The Cairn Terrier is a small breed, weighing 8 kilos at a maximum. It is a courageous, energetic, and intelligent little breed and is one of the oldest terrier breeds of Scottish origins. It is in fact recognised as one of Scotland’s oldest working dogs that exist today. It has an abundant shaggy, weather-resistant coat that comes in cream, red or wheaten, brindle, light gray, or black. Its general appearance is that of an agile and alert working breed. It is often described as fearless with a lively disposition. It has a small head in proportion to the body, a definite stop, powerful muzzle with a black nose and medium-sized, dark hazel eyes. The erect ears are small and pointed, well set on the top of the head. The front legs are larger than the back legs and are slightly turned out. All feet are cushioned by thick and strong pads. It has a short tail, well covered with hair and carried brightly. The Cairn Terrier’s appearance did not change remarkably throughout the centuries and the average size remains much the same at approximately between 28 and 31 cms.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Cairn Terrier has its roots traced back in the Highlands of Scotland and the Isle of Skye, from indigenous working terriers bred during the 16th century. It was one of the highly-prized breeds that King James I even sent some of these dogs to the King of France as gifts. The Cairn Terrier was originally used to hunt foxes, rats, and rabbits. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Cairn’s role shifted to a working sporting dog were badgers and otters where some of its game prey. The original Cairns differ substantially in sizes, shapes, and colour, depending on the area or terrain where they worked on and the type of game they were used against. These differences gradually began to resolve as new breeds emerged from the Cairn, including the Skye Terrier, Scottish Terrier, and the West Highland White Terrier. The Cairns, however, became relatively isolated mainly in the estates of Argyllshire and the Isle of Skye. The Cairn gained recognition in 1910 when the Kennel Club officially registered the breed as the “Cairn Terrier”, named after a small outcrop of stones common in the Scottish Highlands.
Lively, intelligent and loyal – these three summarizes a perfect Cairn Terrier temperament. This happy little dog is a loyal family companion and will gladly join each member in all outdoor activities. As a member of the Terrier breed, the Cairn can have a stubborn streak and may become bossy at times, so early consistent training is important to let the dog learn to become a follower. It will tolerate sitting on the owner’s lap - for a few moments, and then it will start wriggling impatiently to be released. This intelligent dog is always curious which makes it easy to learn new things but also highly sensitive which will not tolerate harsh training or punishments.
This intelligent pet is relatively easy to train, especially if trained from a very young age. Obedience training is one particular aspect to focus on particularly if the Cairn is to be used as a hunting dog. This will train the dog to focus on the handler as the leader, which will also benefit the owner if the Cairn is to be kept as a pet. A Cairn that is not trained to become a follower can have a tendency to take control of everything which results in certain unruly behaviour including excessive barking and being overly protective.
The weather-resistant coat of the Cairn Terrier moults very little but it is recommended that it should always be hand stripped, except the hair between the foot pads and toes which should be trimmed with scissors. Trimming the coat with scissors or razor is not recommended as it will ruin the dog’s rugged appearance after one grooming. Hand stripping is done by gently pulling loose dead hair to allow the growth of new hairs which help protect the dog from the weather. The growth of new hair also help keeps the skin dry even in damp weather, which prevents the onset of skin allergies. Grooming twice a month is highly recommended.
The Cairn Terrier is generally a healthy breed which can live between 12 to 17 years. However, like other dog breeds, there are several identified health issues that affect the breed, including cataracts, corneal dystrophy, craniomandibular osteopathy, entropion, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, Krabbe disease, Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome, luxating patella, ocular melanosis, portosystemic shunt, progressive retinal atrophy, soft tissue sarcoma, and Von Willebrand disease.
This small breed is an excellent dog to have in any household setting. It is very active indoors and can live in an apartment or condominium setting. Daily short walk around the block or in the park is enough to satisfy the Cairn’s exercise requirement. If kept off the leash, a well-fenced yard is an ideal place for the breed to run and play which will take care of a lot of its exercise requirements.
The Cairn Terrier will do best with older children who know how to handle a dog properly. It is a great breed to have as a family companion and will happily join each member in outdoor activities. This charming little dog was bred to go after vermin so it has a very strong hunting instinct and will go after anything it deems as prey. However, it will typically do good with other animals, even small ones if raised with them from a very young age.