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Hopefully getting a Cairn (finally!) this spring


tomatosandwich

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Hi! I just thought I'd introduce myself quickly, so I'm not just a lurker. I'm Elise, I'm 39, and I'm hoping to add a Cairn puppy to our home this spring. So, I'm hanging out to learn as much as I can before the happy day arrives!

I'm feeling a little frustrated in my search, and wondered if anyone here has any advice. My frustration is that I have 3 kids. They are 8, 6, and (yep, twins!). My frustration is that the couple of rescues and breeders we've talked to won't consider us because of the kids! They have not met my kids; it's just their policy! But I thought from my reading and research that Cairns were great family dogs, especially for families with kids who are used to being around animals and treating them gently. Am I wrong about that?

Any advice about finding a breeder or rescue that will judge us as individuals, and not by a static rule? Also, do you think Cairns are good with kids who are taught how to treat animals (we have an 11 year old lab and 4 year old cat that adores the kids)? Any tips about making sure puppy and kids are both compatible?

sorry to jump in as a newbie and ask so much.

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Good questions for a "newby" as you call yourself--you've lurked well! Not all breeders will have those restrictions about children in the household and, if possible, for those that do, take your children with you when you look at a potential puppy--they are business people, force yourself and your family on them.

Rescue organizations can be strict about the qualifications of those they allow to adopt Cairns--I have actually been turned down by the largest such organization and I had years of experience with Cairns at the time, am retired, and am able to spend lots of time with my dogs so don't feel too bad about the rejection. I was a bit offended but finally came to realize that the good that these organizations do far exceeds the annoyance of their procedures. You might want to write a long letter or e-mail with pictures describing your situation to these organizations--that personal touch can be effective in showing that you are dedicated to being a good owner.

Don't make the mistake that some have in the past in lowering your sights from a professional and serious hobby breeder to a puppy mill breeder just because Cairn breeders are hard to find. A good breeder will so socialize his/her puppies that they come ready to fit in a family--here I also have experience--the difference between a puppy with lots of handling by humans (some children) and one that has minimum contact is really striking and will pay off for you in the long run--even if these well raised pups will be more expensive initially--you will get that money back in spades down the road. Finding a good pup is a place where you really do need to take your time--even to the point of turning down some puppies and breeders.

Cairns are, in my opinion, very very good with children--mine simply delight in the company of our grandkids. The key is how the kids handle them, make sure it starts out with lots of gentle interaction until the dog fits in with your home and family and then you will see the real rough and tumble nature of the Cairn Terrier emerge--but the lessons about minding and not biting have to be learned--right out of the chute, first thing. Once that is done, let 'er rip.

How to find a breeder--Cairn organizations provide lists of "approved" breeders. Petfinders can be used. Google search the breed. Ask owners--sometimes smaller local dog shows where there are terrier people around can give you some leads. Rescue organizations where you have direct e-mail contact with individuals that house rescues should know Cairn breeders. There are a lot of good dogs out there, just a little searching and patience will allow you to locate one of these little wonders that will be perfect for your family.

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Hi Tomatosandwich (my favorite kind!) It's wonderful to know your not just a lurker but have an avid interest in this breed. :thumbsup: I have a five month old puppy but no kids. (phew!) I have heard the same as you have, that Cairns are wonderful around kids so I have no idea why and who is saying this. Our breeder sold a puppy to a couple that have two children - 8 and 6 with no qualms. Perhaps you should continue to shop around for reputable breeders as I know you will find one. Insofar as how the puppy and children relate, I do have one suggestion - once you have your puppy, I would tell the children to be relaxed around it - no teasing nor trying to scare it. There are several members here on the forum who will also vouch for the fact that Cairns are wonderful with children.

I hope you will continue to visit us here as we love to see puppy pictures and hear the antics of furbabies. It is also one of the best sites to come for advice and general discussion.

Perhaps there is a forum member here who can guide you in the right direction for a breeder in your area who will sell you a puppy. Good luck in your search.

Husband and dog missing ...25 cents reward for dog

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Thank you for the warm welcome!

Yes, ideally I'd love to take the kids with me, but so many of the reputable breeders I've found on our internet searches are quite a drive away. I haven't wanted to keep taking the kids for the hopes of a puppy, only to be turned away once there. KWIM?

I agree that a good breeder is so important! I rescued my lab from a back yard breeder when he was a pup because the breeder was just going to let him die (he was the runt of a big litter.) So I definitely won't cave to a bad breeder. In fact, I walked away from one that was selling puppies at 6 weeks this weekend; I guess that's why I'm feeling so frustrated.

