The Skye Terrier is a beautiful dog that looks like the perfect companion or lap dog for many people. In fact, the cute exterior and small frame of this particular breed makes it a popular choice. This is especially true when combined with the fact that Skye Terriers are generally a little more docile with their owners than many of their cousin terriers. Looks, however, are often deceiving and the Skye Terrier isn't a warm fuzzy dog for those who have a lot of guests.
In fact, the resistance of this breed to strange people coupled with their aggressiveness to other animals (this is a hunting breed) makes it a poor choice for those who are looking for a sociable dog to add to their households. The news isn't all bad however and if you are willing to be consistent and work with your terrier you will find that they can be socialized, albeit cautiously, with other people and animals.
Socialization is an important skill for dogs to learn and the earlier the better. I'm sure you've heard the saying that you "Can't teach and old dog new tricks". While this isn't exactly true, it is much more difficult to teach new tricks to a dog that has had the opportunity to develop a deep-seated fear or caution about other people and animals. The more often and earlier you begin your socialization efforts the better the chances of success.
In other words, yes you can overcome the genetic predisposition of your Skye Terrier to be excessively protective of his 'pack' or aggressive to other dogs, animals, or people. It does take time and effort to do it though. If you are fortunate enough to have a pet center or superstore of some sort in your area they actually offer classes quite regularly on socializing animals. This is done in a controlled environment and is an excellent opportunity for you to get your puppy out there with other puppies with the guidance of experts to help you if things do not go as well as you would like.
How to Socialize
The best way to socialize a Skye Terrier puppy is to get him out and about. Take him on walks that are crowded with other families with pets doing the same. The earlier you get your puppy out there (assuming she has had all her shots) the more likely you are going to be to have a puppy that is calmer (if not exactly easy) around strange people and animals. Older animals that exhibit strong aggressive tendencies may require more regimented training before they can be socialized (you do not want to risk the health and well being of other people and animals by forcing the issue). Talk to your veterinarian if you want to socialize your Skye Terrier that is aggressive he or she may have suggestions for good trainers in the area.
The most important thing to do when trying to socialize your puppy is to comfort her when she needs it and reinforce or reward good behavior along the way. You will both be much happier if you overcome poor socialization issues quickly and positively.