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New Cairn, Rescue Male puppy, Need help!

Guest Jacquelyn W

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Guest Jacquelyn W

Oz, the new addition to our home, was left at a school yard. Luckily, he was found by a friend of Cairn, who owns four herself. Oz, is believed to be about one year old, and has become a perfect companion for our shy, three year old boy. He plays well but often gets into mischief, like trash cans, laundry, and our son's toys. He is very protective of the family despite living here for just over a month.

Here are my questions:

1. Never having owned a small dog, other than a Cocker that lived into her twenties, we are concerned about Oz's daily activities. My husband works full time and comes home at lunch, and I am in my final semester of college, leaving plenty of play time for all. The times when we are not here however, Oz tends to wreak havoc on the house. I don't feel comfortable confining him in his own home. Any suggestions on keeping his mind off of trouble when left alone?

2. He was being fed dry Nutro, which we have continued to feed him. However, we were considering switching him to Science Diet due to the nasty odors associated with Nutro. Would this be a problem and how should we make the switch?

3. Oz begs for food all of the time. He gets 2/3 cup of food a day and about 4-5 very small biscuits. Should we consider increasing the amount of food we give him?

4. He is a very obstinate puppy, but is doing quite well with simple commands. Yet, he tends to not understand discipline and will continue to commit offensive acts even after being removed from the situation. For instance, he likes to drink the water out of the Christmas tree stand and when we catch him, we take him to his own water bowl. He simply stares at the bowl, and, in a flash, returns to the tree water. Any suggestions?

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll have several more questions to come. Thanks is advance for any advice!

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Your description about Oz, as well as his private drinking trough around the tree made me chuckle. You've got a cairn, all right. Intelligent, willful and somewhat naughty. :whistle:

We have a metal pen 2 feet high, in an octagon shape (I think.) - When we're out, he's IN.

Wes eats Canidae, human grade, dog food.

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My three also eat Canidae....I mix a very small amount of the canned Canidae too.

The two older ones eat twice a day and the puppy three times. I've never been all that sure about the amounts myself so I took my breeders advice. The pup gets 1/4 cup 3X, the one year old gets 1/2 cup 2X and my overweight 11 year old gets about 3/4 cup, divided.

I give small treats when/if they're good :whistle: .

I have to laugh at your post....I have a ficus tree that Elliott will not leave alone. He'll jump in it and digs. Even when I catch him in the act and say "NO" in my mean voice, he'll be back in it the next day or sooner. One of these days I'm sure he'll get the picture but until then I am consistant with the discipline (whatever good that does :lol: )

Crate, crate, crate....when you're not with him, it's the next best thing to hiring a doggie nanny!

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Jacqueline, congrats on your new cairn. Bless you for taking in a rescue. You've gotten some good advice here already, so I don't know that I have much more to add. It sounds like Oz is a typical cairn. Some things you will never be able to change regarding his behavior.

Confining your dog when you and your family are gone is not cruel. With a cairn, it's really a neccessity. They really can't be trusted alone in a big house. If I'm going to be gone less than four hours, I crate mine. If longer, I babygate them in the kitchen and leave out their toys and bedding.

Go back and look for my post titled "The Other Side of Toto" and you'll get a good description of the cairn personality and character.

My dogs are on the Nutro chicken and oatmeal kibble b/c they have allergies and it doesn't upset their stomach. Oz might be stinky b/c of a wheat allergy. Check the ingredients on the bag before you try a new food. If the first three ingredients are not some sort of protein (not by-products) and if corn is listed among the first ingredients, I would move on. Corn is very hard for dogs to digest.

It sounds like you're really doing your homework. I'm sure Oz is grateful for the love you've shown him so far. Please be sure to post a picture of him for us to see!


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Congrats on the new addition to your home! Oz sounds like a typical Cairn...stubborn, full of energy, and funny!

My 8 month old, Finch, wants to eat all day long too. She is right with me in the kitchen, always hopeful that something will fall to the ground. I feed both of mine Canidae dry and they each get 2/3 cup once per day. Finch knows when it's dinner time and will follow me around the house whining until I go to the kitchen to get her food! She wolfs her food down and is always looking for more. I add veggies to their food to give them more to eat. Right now they are eating an old bag of lettuce. The lettuce is still good, but starting to turn brown so I have been putting a handful in their bowls. I also give carrots as snacks and I had some zucchini which I gave them the other day. I guess you could say that they are my garbage disposals!

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First of all, thank you for saving Oz and taking him in. I know he will bring you many, many more years of happiness.

You've gotten a great deal of good advice from the more experienced moms and dads here, I really don't have much to add. When we left the house for any length of time we would put her in her crate, but now we babygate the kitchen area where her water bowl is and she has access to a small family room downstairs where she will sleep (and is allowed) on the sofa. So far we've left her for about 2-3 hours and she's been perfect. (Now watch, something will go wrong :confused: )

Our Scully is 18 months old, and just got yelled at for sneaking a drink out of the Christmas tree stand - :D But that's only because it's not decorated yet and we haven't covered over the base yet.

Scully has been on Nutro and gets about 1/2 cup a day. Grandmoom feeds her little bits of treats during the day and pieces of crust from her sandwich so that's probably why the 1/2 cup is good for her.

Based on what you've said, I think you have the typical Cairn and your life will now be filled with Cairn antics. Again, congrats on the new addition and Oz has to be so happy to be getting so much love.

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Guest Jacquelyn W

Thanks for the great advice!! Oz was already crate trained when we got him but now he just whines every time we put him in, but we'll work on it some more. He does seem to have a taste for milk and coffee, which is also something we're working to break. His coat coloring is also a little off from the description on the website. He's kind of brindle that fades to lighter grey with black tips on the ears and tail. He doesn't appear to have the darker face coloring. Could this be a signal that he is a mixed-breed?

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