Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier dog

Good to know about a Cairn Terrier

A Cairn Terrier is the family's playmate. It is a dog that protects against intruders and welcomes acquaintances. It is a former hunting dog, but has now been bred to be a companion dog that is both curious, responsive with proper training, easy to learn and patient.

With these traits, a Cairn Terrier is a perfect family dog that can act as both a watchdog and pet dog.

Origin and breed – a former hunting dog

This breed is derived from the original Scottish terriers. Originally from north-west Scotland, it was bred in 1910 and takes its name from its ability to find prey hidden on pebbled crags, as "cairn" means crag in Celtic.

Terriers are originally hunting dogs that were used to hunt small game in forests and fields. This breed has had its gene and instinct for hunting dampened, but it is still visible in its need for activity, inquisitive nature and responsiveness.

In any case, it is one of the most common companion terriers in many countries around the world.

Size, age and appearance

The Cairn Terrier is a small and robust companion dog. It is a shaggy dog that has a dense coat with short and wiry hairs, and a soft undercoat. This coat protects it from the weather, but it needs to be brushed once a week and trimmed three to four times a year. This can be done with simple fur grooming tools, which can reduce shedding by almost 100%. The breed is found in shades of red, grey, black, corn, cream and brindle, but its color nuances during its relatively long lifespan.

It is categorized as a small breed based on its height of 28-31 centimeters and weight of 6-7.5 kilos. Cairn Terrier new born puppies usually weigh only 200-250 grams, but after eight weeks the weight has increased by two kilos. It is a viable dog that has an average lifespan of 12-16 years, and therefore works well as a faithful companion for the family's children throughout childhood. To ensure that your terrier remains happy and healthy throughout its life, it is important to give it a healthy and nutritious diet, so that it neither eats too little nor too much.

In addition to its small size and shaggy coat, its distinguishing features are its compact head, small and prickly ears, short snout and curious appearance.

The mind and activity needs of the Cairn Terrier

Since a Cairn Terrier is originally a hunting dog, it has a protective gene and a curious attitude. This means that it loves to explore and play. It is alert when guests arrive. So if you buy a dog of this type, you get a friend who is a loyal and safe protector of your family, but also a dog that requires training.

Many fear that the temperament of a Cairn Terrier can destroy the beauty of having a dog. But there is nothing to be afraid of. It is both easy to train and raise. It is a breed that requires training and upbringing that is consistent but not harsh. To meet this need, you can get a dog trainer or use different dog schools especially if it is your first dog. Important things to focus on during training are summoning, motivation and responsiveness. Cairn Terriers are fond of barking, which can be reduced with proper training.

That being said, this breed is the perfect family dog as it adapts to the family, loves human contact, and is naturally friendly with children and adults alike. It does not need a large amount of exercise, but does need activation and movement. Activation can easily take place at home using toys and training equipment. Tools such as whistles, activation toys and balls can both meet the need for movement and learning.

How to maintain your Cairn Terrier's health

To be sure that you have a dog that is well and healthy for as long as possible, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of. Known Cairn Terrier diseases are glaucoma and progressive nephropathy (kidney disease). You must ensure that your dog is properly nourished and maintain routine visits to the vet from an early age.

Other things that are important to ensure is that your Cairn Terrier has a place where it belongs. It is important for this breed that it feels at home and safe. This can be created by providing a basket, a safe home with lots of love and a fenced in garden.

We think you'll like this