Group classification: Terrier Country of origin: Scotland Date of origin: 16th century
Weight (M): 14 lb Height (M): 10" Life expectancy: 12 - 15 years
Weight (F): 13 lb Height (F): 9.5"
1.General Description of the Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is a gutsy, lively little terrier that has retained its rather shaggy and unkempt look. The harsh, weather-resistant outer coat that can be anything from cream, through red or grey to almost black or brindled protects a soft dense undercoat. A distinguishing characteristic of Cairn Terriers is that they frequently change color for many years throughout their lifetime. It is not unusual for a Cairn to become progressively blacker or silver as it ages, making the color of a fully grown Cairn's coat virtually unpredicatble. A well-groomed Cairn Terrier should end up looking shaggy. The muzzle often is darker in color than the rest of its coat. The Cairn Terrier has a short wide head, with a powerful jaw and large teeth. A keen terrier expression is enhanced by wide set prick ears and a straight tail, carried up but not curled over the back. The Cairn Terrier's small stature belies its big dog attitude, and this breed is just as comfortable in its owner's lap as it is playing in the yard.
2.Cairn Terrier Temperament
An intelligent, loyal, long-lived busybody, the Cairn Terrier tends to remain active and playful well into his teen years, endearing him to children. Though generally affectionate, the breed is fairly independent and will struggle to get free if held too long. The dog's intelligence and curiosity make it a great student; however, if the owner fails to establish dominance, the Cairn can get the idea that it is in charge. Like most terriers, the Cairn is stubborn, strong-willed, likes to bark, and loves to dig after real or imagined prey — do not leave this dog alone in your garden, as flowerbeds are hard to resist. Cairns are surprisingly sensitive, and harsh punishment is not necessary or desirable. A good relationship with your Cairn Terrier is built on firm, loving and consistent discipline.
3.Caring for a Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terriers should be kept active and trim. They tend to become overweight, partly because they are so engaging when they beg for treats. They require quite a bit of exercise; these are working dogs and are still used as such in parts of Scotland. A brisk daily walk is ideal exercise. Cairns must be leashed when not fenced, as it is impossible to train away their instinct to give chase to cats, rodents and other dogs — don't forget this dog was designed to hunt. Inclement weather should never prevent a Cairn Terrier from getting its daily exercise, as the dog is perfectly capable of burning off excess energy by chasing a ball around the house. Maintaining a Cairn’s shaggy coat requires an hour of grooming each week and infrequent baths – shedding is minimal.