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one to ever be rejected by a rescue. And thanks for the tips on introducing the puppy in the house with the kids.

Oh, and it's so nice to find another person who loves tomatosandwiches, lol!

Any more tips on how to find breeders that are reputable and close enough to visit and establish a relationship with? Google searches, AKC lists, etc. have not yielded much. I've waited years for the kids to be old enough. It's so hard to think it won't happen this spring. And don't worry--if I get my little fur love, there will be more than enough pictures posted!

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Idaho's suggestion regarding writing a letter to the breeder/adoption organization is a good one. When we were looking for a companion for Buffy (our Cairn) we found that we didn't meet the requirements of many of these organizations, despite having been dog owners for all our lives. After a month or two of hitting our heads against the wall I finally sat down and wrote an introductory e-mail explaining our situation: We own a home, we can afford vet bills, we have plenty of time to spend with the dog, we have experience training dogs, we don't use physical punishment, etc. etc. etc.. We then narrowed our search to approximately 6 dogs that were available for adoption from 6 different organizations and sent each of them the e-mail. Only one responded - shocking, considering the number of homeless dogs in our area - but the one who responded was wonderful. She sent additional photos, gave us all the details of the dog's background and fully answered every question we asked. We adopted Ziggy, a Silky Terrier/Shi Tzu mix about two weeks later. We hadn't even met Ziggy before the adoption (he was being fostered at a home in Wisconsin), but he was exactly as his foster mom had described him.

Keep at it and you'll find a great little companion! :thumbsup:

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Welcome!!

I have two kids, in the age range of what you would consider "small children." A 5 yr old son, and 2 1/2 yr old daughter. We got our first Cairn (Kenzie) when my son was a little under 2 1/2. She had been a stray, running the streets of a busy city for many months. The only problem we have ever had with her has been a little resource guarding in the first few months after we got her (probably due to the fact that she was near starved to death). She quickly learned that it's not OK to snap at the boy when he reaches for your chew. But we also had to teach him that the chew is the doggy's and he's not allowed to take it from her. It requires firm consistent training on both ends. But Cairns are very smart, and they figure it out quickly. The second Cairn we have (Hollie), we adopted back in January. Other than pack order with the other animals, we haven't had ANY issues with her. She is the sweetest thing on four feet. I think if you've successfully managed to train a big lumbering Lab to be great with your kids (and the kids to be good with the Lab), you can manage a Cairn! In all the training that I've done (many years working with all breeds) the Cairns pick it up so quick, once you find what motivates them. And that seems to be food!! Keep searching, and don't be opposed to possibly getting an "older" Cairn. Both of ours are 4 yrs old now, and are the goofiest puppies ever! You might find one in a random shelter, or even on craigslist, which is where we found Hollie.

Good luck in your search!!

The only thing better than owning a Cairn is owning two!

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The breeders I know in my local club and the national club almost without exception view placement as as more like an adoption than any sort of business transaction. They are generally focused on making the *best* match, not just any match that will work. That means that situations falling outside the ideal (no fence, children of various ages, various work situations) take a lot more work, faith, and confidence to overcome.

You can read right here about people who struggle with the (ordinary) nippy puppy stage, concerned that they will have to place a dog they can't control or that appears to them at the moment to be an aggressive out of control holy terror. Often they're raised dogs before. Maybe just not a terrier. Maybe just not a particularly spunky terrier.

The kind folks here have talked many off the ledge and the situations turn out fine in the end. One reason why I love the folks here :hug: However, for folks without a good support system, suddenly *at best* the dog comes back to the breeder; at worst it's put down, and too often, it's just passed along to rescue or pawned off on a kindly but possibly inappropriate neighbor, friend, or family member. Now the careful adoption that the breeder agonized over has gone sour. I'd wager that most breeders who are seemingly inflexible about certain rules have had a bad experience and are trying to protect themselves (and the dog) from the hurt and frustration that comes from making a bad placement. It's the odds, not you personally.

That said, the advice to get to know breeders is really, really good. And let them get to know you.

Many good breeders show their dogs and while you may not want to travel several hours just to visit their home, if there are dog shows closer to you, they may be there. It is completely normal for people to come to shows, visit with the Cairns, "talk Cairn" with the exhibitors, meet the breeders, explain about their family and situation, ask around, ask for referrals, etc. We have ourselves many times recommended someone we met to a breeder we know who might have a pup or a junior dog, or a retiree that would be a good match. Or they may recognize that their own "fence only" requirement is inflexible, but they know that another breeder is more willing to risk it if they develop confidence in the placement. It's a small world even without the internet, and since these are living beings we're talking about, most breeders, even the most 'wired' ones pretty much require some personal contact and relationship before they will place a puppy.

