Skye Terrier Club of America

The Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is distinctive among the terrier breeds in appearance, personality and temperament. The description that follows is intended as a brief but informative introduction to the breed.


The Standard describes the ideal Skye as long in body with a level topline. A typical specimen should stand about ten inches at the withers and should be twice his height in length. The coat is a long, profuse, double-coat (the harsh textured overcoat covers a wooly undercoat) which is parted from the dog's nose to his long, feathered tail. The head, held high on a gently crested neck, is long and strong, with a slight stop. It is moderately wide at the back of the skull, tapering gradually to the muzzle, which is slightly full rather than snipey. The jaws are strong, with the incisor teeth closing even or the the upper teeth slightly overlapping the lower. The dark eyes are closely set, of medium size, and alight with life and intelligence. The eyes are veiled by the softer hair of the head. The two varieties of the breed, the drop ear and the prick ear, differ only in ear carriage. Both types of ears are well feathered. Prick ears are of medium size, identical in carriage, set high on the skull, and erect at the outer edges. Drop ears are somewhat larger and set lower. They lye flat against the skull and are identical, with no backward fold.  The legs of the forequarters are strong, muscular and as straight as soundness and depth of chest will allow. The forearms curve slighly around the chest, with the elbows close to the sides, neither loose nor tied. The shoulder blades are well laid back and are tightly placed at the withers. Skyes have hare feet pointing forward, with thick pads and strong black nails. His hindquarters are strong, full and well developed. The legs are short, muscular, moderately angulated and straight when viewed from behind. The tail, thrown back in a moderate arc, without twist or curl, should not be raised above the topline except temporarily, when the dog is excited. The breed's colors range from black to platinum, with all shades of gray in between, as well as cream and fawn. All with dark hair on the muzzle, ears, and tail, preferably black.   


The Skye Terrier has stamina, strength and courage. He is fearless, good tempered, loyal and sensitive. A Skye is friendly and happy with those people he knows, but he is reserved and cautious with strangers. The Skye is not a breed for everyone; his characteristic temperament must be understood. He is sensitive but not submissive and has a mind of his own. The confidence, respect and love of a Skye must be deserved. He will please only those for whom he has high regard, and he will be selective as to whom he will give his deep affection. The loyalty and devotion of a Skye, however, is unsurpassed by any other breed. He is a delightful companion and alert protector of home and master.