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Cairn Terrier

Tags: terrier, Small-sized, High energy level, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian

The "cairn" in my name comes from the piles of stones in the Scottish highlands and Isle of Skye where my breed was developed to hunt rabbit, badger, and fox. A small (14 to 16 pounds and 10-12 inches at the shoulder) and agile dog was needed to squirm down into those rocky dens and detain the critters until the farmer arrived on the scene. My ancestors include the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland Terrier. The Cairn Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1913.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Aloof and proud
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie

Report card

  • Dominant personality
  • High-strung
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Perfect protector
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Spirited
  • Willing watchdog -- with bark to match

What to expect

I need you to make a plan, right from the start, for training and handling a small dog that will be a big part of your life for many years. Please think about how you will get me socialized to the other people (children, I hope) and animals (don't let me become a cat-chaser) in my new home and around town. Will you start my obedience training early (even puppy kindergarten), be firm but respectful of my super-smart terrier mind, and continue to teach me something new forever after? Great, now let's get to work!

Watch for

Possible inherited eye disorders, patellar luxation (slipped kneecap).

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