The Skye Terrier is a small, long-haired breed. Their head is round with a short square muzzle which ends with a medium-size black nose. Poking up from the mounds of hair falling over their faces, their distinctive ears stick up but are covered in more long, flowing hair. These dogs have a broad body which is about the same width all over. They have short wide legs ending with big, long feet. What really sets this breed is apart is their abundance of hair. The hair falls over their foreheads and covers their eyes so they are nearly invisible. The hair also flows down their backs and goes down to the floor which makes it hard to see their legs. Their coat can be cream, dove, or gray-blue, and their ears are always black.
The Skye Terrier is a perky, yet sometimes serious little dog. They like to get lots of attention from their family, but they are very reserved and often untrusting of strangers and may bite them. They will chase small animals and can often be aggressive towards other dogs. They do like to play and are very affectionate, yet they can be over protective of their owners. Like most terriers, Skye Terriers can be stubborn.
The Skye Terrier is an extremely hardy breed with few heath concerns. This breed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
The Skye Terrier originated literally by accident. In the first half of the 17th century, a ship from Spain crashed at Skye island near Scotland. On board were a number of Maltese dogs who made their way onto the island and began mating with the terriers which called the island home. Two centuries later, Queen Victoria made her adoration for the breed known, and its popularity in England skyrocketed. The Skye Terrier became a recognized, standardized breed in the United Kingdom in 1864 and in the United States in 1887.
This breed requires plenty of grooming. They should be bathed frequently, but they should never be harshly shampooed or dried. They should mostly be allowed to air dry. The dogs should also be combed often because their hair is prone to matting. Their hair around their feet should be trimmed to keep it looking neat. Since their ears are sensitive and can easily get water in them during a bath, they should be cleaned out regularly. Despite these grooming demands, they do not require much exercise and can usually release all of their energy just by playing around in the house.
The Skye Terrier is a sweet breed. They need extensive socialization when young, or they will be very wary with strangers. They will sometimes bite at strangers and do not want to be petted by them. Because of their hunting instincts to chase, Skye Terriers are not good with small animals. They can also be aggressive with dogs. However, they are good for older people because they require little exercise. They can live in an apartment and are active in the house so a yard is not necessary. Like most terriers, they can be very independent and stubborn.