The origin of the Cairn Terrier

The origin of the Cairn Terrier

Although a highly adored and popular breed in the United States, most Americans do not know where Cairn Terriers came from. The first clue is in their name. A cairn is a mound of rocks or stones, usually arranged in a cone shape, that were used as landmarks or monuments in the Scottish Highlands, where the Cairn Terrier originated. Cairn Terriers were originally bred to hunt and flush prey, vermin or game that would hide in burrows beneath these Cairn Terriers.

The Cairn Terrier’s origins in the Scottish Highlands have everything to do with the dog’s appearance, temperament and abilities. The Cairn Terrier was developed for a very specific purpose. Their fur, for example, has a thick undercoat for warmth and a relatively waterproof topcoat. This balance helps the terrier to survive the variable and often harsh temperature and weather conditions of the Scottish Highlands.

Cairn size is another factor that is deliberately bred into the dog. Farmers in the Scottish Highlands needed a dog small enough to follow vermin and other vermin into burrows, aggressive enough to challenge its prey, and tenacious enough to finish the job, no matter what fight the game might put up. . Cairn Terriers excel in all of these areas because of the careful and selective breeding that went into the development of the breed.

The Cairn breed achieved much of its popularity due to its utility in the Scottish Highlands. Besides being able to destroy pests that destroy crops or kill valuable livestock, the Cairn Terrier, left to its own devices, would even bring home small game animals that are fit to eat.

Cairns were bred from the same terrier stock that produced other familiar Scottish breeds, such as the similar-looking West Highland White Terrier and the infamous Scottish Terrier, or “Scottie.” At the turn of the century these dogs were all grouped together, but after just over a decade the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognized the Cairn Terrier as its own breed with specific standards.

The American Kennel Club standards for the Cairn Terrier were last revised and consolidated in the late 1930s. The AKC sets a minimum weight of fourteen pounds for males and thirteen pounds for females, although a healthy no-show weight can be anywhere between twelve to eighteen pounds. The Cairn Terrier’s height is also specific by AKC standards (with a shoulder height of nine inches for females and ten inches for males), but a shoulder height of anywhere between eight and thirteen inches is acceptable according to health standards for non-exhibitions. With this breed’s hyperactivity and love of food, there can be extreme weight swings in either direction that are unhealthy. It’s best to keep a close eye on your Cairn Terrier’s weight and make sure you exercise him more if he’s getting a little porky or feed him a little more if he’s looking thin!

Although the Cairn Terrier is rarely used for its original purpose as a hunting dog today, their instincts and origins clearly shine through in their bubbly little personalities.

#origin #Cairn #Terrier

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