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Planning for a new puppy


CloverDragons

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CloverDragons

Hello, New Friends. 

Two days before Christmas I lost my beloved Beagle to cancer.  I'm thinking about another dog -- just thinking at the moment -- and I'm leaning towards a Cairn Terrier.  I had a wheaten Cairn Terrier when I was a teenager (well, Bruce actually belonged to my mom, but I loved him).  I have many fond memories of that little dog, but once I married and had my own home, we tended towards big dogs -- until somehow we ended up with the aforementioned Beagle, and I love-love-loved having a small dog in the house (he was a runty-sized Beagle).  He "lived closer to us" and was easier to keep. 

For the record, we are a mid-50s couple /one year away from retirement /with one adult child still at home /our first grandchild expected in the fall. 

As I move towards getting another dog and -- as I said -- am leaning heavily towards a Cairn Terrier, I have a couple questions that I hope someone can help with -- some of my thoughts are quite specific /possibly trivial, but I am a researcher.  Even though we had a Cairn when I was a teenager, my memories of his actual care are fuzzy -- and he was a "hand me down" who came to us full grown, so I have no experience with a Cairn puppy.  Any help you can give on these questions would be greatly appreciated:

 

- Can anyone suggest a quality breeder in NC?  Or a surrounding state?  I am very willing to drive for pick-up.  I definitely want a puppy.  My beloved Beagle came to me (through a rescue) as a 1-year old, and he had some negative habits -- some we trained out of him, others persisted for his whole life.  I am willing to put up with the wild puppy years to begin with "a clean slate". 

- As I said, my Beagle was a wonderful dog, but he has some medical issues that turned out to be emotionally difficult and expensive (in addition to epileptic seizures, which are kinda common in Beagles, he was completely blind from birth, and he had to have one eye removed).  What specifics would you ask a breeder to increase the chances of getting a healthy pup?

- As a teacher, I hope to get a puppy in the summer so I can put significant effort into his early training while I'm out of school.  How soon do I need to put my name on a list for a puppy?  Is it reasonable to think I'm getting a puppy this summer?  I'm willing to wait, if it means getting the right puppy, and if I wait until next-next summer, the puppy would coincide with my retirement, meaning he would not be left alone for long periods -- that thought is attractive.

- I've read that male Cairns are more cuddly -- this sounds good to me, but is it true?  

- We have a fenced back yard.  At what age /size can a puppy be allowed to go out alone for play time /romping? 

- I'm missing walking my Beagle -- missing it a lot.  Is a Cairn a dog who enjoys walking in the neighborhood?  I babysat my mom's shih tzu, and that little ... shih tzu didn't want to walk past our mailbox.  I had to carry the lazy thing home.  I would be unhappy with a dog who didn't want a good stroll twice a day. 

- We enjoy hiking.  Obviously we'd "ease a puppy into hiking", but once he's a year (?), would a Cairn Terrier enjoy half day hikes?  Would those little legs have the stamina?

- We have a pool.  If acclimated early, will a Cairn Terrier enjoy swimming? 

- I have a Kong-brand dog bed, which belonged to my Beagle.  I have washed it several times, and it is in perfect condition -- will a new puppy be able to smell the old dog on it /reject it?  It's been sitting empty (so sad) since December, so it's had time to "air out".  It's probably "one size bigger" than I would buy for a Cairn, but it was expensive, and I hate to buy another ... when this one is right here.

- I have never crate trained a dog, but with the idea of a puppy (a terrier puppy!) in the house, I am going to learn about crates!  Any suggestions /tips on crate training a Cairn specifically?  I want to get an attractive end-table style crate, but I wonder if that makes sense for a puppy-puppy.  Would it be smart to get a cheap metal version at first /get the type I really want after the puppy is past the chewing stage? 

- Can a Cairn realistically be trained to obey a QUIET command? 

- My dear, sweet-tempered Beagle turned into a monster Pitt Bull any time we came near his nails.  He even threatened to bite ME, and he thought I was the sun, the moon and the stars.  I have every intention of touching this new puppy's feet /touching the nail clippers to his nails /trimming his nails just a bit starting from Day 2.  I very much want to train the new puppy to accept grooming as "no big deal".  Any suggestions /tips on doing this with small puppies? 

