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Hi! Possible interest in a Cairn.


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Hello! Glad to see your little Cairn forum on the web :)

I'm interested in adding a second dog within a year, and Cairns have been a huge potential breed on my list.

Jackson is my almost 4 year old Silky Terrier or Yorkie, not sure which. He's a 16lb healthy happy boy who did not come from a good breeder, so... he's either a big Yorkie or a Silky.

He's a gem - he's a perfect pal, awesome traveling buddy, fun and eager to learn, easy to train, and he's just full of awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better dog. I really love the little terriers.

Here's Jackson:

And this summer diving in the pool:

He loves other dogs, and enjoys playing with them, visiting the dog park, etc. He's always been accepting of others coming into his home as well. I'm sure it would still be an adjustment but I do think he would very much enjoy a sibling. I was just waiting for the right time.

But I wanted to introduce myself and hopefully become more aquainted with Cairns and learn more about them. post-6038-0-15280500-1346588596_thumb.jp



Edited by JacksonsMom
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Welcome Jackson! You are fabulous and talented little guy! Jackson'sMom you are a great trainer.

You'll find lots of information and many tales of life with cairns if you wander round this forum. Folks here are very friendly and helpful.

Cairns are very smart, very lively, very independent and lots of fun. My Angus is a red brindle 11 months old.

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my goodness....what a little cutie Jackson is. Wonderful job of training and he seems to enjoy it all. I'm sure he would adapt well to having another dog and you would certainly have your hands full with a Cairn. They are indeed an intelligent breed and easily fit in well to a family. I've had my little girl almost two years (she has a birthday coming up on Sept. 14th) and we've had her since 9 1/2 weeks. Good luck with your research and should you want to know anything specific, simply fire away.

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

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WOW! I thought I was watching Ashleigh and Pudsey for a minute! (Britain's Got Talent 2012 winners). Jackson is amazing and you are an amazing trainer. I'm still working on "come here!" :D

He's so full of life. I'm sure he'd love a Cairn pal.

Welcome to the forum. :)

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Wow. Jackson has a great life! The love you all have is amazing. Any dog would be happy to have you all. Welcome to our forum and it was so nice meeting Jackson. Chime in anytime!

Elsie, Max, Meeko & Lori


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WoW! those videos are awesome!

That terrier is a smart one, you got my respect. You prob spent days/hours/years training that dog. you definitely got my respect, welcome to the forum.

Click to show the full size image!

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Welcome, you will find a group of very knowledgeable ready to share folks here. I am a newbe myself and have learned a lot, Tessie is still a puppy 7 months and is very high energy and a lot of fun.

Thanks for sharing the veido's. What a great job you have done with Jackson, and the love abounds. I am way away from adding a second dog to my family but it is a very high priority on my 5 year plan.

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Hello, and welcome to the forum!

There are 2 qualities a Cairn parent should have Patience, and a Sense of Humor! I can tell you have the patience, by the video of Jackson.

A Cairn adapts to almost any lifestyle with ease. Or at least that has been my (limited) experience. They are great dogs, and are not like any dog I have ever had before.

They are smart meaning individual thinking, and problem solving, like a human. You may tell them to do something and they can do it, the question is DO THEY WANT TO? haha They do not always do what you want them to do. These little dogs can be taught to do anything, but will only do it if they really want to. For instance they are in a fenced yard and you say come, they may or may not, and most of the time when they do they take there sweet time doing it, sniffing ever blade of grass and dirt along the way. haha. This is where the sense of humor comes in. I think it is funny. Some people don't like it. It is like trying to tell a child that is playing and having a good time to come in. Oh Mom do I have to? I can see it in Kelly's eyes (my Cairn) that is what she is thinking. If Kelly barks I tell her hush she has to get the last word or sound and will continue until I stop. This is what it will sound like when I tell her hush. Hush! She barks again in lower volume, Hush she barks even lower volume, Hush, she does the chuffing grumbles, Hush, she fake sneezes. I then proceed to my bedroom shut the door and laugh my head off. I can't help it. I honestly love it.

I have found over the year and a half that I have had her, she has trained me far better than I have trained her.

She is my constant companion and is always up for any trip or whatever I want to do. These little dogs want to be included in every aspect of your life. They thrive on attention, and being included. They can be a handful but are so worth it. I can't imagine my life with a Cairn in it. I believe that now that I have one, I will always have one. They are the greatest little pal on earth.

