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Meet The Skye Terrier!

February 15, 2024

Originally from the foggy Isle of Skye in Scotland, the Skye Terrier is a cute little dog with a big heart. Though once held dear by royalty, the breed is now endangered.  In this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Savannah, GA veterinarian offers some insights into this cute little Scottish pooch.

What Is The Skye Terrier?

Skye Terriers are cute, fluffy little dogs with long, silky coats. They can have either pointy or floppy ears. These sturdy little pups are usually longer than they are tall. Fido is not very large; he rarely stands over ten inches tall. The males can usually weigh 35–40 lbs, and females may weigh 25–31 lbs. Like many other small dogs, Skye Terriers are quite long-lived: they can live up to 15 years of age.

Are Skye Terriers Loud?

Some pups are quieter than others. Skye Terriers aren’t the loudest, but they do sometimes bark to express themselves. This varies from dog to dog, though.

What Are The Good And Bad Things About Skye Terriers?

Our canine companions come in all shapes and sizes. There really are no bad breeds; it’s just a matter of finding the right match for you. That said, these guys do have some great qualities. They pack a lot of personality into small bodies. They’re also quite affectionate with their owners. They don’t need a lot of exercise, which is appealing to some. 

There aren’t many downsides here, but there are a few potential cons. For instance, Fido also enjoys digging, so gardeners will want to section out their yards. 

The Skye Terrier can be a bit stubborn and is very independent. This very much ties into the qualities needed for his original jobs, which were hunting foxes and badgers. That sort of work took courage and determination, skills your canine pal may now turn to digging your yard up for moles. 

Before adopting any dog, do plenty of research and ask your vet for recommendations. 

What Is The Origin Of The Skye Terrier Breed?

Fido’s name reveals quite a bit about his history. The breed originated from the Isle of Skye, off the coast of northwest Scotland. These plucky pups have been around since the 1500s. His first job was to hunt foxes and badgers, Fido did very well at this, because he could fit into their dens.

Skye Terriers became popular with British royalty in the mid-16th century, and were for some time favored pets of the nobility. Queen Victoria was also a fan: she bred Skye Terriers in her royal kennels. The royal thumbs-up was a great PR boost for Fido: the breed became very popular in England during this period. Skye Terriers joined the AKC in 1887. They also appeared in the first dog shows.

What Makes Skye Terriers Endangered?

Unfortunately, Fido’s Victorian-age popularity did not last. These dogs are now listed as one of the most endangered dog breeds in the UK. They rank near the bottom of the AKC’s breed roster in terms of popularity. Not only did Skye Terriers fall out of fashion, but they are now being eclipsed by small designer dogs, such as Doodle dogs.

Are Skye Terrier Dogs Hyper?

Fido will need proper exercise to stay healthy, just like any other dog. Your little buddy may get pretty tired just running around on those short legs, though, so you won’t have to take him on long walks. 

Skye Terriers are highly prone to back injuries, because of their elongated spines. They can actually injure themselves just by going up and down stairs or jumping onto hard surfaces. Stick with safe options. Consult your Savannah, GA veterinarian for more information.

What Are Some Famous Skye Terriers?

The most well-known of these dogs is Greyfriars Bobby. This loyal canine was the faithful companion of a watchman named John Gray. When Gray passed away from tuberculosis in 1858, the little dog followed his owner’s funeral procession to the grave and then refused to leave. Despite attempts by locals to entice him away, the devoted pup kept returning to the spot. Eventually, they built a shelter for him. The loyal pup stayed there until he passed away 14 years later.

The heartwarming story of this amazing pup has captured many hearts over the years, including that of Walt Disney, who made a movie about him in 1961. The film was titled “Greyfriars Bobby.” A remake was released in 2005, which was called “The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby.”

Today, there is a statue dedicated to Bobby in Edinburgh. It’s located between Candlemakers Row and George IV Bridge, near Greyfriars Kirkyard, where Gray is buried. The devoted pup’s story has touched many hearts over the years. In 1961, Walt Disney made a movie about him, which was titled Greyfriars Bobby. It was remade in 2005 as The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby.

How Much Grooming Do Skye Terriers Need?

Due to their shaggy coat, Skye Terriers may seem to require a lot of attention in this regard. Actually, Fido’s lifestyle will really determine how much beauty care he needs. If your canine buddy spends most of his time indoors, he probably won’t require much attention in this area. However, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially in muddy areas, he will need more frequent baths. 

While Skye Terriers don’t need many baths, they do require frequent brushing.  In fact, if you don’t brush your pet at least weekly, he will develop mats and tangles. You don’t have to clip Fido’s fur, but you can trim any locks that are getting into his eyes.

Just like any other dog, your furry friend will require regular nail trimmings and ear cleaning. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for specific advice on this.

How Healthy Are Skye Terriers?

Fido is usually pretty plucky and hardy. AKC does not recommend any specific tests for Skye Terriers. However, they are susceptible to a few conditions, such as intervertebral disc disease and eye problems. Your veterinarian may also recommend screening for other conditions, including autoimmune disease, skin allergies, cancer, and hip dysplasia.

It’s also worth mentioning that Fido’s long locks can hide a lot. You’ll need to check him regularly for things like parasites and skin problems, as you may not be able to see them. 

As with any dog, watch for signs of illness or injury at home, and contact us immediately if you notice anything amiss. 

How Much Exercise Do Skye Terrier Dogs Need?

Fido will get a pretty good workout just by running around the house and can tire out quickly on those short little legs. As for his daily doggy workouts, several short walks and daily play sessions will probably suffice. Ask your Savannah, GA for specific advice on this.

Conclusion: Although once favored by royalty, the Skye Terrier is sadly now endangered. These lively, intelligent, and charismatic dogs make wonderful pets and are especially suitable for apartment living.

Here at Westside Animal Hospital,  your Savannah, GA pet hospital, we are dedicated to providing your pet with the best care possible. If you have any questions about the Skye Terrier, please feel free to ask! We are always happy to help! 

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