- Do Cairns tend to have "a favorite person", or do they "belong" to the whole family?  Our Beagle was very much MY boy, and I'm hoping that our next dog will ... um, like my husband too.  It's not that the Beagle didn't LIKE my husband; it's more that he loved me and considered my husband staff. 

- Can you name any toys that Cairns particularly like?  Does a Cairn need small-sized toys ...like the smaller tennis balls? 

- What should I know that I'm not thinking of yet?

THANKS, ALL! 

 

 

 

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Sorry you lost your beloved beagle. 

I am pretty sure there will be lots of replies to your questions. Perhaps I will answer a few in the  context of my experience with Cairns. Sam is our third. Firstly they have all similar traits and yet individual personalities. 

- most Cairns cannot be off leash and need an enclosed area. Their prey drive is extremely strong and you don’t count when they are chasing something.

-We always put our pups in an x-pen, and a crate with the door removed in it. I just feel that being able to get out into their x pen gives them more freedom to see what’s going on in the world. We always put them beside the patio door. 

- Not a good idea to leave a puppy loose in the yard unless being supervised..same as in the house. My experience is that anything is game if they think it’s edible. So only toys when being supervised. Four reading glasses Sam took care of the first year...and a other items  and trips to the vet to up chuck what Sam decided might be edible.

- No puppy won’t reject expensive dog bed...might eat or shred it.

- A mature healthy Cairn can easily do a 1/2 day hike, just bring water.

- A quiet Cairn ..do they exist?  You can teach a no bark command but good luck with that if something interesting comes near their territory.

- Our dogs are super cuddly, although always on their own terms. 

-  They are very smart but if you want total obedience get a lab.🤣

-Cairns are slow to mature mentally...they usually settle down into their own by about 2-3 years 

This is Sam , 12 weeks old in his x pen  with his crate

 

Wonderful dogs.💕🐾🐾

2035BB37-4A0E-46AF-AE6B-72AAD001EFC3.jpeg

Edited by Sam I Am

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

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Welcome!

I suspect you'll get responses to most or all of your questions although they may dribble in bit by bit. For my contribution I don't do well typing on portable devices but will try again tomorrow or Wednesday when I have easier access to my desktop.

On the breeder referral question if anyone does have a recommendation they will contact you by PM as specific endorsements are out of scope for posting.  For sure browse the national club's breeder referral list by state to see if there are any in NC or neighboring states. It's good that you are open to some travel to make it happen, as it can be challenging to find a pup from a breeder you trust. Timing is also very much at the mercy of nature and careful, planned breedings, so start early and be patient and persistent.

I was once told "the best way to get a terrier is to BE a terrier." Story checked out :) 

 

CAIRNTALK: Vote! |  Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 
ME: labroad.us 

 

 

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You asked all the right questions and I’ll try to answer some.

In addition to getting the pup used to having his paws/nails handled, do the same with mouth, teeth. It will make future brushing and dental exams easier.

Fences must be very secure. Cairns are escape artists and will also climb, dig their way out.

Aside from everyone being involved & interacting w/ the pup, there is no guarantee that it won’t have a favorite person.

The breed is very strong & sturdy. Lots of folks here take them on hikes. I consider them to be weatherproof.

Im not sure, but my guess is that any residual dog smell in the bed will make it attractive to the pup.

A too-large bed could possibly be counter-productive for house training a pup. Ordinarily, they don’t want to toilet where they sleep and an oversized bed just might allow enough room for the pup to use the far corner of the bed.

My cairns loved swimming, as did others on this site, yet some  hate it. 

Judging from my cairns, they can be barkers, especially when they spot a squirrel, etc. It’s part of their infectious joy and exuberance for life.

Wishing you good luck and good times ahead! 

 

 

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FEAR THE CAIRN!

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Hillscreek

Agree with all said above. Would emphasize that barking may be reduced but probably not eliminated. 

If you shout at a cairn he/she will shout right back. Use treats and praise. My pockets always had a few Charlie Bear treats in them. A cairn maybe small in size but he is a giant in spirit and attitude. A small dog doesn't necessarily mean an easy dog.