They love a good belly rub. Most love tennis balls. They are the most vocal dog I have ever had and I don't mean barking. They make sounds like they are trying to talk to you. I have never heard sounds from a dog, like I hear from Kelly. They are so in tune to humans they can read us like a book. Kelly knows when we are going somewhere before we even get the keys, she will start making these sounds in between a whine and a growl like she is asking if she gets to go this time. Katie bar the door if I tell her yes you can go. She then runs to the door and starts jumping up at the door handle and making excited sounds much like a little child would do if you tell them you are taking them to a toy store. It is very cute! Well I am sorry for rambling, but I can't help it. Cairns are my favorite topic.

You will find a wealth of accurate knowledge on this forum. We all have a sense of humor too, so if you read back posts you will laugh a lot.

Good luck with your decision. I can't think of a better breed.

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what a wonderful little dog.

you already both like and understand terriers. that's 90 percent of the way to being a cairn person. jackson is so cairny in so many ways, he has to have some scottish terrier in him, perhaps by way of silky or something else. terriers are, in my view, the most spectacular companions in the world, but it can take a long time to get there, and with some cairns the road can be longer than most dogs (though if you read around here you will see that some luck y people got cairns who were born angels and stayed angels. rare. most cairn angels are made and not born).

it is easy for anybody looking at the videos to see you having fun with a cairn --and being ready for all the challenges.

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I agree 100% with pk. Great Cairns are made, not born. The training you've done with Jackson is incredible, and puts you in good stead if you decide a Cairn is the breed for you. Like most terriers, they are independent, brave, hearty companions. Unlike the Jack Russells I was familiar with before Addie (my Cairn) came into my life, they are not particularly eager to please. Addie is the most stubborn dog I've ever met, with the strongest prey instinct I've ever witnessed.

That being said, Addie is - without question - the best dog I have ever had. And she has made such that I will only ever have Cairns from here on out. It has taken a lot of work and patience (from myself AND Addie) as we've navigated our first year together, but it's been the most rewarding year as this boisterous little girl has grown into a great young lady; mischievous as ever but oh so much fun.

Our awesome Admin brad posted something on the forum the other day that I thought was very good at explaining what you're in for with a Cairn and I hope he's ok with me copying it here.

My very overgeneralized sense of it is something like this:

0-4 weeks: Aw Cute

4 weeks - 9 months: Clown-Shark-Insane-Cute

9 months - 1 year: Flashes of Hope

1 - 3 years: Teen Rebellion

3 - 5 years: Adult Pretender

5- 8 years: Citizen and Friend

8- 12 years: Steadfast Companion

12 - 14 years: Cherished Elder

14+: Slow Fade, Wistful Ruin, Graceful Decline, Sudden Collapse (depending on circumstances)

And as Addie was a rescue, I do always encourage people to consider rescuing a dog. There are some great Cairn rescue organisations out there with some lovely Cairns of all ages. And many of them have been surrendered for reasons that are not their fault.

Edited by _whits_

"as far as i am concerned cairns are the original spirit from which all terriers spring, and all terriers are cairns very deep down inside." pkcrossley

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What a cute boy Jackson is! Though I think he is a Yorkshire Terrier and if so consider he would get on really well with a Cairn. We meet a Yorkie on our walks and Holly adores him and will stand his attention happily, something she wont do with every dog we meet!


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What a great reminder of the value of finding time to teach more tricks! What great fun!

MACH3 Red Lion Springin Miss Macho CDX RAE OF ME
Marquee Cairnoch Glintofmacho CD RE MX MXJ OF ME

Glenmore Hjour Summer Sun


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Welcome! Cairns are very versatile. I'm sure Jackson will enjoy the new pup should you bring one home. :)

They have another side... :devil: ...but that's part of the joy of having a Cairn around.

P.S. - don't let that scare you...the devil icon is a standing joke with humans owned by Cairn Terriers!

  • Like 1

Max and Nelly

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Thanks sooo much for the great stories. I've read everything, and really think Cairns could be a good choice. I do have a few other questions, I'll get around to posting them tomorrow. :)

Thanks for all the compliments on my boy. It's just him and I - we're a really great team. I am 22 years old, taking college courses and working in daycare, and I have fantastic hours right now so I would like to add a puppy soon-ish while I have lots of extra time. I think that is why Jackson turned out so well, because at the time, I was on winter break and had over a month to focus on him and only him. He potty trained pretty easily, always was very eager to learn and train... he's got a few typical terrier traits (he can be very vocal, while playing especially... it would drive some batty - I'm used to LOL) but I just never trained with any particular "method" --- I guess you could call it relationship based training. We have a fantastic relationship and bond and he naturally just reads me well and knows what I want him to do.

