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The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland's earliest working dogs.
We got our first Cairn Terrier a Male called Alfie last May day bank Holiday. He cost us £150 even though he had just turned 5, It maybe a bit expensive but he is the most loveable dog on the planet. He was very skinny and boney when we first got him so we set about beefing him up. He had always previously been used for breeding and never as a pet ( as far as we know). Alfie is a pure blonde Cairn, absolutely beautiful looking. Even though he was never a pet before he took to being in our home straight away. He absolutely loves attention and spending time with me and my girlfriend. So much so that if he is out the back and we are in the kitchen he will jump up repeatedly at the window to see you and Bark "hello". His bouncebackability is unreal you would swear he was standing on a trampoline the way he keeps bouncing up. He does bark quite a bit when out the back to get in for attention which is a slight drawback.
Most dogs play up whenever you bath them or groom them, but not Alfie, he will literally let you do anything to him - I think because as he sees it he is getting attention so why fight it.
he is a very good natured dog, we have minded other dogs who are smaller than him (females) and he lets them bully him, they fight with him steal his food and he just sits there with a big smile on his face - Nothing bothers this dog. His given name is Urban Calm and its easy to see why. He is the most laid back dog in the world.
Walkies get him excited beyond belief so much so that he strains at the leash to get to the next pee spot. He gets very excited when out and about.
People tell you, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, and to be honest this has been hard work. He sometimes still lifts his leg in doors. But the one thing that we were able to teach him that has stuck is "Bed" he actually picked that up pretty quickly and while he may keep trying to come over to you for a cuddle he will always go back when you tell him.
We wouldn't trade him for the world, he would literally eat anything, apart from Veg! I went to the chippy once and overindulged and had some left overs, he ate everything. I watched him as he came to the battered mushrooms. He peeled the batter off with his teeth!, I've never seen such an act of precision from a dog. The mushroom went untouched and the batter went down a treat.
We loved Alfie so much that when we learned my partners sister was getting rid of his Daughter ( The all Action Poopy Partying Puppy herself) one year old Gypsy we took her as well. Naturally this meant we had to get Alfie fixed and once again he didn't put up a fuss.
Gypsy herself has her mothers darker colouring and some streaks of her daddies blonde hair running through her. She will eat absolutely anything from carpet to poop!. Every time she gets out of bed she immediately sniffs round for a snack. She has also destroyed two of her beds!.
I have been able to teach her a lot more tricks than Alfie because of her age. To date she knows: Bed, Sit, Lie Down, Come here, Shake Hands, Other Hand, High 5 and other hand high 5. She is a very intelligent and obedient dog. She literally licks anyone see meets to death and loves a cuddle and attention. Every time we let them out the back she does the cutest wee motion with her paws to Alfie, lifting one up and rotating it almost giving him a playful slap as if to say "lets Play". When nervous she can pee in doors but toilet training with her was generally a breeze. In fact if in the middle of the night she needs to go to the loo or even wants out for a drink she will bark so we let her out.
Gypsy at the start was very hard to bath as she wouldn't sit still but with time she has gotten a bit calmer in this respect. When going up and down the stairs or out for a walk when she gets excited she actually Hops on her back legs instead of walking. It again is one of the cutest things you ever.
Interacting with Alfie at the start was indifferent until my partners mothers dog Molly (also a cairn) came to stay. Molly absolutely tortures Alfie and Gypsy picked up on this. She started fighting with him evry time we started to put food out for them as if to say "i'm getting it first" We of course chastised her for this and on one occasion after being chastised she went straight overr and started on him again as if to say "you got me in trouble" again she was disciplined for this.
But then this past November she turned the corner and is now very protective of her daddy, if we are chastising him she will put herself in between us and Alfie lie on her belly and act all cute as if she is saying "don't scold him play with me instead" Also in November and December two other thing happened that while they weren't righ tI was quite proud of her for doing it in the first place. both incidents involved Molly again.
The first in November was when we went to London for a few days and my partners mum looked after our dogs. As soon as our two walked in the door Molly Growled barked and snapped at Alfie. Gypsy was having no-one bullying her daddy and so went straight over and got stuck into Molly and sorted that out....
