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Skye Terrier

 Photo of Skye Terrier
Photo: By Jill Terry

Skye Terrier Books

Group: Terrier - Breed Standard


Originating on the Isle of Skye centuries ago, the Skye Terrier was bred by farmers to destroy fox, badger and otter. With short, sturdy legs and a double coat to serve as protection from both injury and bad weather, the Skye was ideally built for locating the vermin underground and digging them from their burrows. In the nineteenth century, Queen Victoria became very fond of the breed, preferring a prick eared variety which then became popular.


Ideal height 25-26 cms (10 ins), length from tip of nose to tip of tail 105 cms (41½ ins). Bitches slightly smaller in same proportions.

The Skye is double coated, with a short, soft undercoat and a hard, straight topcoat, which must be flat against the body and free of curl. The ideal coat length is 5½ inches (14 cm), with no extra credit for a longer coat. The shorter hair of the head veils the forehead and eyes, forming a moderate beard. The ears should be well feathered and, in prick-eared examples, the hair should fall like a fringe, accenting the form, and blending with the side locks. Except for the shape and size of the ears, there is no significant difference nor preference given between the prick- and drop-eared types. When prick, they are medium sized, carried high on the skull and angled slightly outwards. In the drop type, the ears are set lower, are larger, and should hang flat against the head. Fawn, blue, dark or light grey, cream, and black with black points (ears and muzzle) all occur. They may have any self colour, allowing for some shading of same colour on the body and a lighter undercoat, so long as the nose and ears are black. There should be no further patterning on the body, but a small white spot on the chest is permissible.

Breed Care

The Skye Terrier coat is resistant to tangling, and needs to be brushed at least once a week. The Skye should be kept natural and untrimmed.


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