Skye Terrier

FCI standard Nº 75

Origin
Great Britain
Group
Group 3 Terriers
Section
Section 2 Small-sized Terriers
Working
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Wednesday 20 October 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Wednesday 19 January 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Skye Terrier
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Skye Terrier
En español, esta raza se dice
Skye Terrier
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Skye Terrier

Usage

Terrier.

Brief historical summary

One of the oldest Scottish breeds; The Skye was once known as the Terrier of the Western Isles, evolving into what we now call the Skye Terrier, with a mix of breeds behind him, including Cairn Terrier prototypes. One of the most famed of the breed was Greyfriars Bobby who, in Edinburgh, around 1858 took up a vigil at his master’s grave in Greyfriars Churchyard until he too died. Greyfriars Bobby was buried in un-consecrated ground in the churchyard and his devotion is commemorated by a memorial plaque in the street and by a tablet on his grave. Although the majority of Skye Terriers are prick-eared, there is also a variety known as ‘drop-eared’, and then the ears hang flat against the skull.

General appearance

Long; twice as long as high, with coat of good length, Moves with seemingly effortless gait. Strong in quarters, body and jaw.

Important proportions

Body long, low, twice as long as high.

Behaviour / temperament

Elegant and dignified. A ‘one-man’ dog, distrustful of strangers, never vicious.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Long and powerful, strength not sacrificed for extreme length.
Skull
Of moderate width at the back of skull, tapering gradually to strong muzzle. 
Stop
Slight.

Facial region

Nose
Black.
Muzzle
Strong.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws strong and level with perfect, regular scissor bite, i. e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.sont implantées à l'aplomb des mâchoires.
Eyes
Brown, preferably dark brown, medium in size, close-set and full of expression.
Ears
Prick or drop. When prick, gracefully feathered, not large, erect at outer edges and slanting towards each other at inner edge, from peak to skull. When drop, larger, hanging straight, lying flat and close at front.

Neck

Long and slightly crested.

Body

Body
Long and low. Sides appear flattish due to straight falling coat.
Back
Level.
Loin
Short.
Chest
Deep; ribcage oval, deep and long.

Tail

When hanging, upper part pendulous and lower half thrown back in a curve. When raised, a prolongation of incline of back, not rising higher nor curling up. Gracefully feathered.

Limbs

Forequarters

Shoulders
Broad, close to body.
Forearm
Legs short and muscular.
Forefeet
Forefeet larger than hind, pointing truly forward. Pads thick, nails strong.

Hindquarters

Generality
Strong, full, well developed and well angulated. Legs short, muscular and straight when viewed from behind.
Stifle
Well angulated.
Metatarsus
No dewclaws.
Hock
Well angulated.
Hind feet
Hind feet smaller than forefeet, pointing truly forward. Pads thick, nails strong.

Gait and movement

Legs proceed straight forward when travelling. When approaching, forelegs form a continuation of straight line of front, feet being same distance apart as elbows. Principal propelling power is furnished by hind legs which travel straight forward. Forelegs moving well forward, without too much lift. Whole movement termed free, active and effortless and gives a more or less fluid picture.

Coat

Hair
Double. Undercoat short, close, soft and woolly. Outer coat of reasonable length, hard, straight, flat and free from curl, never impeding action. Hair on head shorter, softer, veiling forehead and eyes, but not obscuring vision. Mingling with side locks, surrounding ears like a fringe and allowing their shape to appear.
Colour
Black, dark or light grey, fawn, cream, all with black points. Any self colour allowing shading of same colour and lighter undercoat, so long as nose and ears are black. A small white spot on chest permissible.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Ideal height at the withers: 25 - 26 cms, length from tip of nose to tip of tail 105 cms. Females slightly smaller in same proportions.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

This is an original dog that deserves to be better known. Its singularity is not accompanied by health problems or huge maintenance constraints, and it combines great strength with a lot of chic. Moreover, as befits an unusual animal, its history lacks neither interest nor anecdotes.