The second happened on Christmas day and while its terrible to laugh I found hilarious. All 3 dogs were in a play pen when Molly started Fighting with Alfie, again Gyspsy was having none of it and tore into Molly. So bad in fact that my partner had to go out and lift Molly oput of the pen. As she lifted her though Gypsy was still stuck to Mollys back leg which she had clamped in her mouth, 3 feet in the air and dangling with her mouth from a dogs hind leg, the message was clear DON'T MESS WITH MY DADDY, I only wish I had a picture of that.
We are so glad we got our two doggies while they are hard work for walkies and cleaning up after its well worth it. We wouldn't trade them for anything. The two pictures I rotate on my profile here are actually of the dogs.
Cairn Terriers are a very intelligent loyal friendly breed of dog, A puppy could cost you between £300 - £450. But I highly recommend if your looking for a dog you couldn't do any better than a Cairn.
Below is my review of the Cairn Terrier as I have experienced it. Note that although a breed of dog offers a personality preference then the raising of a dog which truly makes the dog's personality. It's not the breed of dog which makes a dangerous dog, it's the owners fault.
Size: Small (up to 30cm). Their size means that they make great lap dogs and are very easy to move around. Their size does not mean that they do not require a lot of exercise as they do.
Life Span: Greater than 10 years (These are tough little dogs).
General Personality: Strong Willed, Loyal (it is not unusual for them to follow you around all day), Adventurous (So make sure you have a secure garden), and most importantly for myself intelligent (Which means they will need lots of mental stimulation). They are also a terrier so will dig up your garden.
Recommended for: People who have owned dogs before. People without small or young children. People who have the time and patients to discipline a strong willed very adorable dog. If you think telling off a dog which has big brown puppy dog eyes is easy then think again.
Personal comment: I think that these are lovely little dogs who with the right owner will become a faithful part of the family. However with the wrong owner they will annoy you with their constant escaping and their attitude towards other dogs (It's a terrier so expect territorial tendencies even on a walk). They are great pack dogs as well which adds to their aggressive attitude to other dogs.
I think a dog makes a wonderful pet
And the dog I've got at the moment
Is the best one yet
He comes to my heel
Whenever I shout
And he doesn't moan
And he doesn't pout
He'll fetch a ball
No matter how often I throw,
He'll follow on his lead
Wherever I go
He's a true companion
Honest and True
I have a dog, why don't you?
I've had pet dogs all my life,
Longer than my car
Longer than my wife
They don't get flat tires
They never nag
They don't need their shoes to match their bag
Yes, sometimes they snarl
And occasionally bite
But usually only if they've had a fright.
They'll walk beside you
And for you they will fight,
They don't care if you watch football
Night after night
But the reason I recommend getting one
Black, red, grey or white
Is they never pass judgement
If you're poetry's sh....not right.
Daft poetry aside I have to recommend cairns. When I was growing up our family had a lovely Cairn called Niko, a gentle dog who put up with all kinds of grief from a pair of toddlers & a true friend as we grew up & he got old. It was a sad day when he died from Cancer.
I may be biased because a Cairn was my first pet but I truly believe that they make excellent pets, small & calm with kids, a happy looking breed, not yappy like a lot of other terriers and a pleasure to walk.
My Cairn Terrier…..She’s Called Holly… My wife was looking for a cairn terrier for months and just about February of this year we spotted a pup for sale. It was about 30 miles away from where we lived but rather than listen to the wife moaning I decided to give it a ring. There was 3 left but only one was a bitch so we told them to keep it over and that we were on our way. When we got there we were lead out to a huge farmhouse and there was our little Cairn terrier pup. My wife was all over it and I knew then that I was either going to be the worst in the world or be a lot off money down..Why are these pups so expensive, would someone tell me! Anyway the Cairn Terrier is a lovely little dog and they don’t grow very big. They are a placid dog with typical terrier hair and a cute little face, a bit like myself except for the terrier hair. We had found it hard to get a Cairn Terrier as they are very popular and usually all sell the first night they are advertised. All 3 pups we went to see were all over us and it was hard to pick one from the bunch..My wife picked the smaller one with the darker coloring and she called it “Lucky”. Unfortunately we had a run off bad luck just after we bought the dog so we changed its name to “Holly”. I have to say the Cairns are very easy to train and very easy to look after. I found our dog easy to house train and it took to walking on the lead very easy. We used to have a Bordie Collie and it was a terrible dog to take a walk. When I bought the dog I thought the wife was going to look after it and take it walks but I have been left to do all this. On the plus side you get women stopping you to look at the dog, the old yes I am separated story works nicely every time!! To conclude, we love our Cairn Terrier. If you have kids you couldn’t get a better dog and if you live alone you couldn’t ask for a bett
er friend. Or if like me you are married then you have something that will listen to you, look up at you with respect and generally be better company than the wife..It’s a great wee dog and I would not be without it now, so best of breed..For me it’s the Cairn Terrier!! Thanks for the read as ever, sorry about placing my Jen opinion on the site, was a one off…Your friend online….. Art….22nd August 2001……….Happy 30th Jen………..
