Selecting a puppy requires much more than just a decision to purchase a puppy. Prospective owners need to take time to evaluate their lifestyle, and decide if a puppy, older dog, or a Cairn at all is the right breed for them. A Cairn is a dog who can live to be 15 years or more. Owning a Cairn is not a whim, but a lifelong commitment.
The Cairn is thought to be one of the oldest terrier breeds, dating back several hundreds of years in it's native homeland on the Isle of Skye in Great Britain. The Cairns task was to hunt predators that hid in the "Cairns" or rock piles of this rugged terrain. This job required much stamina and a superior gameness. The Cairn earned a reputation of being steadfast against obstacles.
Cairns also earn high praise as companions. Cairns readily adapt to apartments, country estates, and suburban life.
Cairns are very affectionate, outgoing, and good natured dogs. They do well with children. Young children and dogs should never be left unsupervised. Cairns are quite active dogs, and need to be able to work off some energy. You will need to have an adequate well fenced space for exercise. Giving your Cairn a good walk or two a day is another way you can provide to give your Cairn some exercise. Cairns should not be left alone for long periods or ever tied out. They can be very destructive diggers. A Cairn is not suitable to living outdoors. They are much better companions when they are included in family life.
A Cairn is an active, often headstrong little dog. An owner must commit to training their dog. A Cairn is a dog who can very quickly take over a home without proper training. Cairns are known for their eagerness to please and its keen intelligence. Because of it's sensitive nature, a Cairn reacts better to praise and positive reinforcement training.
Locating your Cairn Terrier
Your Cairn will be part of your family for many years to come. It's important to purchase your Cairn from a responsible breeder. Such breeders are concerned with producing dogs that have sound temperaments as well as healthy dogs of good conformation. These breeders are committed to improving the breed. Responsible breeders stand behind every dog they breed thorough out it's life. They screen buyers to determine whether or not the family will be a good fit with the dog. You will be encouraged to visit the breeder at their home and meet their dogs. A responsible breeder is willing to answer questions and assist with problems.
The CTCA is a good place to begin your search for such a breeder. They can provide you with a list of breeders in your area. You can also request a copy of their pamphlet, Meet the Cairn Terrier. The club's web site will provide you with more information on Cairns, along with care and grooming requirements.
Attending a dog show is yet another way to meet good responsible and conscientious breeders. Be sure to purchase the shows catalog, as this will provide you with the names and addresses of the exhibitors.