Was it necessary to invoke the sinking of a ship of the Invincible Armada on the rocks of the Minch Canal, off the Isle of Skye, in 1588, to add to the history of the race? The legend is as follows: there were only survivors of this shipwreck that a few small dogs very long hair, probably Bichon sorts, given their Spanish origin. They crossed at the local Terriers and were therefore at the origin of the Skye Terrier, one of the characteristics of which is the abundant and long pelisse.

Race historians consider this adventure an "almost certainty", although it does not fit with other facts, some of which are convincing. We may find it curious, first of all, that there is an almost similar legend about the origin of another Terrier, Irish this time, Kerry Blue; there is also a shipwreck, a ship from the Spanish Armada, but in Tralee Bay, on the south-west coast of Ireland, and a surviving dog bringing, this time, the blue color of her dress.

A more solid argument, the date of the supposed shipwreck is posterior to that of a description of what seems to be an ancestor of the Skye Terrier. In 1570, in fact, eighteen years before a Spanish ship ran aground off the Hebrides, Dr. Johannes Caius, the famous author of De Canibus Britannicis, describes a "dog from the barbaric regions of the North who, because of the length of his hair, shows neither his face nor his body. The "barbarous regions of the North" being, for the august scholar, the foggy Scotland.

The hairy development of the Skye did not need the intervention of a Bichon to appear. Finally, we must not lose sight of the fact that the extreme length of the Skye Terrier dress was accentuated only at a relatively recent date: in the middle of the 19th century, the subjects of the race were far from showing a fur as developed as those of today.

It seems that this legend survives only thanks to the authority of the one who told it in a work published in 1859, The Dog in Realth and Desease. Its author, Henry Walsh, better known by his pseudonym Stonehenge, was one of the greatest cynologists of the last century.

It is however indisputable that the Skye Terrier is the oldest Terrier of Scotland. It is only necessary to recall, for example, that for a long time the other Scottish Terriers have been called "Short-haired Skyes". Hugh Dalziel, also a prominent British cynologist, still used this phrase in 1880 to describe Scottish as well as Cairns.

Much earlier, around 1740, Georg Maim, in a travelogue on the Isle of Skye, said: "One hunts there with two or three pairs of Fox Hounds at the beginning; then we send a couple of long-haired dogs, peculiar to the island, into the burrow. When the quest is long, these dogs are worn on the hunting master's horse. "

In The Natural History of Dogs by Charles Hamilton Smith, a work published in Edinburgh in 1839, there is the first detailed description of the breed. Others will follow, from which it appears that the Skye Terrier was widespread in a large part of Scotland and that, in certain litters, dogs were born with long hair and others with rough hair and shorter.

From all the above, we can conclude, with Mrs. Wawra, president of the French Terrier Club of Scotland, that "the origins of the Scottish Terriers are more or less common and that only individual preferences, always dictated by considerations The practical, aesthetic and cynological aspects of the clan leaders have determined the diversification of the appearance of these dogs ".

For its part, the Skye Terrier is distinguished by the selection made by the MacDonald family, originally from the Isle of Skye. As the MacDonalds gave them to other Scottish notables, the race gradually spread throughout the Highlands. The Duke of Argyll, in particular, had a large pack at the beginning of the nineteenth century and helped to make it known.

But the popularity of Skye in the British public is due to two significant episodes of its recent history. Around 1840, a certain Mrs. Pratt was walking in Hyde Park, central London, with a couple of Skye Terriers. Suddenly, his dogs escaped him to follow in the footsteps of a badger (there were still badgers in London at the time) and take him to the burrow. The event, one suspects it, excited all the dog lovers of the capital, and Queen Victoria herself insisted on having these famous specimens presented to her. Their proprietor could do no less, before so much honor, than to offer one to his sovereign. From then on, the breed enjoyed a prestigious sponsorship. In 1842, Nicholson painted the Queen with his favorite Skye, Rona, and the favorite animal painter of the time, Sir Edwin Landseer, did not fail to represent the Terrier.

