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Tell me about cairn terriers

(8 Posts)
ilovespongebob Wed 26-Feb-14 18:56:56

Been considering getting a family dog for some time. Two DS aged 10 and 13. Four storey victorian house with enclosed back yard. DH and I run our own business and so taking the dog to work would be no problem, offices overlook green area so we could nip out to give the dog a comfort break. Would like to go to obedience and possibly agility classes. We have the opportunity to met a 10 month old male at the weekend. Fifth generation pedigree, fully vaccinated, not in a rescue centre but being rehomed by current owners "for a genuine reason". The current owner is very keen that the dog goes to a good home and wanted me to email him about us before he agreed to meet us. His reply was you seem like a lovely family please come and meet the dog. So that's where we are off to on Saturday. Oh and we have an indoor rescue cat, who is adorable and very placid.
So basically what do I need to know about cairns, I have been reading up on them for quite some time but would prefer to hear personal experiences good or bad.
This isn't a decision we are taking lightly, like my youngest DS said, mum if the dog lives to be 15 years old, I will be 25, a man!!!
We are already compiling a list of questions such as likes, dislikes, walking, travel, grooming.
Thanks for reading and any info.

mrslaughan Thu 27-Feb-14 17:49:57

Very good friends have a cairn, and she often stays when they go on holiday. Though after her last visit my husband has banned her (she bit him)
I love her, but she can be snappy and growly, she knows what she wants and will use her voice and then teeth to get her own way (i.e. to stay on the couch - she is not allowed on it at home, so its not like its diff rules). I have no idea if this is training (or lack of it), but it is enough for me to say, as much as I love her, I wouldn't have one.

My small dog of choice would be a Whippet.

Wordsmith Wed 02-Apr-14 14:12:20

Cairns are lovely. We are on our second (our first passed away quite young last year - but this is not a congenital trait, generally speaking they are very hardy dogs). We have a 5 month old bitch; she is lively and SO much fun, and so loving. I also have two DSs, 14 and 10 - bear in mind at that age the boys don't exactly pull their weight in the dog walking tasks. But I also work from home so very similar situation to you. She spends most of the day asleep under my desk, keeping my feet warm!

They don't need much walking - our normal routine is a 20 min stroll round the park in the morning and occasionally the school run if I do it in the afternoon, and then hopefully a decent 1-2 mile walk or two at weekends, although not always. Sometimes she doesn't get her daily walk but doesn't seem to mind. Bear in mind when you do go for a walk to allow extra time for all the oohing and ahhhing you will encounter from passers-by smile

We have a 5 yr old cat who is NOT impressed by the dog but tolerates her - whacks her if she gets too close. The dog tries to make friends but the cat is definitely in charge!

Grooming - they need stripping (not clipping) every 6 months or so, and the occasional bath, but otherwise are very easy to look after.

Ours travels fine in the back of the car in a car harness. Our previous pup had no trouble whatsoever with a 4 hour trip to the seaside.

Despite our heartache with our first cairn we were in no doubt that we'd get another. They are so cute, gorgeous looking and a real bundle of fun. A cairn sounds ideal for your family. Good luck!

unintentionalthreadkiller Wed 02-Apr-14 14:42:18

They are the best dogs in the world biased

I grew up with one and now have a three year old. We got him when I was eight weeks pregnant, with twins. I knew if we didn't do it then that we wouldn't be in a position to get a puppy for a long long time.

They are friendly, wonderful, loyal dogs. Mine loves DTs who will be three in August, they're all growing up together and its lovely. He is so gentle with them and always has been and he likes to sleep under their beds at night (strictly against the rules but he gets away with it for half an hour or so before we realise).

I would have to point out though that they are terriers and you can't curb a terrier instinct. They can be barky. They like to dig. They like to chase small furries.

My worry would be the cat. Ddog loves them and wants to play with them. First Ddog, hated them with a passion and had them in small furry category.

As for walking, we walk him for appx half an hour a day during the week (and play endless catch with a tennis ball in the evening), and two good long runs Saturday and sunday and its plenty for him.

Grooming - he goes four times a year, £30 a time, and he is clipped not stripped but that is a personal decision.

He has a passport and comes on holiday with us to France each summer, travels in between DTs in the car on a harness. We're going to America this year and have to leave him for two weeks and its going to be devastating.

Preferthedogtothekids Wed 02-Apr-14 16:30:21

My parents got a cairn when I was 14 and he died aged 10.

They loved him, he was just the cutest pup ever, but as an adult he was quite a piece of work! He was stubborn, strong-willed, very clever and did whatever he damn well wanted to do. He would run offlead happily for hours on most walks, but sometimes the minute you wanted to put his lead on he would hop about 6 feet away from you until he was ready to go home (this usually involved just sitting in the car with the doors open until he jumped in).

We lived near a beach and we were walking one day when we found a shoal of dead starfish had been washed up. Despite trying to stop him, he chomped on as many on them as he could stomach before we got him back. This lead to severe illness and liver damage for which he required long-term medication (steroids). He died from an enlarged heart due to the medication.

He was called Corrie and was very much part of the family, but I would never have a Cairn Terrier again.

MagnaCharge Wed 02-Apr-14 16:33:23

I would love one of these, one of my best friends had one he was lovely. He was named Murray after one of our teachers, he (Murray the dog) had markings that resembled our French teachers beard.

needastrongone Wed 02-Apr-14 16:34:39

I am a dog lover, but the two cairns who live opposite me drive me batty. They bark at anything and everything, even though they can't see anything as the garden is completely fenced in. They have both bitten my springer, I dare not let our little cocker puppy go near them. I know that most of it is the lack of socialisation to ANYTHING as puppies, but I still find them very yappy dogs.

Our friends over the road have a mix of everything rescue, but looking at him, there's a fair amount of cairn in him. He is adorable and I would have him in an instant.

Not very helpful, but that's my experience of cairns!

unintentionalthreadkiller Wed 02-Apr-14 16:45:18

Ddog does have a barky tendency but usually only if it thunders. He is brilliant off lead - but only if you have a tennis ball otherwise his recall is selective. I trust that he would come back but its whether or not that I have three hours spare to wait for him!

They do need to be socialised and trained op but its worth it. The same would go for any terrier type breed I would imagine.

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