Angus my cairn could walk or hike as long as I could. Build walks slowly as he grows.

Do not leave him unsupervised. Everything is a toy and all will be ripped and torn if he/she gets a chance. 

A cairn may grow (slowly) to be your partner and close buddy but never your servant. He/she lives and works for what's in it for them not necessarily to please you. Patience and persistence and a sense of humor are the key. My retrievers were fairly easily trained to obey. My terriers especially Angus took a long time to agree to do most of what I asked. But in time he became one of the closest best dog buddies I have ever had.

It's a LOT of work for a LONG time. But to us cairn owners well worth it. 

Good luck in  your search. Let us know how you get on.

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, CloverDragons said:

What specifics would you ask a breeder to increase the chances of getting a healthy pup?

I'd ask open-ended questions about how they screen for health issues and what issues they know of or have seen in the breed. Look for awareness of issues recognized by the national breed club, which has a list of what they consider to be *minimal* health testing guidelines (along with another page about issues they've seen in health surveys). If they claim they tested some dog in the past and therefore all descendent dogs are pre-cleared ask if the mode of inheritance is known for that defect and supports that conclusion :).

You asked for "increasing the chances" and that's really all you can do; reward those who take the job seriously and are doing their best for the breed. The best bred dogs can still have issues that are not screenable, have no known mode of inheritance or causation, are random mutations, bad luck, recessive throwback trait expression, etc.

Along the same lines, I'd ask about what breed faults or weaknesses the parents have and the pup has. That often takes the form of "why did you do the breeding of this particular dog to your bitch?" No dog is perfect, so a breeder willing to say "my bitch's coat is a bit soft so I hoped to improve by breeding her to a dog known for throwing great harsh coats"  or something similar is giving a clue that they are breeding intentionally. 

Good breeders have a plan for breeding in the first place, and adjust those plans based on facts, results, and experiences. Casual breeders are scarcely aware of the issues and how to avoid or minimize them. Yet still, good dogs have come from terrible breeders. So there is an element of chance that is inescapable.

19 hours ago, CloverDragons said:

We have a pool.  If acclimated early, will a Cairn Terrier enjoy swimming?

Interesting question! We've had "water dogs" and others who avoided water. It may be just an individual thing. Overall, Cairns are *very* adaptable, so unless the dog has or develops a phobia about water, I'd guess slightly better than even odds on the swimming question. 

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CAIRNTALK: Vote! |  Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 
ME: labroad.us 

 

 

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My sentiments exactly Bradl. Do your home work, it’s the best advise anyone can give you.

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

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Pepper Bug's Mom

My two Cairns are totally different personalities!  The female (age 9 now) has a HIGH prey drive - thus we have X-pens surround our 6' fence and Iron Fence surrounding our outside entry way....She dug the minute we brought her home as soon as her feet touched grass!  So now we have a patio of pavers and artificial turf in pee area.  She was an escape artist and still is but she is the LOVE of my life.  She is always ready for a fast walk and secure chasing a ball at the tiny dog park we live close to.  She will entertain herself throwing a frisbee in the house and chasing tennis balls inside as well!  A squirrel in the window will make your ears burn when she spots it!  I entered her in earthdog for several years where she made senior earth dog up in Canada but never in the US.  She ended up being too social too the judges and spent her time saying hi....we gave up.   The younger Cairn (now 3) has NO interest in earthdog, digging or chasing a ball!  However, he is not the escape artist that the older one is.  He enjoys the dog park and will play with the other dogs and no ball chasing for him!  He has the highest bark I have ever heard and will screech at a squirrel through the window.  He is a love bug and lets the older Cairn beat him up and never puts up a fuss!   He was impossible to potty train but now at 3 years of age has it down!  They both are crate trained (crates in family room and bedroom) and happily "kennel up" with a command and a bit of carrot treat.  They hardly shed and don't stink and are wonderful to travel with in their crates!    Best of luck with your decision!!!

Pepper's Mom

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CloverDragons

Sorry you lost your beloved beagle. 

Thanks, he really was my baby boy.  I still expect him to come down the hall to "escort me out" of the bedroom first thing in the morning, turning around three times to be sure I'm following him.  I miss him terribly.

Their prey drive is extremely strong and you don’t count when they are chasing something.

Yes, Bruce, the Cairn from my teen years, was the only dog I've ever owned who gave me "gifts" of dead mice.  (Lived on a farm growing up -- always had vermin.)

-We always put our pups in an x-pen, and a crate with the door removed in it. I just feel that being able to get out into their x pen gives them more freedom to see what’s going on in the world. We always put them beside the patio door. 

Is this x-pen something y'all use for puppy training?  I don't think I want to put up with it ... forever.

- Not a good idea to leave a puppy loose in the yard unless being supervised..same as in the house.

I haven't had a puppy-puppy in ... decades?  So maybe a year old for playing in the yard unsupervised?  I know my dogs have all enjoyed alone-time in the backyard just to "dog around", but not too soon.  Got it. 

- No puppy won’t reject expensive dog bed...might eat or shred it.

Our Beagle destroyed two beds before we got this one.  Kong beds are the best! 

- A mature healthy Cairn can easily do a 1/2 day hike, just bring water.

Excellent!  Just what we wanted to hear!

- A quiet Cairn ..do they exist?  You can teach a no bark command but good luck with that if something interesting comes near their territory.

Barking bothers my husband a great deal.  This is probably our strongest con.

- Our dogs are super cuddly, although always on their own terms. 

I can live with that.  I've read that males are more dependent upon their people /more cuddly.  True or false? 

-  They are very smart but if you want total obedience get a lab.🤣

I'd love a lab, but they're bigger than I want!

-Cairns are slow to mature mentally...they usually settle down into their own by about 2-3 years 

That's a long puppy-hood, and this concept gives me a bit of pause. 

This is Sam , 12 weeks old in his x pen  with his crate

Oh, you're lucky I can't reach through this computer!  I'd steal that little sweetie in a heartbeat!

On the breeder referral question if anyone does have a recommendation they will contact you by PM as specific endorsements are out of scope for posting. 

Oh, sorry.  I didn't mean to break the rules. 

I was once told "the best way to get a terrier is to BE a terrier." Story checked out

Hmmm, I'm more of a German-Shepherd-Border Collie combination.  Smart, a planner, calm, reliable, consistent.

You asked all the right questions and I’ll try to answer some.

Didn't realize I was taking a test -- glad I passed!

In addition to getting the pup used to having his paws/nails handled, do the same with mouth, teeth. It will make future brushing and dental exams easier.

Excellent advice.  I worked very hard at cleaning Watson's teeth, but he loved the peanut butter-flavored toothpaste so much that he wanted to eat it.  Had to get a different flavor.  Seriously, sounds like a small thing, but it's a very big deal to me:  that Beagle of mine, who was a sweetheart, but he did not suffer anyone to touch his claws -- much less trim them.  It was a major fight and took two people, but I'll say this for him:  he never held it against us.

Fences must be very secure. Cairns are escape artists and will also climb, dig their way out.

I do remember Bruce being good at escaping, but it didn't matter because we lived on a farm; he'd have to run a looong time to get into trouble.  I've had two other dogs in this fence and neither escaped -- except once when the contractor working on my bathroom let the dogs out while bringing in materials.  He called me at school and told me what happened, and he said the dog catcher had them.  I had to go pick them up at the dog pound!  Very scary for all involved, and they promised they'd NEVER leave my side again. 

Aside from everyone being involved & interacting w/ the pup, there is no guarantee that it won’t have a favorite person.

But do they tend towards being one-person dogs? 

Im not sure, but my guess is that any residual dog smell in the bed will make it attractive to the pup.

Nice!  He'll welcome even a dog whose smell he doesn't know?  Will it make any difference that the dog is a puppy-puppy?  I'm thinking an older dog might be less likely to accept a used bed.

A too-large bed could possibly be counter-productive for house training a pup. Ordinarily, they don’t want to toilet where they sleep and an oversized bed just might allow enough room for the pup to use the far corner of the bed.

