Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier takes its name from the Scottish Hebridean Island it originates from. It was originally used for tracking otters, badgers and weasels.

Skye Terrier breed group


Country of origin

Great Britain

The Skye Terrier through history

The exact origin of the Skye Terrier is unclear. However, many people believe the breed was created after a Spanish ship containing the Maltese breed ran aground and survived the shipwreck. It is thought the surviving Maltese dogs were crossed with local terriers to create the dog we know today. It is thought the Welsh Corgi was used to create the breed also.

The Skye Terrier was also a favourite with Queen Victoria who bred them for numerous years in her kennels.

The Skye Terrier is also known as the Clysdale Terrier, Glasgow Terrier, Fancy Skye Terrier, Terrier of the Western Isles and the Paisley Terrier and was only recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1993. Sadly, this feisty little dog is a rare sight, and is in fact on the Vulnerable Native Breed list.

Breed profile

The Skye Terrier is a short dog with a long coat. It is a short-legged dog that sits low to the ground. The body is elongated, with the breed being twice as long as their height. The breed has a large, long head. The eyes are medium-sized and dark brown in colour. The nose is black and the ears are either pricked or dropped. The Skye Terrier'sn front feet are bigger then their back feet, making them the perfect tool for digging.

Skye Terrier temperament

The Skye Terrier is incredibly loyal and proetective towards its owner and really considered a one-person dog. It is prone to snappiness, so not an ideal family pet for families with small children. It is wary of strangers and makes an excellent guard around the home.

Colour varieties of the Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier comes in a handful of colours including:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Cream Black Points
  • Dark Grey
  • Fawn
  • Grey
  • Light Grey
  • Silver
  • Silver Black Points 

Size and weight of the Skye Terrier

Height 23-25cms (9-10ins)
Weight 8.5-10.5kgs (19-23lbs)


A healthy Skye Terrier should expect to live for around 13 years.


The Skye Terrier has a double coat, consisting of a soft woolly undercoat underneath a long, hard, straight outer coat. Most Skye Terriers have large prick ears, although a variety with ears that hang flat against the head also exists.

The long, silky coat requires daily grooming to keep it tangle-free and healthy. The Skye Terrier sits low-to-the-ground, so does tend to pick up mud and debris when exercising. Matts and tangle can easily be removed when dry with a soft slicker brush.


The Skye Terrier requires around an hour of of exercise daily to maintain good physical and mental health. It is suited to both city living and country life.