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Skye Terrier Temperament,

skye terrier temperament

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The Skye Terrier Temperament is Dignified,Stubborn,Tenacious and Affectionate

The Most Famous Skye Terrier is Greyfriars's Bobby who according to legend spent 14 years guarding the grave of his deceased master John Gray, until his own death in 1872 with this statue being erected in his honour the following year.

Whilst there has been some revison to this story in recent years, suggesting Greyfriar's Bobby was merely a stray dog who happened to live in the cemetary, being a Skye and known for their devotion and loyalty I would have no problems in believing this romantic tale to be true.

Skye TerrierTemperament

The Skye Terrier was bred to hunt underground, against sharp toothed and clawed critters that were fighting for their lives. In this they will instinctively follow their nose, often blindly, which is a trait which can get them into trouble if they follow that scent onto a road or too far from home.

The Skye Terrier’s temperament makes this a breed that really needs to be nurtured and socialised well in order to get the best out of them, if you can do this then they have the capacity to be a wonderfully loyal and devoted family pet.

They are by nature however quite a nervous dog, especially around strangers and can show aggressive behaviour and over protectiveness of their family if they feel threatened. They can also be prone to barking when upset.

Coat: Double coated,profuse topcoat that falls straight to either side of the body with a soft undercoat, fur is especially profuse around the head covering the forehead and eyes.

Grooming: Despite looking like a groomers nightmare the Skye's coat is resistant to tangling, but regular brushing will always be beneficial.

Children: Not an ideal dog for young children and unless properly socialized can show aggressive tendencies with even older ones.

Other Animals and Pets: They are not suitable to have living in the same house as smaller pets such as hamsters or mice, their instinct to get at them is just too strong, Skyes have been known to break teeth on the wire mesh of cages (but still break in) in their bid to get at poor little “Nibbles” your pet mouse. Can be dog aggressive as well

Exercise: Owing to its small size this terrier doesn't require a particularly heavy exercise regime and can tire easily, this is a great breed for people who dont want to or cant take their dogs on long walks.

Protection level: Moderate, nervous around strangers and can bite

The Ideal Skye Terrier Owner Is..

Perhaps an older person or couple who dont have the energy or ability to take this little chap on long walks or give much exercise to. Someone fairly experienced with the terrier mindset who can socialise properly.

As always if you like this breed, please do the research  and ensure that you are choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club

The Skye Terrier’s origins are steeped in mystery and there are a number of versions concerning the history  of this particular breed of terriers, including the rather adventurous legend that the Skye is descended from Maltese dogs that survived a Spanish Shipwreck off the Skye coast in the Scottish Hebrides sometime during 1600's. These Maltese mated with local Scottish Terriers to create the breed we see today.

Another account  goes back even further than the 17th Century suggesting a breeding connection with the Swedish Valhund, these Valhunds accompanied Vikings on their raiding voyages and it would seem that Viking dogs were just as prone to ravishing the local women folk as their norse masters.

Cairn Terrier Norfolk Terrier

Cairn Terrier



Do You Have A Skye Terrier? We would love love to hear your story, why not upload a picture and share your experiences, tell us why the are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .

Skye Terrier Information and  Breed Notes

 The American Kennel Club and Others

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© 2010-2015 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.

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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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