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Cairn Terrier


General Information - Cairn Terrier


Group:
Terrier

Size:
small

Lifespan:
12-15 years

Exercise:
moderate

Grooming:
moderate

Trainability:
very hard

Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:
low

Area of Origin:
Scotland

Date of Origin:
Middle Ages

Other Names:
none

Original Function:
killing vermin



History

This dog, known since 1500, was first publicly presented in 1909 and became popular after 1930. The Cairn is one of Scotland's original Terriers, probably a contributor to today's Scottish, West Highland White and Skye terrier breeds. Named for the piles of small stones used to mark Scottish farm borders and graves, the Cairn Terrier’s job was to rout small animals from their lairs in these stone piles. Though used for such purposes for centuries, the Cairn Terrier is now primarily a companion dog. He also excels at Terrier (Go-To-Ground) trials. Everyone remembers a Cairn called "Toto" in the film "The Wizard of Oz."

Temperament

The Cairn is the essence of terrier; plucky, spirited, bold, inquisitive, hardy, clever, stubborn and scrappy. It is responsive to its owner's wishes, however, and tries to please; in fact, it is surprisingly sensitive. The Cairn Terrier is a self-assured and alert dog breed who makes a good watchdog. Affectionate and loving, the Cairn Terrier is naturally patient with children.

Upkeep

Despite its small size, the Cairn needs outdoor exercise every day, either a moderate walk on leash, a fun game in the yard or an excursion in a safe area. It can live outdoors in temperate climates, but it does better sleeping indoors. Its wire coat needs combing once weekly, plus stripping of dead hair at least twice yearly.