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Cairn Terrier

Group: Terriers (Group 2)
Club: Cairn Terrier Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Mrs Barbara Candela
Phone: (03) 5981 8532

Brief History
One of the original breeds of the highlands and west coast islands of Scotland, this working Terrier was valued for its ability to hunt and kill vermin as part of a Laird’s pack or as a crofter’s house dog. Despite this, the Cairn Terrier was the last of the Terrier breeds of Scotland to gain pure breed status. The Cairn Terrier Club was established by devotees to ensure that the “old working terrier of the highlands was not going to become a lap dog”, which is reflected in the present standard of the breed.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average life span is 15 years.

Fearless and outgoing disposition, assertive but not aggressive.

The Cairn Terrier thrives on companionship with young and old, good with families, but young children and pets should always be supervised.

General Breed Description
The Cairn Terrier is a small sized terrier, agile, alert, of workmanlike, natural appearance. He is a moderate little dog, with prick ears and carries his tail up. He is quite strong and very free in movement. He is double coated, with a soft undercoat and weather resistant outercoat that can become shaggy. Colours may be cream, wheaten, red, grey or nearly black, with brindling in all of these colours.

Coat and Care Requirements
When purchasing a Cairn Terrier, be guided by the breeder’s dietary recommendations. Ensure fencing and gates are escape proof, top and bottom, and that if outside, the Cairn has shelter and water and some stimulating toys to keep him amused. He is a double coated dog and weekly brushing and combing of the coat will remove any dead hairs, keeping the skin healthy. It is advisable that the topcoat is hand stripped out at the onset of summer and again in late autumn. Nails should also be regularly trimmed.

Height: 28 to 31cms (11 to 12ins)
Weight: 6 to 7.5kgs

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does.

Cairn Terriers make champion companions for all ages and for either a single person or a family, both inside and outside. Small enough to be picked up and cuddled, tough enough to enjoy a long walk or play in the backyard or participating in obedience or agility instruction. Owners need to be aware that they are a terrier and they retain that intuitive instinct to hunt. Any leash free fun with a Cairn should only be undertaken when you have trained your Cairn to obey the “come” word.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders