Cairn terriers

(11 Posts)
bananasaremyfriends Thu 08-Nov-18 16:49:21

Ive fallen in love with a 2 year old cairn terrier in a local rescue.

Ive not owned a dog before, have no pets.

I was reading about the breed, and wonder even if they are small, perhaps she might be too difficult for me to handle.

OP’s posts: |
stressystressy Thu 08-Nov-18 19:51:27

They have strong personalities, and typically aren’t recommended to a novice dog owner. Have you fallen in love with a photo? I can see the attraction though, they really are cute. In my experience though, and I’ve only known two Cairns, they are a handful.

bananasaremyfriends Thu 08-Nov-18 20:22:55

I was planning on visting the shelter tomorrow.

I probably need to look for an easier going little friend.

OP’s posts: |
Darklane Mon 12-Nov-18 22:58:16

If I can be any help
I bred & showed Cairn Terriers for over thirty years. Did all the major shows, made up numerous champions & always had around sixteen of them plus a couple of litters of puppies a year. I used to treat potential buyers like they were attending the most in depth job interview they could ever dread!
You can't generalise other than all terriers, no matter the breed, take life by the throat. It's a case of look out world here I come, the love life. Other than that they vary quite a lot as individuals, like most breeds. I've had ones that live life at ninety miles an hour & others that want nothing more than a comfy sofa with their head on your knee. They are very affectionate, not difficult to train for a terrier, very affectionate. Their coat needs managing. I don't agree at all with the general approach of most dog groomers who tend to meet any terrier with clipper in hand. Their coat " blows" twice a year & needs hand stripping. They are pretty robust, rarely needing the vet. Several of mine reached eighteen years of age, one died just two weeks short of her twentieth birthday.
A lovely breed, but then I am biased. But they aren't the only breed I love, I've always had Skye Terriers too but they really are a much more demanding breed, both temperament wise & in coat maintenance, probably why they are on the endangered British a Breeds list at the Kennel Club.
Now I no longer show, or breed, but still keep as pets just a couple from my last litter, with my old remaining Skye girl & my new love off couple of Yorkies. So I do know Cairns really well, have owned at least forty over the last fifty years.

Darklane Mon 12-Nov-18 23:01:27

Please excuse the spelling/ grammar mistakes in my previous post. Writing on my phone with clumsy fingers & Mumsnet doesn't appear to have an edit facility

RockingMyFiftiesNot Mon 12-Nov-18 23:03:28

I can't pretend to be a dog expert, nor were my parents but we had a Cairn terrier who was adorable and not difficult at all. The only other Cairn I knew wasn't difficult either. But I don't suppose a sample of two is statistically representative!!

TheGrassIsGreener3 Mon 12-Nov-18 23:03:41

Gorgeous dogs. But terriers are terriers! All terriers have distinctive personalities and most are very strong-willed. I wouldn't recommend a terrier for your first dog.


Darklane Mon 12-Nov-18 23:46:04

Just re read that it is your very first dog & would agree that a terrier is perhaps not the best choice. I'd grown up in a very doggy environment, my mum bred & showed, my dad bred & worked collies on our sheep farm. Dogs were my first friends on our remote hill farm being an only child. Have you considered another breed of similar size from the toy or utility groups at the Kennel Club? A terrier in rescue, you need to find out why.

Yokohamajojo Tue 13-Nov-18 09:42:31

My dad had a rescue Cairns and he was lovely, he hadn't been socialised with children so could be a bit grumpy with them but other than that he was the most placid happy little dog

TheGrassIsGreener3 Tue 13-Nov-18 14:36:13

From experience, small breeds that tend to be easier to handle than terriers include: shih tzus, lhasa apsos, Tibetan spaniels, King Charles spaniels, Maltese and bichon frise.

Chocolatedeficitdisorder Tue 13-Nov-18 19:31:33

We had a family Cairn when I was a teenager. He was friendly and sociable, but an absolute bugger offlead, despite lots of training and classes. He would go completely deaf and refuse to recall if there was something he fancied doing more. Unfortunately this was his downfall and he spent an hour on our local beach dodging me and chomping on dead, washed-up starfish while I stood watching him. He gave himself a nasty liver infection that day and died at 10 from a heart attack brought on by the high doses of steroids he needed to keep his liver going.

I have collies now and life is much easier.

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