Is a Cairn Terrier Right for You?
Cairn Terriers are a small, but tough breed known for their fearless and energetic nature. These beloved dogs have a rich history and are a popular choice for families and individuals alike. In this article, we will explore 12 interesting facts about Cairn Terriers, including their origin, physical characteristics, and even some lesser-known facts that will surprise you. Whether you’re a long-time Cairn Terrier owner or simply interested in learning more about this unique breed, this article is for you!
The exact origin of
the Cairn terrier is not known. Some researchers believe this terrier originated from the crossbreeding of Skye Terriers and Scottish Terriers with Pomeranians and even Dachshunds. Others believe the opposite-that the Cairn terrier was instrumental in the development of Scottish Terrier, the Skye Terrier and the West Highland Terrier!
Cairn Terrier’s were bred
to hunt vermin from the rock piles (called cairns) found on Scottish farms. In the early days of the breed, they were known as short-haired Skye Terrier’s.
The Cairn Terrier is a strong and
sturdy breed with a dense, weatherproof, wiry coat and large, strong jaws and teeth. It has triangular ears and fox like expression. They are tenacious and once they start a “job” they have a need to finish it. There is no quit in a Cairn terrier.
In Landmark Research on Modern Dog Breed
development, the Cairn Terrier has been shown to share the most DNA with an ancestor of the following breeds:
West Highlands White Terrier
The Cairn Terriers are known
as one of the more outgoing dogs among other terriers. They are alert, intelligent, independent, and courageous. The Cairn Terrier was bred to hunt small game, so they are fearless when it comes to going after animals larger than themselves. They have a VERY strong prey drive
According to FCI Breed Standard
the Cairn Terrier can reach up to 10 inches in height and 14 pounds in weight. Accepted coat colors are:
“Cream, wheaten, red, grey or nearly black. Brindling in all these colours acceptable. Not solid black, or white, or black and tan. Dark points, such as ears and muzzle, very typical.”
The Cairn Terrier has a
compact body with short legs well-suited for digging holes in the garden to chase rodents out of their burrows or to find that perfect spot for a nap. Their front paws are more padded and slightly larger than the back paws. This genetic development helped them dig through the rock piles on Scottish farms. If you have a Cairn Terrier-chances are, you will have holes in the yard!
Growing Up Cairn Terrier!
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The AKC Conducts Dog Racing Trials
each December in Orlando, FL. called the Fast CAT Invitational. This is a 100 yard race where dogs run individually chasing a lure. The average speed for Cairn Terrier’s was about 18 mph. The fastest recorded time was by a Cairn named Pippin’s Pleasure at 23.62 mph!
The CBARQ Dog Temperament Research
study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, is a giant study of over 300 dog breeds and 60,000 individual dogs. In this study, the Cairn Terrier ranked 11 out of 124 dog breeds in prey drive. They rank VERY high in chasing other small animals. Chances are, if a squirrel, cat, mouse or other animal catches their field of vision-they are gone!
In this Same Research
the Cairn Terrier ranks 24 out of 124 breeds in displaying hostility towards other familiar dogs in the same household. They may threaten other dogs in the house over toys, food, attention etc.
Cairn Terrier Humor!
In the Landmark Book
entitled, “The Intelligence of Dogs”, professor Stanley Coren researched and documented the intelligence of over 130 different dog breeds. In his book, the Cairn Terrier ranks 35th out of 130 breeds in working/obedience intelligence. Essentially this means they will learn new commands in 15 to 25 repetitions and obey first commands more than 70% of the time. This puts them in the “above average working and obedience intelligence” category. In contrast, the lest intelligent breeds will require 80-100 repetitions to learn and follow the same commands and the most intelligent, 5 repetitions or less!
The Cairn Terrier is generally
a healthy breed, with an average lifespan of 13-15 years, but a few health problems have been seen in the breed such as:
Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy
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