Finding the Right Puppy
When selecting a puppy it is advisable to buy from a reliable established hobby-breeder; one who raises show stock. Avoid casual breeders, pet shops and commercial breeders. If the buyer is a novice, someone familiar with the breed would be helpful to assist in making a choice. Temperament is a most important qualification. Do not consider a shy puppy; pick one that has a happy, outgoing personality. Equally important is health. Puppies who are thin, ungroomed or potbellied have not received good care. Make sure that the dates of wormings and shots as well as the pedigree and litter registrations are all in order. If the breeder considers the puppy pet quality (not to be shown or bred), AKC registration papers may be withheld with written consent of the buyer or AKC limited registration may be provided.
Buying show or breeding stock under eight months of age can be a gamble. Skyes are very slow in developing, reaching maturity at about three years of age. Correct ear carriage and mouths can be especially difficult to determine before five or six months. Both types of ear carriage may appear in the same litter. Prick ears, if up by six months of age, usually remain so. Overshot or undershot mouths are a serious fault; however, a slightly overshot bite of the puppy teeth might correct itself when the permanent teeth come in. Look for a long body; short, sturdy legs, a tail not carried constantly above the topline; good length of head, neck and muzzle in proportion to the overall dog; dark eyes; and a double coat. Between three and five months there might be an abundance of soft puppy coat, but eventually there should be the beginnings of a straight overcoat growing out which on maturity will cover the undercoat. A coat that is predominately fluffy or curly is a major fault.
A Skye puppy requires love and firm, intelligent training; otherwise he may become difficult to manage as an adult. He must be persuaded to obey, but never by abuse. Regular grooming sessions and nail trimming must be conducted with patience and should be of short duration until the routine has been completely established. House, lead, and ring training should be conducted in the same manner.
A Skye becomes greatly attached to his owner. Adjustment to a new owner and home may be difficult and slow. He will probably take considerably longer to adapt than the members of the more gregarious breed. A Skye usually prefers to make his own advances and may resist being petted, picked up, or groomed by one whom he considers a stranger. Until he has settled and accepted his new environment, it is better to ignore him for the first week, tending only to his immediate needs of food and exercise. A quiet atmosphere and talking to him in a low voice is recommended. Skyes are fine with children if they are raised with them; if an adult Skye is unaccustomed to children, they may create an upsetting experience for the dog. The introduction should not be forced on the part of either. The dog will not tolerate being rushed or carried.
Males in particular resist being manhandled, pushed around or urged to accept situations they fail to understand. If there is an understanding of his temperament, the dog will gradually seek attention, and in time, affection.
What to Expect from a Skye Breeder
- The breeder should complete, sign, and place in your hands the puppy’s AKC registration application which should be signed and sent to the American Kennel Club so that your Skye may be properly registered. The AKC papers are as much a part of your new Skye as his skin and are not for sale separately. The breeder should also furnish you with a four generation pedigree of your Skye.
- The breeder should furnish you with a complete health record on your individual dog. It should show his inoculations for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvo virus and the manufacturer of the sera used, along with a record of any worming procedures. It is important that the breeder verify in writing that your puppy is healthy. Once he is yours, it is up to you, with the aid of a competent veterinarian, to keep him that way.
- The breeder should provide a contract of understanding which protects your Skye and future generations. Samples of recommended contracts are available from the Skye Terrier Club of America.
What Your Skye Puppy Should Expect from You
- That you provide a safe, enclosed area for his exercise or plan to exercise him on leash at regular intervals during the day.
- That you set the rules of your home for him with kindness and patience. He does not need constant attention but will need your love and understanding.
- That he receive regular veterinarian care, a nutritious diet and correct coat care. Your puppy’s breeder will be glad to assist you with learning how to groom your Skye.