History and origin: a breed from Scotland and known as far back as the 1600’s and at that time living primarily in the western Highlands on the Isle of Skye. The Scottish landscape is dotted with mounds of stones called cairns, which marked land perimeter, boundaries and graves. The Cairn Terrier went to ground, dug out and killed the vermin living under the rocks. Being so courageous and hardy, the Cairn was also used to hunt foxes, otters and badgers, thus being a useful dog for farmers and landowners. Probably related to the Skye Terrier, West Highland White Terrier and Scottish Terrier, as all three were developed at about the same time and separated into distinct breeds. In the movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Toto was a Cairn Terrier. The Cairn Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1913.
General Appearance: Small short legged terrier with rather unkempt appearance. Somewhat shaggy coat, ears small pointed and erect, nose black, eyes dark, tail short and carried upright. Level back, body not too long or too short. Head covered with hair and bushy eyebrows offer a rather fox like appearance to the face. Keen, sparkling expression. Size: 11-12 inches Weight: 14 -16 pounds.
Coat and Colour : Double coated, weather resistant, with profuse harsh outer coat and downy undercoat. Tail coated but not wavy or plumed. Coat may have a slight wave. Colours are cream, wheaten, red, grey or nearly black and any of these colours with brindling. Coat is relatively easy care but will require regular brushing. Considered hypoallergenic.
Feeding: quality kibble fed once or twice a day.
Training and Obedience: Being a terrier, may be stubborn and independent but is intelligent and will respond to discipline and fair training methods. Cairns excel at earth dog tests, barn hunt, agility, rally, obedience and fly ball. Good therapy dog.
Activity: always game and busy. Needs daily walks on a leash or runs in a fenced area. Will chase small creatures and senses voles and moles in your yard so will dig. They do bark.
Temperament: a happy joyous little breed, full of life, active and fun loving. Comforting lap dog. Loyal and sweet tempered. Good with children, seniors and other pets. An excellent family companion.