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Help with Cairn question

Guest Earl

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I am considering a new friend in the next 2 years and I would like to know how bad this particular breed sheds. My last buddy of 15 years was some kind of mix, that resembles this Cairn terrier in my opinion, but she had she silkiest hair that didn't shed at all. I am waiting for a better environment that will be more welcoming than this condo we live in now. My last friend did well with this, but she didn't move in here until she was more of a sleeper than a player. My wife has a Golden Retriever that is 12 and I don't want to aquire another that sheds like her retriever does. I took great care of my friend and I just wanted an idea of how high the maintainance was on this breed. I would like one that has some spirit or temperment or a mind of its own and not one that just does tricks....character is a better word I suppose. Any help would be appreciated.

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Depends on what you mean my maintenance, I guess. Cairns don't shed to speak of, although you may find a clump of coat once in a while. Nothing at all like the fine layer of hair that, say, my folks' dalmation left everywhere. My wife is allergic to some dogs and we have four in the house, two sleep on the bed etc. Our house will never be featured in House Beautiful, but it's not covered in hair either.

To keep them properly groomed requires more maintenance than some breeds and less than others - fortunately their naturally shaggy appearance means that no one needs to be a grooming expert just to yank out (or rake out) some dead coat two or three times a year. It can be hard to find a commercial groomer willing to take proper care of the coat, but if you get your Cairn from a breeder who exhibits, you will have plenty of resources available to find either coaching, or someone to do a nice touch-up job every now and then.

The one area where I'd say Cairns can be a bit high maintenance is they simply must be part of your daily life. They are not 'set-and-forget' couch decorations - they insist on being integrated into the family and mentally and physically challenged. And it's a pleasure doing so, and they have character and personality to burn, so that part probably fits your specs fairly well. On the exercise part, a tired dog is a good dog, and again, they are easy to exercise: a couple walks a day they would love, while if you have a 'ball nut' you can exercise him or her just by tossing a ball in the house over, and over, and over, and over .... you get the idea.

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CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 



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