December 14, 2017

Understanding the Cairn Terriers

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The Cairn terrier is a descendant of the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands breed. This breed was later established as a separate breed in 1912 after being called the short- haired terrier. The Cairn terrier has fox like features such as a medium length snout, powerful jaw, large teeth and set apart eyes. The Cairn has large front paws and thick nails used to dig small burrows with a shoulder height of 9 to 11 inches and an average weight of 13 to 15 pounds.

Used to hunt and catch rodents and small varmints, the Cairn was named after the Scottish term for rock piles called cairns. Rock Cairns lined Scottish farms and the Cairn breed dog would often chase their prey and trap them against these rock barriers. Many farmers would use the cairn breed to keep their farms clear of smaller unwanted animals.

Cairn terriers have unique fur, color options and grooming habits that many owners must be aware of. The breed color options can differ and many cairns’s can be seen in shades of red, charcoal or even the rare West Highland terrier that comes in white. Many owners are able to watch the dog age by checking the color of terrier, this breed gets darker the older it gets.

The fur of the Cairn breed can be stiff as wire on the top and thick closer to the scalp of the dog. The fur not only keeps the dog warm but it also protects the dog and has the ability to repel water or dirt. The grooming for this breed often consists of washing at least three times a week and requires the use of a hard wire brush. This unique option can repel dander and is great for people with allergies or asthma.

The Cairn is regarded as a family friendly animal because of its active lifestyle requirements and its social nature. Often this breed will seek attention by wandering or attempting to chase smaller animals if the breed has not been able to exhaust its playful nature. Many owners are cautioned to keep this breed properly secured and remain open to light discipline while training this breed. The cairn responds well to direction yet will take a defense to training that embodies harsh treatment. This is a wonderful breed for families or athletic owners.

Information provided by Jenny Gordon of, search for current discounts on dog coats and jackets online.

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