The origins of this small, unruly and very alert terrier can be found in the north of Scotland, more specifically on the Isle of Skye. It was there that farmers first bred the Cairn terrier breed to ward off rats, weasels and other vermin.
The Cairn Terrier, which movie fans will remember for appearing in the movie The Wizard of Oz, is a dog with courage, tenacity and intelligence, but also cheerful and friendly. A great companion that perfectly fulfills the role of family dog.
From mypetszone we offer you all the information about this fabulous breed that will make you fall in love with its peculiar qualities.
Character of the Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is a friendly and affectionate dog that always seems to be happy and jovial, always happy to meet new people. He possesses the classic terrier qualities: independent, alert and always on the alert.
Digging, barking and chasing all kinds of prey are some of his favorite activities. The Cairn Terrier will chase any small animal within reach, including the neighbor’s cat. At the same time it is a good watchdog that will alert us with its barking to the intrusion of any stranger.
This brave and determined dog often thinks he is bigger than he really is and does not hesitate to stand up to other larger dogs.
Despite his independent nature, the Cairn Terrier lives totally devoted to his family and enjoys being an active part of it. He likes to be in the house, play with the children, follow us from room to room and come to the door when the doorbell rings. He is also famous for his sensitivity: he does not like to be scolded and gets very upset when we show our displeasure towards him.
Physical characteristics of the breed
It is a small but robust dog. It has a height at the withers of about 30 cm and weighs approximately 7 kg. Its ears are small and pointed, while its eyes, brown and slightly sunken, can sometimes be hidden behind the abundant hair of the eyebrows.
One of the Cairn Terrier’s most peculiar physical characteristics is its “wire” coat, hard and water-resistant, ideal for keeping dry in a rainy, wet climate like that of its native Scotland. Underneath that waterproof outer coat is another, softer, denser layer.
This hardy Cairn Terrier coat can come in many colors, with black, light brown and gray being the most common.
How to train a Cairn Terrier?
The Cairn Terrier is an intelligent and curious dog. You could say that he has his own opinion about many things, so he will often question our authority. That is why it is essential to reassert our role as leader and teach him to obey.
Eliminating the natural instincts of the Cairn Terrier (barking, digging, chasing prey, etc.) is an impossible task, although we can work to correct or attenuate them through training. These behaviors are part of the very essence of this breed and we have no choice but to accept them.
Knowing this, there are really few things that this intelligent dog cannot learn. With proper training, the Cairn Terrier can master an unlimited number of tricks.
Because of its high sensitivity, this dog does not respond well to continual scolding and harsh corrections. Gentle, positive training is the best method to educate him and obtain good results.
Caring for a Cairn Terrier is not a difficult task, except as a puppy he is much more rambunctious, like all puppies.
Due to its small size, it is a dog that adapts without problems to life inside an apartment or an apartment, although it is also strong enough to enjoy life in the country. In fact, the ideal is to have a small garden where he can dig and do his mischief.
Being such an active dog, he needs his daily exercise time. Several daily walks of about 20 to 30 minutes will keep our Cairn Terrier in good physical condition. However, it is important not to let him run off leash in public places, as his urge to chase any prey is too strong.
The Cairn Terrier’s coat is easy to maintain, a thorough brushing once a week and a bath every two to three months is sufficient. It is not recommended to bathe him too often, because his coat can weaken and even lose its characteristic texture and appearance. It is also necessary to trim the hairs of the eyebrows and ears from time to time using appropriate scissors.
Despite being a reasonably healthy breed, the Cairn Terrier can be prone to obesity, so it is important to keep an eye on their diet. Their average lifespan is around 12-14 years.