Tall, low and level, this unique Earthdog is one of AKC’s most distinctive looking breeds. The skies are 9 or 10 high and have a long, flat-lying coat and peak hairdo. They are known for large, feathered ears that stand out like bat wings, but skies can also have “drop ears”, which are flat against a large, long head. There are small, muscular legs and a deep chest under the prolific coat. When viewed in profile, these elegant but substantial terriers are twice as long.
Sky is the largest, most northeastern of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides islands. The rigid, hard-coated terrier became a favorite of British nobles by the island’s farmers in the 1600s to control fox and badger populations, an unusual development for a working farm dog. The peak of Sky popularity came at the end of the 19th century, when Queen Victoria championed the breed. These were the days, when a historian wrote, when “a duchess with her long-coated skies would be almost ashamed to see in the park.”
The Sky Terrier is a dog of style, elegance and dignity: agile and strong with strong bone and stiff muscles. Tall, low, and flat — twice as tall as he is — he is covered with a prolific coat that falls directly down on either side of the body above the oval-shaped ribs. Thoroughly feathered hair on the head covers the forehead and eyes to protect against brush and plum, as well as severe encounters with other animals. He stands head up high and hangs a long tail and walks with a spontaneous gait. He is strong in body, quarter and jaw.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
Sky’s long, luxurious double coat seems to be more challenging to maintain than it really is. It requires weekly brushing and combing with a soft or pin brush and long-toothed comb to keep it free of entanglement, but the breed does not require any trimming as clipping or scissors, and the coat is natural. Should be kept in position. Nails should be kept short; Usually one trim every two weeks to one month is sufficient. To avoid ear infection, ears should be checked at least weekly and any excess wax or debris should be cleaned. Baths can be given as needed – usually once a month will suffice. Do not scrub the coat while shampooing, as this may cause it to matte.
Skye is a very intelligent but strong-willed breed, quieter than many terrier breeds. They are responsible for training, provided it is consistent and done in a positive way. They are sensitive to improvement and will deviate from rigorous or negative training methods. Like all terriers, they can be stubborn, but they enjoy interaction with their humans and are eager to please. Sky is reserved by nature and must be well socialized from a very early age to ensure a happy and outgoing personality. For those who understand the nature of the breed and raise the dog with love and proper training and socialization, there is no more enjoyable companion.
The Sky Terrier needs the least amount of exercise and will generally be satisfied with whatever level of activity is comfortable for its owner. Even a short daily walk will benefit her both physically and mentally. The Skies enjoy play sessions and participate in canine sports with their people, and the breed can be found competing in dog shows and agility, obedience and Earthdog events.
Sky terriers should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Due to their longer and lower structure, sky terriers can experience disc injuries, and sky puppies should never be allowed to move up and down stairs or jump on hard surfaces from any height. Owners should monitor their skies closely for any possible symptoms of cancer such as breast cancer and hemangiosarcoma. Other conditions that screen for responsible breeders include autoimmune disease, skin allergies, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: