The first time the cairn terrier was presented publicly was in 1909

The first time the Cairn terrier was presented publicly was in 1909. The breed did not really gain popularity until the 1930’s, even though it has been around since the 1500’s.They are one of the original terriers from Scotland, and have some influence on the Skye terrier, the West Highland White and the Scottish terriers. The name “Cairn” is the term used to describe grave markers or farmland borders made by marking them with a pile of stones. Small rodents would build homes in the stone and they were used to chase them out. This dog is now bred for companionship. “Toto” of the “Wizard of Oz” is probably the most famous Cairn terrier.

They are very talented at being able to do tricks. The can also be trained for a competitively level of obedience. They are very agile making them good for tracking and hunting.

The AKC officially recognized the Cairn Terrie as a breed in 1913; it was entered into the Terrier Group. The dog must be between 10-13 inches in height and the male dogs will weigh 14-18 pounds with the females weighing between 13-17 pounds. The length of the dog from the front part of the chest to the hindquarters should be 14 1/4 -15 inches. Their life expectance is from 12-15 years.

This breed is in the short-legged class but is a sturdy, hardworking, and active working terrier. The dog will stand with most of its weight forward on its front legs. It is a strongly built terrier. When either walking or trotting you should notice a smooth flowing gait. The length of its back is medium with strong hindquarters giving it a build that is well proportioned. Their coats are very durable making it good for strong weather. The Cairn has a wider head than other terrier breed. Their features tend to have a fox like appearance. The nose should always be black and strong, but not too heavy or long. Their eyes are medium sized, sunken in, and set apart widely under eyebrows that are rather shaggy. The color of their eyes will depend on the color of their coat and can be either hazel or very dark hazel. The ears should be set apart wide and be the side of their head, and should stand erect and pointed, and have no long hair. The marking of the dog should be dark on the tail tips, muzzle and ears, and the body can be any color except white.

This breed is known for its busybody, high-spirited personality. Some other personality traits are mischievous, loyal, alert, and lovable. The females tend to have quite and independent streak, but they are general outgoing and friendly. They can be quite bold and fearlessly curious. They are not aggressive and will do well in a family environment. They are quite sensitive but you will need to be consistently firm while training them. They are smart and will pick up tricks quite easily.

Keep them free of fleas, as this breed tends to be allergic to them. They gain weight easily so limit their treats and be carefully not to over feed them.

They can live in any type of housing. They tend to be very active indoors so you won’t need a lot of outdoor activity. But taking them out each day to play will be very beneficial.

They require quite a bit of maintenance for their naturally shaggy coat. If you neglected the coat it will become matted. Their undercoat is very sensitive, even so brush them regularly, and just be gentle. A bath once a month should be plenty, to help avoid matting keep brushing them as their coat is drying. Keep the hair around the eyes and ears trimmed. This breed does not shed much.

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