Skye Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Skye Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Skye Terrier?

Quick Skye Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Terrier (4/8)
No (2/2)

Why Skye Terriers are great

The Skye Terrier makes a great companion and family pet; they are social, down-to-earth and loyal. These small dogs are fearless, intelligent and have more strength and stamina than you may expect at first glance. Some highlights:
  1. Good choice for first time owners
  2. Great around children
  3. Intelligent
  4. Excellent watchdogs

Things to consider when looking at Skye Terriers for Sale

As with all breeds, the Skye Terrier has some characteristics that should be considered when deciding if this is the right breed for your home and lifestyle. Skye Terriers are also rare so if you decide they are the dog for you, you will likely be put onto a waiting list for a puppy. Some downsides to the Skye Terrier:
  1. Need a lot of grooming
  2. Have a stubborn side to their nature
  3. Have a high prey drive

History of Skye Terriers

Skye Terriers are named after the Isle of Skye and are one of the oldest breeds originating from Scotland. It is thought their ancestry can be traced back as far as the 14th century. Skye Terriers were used to hunt fox, otter and badger and would follow the animals into their burrows and bring them out. The Skye Terrier has short legs perfect for digging and a long double coat to protect them from injury and Scotland’s cold, drizzly weather. After Queen Victoria became interested in the Skye Terrier and began to keep and breed them, it became fashionable for them to be owned by noble ladies. There was a time when the Skye Terrier was one of the most popular terrier breeds around. The breed was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1887. There is even a statue of Skye Terrier, Bobby, in Edinburgh after a dog that mourned the death of his owner for 14 years by lying at his grave. This breed is highly prized as a companion, family pet and also as a working dog. However, today the Skye Terrier is a relatively rare breed and it is quite hard to find well-bred puppies for sale.  


The Skye Terrier is a short but elegant dog that is well known for its long, flowing coat. This breed is long rather than tall but they are tough terriers with well-muscled legs, a strong jaw and a long head. Skye Terriers come with either prick ears and drop ears, both varieties have long hair that falls over their eyes.  

How big is the Skye Terrier?

Skye Terriers are small dogs standing at up to 25cm at the withers.  

How heavy is a Skye Terrier?

A fully-grown Skye Terrier weighs between 8.5 - 10.5kg  

What Colour is the Skye Terrier?

Skye Terriers come in a range of solid colours including black, grey, fawn and cream. All can have black points on their muzzle, ears and the tip of the tail. A small amount of white on the chest is also commonly seen. Your Skye Terrier puppy may change in colour as they reach adulthood.  


The independent Skye Terrier is self-assured, confident and alert. They are loyal to their owners and are very affectionate and eager to please. Outside of their family, Skye Terriers can be standoffish and are protective of their loved ones.  

Do Skye Terriers make good guard dogs?

As Skye Terriers are very alert, they are great watchdogs. They will bark when strangers are around but will often keep their distance, rarely showing aggression.  

Do Skye Terriers bark a lot?

Yes, it is common for a Skye Terrier to like the sound of their own voice a bit too much and bark frequently but this can be solved with training.  

Are Skye Terriers easy to train?

Skye Terriers are intelligent and learn quickly. They enjoy learning new things but can also pick up bad habits quickly so it’s important to be consistent and fair when training.  

Are Skye Terriers playful?

The Skye Terrier is a cheerful, fun-loving breed that loves to play. They enjoy playing fetch and tug of war and will go out of their way to cheer you up if they sense you may need it.  

Are Skye Terriers good with children?

Yes, Skye Terriers are great with children but they tend to be better suited to homes with older children as they can become a bit too boisterous when around very young children.  

Are Skye Terriers good with other pets?

Generally, Skye Terriers are friendly around other dogs and can get on with cats but only if they have grown up together. It is likely a Skye Terrier would chase cats and any other smaller pets as they have a high prey drive, because of this it is best to avoid interactions.  

Can I leave a Skye Terrier Alone?

Skye Terriers are never happy when they are left alone, they are better suited to being in households where there is always one person at home. Skye Terriers can suffer from Separation Anxiety which can lead to destructive behaviours.  

Do Skye Terriers like water?

Yes, many Skye Terriers love swimming especially when the weather is warm.  


How long do Skye Terriers live?

The average lifespan of a Skye Terrier is 12 – 15 years.  

How much exercise does a Skye Terrier need?

A Skye Terrier needs a walk of at least 1 hour each day. They also enjoy playing so would enjoy spending time in a secure garden too.  

What are Skye Terriers Common health issues?

Although generally healthy, there are a few health issues that are known to affect Skye Terriers including:  


How much space do I need for a Skye Terrier?

As long as your Skye Terrier has enough exercise and mental stimulation, they are well suited to living just about everywhere from apartments to the countryside.  

What should I feed my Skye Terrier?

When you bring your Skye Terrier puppy home it is important to feed them in accordance to the breeder’s schedule. Any changes to your dog’s diet should be made gradually. As a rough guide, a 9.5kg Skye Terrier can be fed 130 – 145g of high quality dog food a day.  

How much grooming do Skye Terriers need?

The long coat of a Skye Terrier is high maintenance, it needs daily brushing to prevent knots from forming. It takes a few years for the Skye Terriers full coat to come in and some owners choose to clip them to make grooming and care easier.  

Do Skye Terriers shed?

Yes, Skye Terriers shed throughout the year. This increases in Spring and Autumn, where more frequent grooming may be required.  

Average costs  

How much does it cost to keep a Skye Terrier?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £500+ for a well-bred Skye Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £60 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Skye Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Skye Terrier puppy buying advice:
  1. Finding Skye Terrier puppies can be a challenge, prospective owners will likely need to go onto waiting lists and puppies can be expensive.
  2. It’s important to choose only reputable breeders who can provide you with the relevant paperwork.
  3. Beware of online scams, be cautious of very low prices and only pay for a puppy when you have met the breeder and you are sure they are genuine.

Other reading, Adopting Skye Terrier Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: