Skye Terrier

Lifestyle Needs

Typical black Skye Terrier on a green grassThe Skye Terrier is one of the oldest of the Scottish breeds. The majority of Skye Terriers are prick- eared but some are drop-eared. He is generally rather vocal and makes a good watch dog and house dog. He would make a good family pet but not for those who have no time to groom him daily. His coat is long and luxurious and because it is close to the ground is prone to becoming muddy. Despite his small size the Skye Terrier will need an hour’s walking every day some of which should be off lead.  A small house with a garden would suit him very well.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 17.1% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

Care needs to be taken to trim hair around the eyes and ears.

Daily grooming is essential

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Elbow Dysplasia: scores should be a low as possible ideally 0:0
  • Eye Disease

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

None known

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • Ultrasound scan of kidneys prior to mating

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)


  • Renal dysplasia
  • Hepatitis
  • Puppy Limp
  • Ectopic ureter

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information