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Cairn Terrier

Quick facts

Cairn Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: Male: 10-13 inches, Female: 9-12 inches
Weight: Male: 14-18 pounds, Female: 13-17 pounds
Colors: Cream, gray, wheaten, sandy, brindle, red
AKC recognized in: 1913

As one of the most well-loved terrier dogs, the Cairn breed traces back its origin to the Scottish Highlands. Being one of the Scottish countryside's earliest working dogs, you can rely on it to hunt and burrow for prey among the hills and cairns. Cairns are piles of rock and mounds of stone where mice, squirrels, and rabbits hide.

First shown in 1909 as the Short-Haired Skye Terrier, the Cairn Terrier soon gained a separate name of its own amid protests from Skye breeders. There are certain standards as to its height and weight, but irresponsible breeding has resulted in much smaller, less purebred dogs.

A small and hardy dog, the Cairn Terrier usually works left-pawed at clawing and scratching. Its broad head ends in a soft, furry topknot and its eyes carry an alert, fox-like expression. Double-coated and weather-resistant, its fur is harsh on the outside and soft & dense on the inside.

Did you know that the Cairn Terrier may sometime become the official State Dog of Kansas? Thanks to Terry, who played Toto in the Wizard of Oz, Representative Ed Trimmer introduced a bill to make the Cairn Terrier the state's official dog. While the 2012 bill died in committee, the Representative vows to reintroduce it again in 2013.

Temperament

Cairn Terrier Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training three paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets two paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

You don't have to follow the Yellow Brick Road with Terry or Toto to discover that the Cairn Terrier is, indeed, an adventurous and fun-loving dog. It loves to play and go on a chase anytime, anywhere.

By nature, it is strong, intelligent, and loyal. Never be harsh, nor negligent in your training, however, because you'd see symptoms of a dog being noisy, irritable, and snappish. This would lead to excessive barking and destructiveness.

To prevent them from being stubborn and willful, you'd have to train them to obey and socialize early. From puppyhood, they will adapt well to the household and bond closely with family members as a companion dog. They will gain the right level of independence wherein they would listen, obey, and respond to you.

Health and Exercise

The Cairn Terrier has a life expectency of between 12 and 15 years.

Like any other dog, expect Cairn Terriers to be terrified and nervous when they're first brought into a new home. But with a little patience and a lot of training, this behavior can be corrected. It will learn to be calm and easygoing in the right company and with good leadership from you.

Housebroken, a terrier will still prove to be quite a handful. It is a naturally lively and animated little dog capable of being trained to do amazing tricks. Curious and friendly, it will enjoy playing along with children.

A Cairn Terrier is susceptible to hereditary diseases, the most common of which would be Krabbe disease, Perthes syndrome, von Willebrand disease, and Soft Tissue Sarcoma. The most common health problems would be hip dysplasia and various eye problems.

Without using scissors or shears, hand strip this terrier's coat to keep it clean and well-groomed. This carefully protects them from skin conditions as they grown older.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Cairn Terrier in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Cairn Terrier? Or maybe you have more questions that either DogNation.net or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.


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