The Cairn Terrier.
These gregarious and fun loving little dogs will be the focus of this Holidays4Dogs breed article. Originating in the Scottish Highlands, they were first mentioned in the 16th Century when King James the VI sent a pack of them to the King of France. Nowadays they are popular family pets.
The cairn terrier was a ratting dog, widely kept by crofters in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The breed ranged in size, with the larger ones hunting badgers and foxes. Cairns were regarded as tough and tenacious fighting dogs, revered for their hunting abilities.
By the middle of the 19th Century, the differences in types was formalised. As such, separate breeds emerged including the Skye terrier and the Scottish terrier.
The cairn terrier went into decline and were much less known, apart from in remote areas of Argyle and the Isle of Skye.
By the start of the 20th Century some breeders became interested in reviving the cairn terrier as a breed in its own right.
One pioneer, a lady called Mrs Campbell, had some cairns brought to Ardrishaig from the Isle of Skye. She proposed the dogs should be named as ‘prick-eared Skye terriers’. However, this did not go down well with Skye terrier breeders. The club now has an international presence with over twenty countries represented.
Health and temperament.
Like many terriers, Cairns are lively little dogs with distinctive personalities. They need a secure garden because they are notoriously good escape artists and excellent at digging. However, they are a charming breed and enjoy family life.
The coat of the cairn terrier sheds little, but they may require professional grooming a couple of times a year. If you intend to show your Cairn, his coat needs to be in a certain condition and trimmed into style, but many enthusiasts learn how to do this themselves.
Cairn Terriers can suffer from certain hereditary diseases; notably, Ocular Melanosis, Porto Systemic Shunt (Liver Shunt), and Microvascular Dysplasia. Therefore, it is always sensible to purchase puppies from a responsible breeder.