FAQ

If you brush and comb it out at least once a week then you can keep it under control. There is an undercoat and it can build up if you do not comb the coat out regularly. If you take the dog for a forest walk you may find lots of leaves and twigs get attached to the coat so you just need to remove these after a walk.

Skye Terriers are an unclipped breed. Generally the coat is kept without clipping. Some people will trim the hair between the pads on the feet, some people might trim a bit around the eyes and other people might trim underneath and the inside of the legs and keep the top coat so it looks like a fully coated Skye Terrier but can reduce the time spent grooming. Some people feel that they want the whole coat trimmed off. Unless you plan to show the dog, which would require a full coat to be shown, it is down to personal choice and lifestyle how you maintain the coat. 

Skye Terriers do enjoy getting out for a walk and will walk as far as you want to walk but will also be content with a walk around the park. Some have walked up Ben Nevis, needing a lift up over some rocks due to their short legs, others have done a sponsored walk the length of the Isle of Skye over 5 days. One has walked the West Highland Way (in a week) which is just over 95 miles long. They are sturdy dogs but as previously stated will be happy to walk with you along the canal or in a park. 

Some Skye Terriers can be cautious of people they do not know but once they have got to know them will remember them for life. Skye puppies benefit from being exposed to lots of things while they are young. This stands them in good stead for their adult life. A puppy should be socialised well with people and other dogs. They learn from this experience and become more confident when coming across new things. Training classes are a great way to socialise a pup even if it is only for the first 6-12 months. People attending classes, and the trainers, will always be willing to speak to your puppy and meeting other dogs at training classes helps your pup to cope when meeting strange dogs on walks or in other situations. 

The breed is a fairly health breed overall however there have been some incidences of liver problems in Skyes and also kidney problems. This is not common but as we are aware of these situations the breed clubs do health monitoring and reporting. This is a way to maintain the health of the breed and reduce the issues where possible for the future of the breed. It is recommended that any breeding dogs or bitches should have their kidneys scanned to rules out kidney dysplasia. If a dog shows signs then it would not be bred from. If dogs with any conditions are affected then they would not be bred from. Reputable breeders would look at the health of the dogs that they breed from and not be prepared to breed from any that are affected in any way. Skye Terriers remain a fairly healthy breed due to this. As puppies some Skye Terriers can develop “puppy limp”. This is usually a painless limp and usually they grow out of it by approx. 12 months of age. Due to how the joints develop it takes time for this to happen. It is recommended that exercise is limited to short walks while the puppy is young. Jumping off furniture, out of cars or down the stairs should be discouraged until the puppy is more mature. There can be other causes for any puppy to limp and if in doubt contact the breeder or speak to your Vet. Be aware that not all Vets are aware of the possibility of puppy limp in Skyes. 

Generally Skyes do not suffer from back problems unlike some other breeds that have similarly long backs ie Dachshunds. The Skye Terrier is bred to be long and low with a level back. Those who show Skye Terriers, and also judge them in the show ring, watch out for “dippy backs” as this is something that brings a weakness to the back. Dogs without a level topline may be penalised in the show ring. Breeders will want to breed from good healthy dogs so breed puppies with this in mind. A long rib cage with a short loin gives strength to backs in this kind of breed. The health of the breed is important to reputable breeders and any incident of health such as back problems would encouraged to be reported to the health representatives for the breed. This helps to keep an eye on how the Skye Terriers health is being maintained. 

Yes they can. When a Skye is moving or running the hair moves away from the face. Historically the hair on a Skye Terrier would have been a protection against any quarry it was after. If digging down a badger sett and a badger wanted to grab the dog then the hair might be the first thing that the Badger would get hold of and not the dog. 

Skyes are big dogs on short legs. So many people say if it had “real legs” it would be a big dog! Bitches will be generally smaller than dogs and the weight will be 25-35 pounds in weight. The size of the Skye, over the years, has gotten bigger due to bigger dogs being bred from. 