I've read that.  I think -- since I already have the bed -- I'm going to try it.  If it's a problem, I can always go buy another, but I might get by with what I already have.  If memory serves, this bed was almost $100. 

Judging from my cairns, they can be barkers, especially when they spot a squirrel, etc. It’s part of their infectious joy and exuberance for life.

Infectious joy and exuberance for life -- that sounds so wonderful!  But, yeah, my husband does have a problem with barking. 

If you shout at a cairn he/she will shout right back.

Like it's a game to the dog?  Hmmm, filing that information away.

A small dog doesn't necessarily mean an easy dog.

Oh, I never thought small = easy, but small does fit into our lifestyle.  My daughter and her husband have a small horse living in their house, and they love it -- but my Beagle fit into our lives better than any dog we've had in our adult lives.  He sat on the sofa with us, he sometimes slept in bed with us, and he can ride in my small car. 

Angus my cairn could walk or hike as long as I could. Build walks slowly as he grows.

Angus is a great Cairn name!  Yes, I will "build up" walks, but I would be very unhappy with a dog who didn't want two good walks each day.  I sometimes baby sit my mom's Shih Tzu, and that dog ... well, she's a Shih T all right.  Took her walking ... half a block from home she sat down and refused to move!  I had to carry the little chunk back home!  She thinks going past the mailbox is excessive. 

Do not leave him unsupervised. Everything is a toy and all will be ripped and torn if he/she gets a chance. 

Yeah, that's why we're going to crate train, and I'm paying attention to this x-pen thing. 

What I think I'm hearing from y'all is this:  If a Cairn were a child, you'd say he had issues with Impulse Control.

A cairn may grow (slowly) to be your partner and close buddy but never your servant.

Point made. 

I'd ask open-ended questions about how they screen for health issues and what issues they know of or have seen in the breed. Look for awareness of issues recognized by the national breed club, which has a list of what they consider to be *minimal* health testing guidelines (along with another page about issues they've seen in health surveys). If they claim they tested some dog in the past and therefore all descendent dogs are pre-cleared ask if the mode of inheritance is known for that defect and supports that conclusion :).

Thanks.

You asked for "increasing the chances" and that's really all you can do; reward those who take the job seriously and are doing their best for the breed. The best bred dogs can still have issues that are not screenable, have no known mode of inheritance or causation, are random mutations, bad luck, recessive throwback trait expression, etc.

I'm pretty serious about health.  My dear, departed Beagle was blind from birth, had to have one eye removed because of Glaucoma, and had epileptic seizures.  The cancer that took him was actually easy in comparison -- or maybe it was just faster.  We dealt with all that because we loved him, but I'm hoping to avoid such things with our new pup. 

Along the same lines, I'd ask about what breed faults or weaknesses the parents have and the pup has. That often takes the form of "why did you do the breeding of this particular dog to your bitch?" No dog is perfect, so a breeder willing to say "my bitch's coat is a bit soft so I hoped to improve by breeding her to a dog known for throwing great harsh coats"  or something similar is giving a clue that they are breeding intentionally. 

So noted. 

Interesting question! We've had "water dogs" and others who avoided water. It may be just an individual thing. Overall, Cairns are *very* adaptable, so unless the dog has or develops a phobia about water, I'd guess slightly better than even odds on the swimming question. 

I'm hoping that introducing water early will help our chances. 

My two Cairns are totally different personalities! 

Oh, I accept that personality plays into it, but I know that when we saw other Beagles at the dog park, they all tend to play in the same way -- I always found that funny, but the truth is that DNA is strong stuff.  And while out walking, we often ran into another neighborhood Beagle -- every time, the two of them fell into the "Beagle howl", something he never did with other dogs. 

I entered her in earthdog for several years where she made senior earth dog up in Canada but never in the US. 

 

I've been reading about that!

He enjoys the dog park and will play with the other dogs and no ball chasing for him! 

I do hope to get a dog who interacts better with other dogs.  Being blind, Watson wasn't particularly dog-friendly -- I think he was always a little afraid of other dogs "getting a jump on him", and if TWO dogs came near him at once, all bets were off.  Obviously, he couldn't chase a ball.  He'd throw one for himself (until he lost it under the sofa), but if I threw it, he'd look at me like, "Why, Mom? Why?" 