Cairn terriers, eh? I've been waiting for a subject like this for ages. Mrs D and her family have always been big Cairn lovers and they got their first one more than twenty years ago. Mrs D was in her teens then and she got VERY jealous of their new pup, but it didn't stop her nagging me like bloody mad when we first got married to get a Cairn. I was dead set against at first and my comment always used to be, "Look, if you get a dog, I will bury you and it in the garden." Humph, Mrs D was not going to believe that old baloney and shortly after we'd moved from Stafford to Basingstoke in 1985, a couple of years after we'd got married, she got our first Cairn. Now I'll give you the full run down on "Cairns I have known..." shortly, but I'll just summarise a few points first. Some while ago, Mrs D got a "Know your breed" type of reference book which outlined what you could expect from every different sort of breed. At that time, the book said that they didn't need much exercise. How bloody wrong can you be? Our Cairns would be out on the run all day long if you let them. We take them out of an evening up to the beach in Lytham St Annes and walk along a hilly bit of grass which is literally pock marked by rabbit holes. Our youngest (God, listen to me) spends hours with her head stuck down the holes and running after the bunnies, who just sit there taking the mickey out of her. She has a similar eppy time of things when we go walking in the woods and chases squirrels up trees. They just sit up there laughing their socks off at her, but you can never get her to come back. It was with some amusement that I noticed recently that the book now says that they love exercise (Now you tell me...) Cairns in general are loving and faithful dogs and give their owners a lot of pleasure, but they guard the house like a right bunch of demons, and when
the postman (or anyone for that matter) comes to the door you can't hear yourself speak for the barking. The little one has decided that she despises posties so much that she only has to see the uniform to go absolutely off her head. We had her in the back of our car one time when we were in town and she saw a postie. God, we had to hold her down. Cairns are playful little devils and love attention, but our little one (yes, her again!) always cheats and if you throw a stick or a ball, she just won't play fair and refuses to bring it back - she's all chase me, chase me! Anyway, back to our family history with Cairns.... In 1985, Mrs D had decided that she was getting a Cairn. She contacted a breeders where we had previously lived and arranged to buy one, but she never went to see it - what a mistake! They sent it down to us on the train and when we opened the box it was clear we'd got the runt of the litter, a very odd looking creature, all gangly long legs, which, if you know Cairns, ain't right. We (well, Mrs D actually) eventually settled on the name of Muffin (cringe!), although I couldn't understand why she objected to my suggestion of Vicious Fang Brute IV (Cripes, women!) Anyway, Muffin was a bit of a grumpy old git although we found him very lovable. A year later we got another Cairn, again a male, and this time we saw him before we bought him, again from Stafford. We went to see the litter, which consisted of five bitches and just one dog. He was getting a right going over from his little sisters and I felt very sorry for him, so Ted came into our lives. Again, Mrs D elected herself as naming guru and rejected my suggestion of Jah Wobble (What is wrong with the woman!) The two dogs settled down together eventually, but there was a lot of bickering at first and I had to spend the first night on the kitchen floor with our new arrival (Sucker!