Terriers are fun and active and enjoy life and those who live with a terrier would not do without them however not everyone is suited to owning a terrier breed. If you have done your homework and found out about the breed that you are interested in, in this case Skye Terriers, then you are a good step along the way to having one. Breeders will ask relevant questions about you and why you have narrowed down your choice to a Skye. They will also give you lots of information that will answer any questions you might have or even not thought of. They can be stubborn, Skyes can also be wary of people they do not know. Once they have got to know someone they do not forget them. Socialising at a young age with people and dogs is a must to ensure you have done the best you can for your pup/dog. Some can be feisty with other dogs at times and this behaviour needs to be managed. 

Presently the cost of a Skye can range from around 600 pounds sterling – 800 pounds sterling but costs can vary depending on where the breeder is and what country. 

There are breeders of Skye Terriers in quite a number of different countries. You can try asking the Kennel Club in a particular country for a list of breeders. You can also look to see if there is a Skye Terrier Club and make inquiries through that. Social media has opened up accessing information on breeders too. 

Skye Terriers are quite an old Scottish Native breed. They were bred to dig out and to go down burrows looking for badgers, vermin and the like. The hair over their face would have acted as protection from close encounters with their quarry. 

A puppy introduced correctly to other dogs should not have a problem with other dogs. This is why training classes and early socialisation are important. An older Skye might be jealous of another dog getting your attention and you may need to be aware of this. They are Terriers and opportunity should not be given for dogs to fall out with each other. 

Skyes can definitely be trained. They can be trained to be a well behaved member of your household or they can train to do other things such as agility or obedience or display work or therapy work. There are Skyes who are trained accredited Therapy dogs visiting for example residential homes. There are a few who do, or have done, dog display work as a team. Some have done Heelwork to music with their Skyes others are doing an event called Rally (in the UK) which is another form of obedience. You can decide what you and your Skye would like to do and it is perfectly possible that it can be done. 

The long coat has an undercoat which can build up and cause tangles which will need to be combed out. If regularly groomed then the undercoat is removed and there is less likelihood of hair causing a problem and tangles forming. You can get some hair on clothes or furniture but it not like the small short hairs that weave into fabric it is easy to brush off or pick off. 

Many Skye owners and breeders have had happy times bringing their children up alongside their Skye Terriers. Children need to be supervised when spending time with dogs, especially young children. Long hair is very tempting to pull and the dogs natural defence is to react. Skyes generally like spending time with children, they find them exciting and interesting to be around. It is only wise and sensible to supervise any kind of play to prevent accidents of any kind happening. 

With something like this it will be down to the individual and their own sensitivity to dogs and animal hair. There is a Skye Terrier living in a household where a member of the family was severely allergic to a Labrador that they knew. They explored having a Skye as an option and the person with the sensitivity found that the Skye Terrier coat did not affect them. They purchased a Skye Terrier puppy after they had done their research and have had no problems. 

Cats and Skyes can live together. If introduced sensibly the dogs know what they are allowed to do around cats. They are a Terrier breed so may sometimes see a cat as something to chase and you would have to use your judgement on an individual basis. Many people have had years of Skyes and cats sharing the same space without any issues and there are others who have unfortunately had a problem. 

All puppies will chew and play with things while they are teething and growing up. Some things might not be what you want chewed so you can limit their access to precious items by moving them out of reach until the pup has grown up a bit. You can also train them to leave things so a bit of effort is required to train them past the puppy stage. You can supply them with toys and items that you know they will enjoy playing with which will entertain them and keep them busy. 

If you are planning to have a puppy/dog you will need to consider how long it might be left at any time. Work may be a long day if working fulltime or not so long if working part time. A dog does like company and leaving it for too long does affect the dog and it may show up in some of its behaviour especially while a puppy. If working fulltime consideration should be given about having a dog walker to help break the day up for the dog and also to make sure that the dog is not in any distress. If left for too long unattended then maybe it is not the right time for you to have a dog yet. 

Quite a number of Skye Terrier owners have horses. Skyes can be comfortable around horses if introduced and supervised. It also depends on how the horse would view having a Skye Terrier around as to whether it is safe to have them there. Most breeders will be happy to answer any questions you might have about your pup while it is young or throughout its adult life. There are also lots of Skye Terrier groups on social media who can be helpful also. The Skye Terrier International Association would be quite happy to help in any way should you require it. 

Email: info@skyeti.ch
Skye Terrier International Association
Zuegelweg 18
3777 Saanenmoeser
Switzerland