Cairn Terrier is an active, game, hardy little terrier that is loaded with spunk. The Cairn Terrier dog breed has been known in the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland for over 500 years. The stronghold of the Cairn Terrier was the Isle of Skye and the breed was first exhibited in 1909 as Short-haired Skyes. Skye Terrier fanciers immediately objected and the breed was renamed as the Cairn Terrier, taking its new name from the piles of rock it often had to traverse in pursuit of vermin.
General Appearance: Agile, alert, of workmanlike, natural appearance. Standing well forward on forepaws. Strong quarters. Deep in rib, very free in movement. Weather-resistant coat. Should impress as being active, game and hardy.
Cairn Terrier Temperament: Fearless and gay disposition; assertive but not aggressive.
Size: Approximately 28-31 cm (11-12 ins) at withers, but in proportion to weight – ideally 6-7.5 kgs (14-16 lbs).
Coat and Colour:
Coat: Very important. Weather-resistant. Must be double-coated, with profuse, harsh, but not coarse, outer coat; undercoat short, soft and close. Open coats objectionable. Slight wave permissible.
Colour: Cream, wheaten, red, grey or nearly black. Brindling in all these colours acceptable. Not solid black, or white, or black and tan. Dark points, such as ears and muzzle, very typical. Head Head small, but in proportion to body. Skull broad; a decided indentation between the eyes with a definite stop. Muzzle powerful, jaw strong but not long or heavy. Nose black.
Head: well furnished. Eyes wide apart, medium in size, dark hazel. Slightly sunk with shaggy eyebrows. Ears small, pointed, well carried and erect, not too closely set nor heavily coated. Mouth large teeth. Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Neck: Well set on, not short.
Forequarters: Sloping shoulders, medium length of leg, good but not too heavy bone. Forelegs never out at elbow. Legs covered with harsh hair.
Body: Back level, medium length. Well sprung deep ribs; strong supple loin.
Hindquarters: Very strong muscular thighs. Good, but not excessive, bend of stifle. Hocks well let down inclining neither in nor out when viewed from the rear. Feet forefeet larger than hind, may be slightly turned out. Pads thick and strong. Thin, narrow or spreading feet and long nails objectionable.
Tail: Short, balanced, well furnished with hair but not feathery. Neither high nor low set, carried gaily but not turned down towards back.
Gait: Very free-flowing stride. Forelegs reaching well forward. Hindlegs giving strong propulsion. Hocks neither too close nor too wide.
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Cairn Terrier puppies
Link: Cairn Terrier club