He was impossible to potty train but now at 3 years of age has it down! 

That sounds unpleasant.  I had my Beagle 100% trained in less than a week, but he wasn't a puppy-puppy. 

"kennel up"

I like that phrase!  I'm very big on training my dogs with the exact phrases I intend to keep using; they're more likely to listen if they hear consistent wording.

They hardly shed and don't stink and are wonderful to travel with in their crates! 

Strong positives!

Thanks, All, for your help!  My heart isn't totally ready to let another dog in, but I'm still leaning towards a Cairn. 

 

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CloverDragons

Hi, it's me -- the original poster again. 

After reading this board, I'm wondering if we're making a good choice by insisting upon a puppy-puppy.  If it were JUST ME, I'd know a puppy-puppy was the right choice.  I'm the person who's perfectly happy to spend 15 minutes every time we go out the door ... if it means that the little fellow learns to sit while I put his leash on /understands that the door isn't going to open until things have been done my way.  I'm the person who will gladly repeat the same instruction 1,000 times if it means that the pup ends up knowing Sit, Stay, Up Pup, Touch, and more. 

But my husband, well, his middle name ain't Patience.  He thinks two weeks should be enough for a dog to learn any given instruction -- a little more if it's a puppy-puppy.  I don't want him to take a dislike the new puppy because he will test us /will take longer to train. 

So I'm wondering ... I wanted a puppy-puppy so I could train it MY WAY and be sure it learns what I want it to learn.  But maybe it'd be better to get an adult?  With that in mind, here are the things I'm wondering:

- How realistic is it to find an adult Cairn?

- My last dog was UBER-fussy over having his nails done.  I mean, it took two of us to trim his nails.  Are Cairns easier about this?  If I get an adult Cairn, can I assume he won't be awful like my old dog?  Same question about tooth brushing. 

- What concerns would you have about adopting an adult instead of a puppy?

 

Thanks for any help you can give.

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Adults and junior dogs are the best deal going. Like puppies and Cairns in general they aren't really available on-demand, but keeping your options open and recognizing they come with significant advantages puts you ahead of those who insist on puppy-only. Cairns are super-adaptable and one of any age will integrate themselves fully into almost any new household, given a few weeks. Plus the older they are the more their personality is known, which can help in setting expectations. 

Nails can be challenging for dogs of any breed and bossy or fussy Cairns are just the same. Some with good skills can get it done fast and easy with clippers. I'm a klutz so we use two people and a battery Dremel. Takes longer but at least I know when to stop :P 

I'll be honest, no patience is not a great match with a cairn. I'd say common attributes of a happy Cairn owner probably include patience, persistence,  good sense of humor, and forgiveness :whistle:

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CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 
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Pepper Bug's Mom

I take my Cairns to a groomer ($10 each) to do their toenails - I gave up doing it myself.  It takes them 5 minutes max to do each dog and well worth it!!!   They hate getting their tummies combed/groomed or even their hairy legs.   They are tough as nails on the trail but don't much like their legs untangled. The younger one makes a lot of noise but NEVER bites!  He is always ready for a kiss.  The older one tolerates the grooming and NEVER bites either!

 

Pepper's Mom

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Ok...I am going to go out on a limb. Not a popular place to go at times 🤭, however after reading your posts and the issues your other half has with barking and lack of patience etc, a puppy especially a Cairn Puppy or any other terrier type brings into question if this would be a good fit...for the puppy. The Cairns that we have had the pleasure of owning are all full of life and can be a challenge ...especially the first couple of years. Lack of patience and understanding the very nature of this breed will turn into a disaster for all concerned. Terriers  especially Cairns are adorable, cute full of spunk, naughtiness  and are not a breed for everyone. You have to love a terrier and all that comes with it. That includes barking, chasing small furry things, stubborn, ignoring you .....but with patience and given a few years you will have a great pal....still naughty though.

Edited by Sam I Am

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

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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Hillscreek

Agree an older cairn can fit in pretty easily with his/her new family.

