By Karen L. Sanders
ver the past several
years, the Skye Ter-
rier Club of America
STCA) Board of
Directors has been
the final development of an Illustrated
Breed Standard. A new, breed ampli-
fication has already been developed
and approved and the necessary draw-
ings are well underway. It is our strong
desire to finally complete this project in
time to introduce it at a Special Judges
Education Seminar we plan to host in
conjunction with our Diamond Jubilee
Show (100th National Specialty and
th year as an AKC Member Club) over
the Montgomery County Kennel Club
weekend in October 2013.
Given the wonderful opportunity
provided us by
ShowSight Magazine
highlight our breed in this issue, I have
developed this article on judging the
Skye Terrier, with the input of the STCA
Board, to include some of the key elements
of our new, Board-approved Breed Stan-
dard Amplification. Additionally, I have
included comments taken from an article
prepared by the pre-eminent Skye Ter-
rier Breeder/Judge of more than 50 years
experience, Mr. Walter F. Goodman. This
article, which focuses primarily on breed
proportion and balance, is one provided
to attendees at Judges Education Seminars
because these are key elements that speak
to the essence of Skye judging. It is our sin-
cere hope that those who read this article
will find the material of use.
General Appearance
The official breed standard for the Skye
Terrier describes the general appearance
of the breed as follows:
The Skye Terrier is a dog of style,
elegance and dignity, agile and strong
with sturdy bone and hard muscle.
Long, low and level – he is twice as
long as he is high – he is covered with
a profuse coat that falls straight down
either side of the body over oval-shaped
ribs. The hair well feathered on the
head veils forehead and eyes to serve
as protection from brush and briar as
well as amid serious encounters with
other animals. He stands with head
high and long tail hanging and moves
with a seemingly effortless gait. He is
strong in body, quarter and jaw.”
It is this critical paragraph that
describes breed type. According to Mr.
Goodman, “Type is breed character. It
is the combination of distinguishing fea-
tures, which add up and make the indi-
viduality of a breed. Skye Terriers are
long and low and their breed type can be
abused by fanciers. Type should not be
a matter of personal preference, but an
adherence to desired breed characteristics
as stated in the Standard. There are varia-
tions in size or bone, but substantially,
type should remain constant. Those Skyes
that adhere closely to the written word are
obviously nearer to correct type.”
Balance, Style & Soundness
Mr. Goodman then goes on to describe
balance, style and soundness as follows,
Balance, perhaps, is easier to under-
stand, since there are clear dimensions
involved. A correct Skye is well pro-
portioned – length of head to length
of neck, to length of back and tail and
height. A Skye with correct proportions
can look short-backed. A Skye that may
be lower with a shorter neck and head,
but the same length of back as the latter
dog is unbalanced. Skyes can be too long
as well as too short. Usually a properly
proportioned dog stands out because of
correct balance. Style becomes the next
ingredient. It comes from that proper
balance combined with showmanship
and personality. A dog of lesser quality
but with showmanship tends to conceal
many of his faults.
Soundness is more difficult to
describe. In dog show parlance, sound-
ness refers to proper action or move-
ment. The standard is quite specific as
to shoulder placement and front assem-
bly as well as the rear quarters. It tells us
CH Jacinthe de Ricelaine, “Jackie”; owned by Walter F. Goodman
2012 • 227