Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Temperament: Hardy, Fearless, Assertive, Intelligent, Gay, Active
Weight: Male: 13–18 lbs (6–8 kg), Female: 13–18 lbs (6–8 kg)
Colors: Black, Brindle, Cream, Tan, Wheaten
Height: Male: 10–13 inches (25–33 cm), Female: 9–12 inches (23–30 cm)
Nature and character
The Cairn Terrier is a typical terrier: extremely adaptable, but with a strong sense of self. Despite its small size, the Cairn Terrier appears brave and sometimes downright dominant. At the same time, he is also very attached to his people and proves to children as a happy and patient playmate. The Cairn Terrier adapts to the life as a family dog as well as single persons and is also uncomplicated in the attitude.
Origin & History
The Cairn Terrier comes from the Scottish Highlands, where he was mainly used in the fox hunt. It owes its name to the "Cairns", ie the buildings that are created by foxes in scree slopes. The breed is one of the oldest Terrier breeds in the UK, it is sometimes even referred to as the archetype of all Scottish Terriers. It was registered at the end of the 19th century as a short-haired variant of the Skye-Terrier and only allowed in 1910 after protests by Skye breeders as a separate breed under the name Cairn Terrier. Both breeds are closely related and have their origin on the Scottish island of Skye. In the 20th century, the Cairn Terrier evolved from a hunting dog to a companion and exhibition dog.
Cairn Terrier breed features
The Cairn Terrier has a small, well-haired head, which should be in balance with the body. The skull is wide with a pronounced stop and a noticeable notch between the eyes. The catch is strong, but the jaw still does not appear heavy or long. The eyes are medium sized and dark hazel. They stand far apart and are framed by shaggy eyebrows. The Cairn Terrier has a not-too-short neck, which merges into a straight back of medium length. The breast is well arched with ribs reaching far back. The loins are strong and supple.
The tail is short, but should always be in a proper relationship to the body. She shows well haired without showing feathering. The tail is carried high but not pulled over the back. The Cairn Terrier has strong forelegs of medium length with sloping shoulders, well covered with hair. The hind legs appear strong and muscular with well angled knee joints. The hocks are low without any apparent in or out rotation. The front paws are larger than the hind paws and can be turned slightly outwards.
Cairn Terrier creature & character
The Cairn Terrier is an attentive and cheerful dog with a strong sense of self. He likes to work and is generally an active dog, who is as playful as he is patient in dealing with children. However, very young children can sometimes assert their dominant character. As a family or companion dog, the Cairn Terrier proves to be a devoted companion who prefers to stay close to his people. He shows himself curious and always ready for business ventures, but does not make any great demands. The Cairn Terrier is able to adapt to the rhythm of life of its human being as needed.
The Cairn Terrier turns out to be a self-confident and self-sufficient dog, yet not overly stubborn. He learns quickly and easily, but requires a consistent education because of his self-assured appearance. In the attitude of the robust Cairn Terrier is undemanding and straightforward. Even the coat does not require any elaborate care despite the shaggy appearance, but should only be trimmed from time to time. From his ancestors, the Scottish fox hunters, the Cairn Terrier has preserved his bravado and fearlessness. Despite his courageous appearance, he shows no aggressiveness, but always behaves alertly, without inclining to excessive barking.
Use of the Cairn Terrier
Although the Cairn Terrier has retained much of its original nature as a hunting dog, today it is used exclusively as a family and companion dog. Due to its adaptability and unpretentiousness, it is suitable as a family dog and patient playmate for children, but also as a companion dog for single persons. If the Cairn Terrier has the opportunity to walk freely in a garden, a proper fencing should be emphasized. The Cairn Terrier is an avid grave that rifles through under many simple fences without any problems. As a companion dog he enjoys long trips, but is exceptionally satisfied with short walks. Especially in the forest and the field, his innate hunting instinct can be seen.