I think it is important to understand that cairn terriers have been a breed for hundreds of years doing a cairn's job which was to work independently digging into dens and making his/her own decisions on how to proceed. Barking and growling was part of the hunt. These traits cannot easily be removed.

Honestly I would think twice if barking and being slow to train annoys your husband. Cairns are very, very sensitive to their humans' emotions. 

I quoted from Brad but it seems to be way down the post and I don't know how to move it up. Sorry.

 

Quote

I'll be honest, no patience is not a great match with a cairn. I'd say common attributes of a happy Cairn owner probably include patience, persistence,  good sense of humor, and forgiveness :whistle:

 

Edited by bradl
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CloverDragons

Sam I Am, I'm wondering the same thing.  I really, really want a Cairn, but I'm not sure it would be a hit with my husband, and he does matter more.  (That's true, isn't it?)  He might be happier with a lab ... any suggestions for a lab that's in the 20-30-lb range?  Must like to swim and hike, prefer a low-maintenance coat. 

Bradl, a question about a Dremel tool.  I have one, but I couldn't use it on my dear Beagle.  He was genuinely a 1%er when it came to trimming nails.  He was banned from two groomers -- literally. they said, "Don't come here again for any price."  We could do his nails at home, but it took two of us, and it was unpleasant: he'd squeal as if he were hurt, and we'd let him go.  Being cowardly, we preferred to let him have negative experiences with someone else.  In his last two years of life we met a lady who did "grooming in a van", and she was fast and could handle his hijinks.  Seriously, she'd have one foot done before he recognized what she was up to!  And she only charges $5 -- I kinda suspect she isn't a "real business"/doesn't pay taxes, but that's not my problem.  (I always tipped well.)  Anyway, we couldn't reliably find her. 

Anyway, back to the Dremel tool.  Any secrets for using it properly?  As I said, this nail thing was an ongoing issue with our Beagle, and I want to train a new puppy from the very beginning to see grooming as "no big deal", just one of the ways I interact with my humans. 

Edited by CloverDragons
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It is my experience that a lot of Terriers  do not appreciate having their nails trimmed. I took the cowards way out and have my vet clinic do it. I am scared to death with black nails that I will trim to high and cause pain. Sam’s breeder uses a dremel all the time and starts when very young...I think that is the ticket. Much the same with brushing their teeth. I have done that with both our dogs since they were puppies and they are totally fine with it.

You also mentioned that you wanted a dog with a low maintenance coat. If you want to keep a Cairns coat in some form of shape and health they will require regular maintenance. 

Yup...having a happy partner is paramount..for you and the dog. I have no experience beyond Terriers, Wolfhounds and German Shepard’s so cant give any advise on labs.

Edited by Sam I Am
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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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@CloverDragons Some random thoughts on dremeling Cairn nails.

  • Have your helper hold the leg firmly behind the elbow or haunch to keep them from yanking the leg away.
  • If your helper is strong, sometimes just suspending the dog in the air (vs cradling them in arms) puts them into a submissive mode where they don't struggle as much and/or don't have the leverage of a helper's body to work against.
  • If you have a grooming table and noose that works well for solo work and for many dogs, as lifting the one leg forces them to balance on the others. We had one dog who would push her neck into the noose and rotate like a rotisserie though, so no guarantees :) Two people PLUS a grooming table is even better.
  • If you've forgotten to trim the paw hair first :P sometimes dunking their paws in water first keeps the hair out of the way so it doesn't tangle in the drum.
  • Use the coarse sanding drum and a fairly high speed. I trade noise for speed.
  • Treat before, during (usually after front are done) and after. 
  • Wear a dust mask.
  • If there is a lot to take off, rather than grind end-on I often grind down at an angle from the top (near the tip tho') to shorten — seems to go faster than end-on.
  • Nice thing about the dremel is you can see the quick appearing as a dot before you break through.
  • Once the bulk is done I touch and tap up from the bottom and sides and finish with some circling around the nail to smooth it. 

 

CAIRNTALK: Vote! |  Questions? Need help? → Support Forum Please do not use PMs for tech support
CRCTC: Columbia River Cairn Terrier Club 
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