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Country of Origin, History of Cairn Terriers
The Cairn Terrier, one of the oldest terrier breeds in the world, has been a contributor to many of Scotland’s terriers. The Scottish, West Highland, and Cairn developed from the same stock, originating in the highlands of western Scotland. The three often were found in the same litter, distinguished only by color. Named for the piles of small stones used to mark farm borders, landmarks and memorials, the Cairn’s job was to rout small animals from their lairs in these stone piles.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Cairn Terrier the right breed for you?
Is the Cairn Terrier the right breed for you and your family?
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Cairn Terrier Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Cairn Terrier needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Cairn Terrier Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of the Dog
The Cairn Terrier is a very shaggy-looking little terrier whose face has a fox-like appearance. A very compact body type, the length of the back is only about 14 inches. The Cairn’s head is broad and he has a bushy topknot and eyebrows. His ears are small, pointed and erect. He has a short but hairy tail.
The coat of the Cairn is red, brindle, black, sand, and various shades of gray. Any color except white is acceptable but should have dark points (ears, eyes and muzzle). Adult coat color is hard to predict from puppy coat as the color often continues to change for several years.
The outer coat of the Cairn Terrier is profuse, hard and weather-resistant. The inner coat is short and soft.
Males: 10 – 13 inches, but
ideally 10 inches
Females: 9 – 12 inches, but ideally 9.5 inches
Length of the body from the front of the chest to the back of the hindquarters should be 14.25 to 15 inches
Males: 14 – 18 lbs, but
ideally about 14 lbs
Females: 13 – 17 lbs, but ideally about 13 lbs
Temperament of the Dog
If you loved Toto in the movie Wizard of Oz, then you will appreciate the mischievous, curious breed known as Cairn Terrier.
The hardy and scrappy Cairn Terrier is strong, alert, and spirited. He is a busybody who is mischievous, independent, and lovable. He has his own ideas of what to do and when to do it and those ideas sometimes get him into trouble. His independence, along with his fearlessness, make him a bit difficult to obedience train if you don't start early and continue firmly and persistently. His intelligence and desire to please make him good in obedience and agility and both are activities that direct his energy into positive outlets.
The Cairn Terrier entertains his owner with boundless energy and all types of amusing behavior. He loves to learn tricks and show off for people.
Cairns are great with children of all ages as they have great patience with them. They adapt to new situations easily, so travel well.
They are sensitive, but need lovingly firm discipline.
Unnecessary barking will make a pest of a once good watchdog and frantic digging will turn a landscaped yard into what looks like a mine field.
Cairn Terriers are big dogs in a small body and will challenge any unknown dog of any size if it feels the need. Its territorial nature and instinct to chase will cause it to defend its space, so invisible fencing is not advised.
This breed can be quite the charmer and begging is not beneath him. Keep this terrier active in its later years to avoid excessive weight gain.
Females are often more independent while males are more affectionate.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
A Cairn Terrier is never to be trusted outdoors by himself. If he is in an unfenced area, he will chase something with no regard to streets, large dogs, etc. so the consequences will be tragic. If he is chained up, he will either dig holes all over the area or he will challenge a larger dog to come and fight or he will bark excessively.
Always supervise your Cairn outdoors. Do not let him off lead except in an area with a secured (underground as well as above ground) fence.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
The Cairn Terrier is very patient with children of all ages. He loves to play, so playing with children makes him happy.
How Active is the Breed?
This is a very active breed, but they will get much of their activity from playing with toys indoors.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
The Cairn Terrier likes to run and play (and dig) outdoors, but must be supervised and inside a secure fence. He is a very energetic little dog who can get much of his exercise from playing with toys indoors.
He can live in an apartment if he is taught early not to bark excessively and if he is taken on a couple of daily walks. An occasional romp in a secure area will satisfy him.
The shaggy coat of the Cairn Terrier can quickly become a horrible, matted mess. To keep this from happening, he needs to be brushed daily, but his undercoat should not get overly much attention. Once a month he will need a bath. Then his coat should be brushed out carefully and completely when it dries. A monthly trim around his eyes and ears and feet and a monthly nail trim will keep him looking and feeling his best.
Professional grooming 4-5 times a year will shape the coat and eliminate dead hair that does not shed.
Cairns shed very little.
One of the biggest problems with Cairns is that they beg and they are great charmers, so they tend very easily to be overweight. Limit treats severely and make sure your Cairn gets plenty of exercise.
Cairn Terriers have severe allergies to fleas.
Life Span: Cairn Terriers live 12-15 years.
National Breed Clubs
British – Cairn Terrier
Association – www.midlandctc.co.uk
Cairn Terrier Club – www.thecairnterrierclub.co.uk
US – Cairn Terrier Club of America – www.cairnterrier.org
Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CET, APRI, ACR
Rescue Link: www.cairnterrier.org/rescue/
Group: Terrier Group
AKC Popularity Ranking: 69
Also Known As: Cairn.
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You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:
How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most Cairn owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.
How to obedience train your Cairn Terrier to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.
A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Cairn Terriers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.
Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Cairn information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Cairns have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.
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