originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye over 200 years ago
among a group of Skye Terriers which included the Scottish and West Highland
White Terriers. Early in the 1900’s these three breeds began to be bred
separately and given their respective names.
As Scotland’s earliest working dog, Cairns were named for the “cairns", or manmade piles of stone sprinkled throughout the countryside where hidden were the rabbit, fox, badger, and small rodents. The dog would squirm into these cairns and bark to hold their prey until the owner killed it. This is important to note in understanding the function, structure, intelligence, and personality of the Cairn Terrier today. Even as a pet the Cairn will want to do the job of catching and killing mice, rabbits, squirrels and all manor of predators including snakes.
Often referred to as a “big dog trapped in a small dog’s body," Cairn Terriers are fearless, and tough, yet playful, and loyal, . . .not a delicate lapdog. They are loyal and protective of their families while being friendly with everyone they meet. I am a testament to growing up with Cairns and wanting no other breed for my family. They truly are “The best little pal in the world”.
Learn all you can about Cairns if you are new to them. Training, regular exercise and a fenced yard are a must. The rewards to being an attentive and responsible owner are simply priceless.