Magisterial Cairn Terriers

Brief History of the Cairn Terrier:

Originating in Scotland, they were classified as a Skye Terrier along with the Scottish terrier and West Highland White terrier (believed to be the Cairns' predecessors). To eliminate confusion, they were simply classified as Cairn Terriers by the early 20th century. Traditionally bred to hunt fox, badgers, and other vermin, the Cairn is a very active and energetic companion, and will remain so well into their later years. Despite their roles as hunting dogs, they were very family oriented (as classic Scottish artwork portrays), playful and good with children.  The breed was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1912. 

A typical day for the Cairn Terrier in its country of origin would be to scavenge the rocky terrain for small vermin and explore the creeks and rivers for clams, and edible greens.  They were, and still are, a very hardy little dog.  Because of the Cairns’ loyal personality, and loving nature, they were brought into the homes of some very Royal family members.  Still used as working dogs, they transcend the work and play relationship with ease; thus making them a great family dog--past, present, and future!

Character Overview:

Extremely protective of both its home and family, the Cairn Terrier makes an ideal watch dog and a welcome companion certain to make your domicile complete. Drawing from their history as hunters of fox and other vermin, they are very attentive to their surroundings, and have an uncanny sense of awareness.

Exemplifying good health and moral fiber, the Cairn has an average life expectancy of 16 years, making theirs the longest lifespan of the Terrier breed. They maintain their active and youthful vitality well into their later years, which in turn will encourage a longer, more satisfying life for the rest of your family. Healthy Dog=Happy Dog; a philosophy that will enrich both human and canine alike!

With a remarkable disposition, and an exuberant personality, the easily excitable Cairn is always quick to alert you and your family to approaching strangers and visitors. Of course your dog will require strict training with plenty of attention, and it is very important to cultivate the Cairn into your daily routine.  Remember that your dogs are only as good as the love and affection you provide them.

Cairn Terrier’s love swimming, and enjoy days at the beach and cottage.  They can spend endless hours playing about in the water, and in return, you will receive endless hours of laughs and giggles as you watch them frisk about.  They love to submerge their heads in the lake, and find things in the shallows.  Often times they will create a pile of their days collection for all to see.

Care & Maintenance:

The Cairn Terrier has a completely non-shedding, non-allergenic, and weather resistant coat.  This feature makes the Cairn an ideal pet for people with family members suffering from allergies.

Grooming the Cairn Terrier: It is important, not only for the appearance, but also for the health and safety of your cairn, to groom it regularly. Cairns require frequent brushing, however, you should make an effort to never bathe them unless absolutely necessary (i.e. your dog rolls in something that cannot be brushed out), as this will have a negative impact on the Cairn's natural coat. Regular teeth brushing and nail clipping are equally important yet seldom implemented by Cairn owners due to the arduous task of keeping the dog still and firmly in place. Just as with children, the dog will make a fuss and resist you every step of the way, but hey, somebody has to do it! In the end, your Cairn will love you for it. Be sure to swab your Cairn's ears frequently in order to keep the wax and dirt build-up to a minimal. The Cairn's keen sense of hearing contributes greatly to its alert mental state, making it an exceptional guard dog.  Remember, cleanliness is next to DOGLINESS!

Cairns require plenty of exercise, and will feel most at home in a rural setting, however, they are versatile and will adapt easily to many environments. Because they are mischievous and at times a little feisty, it is important to administer firm discipline when rearing your Cairn Terrier.

Physical Specifications:

The most interesting and aesthetically pleasing of small breed dogs--the Cairn Terrier!  In spite of their petite stature, they are extremely powerful, and exhibit little, if any fear in the presence of strangers. One of the greatest points of pride for the Cairn Terrier is its thick, rich, and vibrant coat, which is often described as long, course, and abundant. The cairn's colour varies from red, grey, cream, wheaten, or near-black, containing variations of comparable colours.  The ears and muzzle must always be of darker colour in contrast to the rest of the coat.

The Cairn Terrier has a small head, broad skull-pronounced stop.  He has a very powerful muzzle with quite strong jaws.  His eyes are medium size, wide set, dark in colour, and garnished with bushy eyebrows.  The Cairn has very small, pointed, and held erect ears.  The body is long with a strongly coupled neck, his ribs are well sprung, and his hindquarters are solid.  He has short legs of good bone, and his front feet may be larger than his hind feet and they may turn out slightly.  The Cairn tail is very distinctive.  It is short, rich, carried gaily but not curling up toward the back.

Their size ranges from 28 to 31 cm (11-12 in.) for males and 25 to 30 cm (10-12 in.) for females, and they typically weigh in at 6 to 7.5 kg (14-16.5 lbs.).

For additional information on the Cairn Terrier’s physical specifications, please visit the official Canadian Kennel Club website HERE.

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CKC Purebred Standard Poodle, Giant Schnauzer, and Cairn Terrier Breeder in Ontario. Last Update 12/18 Copyright © 2011 Magisterial Kennel.
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