Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cairn Terrier Dog Facts

To understand the history of the Cairn Terriers you should first learn that cairn in the old English language translated into a heap of stones meant as a land-mark or a monument. So considering that over 200 years ago in the Scottish Highlands the ancestors of today’s Cairn Terriers were working for their keep by routing rodents and vermin from the rock piles around the farmlands. They were mainly bred for their working ability and also sturdy bodies covered in weather-proof furs making the terriers able to withstand the rough weather patterns found in Scotland.

The historical evidence points to one of the oldest strand of Cairn terriers, the “Short-haired Skye Terrier”, being as old as the 1800’s when a certain Captain Martin Macleod was using them for his favorite sport otter hunting, before immigrating to Canada.

The ideal size accepted for a Cairn would be around 13 or 14 pounds and also 9 to 10 inches in height. Its length should be around 15 inches from chest to back legs and should have a very proportionate body, well muscled but not too fat or too thin.

As said before, the Cairn terrier has a rough, weather resistant outer coat and its accepted colors may vary from cream, sandy, gray or red or any variation of these colors. What is funny is that pure black or white aren’t accepted by many clubs as being pure Cairns. A peculiar characteristic of this breed is that they may frequently change color throughout their lifespan.

As temperament goes they are intelligent, strong and very loyal. They are stubborn just like most terrier-based breeds and also strong-willed. Providing a correct training an owner can safely circumvent the adjective “disobedient”. Even though they are still used as working dogs in some parts of Scotland a lot of people get a Cairn just because they’ve seen “Toto” from the Wizard of Oz and apply that picture on the dog. Unfortunately that’s a common misconception the breed being neither a lap dog nor one that would happily sit all day in a basket.

And as far as grooming and health goes the dog does not need excessive bathing or excessive care. The main thing to remember is not to use a pair of scissors or shears when grooming because this might ruin the coat but instead they should be hand-stripped. With a lifespan of 15 years in average the health issues that arise in a Cairn terrier are mostly hereditary.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

we acquired a puppy a few weeks ago who is almost 4 months old and he's already well on his way to being potty trained and is pretty much fully crate trained. I like that he is smart and sweet and seems to adore my toddler. He had been doing great at Puppy playtime at Petco but last week got kicked out for being a bully... go figure. I'm sure he'll work that as long as we keep socializing him! I'm thinking with this breed you want to train them very very well at a young age and keep them challenged through training. He's going to be a great dog.