) Another year went by. It was now 1987. Mrs D got a call from her animal rescue mate (Old Witchy Woman) who told her that she'd seen an advert for a Cairn bitch that wasn't wanted. Softies that we are, we were off again to Stafford on our great rescue and this female was absolutely amazing, thin as a rake, smiling and showing her teeth with pleasure when she saw anyone. The guy had been keeping her outside in a shed because he couldn't allow her in the house and he had to get rid of her. She was already named and it was then that darling Meg came into our life. She was marvellous and very loving and the three dogs settled down very well together. At least that's what we thought... Xmas 1987 - up to Stafford for the holidays with Mrs D's crazy parents, who also had a Cairn, a right old duffer aged about twelve, and almost blind. One morning we heard a frightful tracket and all hell had let loose. Ted and Muffin were fighting each other as if their life depended on it and there was no separating them. We eventually had to keep them in different rooms or there would have been a murder. That was how Muffin became the pet of Mrs D'smum and dad.... Five or six years on, and Meg had a stroke one morning. She'd always had a bit of a dicky heart and never recovered. the vet advised us to see how it went for a while, but she was clearly suffering, so it was injection in the paw time. I've never known anything as heartbreaking as seeing her little body there on the block and our son Lewis, who was about four was with us as we said goodbye to Meg. It was a grim time and Mrs D was in tears. Within the next couple of months we'd got a replacement because Ted was pining and lonely and this was another bitch, almost identical physically, but a completely different character. Enter Poppy.... Unfortunately, that was a bad year for us and within the
next 18 months or so, I'd also had to take the in laws' dog, plus Muffin down the long dark alley to the vets. Why me? This is a hellish thing to have to do, y'know, but I managed to get through it. Now, we've just got Ted and Poppy. Our Ted is just turned 15 and fit as a fiddle, spending hours scampering all over the hills of St Annes. Yeah, Cairns are wonderful dogs. If you're thinking of inviting a little friend into your life, think of this lot...
There is no more apt nick-name for the Cairn than terrorist. This is on account of their fierce independance and determination to protect their pitch. Single minded and stubborn, they can be the storm troopers of the dog world. I became the accidental owner of a cairn many years ago. The poor little thing was the last one of the litter left in the shop and they'd reduced him in the sale! Already looking for a puppy I couldn't resist - I know it's not the right way to get a dog, but there you go. What a great little guy he turned out to be. Full of spirit and pluck and plenty of mischief - he soon developed a character all of his own. He became popular with local kids and loved playing with them and adored comimg into contact with children. I don't know if it was just mine, but be was the most independant dog I've known. Prior to getting him I had a picture in my mind of a loving, loyal companion, looking to me for love and affection. No such thing! He was his own man, I was an okay guy, but anyone else could do equally well. He was completely comfortable with anyone and would happily walk off with strangers. This did mean I could leave him easily with friends when I was away. During these times I would miss him terribly and imagine a great reunion. In reality the welcome, while warm was never over the top, he was far too cool for any of that nonsense. The biggest down side with him was this stupid idea that he had that he was the hardest thing on four legs and he could take on all comers. More evidence of the terrorist influence. However, he grudgingly managed to tolerate a cat introduced to the household. She absolutely adored him but I think he saw himself as far too butch to be seen too close to a cat! The final year of the little guys life were blighted with blindness, though remarkably the spirit was still there. Finally at 16, with 4 years of blindness and other illnesse
s our partnership had to come to an end. The end was fairly easy - his time had come and having been his eyes for the last four years (guiding and talking him through our walks) I had done my best for him. Perhaps it was easier because he was so independant I almost felt as though I never owned him properly anyway. I don't know if these snippets into my experience ring true with other cairn owners. All I know is I would recommend cairns to anyone wanting a fun, happy, spirited dog.
My family owns a small, brindle cairn terrier. Initially, she was a sort of ferret replacement, but she has grown to be a great dog. She is very, very keen to chase rabbits and regularly dissappears down both rabbit and fox holes. She loves shooting and other dogs. However, we were lucky enough to get a Cairn with working history. many cairns today, are kept in high-rise flats with little chance to vent their energy. Even keeping a Cairn in the suburbs is cruel. To have a healthy and happy terrier, it must have access to Ample land and there must always be a surplus of foxes, rabbits, rats, mice, srhews and frogs to keep them interested. "The greatest terrier is a cairn terrier" R.L.Stevenson
I used to hate 'yappy' little dogs. When we were invited to a dog show by our friend Diane (dlpugh), she was going to introduce us to a spaniel breeder....we never got further than the Cairn Terriers! We now have the most loving and lovable dog we could ever have wished for. Our friend refers to them as Cairn Terrorists but that is a term of endearment. I can honestly say that they are not 'yappy' and I would highly recommend a Cairn to anyone who wants a friend.
im my opinion, cairn terrirers are the friendliest breed of dogs avaliable. they are very tolerent, don't mind being left alone for the best part of the day, eneretic, and full of character. my cairn, doris, is very happy and easily satisfied, and she is very very friendly and to my knowlage she has never hurt a person. the down side is that if you have a cairn, you can't keep small pets like rabbits and mice, because he/she is likely to try and catch them. cair terriers look like a westy, but bigger with dark ears and mussel.