Jump to content

Is my 5 month old cairn normal?

Rate this topic

Corn Niblet

Recommended Posts

My 5 month old Rocky chases everything.  The broom, vacuum cleaner, leaf blower, weed eater, the rake, and wants  to chase people, bikes, cars, and even would like to chase the ice in the ice maker on the refrigerator. Is this normal behavior?  Can it be stopped? Any suggestions ? This is my first terrier .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful, hair raising world of Cairns!  

Cairns were bred to chase rats and other small vermin and flush badgers and foxes out of their dens, so yes, chasing is a very typical terrier thing to do.  It sounds like he has sensitive hearing, and since he is a puppy he doesn't know what most of the things he encounters are.  It's a big noisy world full of giants and intruders that need to be put in their place. :D 

My dog kept walking across my path wherever I went, frequently tripping me and getting stepped on in the process.  I could not take him for walks or even go down the hall without having him underfoot, no matter how many times I told him to "Get!"  It took a while and a lot of lost tail hairs and accidentally squished toes, but he eventually figured out that feet need to be given some space.  Now when I tell him get back, he moves to the other side of the room: a trick he taught himself! He still wants to chase me when I go to answer the phone, and if I say "Squirrel," regardless of my tone of voice, he races to the back door to squeak, bark, huff, and pitch a quiet fit.  And did I forget to mention he is eleven years old now? :D My previous terrier, a Westie, guarded the front door from leaves blowing across the yard. 

You'll quickly find out terriers are opinionated, observant, determined, and fast, but they learn how to read people pretty quickly and they care about your feelings.   It takes a while for them to care enough about your feelings to choose to do what you ask of them, and it may take a while for him to figure out what you want from him, but patience pays off. (As does a sense of humor. These little guys love teasing their companions. Playing "Stay just out of your reach" is one of their favorite games, even when they're older.)  However once you get past the terrible two year mark, you'll have a loyal, happy-go-lucky best friend for life. I thought my guy would never grow up but now I'm waxing nostalgic about his puppy years and rebellious teenager phase.  I love my sweet, mellow, patient, and still very interactive and alert senior dog more than I can say, and he makes me smile every day.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say if your Cairn puppy didn't behave like the way he is behaving, I would be concerned. :P

Just a bit of advise. As this is your first terrier, I would recommend that you seek out a trainer to help you in basic obedience, that is savvy in training terriers. It will help you in the long run to enjoy these wonderful bundles of love, energy and spunk.


  • Like 1

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with all the above, especially the trainer.  Our cairn, Pegi, is 6 years old and still races me when the landline rings.  I did take her to puppy socialization and two rounds of training at Petco; I believe PetSmart also has them, and the cost is reasonable.

Rocky sounds just like Pegi at that age - where my husband started referring to her as a "cairn terrorist".....she has mellowed (well, unless a squirrel, chipmunk or cat is around).....good luck!



  • Like 1

Linda & Pegi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lol sounds just like Dusty in the beginning. I took him to Petsmart puppy training. The instructor was great, she gave interesting tips, coupons, and definitely helped us train our dog. He still chases the vacuum though, but he seems to be enjoying it more than attacking it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that when they reach 3 they start to mellow out...Pepper dug like crazy when we brought her home - that was the first thing she did.  She never slept next to me until around 1 year old, now she hugs me at night on the couch (I love it!).  Squirrels still send her into a feeding frenzy - screeching, running, barking, huffing....agghhhh, but that is was she was bred to do!!!  She still won't let me near her when I get the leash ready for walks - I need to coax her with a treat and then she is happy go lucky and rarin' to go!!!  She basically is a perfect little Cairn Terrier at this point!  So full of confidence, fearless, quick to tell other dogs to "back off" and then forgets she even snapped at them!!! Great with kids (loves them in fact!).

  • Like 1

Pepper's Mom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfectly normal and you will love that little Cairn with all your heart!  Our munchkin is now 11 months and we found obedience training and lots of daily excercise (2 walks a day, 4-5 miles total) made all the difference.  A happy Cairn is a tired Cairn...lol.   

Squirrels, chipmunks, deer and sadly, cars send her into a screeching frenzy but otherwise she is so well behaved.  We found string cheese works wonders distracting her from the cars most of the time.  

This was our first terrier and they indeed are a much harder train but so smart, loving and adorable it's worth every bit of effort.




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register after. Your post will display after you confirm registration. If you already have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • A meeting place and
    online scrapbook for
    Cairn Terrier fanciers.



  • All posts are the opinion and
    responsibility of the poster.
  • Post content © the author.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Site Guidelines | We put cookies on your device to help this website work better for you. You can adjust your cookie settings; otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.