The Cairn

Family Tree
Although Cairn Terriers are not a common breed in America, they have been in existence for quite a while. They originated over two hundred years ago in the Highlands of Scotland and on the Isle of Skye. They were bred to hunt vermin which infested the rural areas, and were a great help in bolting the fox, the otter, the weasel, and others from their dens in the ground, in the rocks, or under the rock cairns (heaps of stones) found there.

They are cousins to the Scottish and the West Highland White Terriers which come from Scotland too. Although their ancestors were closely related, there is a profound and distinct difference between the present day breeds.

Spirit of the Chase
It was their job to go after the game and worry it until it came out to be killed by their masters. To do the job properly, they had to be fairly small to enter the holes after their quarry. They had muscular shoulders with short strong front legs and sturdy feet to assist in digging. Their powerful jaws and large teeth quickly convinced their adversary that they meant business if he wanted a fight.

They often take to the water and have thick, heavy, water repellent coats to protect them. They are fearless and would never give up on a chase or in a battle. This is still the “code” of the Cairn Terrier. The name “Terrier” came from the Latin “Terra” meaning earth, since Cairns are diggers or “earthdogs”.

Talents Soon Discovered
In those early days, Cairns were intended as hunters for the most part, but it wasn't long until their owners found that they made excellent watchdogs, good companions or house dogs.

High IQ
Cairns are intelligent and although full of spirit, not high strung. They will not bark much unless there is a prowler, at which time they display their talents as a good watch dog.

Easily Adaptable
Cairns can be either house dogs or outdoor dogs and will joyfully make their home with you in a small apartment or large home in the city or the country, in warm climate or cold. Their thick, double coat sheds rain and keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It doesn't require much care other than regular brushing and combing, which maintains cleanliness, and an occasional slight grooming will retain the sharp Cairn look.

At Meal Time
They are not fussy eaters. A routine diet of commercial dog food with a few supplements will keep them healthy, bright and alert.

Exercise is Fun
As often as you wish the Cairn will go on long walks with you... as far as you are willing to go. They are good travelers and enjoy short drives or long trips in the car.

Manners Perfect
Cairns are easily housebroken when still small puppies. They will sleep wherever you wish, whether box, a corner of the room, in a crate, the kennel, an easy chair, or on a bed if invited.

Welcome Visitors
When company comes, Cairns are as good as they can be and never bark unnecessarily. If taught not to jump up on visitors, the won't. They will gladly show off the tricks they have been taught. One of their favorites is to play fetch with a ball. They make friends easily, and love both adults and children.

Owning a Cairn
If your choice is a Cairn Terrier, we welcome you to the world of the Cairn. Cairn owners become loyal fanciers and seldom want any other breed. Many say that the only thing better than owning one Cairn is owning two!