Scotland has long been a stronghold of small plucky terriers, and the Skye Terrier is among the oldest of them. They developed along the west coastal area, where they hunted fox and otter from among the rocky cairns. The purest of these dogs were found on the Isle of Skye, and the dogs were then named Skye Terriers. Skye Terriers were first described in the sixteenth century, when it was already noteworthy for its long coat. Some confusion exists in tracing its history because, for a certain time, several different breeds had the same name “Skye Terrier”. The loyal dog, present under the petticoat of Mary, Queen of Scots at her execution, has been ascribed as a Skye Terrier. In 1840, Queen Victoria made the breed fancy, keeping both drop-(floppy) and prick-(upwards) eared dogs.
This highly increased its popularity in many of the high societies and among commoners, which are very high-class. Soon enough, the Skye Terrier came to America because of its extreme popularity throughout its country and some others. The AKC recognized the breed in 1887, and it quickly rose to the show scene position. Even though this was a strong start and the breed’s great appearance, its popularity has dropped. Now it is among one of the least known terriers. Many people are unaware of this breed’s old popularity because it is not famous now
The Skye Terrier tends to be a one-man dog that is rather distrustful of strangers, but he is not vicious. His head is long with powerful jaws and a black nose. Ears erect or drop. His undercoat is short, close, soft and woolly; Overcoat is long, hard, straight, flat and free from crisp and curl. The Skye Terrier’s coat comes in dark or light grey, fawn, or cream with black points.
IMPORTANT. A Skye Terrier with exaggerated features is the result of bad breeding. Credit; The Breed Club Connection.
If your new Skye Terrier is still a puppy you should be aware of a condition called Skye Limp or Puppy Limp that can affect some puppies as they are growing up. The Skye Terrier is an achondroplastic (dwarf) breed and the radius and ulna (bones in the legs) grow at a different rate. It is a typically pain-free condition that results in the puppy limping. The condition should correct itself over time but there are measures one can take to aid the process including: limiting boisterous play, ensuring your puppy does not jump up and down into cars, onto furniture and so forth, and taking shorter but more frequent walks. Many veterinarians are unfamiliar with this type of breed and may therefore suggest unnecessary treatment and possibly surgery. If your puppy starts to limp please consult the breeder and/or the Skye Terrier Health Committee before consulting your vet.
THE DNA COLLECTION; The DNA collection, and health work, was started with the aim to help secure the future health of this unique and endangered breed. The goal was, and is, to try and aid the development of reliable methods and DNA tests to help future breeding of Skyes, who are free from life threatening hereditary disease. Renal dysplasia (RD) and Skye Terrier Hepatitis (sometimes wrongly called Copper toxicosis) are two major conditions of concern. Both have occurred in the breed for very many years and the disease-causing, deleterious mutations can be seen as being distributed throughout the breed at a hitherto fairly low level. The genepool is however continuously diminishing, which increases the risk for a greater number of cases. Nobody can be ‘blamed’ when cases do happen, but one could rather ‘blame’ breeders for not caring much about the breed, if they withhold important information from research. It is a fact that, no breeder can be secure not to be next to have the misfortune to breed affected puppies.In depth Hepatitis research, partly funded by the Skye Terrier Health Research Fund, is ongoing and making progress.
The DNA collection has continued to grow with yet more cases being reported and valuable case histories added. The AHT confirms that the sample contribution now stands at 379 submissions (inc re-samples) with 31 dogs reported as having a clinical problem:
7 cases of RD; 4 Skye Terrier Hepatitis; 2 Epilepsy; 2 Hepatic failure; 2 Kinked tail; 2 Lymphoma; 2 Skye limp; 1 Craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO);
1 Congestive heart failure; 1 Ectopic ureter; 1 Haemangiosarcoma; 1 Malignant oral melanoma1 Mammary cancer; 1 Mandibular osteosarcoma; 1 Pancreatic disease; 1 Perineal hernia; 1 Thyroid carcinoma.
It yet again has to be stressed how important it is, that owners report any significant change in health status for dogs with DNA held in store, so the information can be added to the sample ! This year, a few young dogs under the age of 1 year sadly died from serious health conditions. There was however also a number of very senior dogs who passed away, the oldest at 15 ½. The DNA from elderly dogs, who have lived a healthy life until old age did catch up, can actually be very valuable for research, so please forward such information too!
The Skye Terrier Health Research Fund has again received generous donations (see the Treasurer’s Report). During a visit to the USA, kind donations of $255 were received towards the work undertaken at the AHT. Many Thanks to all who support and care about the future health of our wonderful breed! Source; The Skye Terrier Club. (UK)