Anyway, good luck! To own a terrier, be a terrier. :P Cairns are worth the effort :-)

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CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 

 

 

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You might look for a breeder that has kids and raises their litters right there in their home with those kids. My breeder has done that for years and her puppies are used to getting their tails grabbed and ears pulled. That being said, a good breeder will steer you toward a puppy that fits your situation, one with the right temperament and tolerance for kids. You might even find an older puppy, too, that will fit in, maybe 6 months to a year.

This is a great group for support once you do get a puppy. I've learned so much over the years and still ask questions. There are several new puppies in the group now, so keep reading and you can experience that puppyhood through them and know what's ahead! How exciting for you, anticipating a new Cairn!

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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Everyone here has given great advice. My cairn (I am also a first time owner) gets along great with my 5 year old grandson. He has had a dog his whole life. My 4 year old grandson has had a dog for two years of his life and doesn't treat my dog well... they do not get along. Both my grandsons live 3 hours away so I'm unable to have a good influence on acceptable behavior. Having said that, I keep a sharp eye on my grandson while he is here. I make him behave and treat my dog kindly. I think (not just cairns) but most animals know when kids or adults are kind and will behave accordingly. My 5 year old grandson rolls on the floor, laughing outloud while he and my dog wrestle. It is always a gentle, "ruff" house. You sound like a very responsible parent and will probably have nothing but a great experience when you find your dog. Sorry I couldn't give you any leads but just wanted to weigh in on the positive opinion of owning a carin.

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Elise, begging the indulgence of my fellow posters who probably have seen too much of my dogs, I will post up some videos of my dogs playing with the grandchildren so that you can see what kind of play these dogs can be expected to be involved in. I know some of my friends here might cringe as some of the play looks rough but these children all have dogs and were raised to respect animals and my dogs pretty much set the parameters of their play with the children--when it gets too much (rare occasion) they bail out. Bonnie, the little dog, was from by a fine hobby breeder who involved her teenage children in the the process of socializing the litter. I was able to see a video of the litter in play, see Bonnie interact with humans and littermates before I had her shipped to me. It is a great way to choose a dog if you are unable to actually visit the kennel (which is much better by the way) and have to shop on line.

This hopefully will give you and idea how Cairns play--they like to be terriers--grab on and hold to grim death. Also from the time both dogs came in the house, the "NO BITE!" rule was imposed--every time human appendages were involved so they learned early not to use their teeth on fingers, hands, legs, feet.

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Idaho - that's pretty much what I get when Kenzie plays with my kids!! Lots of tugging, chasing squeakies and wrestling. For a little as she is, she's one tough broad! Hollie hasn't really figured out how to play WITH them yet (unless it's chasing Clara around in her squeaky shoes!!) but she's wonderful at cuddling and kissing boo-boos!!

The only thing better than owning a Cairn is owning two!

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Idaho- your Cairns are so gentle. I'm looking forward to that! I love your accent. Are you from Idaho originally?

I took Ripley to the beach today. She played with my 4-year old nephew. This is definitely a breed that LOVES children. Must be their playful spirit!

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With me placement of a puppy is so very important. I have and will continue to place puppies with familes who have children. When I place them in familes with children I have them come over and play with my adult Cairns even before the pups are born. I did have a family come over with children and they were just wild and did not listen to the parents. I decided not to place a puppy with them because if they couldn't control the kids --- how on earth would they be able to control a Cairn :confused: I suggest ed they find an older dog that was settled so that they didn't have to worry about training the dog but they wanted a puppy. I offered to help them find an older more settled Cairn maybe 2 or 3 years old or they could check back with me in a year or two when the children were a bit older...

I really prefer to meet the new owners before I have a litter on the ground. If someone will take the time to come visit and see my adult dogs then I feel so much better about placement of a puppy. I do work with other breeders and if I have met a person/family wanting a Cairn and I know of a puppy available I refer them to the breeder with healthy pups on the ground.

What I think is you need to find a breeder that wants you to come to the house and meet the parents.....and ask if they don't have a puppy will they help you find one.

I think my best placement ever was Harley, she now lives with a young girl who has a mild handicap....Harley was three when I placed her with Kelli. Kelli didn't need a puppy she needed a dog that needed her so it was truly a match made in heaven. Her is the video her father sent me this Christmas

She is holding my Harley or I guess she is Kelli's Harley they are wonderful dogs and when the go to the perfect home it is so rewarding to a breeder and that is what we want for all our puppies!

Liz

Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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