Featured Breed

A great cairn terrier

Cairn Terrier

Origin

The Cairn Terrier is a breed of dog descended from the Skye Terrier, one of the oldest Scottish terrier dog breeds. They were developed along the western coast, as early as the 16th century, for the purpose of hunting fox and otter. The purest of the breed were found on the Isle of Skye, from which they got their name.

At some point, during the year 1840, Queen Victoria deemed the breed “fancy”. This skyrocketed the dogs' popularity among the high society. During the late 1800's, the Skye Terrier made its way to America. Then, in 1887, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed officially.

Now, this is where the Cairn Terrier's history gets a little bit tricky. The ancestors of the Cairn Terrier had existed as far back as the 1500's, again. During the early 1900's, though, these dogs were still being called Short-haired Skye Terriers. However, much opposition arose from Skye Terrier breeders. Shortly thereafter, in 1909, the name “Cairn Terrier” came up and the breed was established.

Overall, there were three dog breeds involved in this early 1900's split off. Skye Terriers, while they used to include numerous terrier breeds, are now their own breed. Other breeds which came from them include Scottish Terriers and West Highland White Terriers.

Description

The Cairn Terrier's body is small. Their legs are usually very short, and in odd proportion to the body. Cairn Terriers usually measure between 9 and 13 inches, and weigh between 10 to 15 pounds.

The Cairn Terrier's head is small and round, with pointed, erect ears. Their eyes are usually dark, round, and somewhat hidden by their fur. One very interesting feature of the Cairn Terrier is their purple tongues. Since not many people know this is a common trait for this breed, purebreds are often mistaken as mixed breeds.

The Cairn Terrier has a double-coat, or two separate coats. The undercoat is soft and dense, while the outer coat is harsh and coarse. These coats are also shaggy, which give the dogs a rough appearance. Cairn Terriers come in many different colors, including black, cream, wheaten, red, sandy, and brindled. Brindle Cairn Terriers generally change colors throughout their lifetime. They also become progressively silver or black as they age. Furthermore, while white Cairn Terriers used to be permitted for registration, they are now considered to be West Highland White Terriers, otherwise known as Westies.

Cairn Terriers are considered to be hypoallergenic and tend to shed very little, although frequent grooming is necessary... Read More

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