The Isle of Skye located in Scotland has been known to keep little hunting dog breeds for as long as 200 years. Some of these breeds are currently famous among canine enthusiasts by the names of Skye Terrier and West Highland Terriers. From these breeds, another small hunting terrier comes to exist and it is known around the world as the Cairn terrier, which is also the last of the Scottish Highlands terriers to be introduced to the kennel clubs.

In its native land Scotland, the Cairn terrier is considered as one of the oldest working dogs. During its development in this country, it was made to hunt and catch rats, rodents and other small game. It also digs out and burrows under huge rock piles called cairn and this is where the Cairn terrier was named after.

This little breed, with its dense coat and smart looking eyes, appears adorably shaggy and vigilant. According to the breed standard, the Cairn terrier should stand between 10 to 13 inches in height and should weigh between 14 to 18 pounds. Due to some irresponsible breeding, however, there are several Cairns that weigh and stand more than the breed standards would allow.

The coat of this breed appears dense and shaggy on the outside and soft and tamed underneath. This coat protects the dog from harsh weather and other rough objects and it often comes out in colors of red, wheaten, gray and cream. Some coat colors also appear in brindles of black, white, and black and tan.

The coat color of this breed keeps changing until adulthood so you can never really state the exact color of the Cairn. Some colors may become lighter and there are some that become darker even to the point of becoming pure black. If there is a white colored Cairn, the American Kennel Club would list it as a West Highland White terrier.

Even then until today, the Cairn still manifests that same interest in hunting and digging out preys. Although these dogs are now mostly domesticated, you can still see them trying to hunt down rodents, rat, otters and other small games. Today, the Cairn is regarded as a household pet but its hunting skill is still as strong and excellent as before.

The Cairn terrier has a superb intelligence that is why it can be trained to do tasks and commands. However, this breed is also known to have an independent and stubborn spirit that’s why trainings may take a while before fully accomplished. Take note, however, that even though the Cairn has a mischievous side to it, positive and gentle reinforcements should only be done in order to avoid hurting the feelings of this tiny lovable creature.

Nowadays, the Cairn terriers are seen living in apartments or big houses as a household pet more than a working dog. This breed also goes well with children that’s why many families like to take them in. Grooming the Cairn also takes little work as it only needs hand stripping in order to keep its hair in a clean and shaggy style.

Author Trevor Ryans is an experienced breeder of Cairn Terrier dogs. Visit his online site today and read numerous of his works including Cairn Terrier breeders, Cairn Terrier rescue, Cairn Terrier puppies and more.

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Photo by robinsend

Originally posted 2016-09-04 10:27:26.