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Topbitch

Hello and glad to find this forum

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Topbitch

Hello fellow Cairn lovers. I have called myself top bitch" somewhat sarcastically since somedays i feel like i am being played by terriers. My Cairn is a feisty little 2 year old named Rory. I also have a Maltese mix rescue, Gracie, who is 6. Rory is a handful so you will find me in the behaviour section. Thank you all for this forum.

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bradl

Welcome aboard, TB.

3 hours ago, Topbitch said:

somedays i feel like i am being played by terriers

Lordy do I know that feeling. 

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Pepper Bug's Mom
Posted (edited)

Welcome!  I have 2 Cairns - Pepper, the PERFECT Cairn - soon to be 9 years old, and Brodie - soon to be 3 - the impossible Cairn - nothing is safe on the floor, in a garbage can, socks, papers - potty training? sort of gets it - but the friendliest dog at the dog park!!!!

Edited by Pepper Bug's Mom

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sanford

It’s always a pleasure to welcome new members to this site! You’ll find lots of info and support here. Wishing you happy days ahead with Rory and Gracie.😀

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Topbitch

Thank you for the welcomes. Here is a picture of Gracie and I will send Rory is on my profile but I will send another one of him.

 

 

P_20181231_104717_vHDR_Auto.jpg

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Topbitch

Sorry. I don't seem to have any photos of Rory that will fit the size parameters. I have tried resizing them and they still don't fit. There is a photo of him on my profile photo. 

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Hillscreek

Gracie you are a cutie. Welcome!

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pkcrossley

Gracie looks so sweet! Must be the Maltese in her that is doing it. 

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Dianne

Welcome to the forum!

Lots of great information.

Barking: our Katie, 2 ½ years old, is not a barker.

You might want to consider “Pet Corrector”. It's a small red can of compressed air. It sounds like a cross between a honk and a hiss when pressed to interrupt any unwanted behavior.

Check it out on google.

Worked like charm for us when Katie decided that she liked to jump on the coffee table. One “toot” and she never jumped again. Our SPCA staff carries it their pocket to break up over enthusiastic pups in our small dog play group.

Training:

Katie is our first Cairn. After 40 years with Westies, our own plus a series of fostering before placement Westies that needed a little training/retraining before forever homes. We always made sure they knew basic commands: sit, stay, down… they were quick learners. We still encouraged their new owners to go to obedience classes as we wanted them to have consistency in behavior. Plus we knew the classes were to train the owner not the dog.

Then we got Katie. I am convinced that Cairns are “wired” differently. The first year, we would look at each other and say: “what were we thinking”.   Ask her to do something and you could see the wheels turning…what’s in it for me or do I want to do that? Reading up on Cairn behavior we leaned that the trick was to figure out how to make it their idea, not so easy.

Easy steps in the beginning would be sit/stay before meals, sit/stay before going out a door. Cairn wants to eat, wants to go out. Release with praise. Vary the length of time in “sit”. Start with 2 seconds.  Now you can add other things Cairn likes. Want a favorite toy? Sit/stay…

I have been fortunate to have had two fabulous AKC obedience trainers over the years with the Westies and now with Katie. And treats were part of the training. What’s on it for me? You reward for new behavior. As the behavior or trick is established, you only reward occasionally and then not at all. The reward then is the praise and petting.

Knowing that at this time you can’t join an obedience class, but when you do be sure the check the instructor out. Not every trainer is experienced or knowledgeable about training Cairns. If not had experience with Cairns, then are they experienced with terriers. Check out your local AKC club for recommendations.

Enjoy!

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pkcrossley

I do believe cairns are wired differently and that they do not respond to operant conditioning. could be true for all terriers, but true for cairns absolutely. they learn the meaning of "commands" immediately, but always take that little moment to calculate what's in it for me/what if I do it/what if don't/am I a sucker if I do it/who gets humiliated if I don't/how long is this going to go on/is it dinner time yet/... as they get older they clearly make more often the decision to do it just to be agreeable, for its own sake, which is a credit to them. but I'm puzzled by this observation that westies are somehow different from cairns. are they? genetically, they are cairns. maybe they just have a different culture... maybe like bonobos and chimps?

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Kathryn

Welcome, TB! Rory and Gracie are both adorable...

Friends just don't get why my terriers don't act like golden retrievers -- unless they are fellow terrier owners. Then we just look at each other with that secret smile...

I am very often frustrated by how intelligent and devious my cairns are.  Our Angus is a year-and-a-half, and still a little terror at times.  He has no patience for commands such as stay.  Either hops up, or lies down... From previous experience, I know he will "get it" some time after he turns two...I just keep working at it.  Tricks though (which always come with a treat at the end?) He figures those out quickly.

He still steals slippers, pillows, etc., and joyfully runs up and down the hall with them, clearly showiing off his prizes. Naughty -- but adorable.

These dogs are so much fun! Particularly now, when we are "staying in place" here, they are a diversion and a comfort.  I discovered yesterday that Angus still sleeps a puppy sleep: I was lying on our chaise reading and he was sleeping on my stomach. I pulled at one of his legs, and he stayed sound asleep while  I extended the leg straight.  Then I pulled the other leg up, and he still slept. Silly dog...He continued sleeping on his back with both feet straight up in the air...

Just try as many suggestions from the folks here as make sense for you, and something will probably work.  And rest assured that age will take its toll on misbehavior.

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Dianne
18 hours ago, pkcrossley said:

 learn the meaning of "commands" immediately, but always take that little moment to calculate

what's in it for me/what if I do it/what if don't/am I a sucker if I do it/who gets humiliated if I don't/how long is this going to go on/is it dinner time yet/...

That's it!  there is this pause... 

>that westies are somehow different from cairns. are they?

The "white" cairns were selectively bred out and then were separated at the turn of the 20th century = Cairn Terriers and West Highland White Terriers.

When our last Westie, Mollie, died we went in search of another Westie. Our Westie club told us it could be up to 2 years for a puppy.  We registered for a rescue.  In talking to one of the club member/ breeders, she suggested a Cairn and suggested we call another member who had a Cairn along with her Westies for a referral.. 

Perfect!, I thought, Cairns and Westies, they're the same, just different colors!!! *

We called her and inquired about the possibility of a referral to a Cairn breeder and in the conversation talking about her 4 Westies and Cairn she spoke of her Cairn that he was more challenging than all her Westies together!  

We contacted several breeders from Northern CA Cairn Terrier Club and after a few months, we were matched up with a puppy. The wait afforded me the time to read up on the breed. Similar traits to the Westie, but with references to their independent spirit and intelligence. (Born to Bark)

IMHO, Katie has more of that "independent" trait than our Westies.  Not a lap dog, but she does reward us with a brief sit on our lap for a cuddle. She brings us so much joy and laughter! Training just takes a little more patience and thoughtfulness. Best friend ever!

I agree with the comparison below for Katie, but not for all Cairns:

*From WestieVibes.com

Westie vs Cairn: A Comparison Guide

Conclusion: Making the decision between Westie vs Cairn is a tough one for most people. Both breeds do have similar qualities, but they aren’t the same. Each one is intelligent, but the Westie tends to be more affectionate and outgoing.

 

.

 

 

 

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