The Cairn Terrier breed has all the characteristics you would expect of a terrier, but with extra sensitivity and affection. The Cairn Terrier is scrappy, inquisitive, bold, and a bit stubborn, yet responsive to commands given and always looking to please his owners.
Cairn Terriers are wonderful around children, though they do enjoy some rough play on occasion. This precious pooch has such a feisty personality that they will stand up to any aggressive dog, no matter the size. This makes them an excellent watchdog. Cairn Terriers, due to their dominant personality, may be reserved around strangers and other pets in the house.
Cairn Terrier: A Brief History
The Cairn Terrier has been around since the 15th century, where they were used sucessfully to hunt down fox, badger, and otters. The name “Cairn” was coined because the dogs were good at running otters out of cairns(large piles of rock used as memorials or landmarks).
Cairn Terriers can be found in several colors ranging from gray, to red, to white. All the color variations were considered Scotch Terriers as they went into the show ring. There were only two dogs labeled as part of the breed in 1873. Those dogs were Skye Terriers and the Dandie Dinmont.
In 1881 the group was further divided into two more sections: Hard-haired Terriers and the Skye Terriers. Eventually the Hard- Haired Terriers section was divided again into the West Highland White, the Scotch, and the breed known today as Cairn Terriers.
The breed went through a variety of names before it was officially known as the Cairn Terrier in the early 1900′s. It became a popular breed in England during that time. The breed slowly gained popularity in the United States, and was even featured in the movie The Wizard of Oz.
Care Requirements for Your Cairn Terrier
Despite its small size this breed needs a lot of daily exercise. A few long walks on the leash in addition to vigorous playtime in the yard or house will keep this precious pooch in shape. This breed can only tolerate moderate temperatures, extreme hot or cold will not agree with him.
The ideal living situation for this furry friend is to be able to play in a safe fenced in yard during the day, then go inside to sleep with their family at night. As far as grooming is concerned a weekly brushing is recommended, and a yearly stripping.
Health Concerns for the Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier’s average life span is between twelve and fourteen years. This breed does not have any major health concerns. Minor health concerns include glaucoma, CMO, and portacaval shunt. GCL is rarely seen. Veterinarians suggest that the Cairn Terrier get specifically tested for GCL.