The confident Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds in Scotland. He serves as a rat hunter and companion dog. You can find out more about the Scottish hound in the following article.
History of the Cairn Terrier
The history of the Cairn Terrier begins in the Scottish Highlands. There, small terriers have been used for hunting for centuries. Their small size made it possible for them to get into the burrows of foxes, badgers and martens. In the barren landscape of the Highlands, the shelters of these animals are between rubble and piles of stones.
The ancestors of the Cairn Terrier fearlessly took on their well-fortified opponents, driving them out of the burrow and even being able to fight and kill them. They looked after house and yard and kept the buildings free of rats and mice. For a long time, the breed did not pay attention to the appearance of the dogs, but only to the hunting qualities. It was not until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Scottish terriers were divided into different breeds: initially the West Highland White Terrier, Scottish Terrier and Skye Terrier.
The latter was primarily bred on the Scottish island of Skye. The Cairn Terrier is most closely related to him. The Cairn Terrier was first listed as a short-haired variant of the Skye Terrier, but after protests from Skye Terrier breeders, the Cairn Terrier breed split off. In 1907, a Cairn Terrier was entered in the stud book for the first time, the dog “Callamhor” from the breeder Alastair Campbell. She is considered the founder of the Cairn Terrier breed. In 1909, a Cairn Terrier made its first appearance at a dog show in Scotland. In the same year the Scottish Cairn Terrier Club was founded.
The breed was registered with the British Kennel Club in 1911. The breed stand was set up in 1912. The Cairn Terrier was only recognized by the international umbrella organization FCI in 1963. Although the last of the four Scottish Jagdterrier breeds to be recognized as a distinct dog breed, the Cairn Terrier is considered the most original in appearance and temperament.
Essence and Character
“Cheerful and fearless” is how the Cairn Terrier is often described. Above all, he is one thing: active. Even if he is only very rarely used for hunting today, he is used to working and being on the road a lot. In addition, the intelligent dog not only wants to be exercised physically, but also to think along with you. As a hunting dog, he is used to working independently. Courageous and self-confident, the little prey hunter tends to overestimate himself. At the same time, he is very affectionate and loyal. He carefully guards his home. In addition, the Cairn Terriers love their pack and are well brought up, they are real children’s buddies who are balanced and do not react hectic or nervously. However, they should get to know other animals from puppyhood onwards, otherwise they all too easily see them as prey. All in all, Cairn Terriers are very adaptable dogs that are suitable both as family dogs that enjoy action and play, and as loyal companions for single people.
Purchase of a Cairn Terrier
Don’t underestimate a cairn terrier just because he’s physically small. His heart and confidence are giants. You should keep in mind in advance that he is a very lively dog who does not just run alongside. He needs a lot of time and attention, doesn’t like to be alone.
He also has a hunting instinct and must therefore be trained consistently from puppyhood onwards so that he can walk in the woods and fields without a leash. It is helpful here if you already have dog experience and are able to lead the dog, otherwise it will easily think that it has to take over the leadership of the pack. However, the Cairn Terrier is adaptable and can usually be taken anywhere. And novice dogs can learn together with him in a dog school.
What do you have to pay attention to when buying?
You should only buy a Cairn Terrier from a reputable breeder, never through classified ads on the Internet where you cannot get to know the parents. A breeder who cares about the well-being of his dogs will make this possible for you at any time. He will answer your questions, but also ask you questions, because it is important to him that his puppies are in good hands. Breeding dogs is expensive and before you can take the puppy home with you at eight weeks at the earliest, it has already had its first visit to the vet and the first vaccinations.
So if you discover supposedly cheap offers, you should not go into it. Such dogs come from so-called breeders, were usually separated from their mothers much too early, and are often already ill. A purebred Cairn Terrier from a good breed will usually cost more than 800.00 euros. You can find addresses of reputable breeders via the Terrier Club and the VDH umbrella organization.