Cairn Terrier Info & Cairn Terrier Breeders
The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland's earliest working dogs. It is used for hunting and burrowing prey among the cairns.
Although the breed had existed since at least 1500, the name Cairn Terrier was a compromise suggestion after the breed was originally brought to official shows in the United Kingdom in 1909 under the name Short-haired Skye terriers. This name was not acceptable to The Kennel Club due to opposition from Skye Terrier breeders, and the name Cairn Terrier was suggested as an alternative. They are usually left-pawed, which has been shown in dogs to correlate to superior performance in tasks related to scent. Cairn Terriers are ratters. In Scotland they would search the cairns (man-made pile of stones) for rats and other rodents. Thus if one is kept as a household pet it will do the job of a cat, specifically catching and killing mice and rats.
These are active little dogs, who need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off leash, such as a large fenced in yard.
Obedience school is often a good start to creating interactive play using words or commands for a dog to perform specific actions on cue. Teaching a Cairn Terrier tricks is also a clever way to direct their active energy into acceptable controlled dog games.
Cairn Terriers are hypoallergenic and shed very little but should always be hand stripped. Using scissors or shears can ruin the dog's rugged outer coat after one grooming. Hand stripping involves pulling the old dead hair out by the roots. If done incorrectly this can cause discomfort to the dog, causing it to shy away from future hand stripping. Removing the dead hair in this manner allows new growth to come in. This new growth helps protect the dog from water and dirt.