Sometimes I think people don't give terriers enough credit! Yup, they can be stubborn and have that independent streak but if you just find their interests and likes, and build that bond, they are highly trainable. :)

At the moment, it's kind of between a Silky, a Cairn, and a Border Terrier. All have sparked my interest. Jackson is a Silky to a tee according to descriptions... but I bought him as a yorkie from a woman's house in the city (aka not a good breeder) so I think he's probably just a badly bred Yorkie (but he's not like ANY yorkie I've ever met). In some ways, I want a Silky so I can get something similar to Jackson, but in another, I want to try out another terrier and see how I like it, and the differences, etc.

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I'll give a description of Jackson, and you can let me know if it sounds like a Cairn haha.

Here it goes....

Jackson is my best friend, my partner-in-crime, my little buddy. He's with me a majority of my time, whether we are running to the bank together, or going on vacation. All he really wants is just be with me constantly. He doesn't prefer to cuddle, but he sticks by close, and always had his eye on me.

He's super smart. My dad always comments that he is the smartest dog he's ever seen. He's a thinker. And also quirky. He doesn't just do things without thought. He also remembers everything... if he had a bad experience ONE time, he WILL remember... like when our oven was opened, letting smoke out, setting the smoke alarm off. He no longer goes near the oven as he associates it with the bad sound. He is highly trainable and enjoys learning. He actually whines at me at a certain time of day so I don't forget to do atleast 10 minutes of training with him, he thoroughly enjoys our 'sessions'. He is also a very sensitive dog in general (doesn't like yelling at all, etc).

He's really bombproof. What I mean is I know I can take him anywhere and he will behave. I have a "second family" who I would not call dog people or lovers and they even just love him. He's very go with the flow and enjoys doing anything so long as I'm there with him. He's laid back in certain ways... a ton of dogs are barking at him through a fence? *shrugs* he just keeps walking. We go into a store, he lays down while I look through the shelves. But on the other hand, he can be a spazzzz too!! We go to my dads house for example and he hears a four wheeler driving by and he starts barking like a maniac and runs out the door and goes and chases it (thru a fence). He hears the front door open and he's ruffruffruffruff loud alert barking all the way to the door. And it's an ear piercing bark. If we're playing ball in the pool, in between jumping in himself, he's barking at us while the ball is being thrown back and forth.

He enjoys playing with other dogs a LOT -- dog parks and dogs in general he would much rather be with than people. Strangers he can take or leave. He allows people to pet him and give him some lovin' but he's doing it more as a favor, he doesn't really care about it himself. However, once he gets to know a person, he will love you forever. All my family and close friends he just adores and greets with hugs and kisses. He's not really a lap dog and doesn't "enjoy" being picked up. Oh and he's a terrible begger. He sees food, he wants it, and will beg and stare at it. He is the most focused dog on food I've ever met. He will play with toys with me and get all amped up but it generally lasts only 15 minutes. Once he's let it be known he's done, I can throw the tennis ball and he looks at me like I'm crazy. He highly enjoys being a "dog"... digging, getting muddy, swimming, rolling in dead things.

Overall he is a very active dog but not what I'd call "hyper", most of the time. He is very biddable and happy to work for anyone with food, but he shows the most enthusiasm when working with me. He's joyful with a lot of personality. He's inquisitive, quirky, physically and mentally quick, and likes to be kept busy at all times but also doesn't mind an evening lounging around on the couch if we must. But he'll drive ya crazy if more than a day goes by without doing SOMETHING...

And there. There is the book on my boy. ;)

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i hope jackson will enjoy the change in his life. those are difficult choices. cairn and border terrier, as you already know, will be the most energetic and probably most time consuming. silky will be close (they are very close cousins of cairns). any dog will be lucky to get you and jackson.

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Thanks! Yup, all are energegic ... definitely what I'm looking for. I get bored with couch potatoes! ;) Silky's are very high maintenence, lol. At least Jackson is and every one I've talked to. From what I can gather, the Border is probably the most "laid back" of the choices yet still lots of energy.

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I'm not very familiar with Border Terriers, but I do know that a Cairn would require less grooming than a Silky, and it's something you could do at home. If that's something you want to consider.

"as far as i am concerned cairns are the original spirit from which all terriers spring, and all terriers are cairns very deep down inside." pkcrossley

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