The second episode is set in Edinburgh. In 1858 a poor shepherd died, abandoned by all except his dog Bobby, a Skye Terrier, who not only followed the modest funeral procession, but also came to watch over his master's grave every night. Such fidelity moved the Lord Mayor of the city, who had him make a necklace with an inscription stating that Bobby was allowed to frequent the cemetery. For ten years, it is said, Bobby spent his nights in front of the shepherd's grave. At his death, Baroness Burdett-Couttes had him erect a statue facing the entrance to the cemetery. Bobby the Skye Terrier is thus one of the few dogs having been statufiés. Long after (in 1961), this extraordinary story inspired WaIt Disney, who made a film of it: GrayJriars Bobby.

Equipped with such support, this Terrier, who was present from the first dog shows (in 1860 in Birmingham, in 1861 in Manchester) was promised a good career in the Anglo-Saxon countries. At least we could think so. However, it is not. As Stanley Dangerfield has noted, "our century is witnessing the decline of this Terrier". Is it a fashion issue? Do we prefer smaller sized Terriers?

In France, the film WaIt Disney was not presented and could not influence the public. On the other hand, for several years, the young children in particular were able to watch on television the adventures of a puppet who looked like a Skye Terrier: Pollux, the "Magic Roundabout", a mischievous, greedy dog, as if mounted on wheels Because of the length of his hair, and eminently British by his strong accent. No doubt, the breed has seized the opportunity to establish itself modestly in France; but, curiously, another dog seems to have taken full advantage of this television promotion, the Yorkshire Terrier.

However, it is not by his behavior that the Skye could deserve a certain reserve. Certainly, he is quite wary of strangers, but it is not to displease his masters: who would like to see his dog lavishing his friendships to the first comer? As, moreover, he is vigilant and above all not very impressionable, brave if need be, he can become a first-rate guardian, never malicious or vicious, it must be made clear. On the other hand, he shows himself to be full of affection, thoughtfulness and fidelity towards his relatives. He is both sensitive and dignified, with sometimes a tendency to become exclusive.

Player at his leisure, loving the company of children, he enjoys above all walks in the countryside. What a pleasure it then takes to follow a rabbit casting in a hedge. Indeed, the delicacy of his flair is completed by an atavism of hunter. He remains a calm animal, neither excited nor difficult to drive.

His current position as a luxury dog, perfectly adapted to city life (provided he can get enough exercise), is not without some regrets to some specialists his past worker. In The Book 0f Dogs, published in 1963 by Country Life magazine, Sonia M. Lampson hopes that "all the admirers of this breed have the concern to restore to it the place it originally occupied and that was the one of a burrow ". Be that as it may, the Skye can conform to many lifestyles, just because of its assertive and assured temperament. Her long, very long, sumptuous dress needs regular maintenance (one or two brushings a week, depending on the environment and the activity of the dog), but not a special grooming. This is within the reach of all masters. The Skye, contrary to what one might think, remains "natural".

The motto of the Skye Terrier Club of Scotland, Wha dour meddle wi 'me? (Who dares to spawn with me?), Provides an explanation to the curious destiny of this dog. His very strong physical and "moral" personality makes him not everyone's dog. Obviously, it is neither a toy nor a race that is galvaude. The Skye is a genuine original that knows how to be respected by all.

Although classified in the "Small Terriers", it is not a Toy. Of course, its height is reduced (26 centimeters at most), but its length is much less (more than 1 meter of truffle at the end of the tail), and its weight (from 10.5 to 11, Approximately 4 kg) indicates finally that it is about a well built and strongly muscled animal. The Skye is truly a "big" dog, full of character and dignity, that nature, in the past, has provided with short legs to enable it to better hunt the "stink". Thanks to what, today, he can adapt to modern life. Although of sophisticated appearance, it is a dog remained true: the selection has somewhat lengthened the body and the coat, but without really changing it deeply. There lies all its charm.

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