drive and an abundance of stamina. These traits, along with their high intelligence, make the Skye one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. These dogs will go the distance and make an excellent choice as family companions.
So where did they originate? Skye terriers come from the Isle of Skye which is the largest of the inner Hebridean islands off the West coast of Scotland in the UK. This is a beautiful and very popular place to visit because it can be reached by car over the Skye crossing, which is a bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The island specialises in sea food, caught fresh from the surrounding waters, which abound in wildlife and also serves highland game and local vegetables. There is also a whisky distillery, which has won a world wide award for a “best single malt”. Being an island, it can also be reached by ferry, with two different starting points: Mallaig and Glenelg.
Many people claiming Scottish ancestry enjoy visiting the Isle of Skye and the Skye boat song is a well known piece of music commemorating the flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie “Over the sea to Skye“.
Maisie enjoys traveling including to Scotland, where she found that there may be two loch monsters not just the Loch Ness monster, as well as different breeds of dogs suited to the weather conditions there.!