Cairn Terriers are only 22 to 25 cm long and weigh approximately 5 to 6 kg. They have a wide head and small, erect ears. Their body is compact, the legs are relatively short and their tail is natural and tall.
The Cairn Terrier puppy has a coat that consists of a soft inner layer, but its outer layer is hairy and water resistant which gives them a cheerful appearance.
They come in various colors like Cairn Terrier black, red brindle and silver.
These dogs have Scottish ancestry and are known to be a small, lively dog with a very distinctive coat that never looks dishevelled. There was a time when they were highly prized for their hunting skills, but today these lovely dogs are popular both as family pets and as companions thanks to their mischievous appearance and their dedication to their owners.
Cairn Terriers thrive on being around people and are highly adaptable dogs by nature, so they can adapt comfortably to most lifestyles with the greatest ease.
There is nothing these dogs like more than being part of a family and participating in everything that goes on in a home.
That said, like most terriers, the grey Cairn Terrier likes to keep busy, both mentally and physically, enjoying nothing more than being out and about.
They also pride themselves on having great prey and will happily pursue any animal that tries to escape.
Where does the Cairn Terrier come from?
Originally bred to hunt vermin, foxes and rodents, it has always been a highly prized dog for its willingness to please.
The real history Cairn Terrier is still unknown, but it is believed that they are descendants of native working terriers that were used in the Scottish lands.
There are some references to the Cairn Terrier dating back to the sixteenth century when the King of France received some ‘Dogges de la Terre’ from King Hames I and then James VI also sent some to the continent.
Scottish shepherds and hunters used the white Cairn Terrier to control vermin, hunt rabbits and foxes, but in the 17th and 19th centuries, it was used to hunt badgers and otters because they were considered vermin at that time.
These terriers were prized for their courage and ‘playfulness’ and, in fact, had the ability to ignore any pain when approaching their prey.
At the time, in the Cairn Terrier these terriers varied greatly in color, size and shape from region to region because they were bred specifically to work on different and often challenging terrain and to hunt different types of prey.
Other terriers that existed at that time, which included the Scottish, Skye and West Highland White, were the most recognized breeds during the nineteenth century, while the small black Cairn Terrier puppy remained quite unknown, except in areas of Scotland where they were bred more often to hunt.
Appearance of the dog breed Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier adoption are small, robust and well-muscled dogs that have a unique look with their furry coats and charming expressive heads.
They have a rather small and wide head that is very in proportion to the rest of their body and have a well defined stop and a powerful muzzle.
They have a black and shiny nose which adds to their overall charming appeal.
Their eyes are well separated and are a dark hazel colour.
Cairn Terriers have hairy eyebrows, which is another physical trait that makes these dogs so endearing. The ears are small and pointed.
These terriers have strong jaws with a regular scissor bite where their upper teeth overlap perfectly with the lower ones. Likewise, Cairn Terriers have strong necks and well-boned shoulders.
The front legs are straight and covered with thick hair. Their body is compact with fairly arched ribs and they have a good level of back and flexible, muscular loins.
Intelligence and trainability of the Cairn Terriers
The Cairn Terrier buys even though it is a small and intelligent dog, it can be stubborn sometimes thanks to its quite independent nature.
Their training should begin as soon as possible and they should be handled with a firm but gentle hand from an early age so that they learn all the basic rules.
Once a puppy has been fully vaccinated, it is a good idea to enroll him in an obedience class, with the added advantage that Cairn Terriers really enjoy participating in these classes.
Because Cairn Terrier puppies are so incredibly cute, it is very easy to spoil them when they arrive at their new homes.
However, new owners must start as they wish to continue, which means setting ground rules and teaching a puppy what is acceptable behavior and what is not. All dogs behave much better when they know what their owners expect of them and when they know who is the alpha of the household.
Classic temperament of a Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is known to be a very ‘playful’ dog with a happy but brave disposition.
They rarely show aggression and are very trusting characters. Like many of their terrier cousins, they are intelligent dogs, which makes them easy to train when handled correctly.
However, they are extremely fast, which means that they are masters when it comes to committing a little mischief without an owner noticing it on the spot, a trait for which these terriers are famous.
These dogs love to participate in all kinds of dog sports and excel in many of them.
The thing to keep in mind is that it is never a good idea to make a young Cairn Terrier jump because they could end up damaging their back, joints and ligaments when they do and this could make life very uncomfortable later in their adult life.
Cairn Terriers thrive on being around people and do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
They would not be a good choice for people who spend most of their day away from home leaving their pets alone.
This could lead to a Cairn Terrier developing some behavioral problems, such as separation anxiety.
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