Jump to content

Questions about Cairn Terriers

Guest irishawk

Recommended Posts

Hi , Cairn's are the most amazing Little dogs, dont be decieved by there size they are huge dogs in small body's. It Breaks my heart to hear that they have one in a pet shop.

I would never get a dog if I was working 8 hours a day but thats just my opinion, im sure you will get loads of good advice on this site.We all think Cairns are the best.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could most likely pull it off as long as you can make it home for lunch. These little guys have massive amounts of energy and need somewhere to let it loose. There are people that keep their Cairns crated while they are at work ,with breaks around the 4 or 5 hour mark. Keep in mind also if you get a puppy they have small reserve capacity for waste. My opinion if I couldn't be there or someone couldn't be there to let him out more frequently I would lean toward an older pet maybe a rescue there are several available in the more mature age range. The other plus to this is most of the rescue Cairns are already crate trained and housebroke, that would most likely fit your lifestyle better. I am assuming you are single and the only one living in your home. We have 2 in our home and we consider ourselves blessed to have them. I had always owned larger breeds and never fancied myself as a small dog kind of guy, that is until I met the Cairn terrier. As Binky already stated they are a huge dog in a small package, and they will return every ounce of effort you give them as a loyal companion and friend.

Best of luck to you whatever you decide.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also work 8 hours a day and we have had Savannah since she was a puppy. If you go home for lunch, you should be fine. We just make sure that when we get home at night, we give Savannah lots of love and attention. At first, having a puppy is alot of hard work to get them potty trained and such but it is SO worth it in the end. If you want a dog with lots of personality and energy, a Cairn could be right for you. If you want a dog that is going to be calm and lay around all day, a Cairn isn't what you are looking for. Granted all dogs are different but Cairns tend to be entergetic, independant little dogs. They can be barky, and they can be diggers. BUT they will most definately make you laugh everyday and they return the love you have for them ten fold. Best of luck to you in your quest for a dog. Please let us know if you decide on a Cairn!

P.S - Most Cairns that I know of do well around children and other dogs. The key to ensuring this is to make sure that they are well socialized with children and other dogs when they are young so that they will be used to being around them.

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.

-M. Acklam

Savannah's Dogster Page

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DH and I both work, and our dog Allie stays in the kitchen all day, with a bed, food, and a few toys. When she was a puppy though (and we considered her a puppy until she was about a year and a half old), we made sure one of us came home at lunch to let her out and romp a bit. She seems to do well with this schedule but I do walk her most mornings for about three miles. (Not yesterday, though -- we had a foot of heavy, wet snow!) Then she gets another half hour walk when we get home, and a short walk (10 minutes or so - for business purposes) at about 10 to 10:30.

Having a dog would mean that you couldn't go out with friends right after work -- the dog would surely need attention after that time alone. It's really a lifestyle issue. I can't imagine living without one but combining work and a pet means you spend more time at home.

I think a rescue dog would be a great idea for someone living alone and working. Maybe even a middle-aged one. These dogs are like puppies into their teens, and with a middle-aged dog you would get all the spunk and energy but also probably a dog you could leave home a little longer.

Good luck! These are great little dogs. (And we had a discussion at home last night about getting a second one so we could try earthdog!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a tough question to answer. Any kind of breed can turn out good or bad depending on the amount of training, socializing, and attention you give. You need to be there to potty train if you plan to get a puppy. Until they have bladder control, the peeing can be something like every 10 minutes. Dogs need exercise, too, as they get older, so there's the daily walks (which is also beneficial for the owners!). You also need to be there to correct behavior such as chewing furniture or anything on the floor, snapping, biting (although if you are alone, there'll be only you to snap and bite at). There's also no telling how dogs will react to children. Some do wonderfully, some don't.

I've seen several dog owners feeling 'stuck' with their dogs. They get one and then realize the amount of work needed, and then there are those with behavioral issues. One of our neighbors has a new dog who has fear of people (but is alright if the person is walking with another dog). She growls and snaps at anyone. She has been obedience-trained. Our neighbor calls the dog her nightmare. It's sad to hear these stories. She worries everyday especially that her relatives visit her all the time.

Sorry to sound negative, but I just wanted to be sure you hear all sides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck with your decision. I think that if doggie daycare is an option, that should be taken into consideration.

Cairns are the best!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Anna is being negative at all, I think she is being honest. The more informed people are regarding the "pros and cons" about owning any dog - the less need we would have for rescues. That being said, I too am a big fan of the cairn. But, like others have mentioned, these guys are energetic and active and are happiest when they have a means to expel their energy. I come from owning shepherds. Shepherds, like labs and goldens, want nothing more than to please their masters. Cairns are a little different. That took me a little while to get used to. They are more independent, (I find) a little less affectionate (not to be confused with lovable or loving). Meaning, they want to be with you but I don't believe they are an "in your face" kinda pup (although individuals are all different). But they are a hardy, tough little breed with strong characters. I take mine on long, daily hikes. I am lucky to be able to allow mine off leash and I am forever amazed at my little dog. The things he can do, the places he can jump up onto, the mazes he can get himself in and out of. They are truly an absolutely amazing breed. When I first got my pup at eight weeks I thought it was an incredible amount of deligent work. Now, my pup is ten months old and the work load has decreased tremendously and the fun with reward has increased ten fold. It was and is worth all the effort it takes in the beginning when raising a puppy but just being prepared as to what to expect takes a lot of the scariness out of it. If you are working all day - I think it can be done if you can get home to get your pup out of doors for a time. Just be ready for a lot of activity in the evenings for a while. Like I said, my pup is now 10 months and although he is still very active, he is now less difficult. (Sorry so long.) Best of luck to you and let us know what you decide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, it's smart to get all the information you can before purchasing your Cairn. Maybe you could plan your vacation time when you first bring your pup home so that you could be there to take him out and potty train him. I have three Cairns, and although I only work part time, they really don't get a good run outdoors until the afternoon. They're more than happy to play in the house until then. Keep researching and let us know what you decide.

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read all about the breed. Cairns are great little dogs, and are incredibly cute, but have some personalitiy quirks you should be aware of. Having been a cat family for a decade it is still a bit strange to accomidate a dog. Our first...uh oh, didn't think of that moment was while planning our annual vacation. Suddenly we needed to factor boarding costs into our plans. When I work outside the home, coming home for lunch often gets stressful, Sophie wants to stoll around and play...I have to get back to the office. And I can never accept an invitation right after work. The plus side...I have a funny, fun little companion who adores me and is ready for whatever I want to do.

My recomendation would be to get a rescued adult. Sophie was 3 when we got her, she was out of most of the puppy stage and comfortable with being at home alone without mischief. She was a nice compromise between wanting a dog and training a puppy.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are getting great advice here, as always.

I guess one thing I would ask myself if I were in your situation is "how much time do I have to devote to a puppy/dog?". I know you mentioned that you are a young 20 'ish professional and work full time. And, are able to come home for lunchtime. That is great, but......IMO, it isn't as easy as it sounds, specifically raising a pup.

Are you able to get home on time every night after work? Or, can you make arrangements for someone to be there to let the dog out? Are you home most weekends or out socially in situations where your dog cannot come with?

Are you financially secure enough for the expenses of a puppy/dog? The first few months, costs are significant with all the booster shots, vet visits, toys, crate(s), etc. This past fall, I had one dog very ill and then lost my second Cairn to kidney failure. In just one month, we spent over $1000 and that was with limited testing, etc.

Cairns NEED some type of formalized training whether it be Petsmart, personal one-on-one training. That also takes time and $$. A good example....my neighbor got an adorable Beagle pup this past fall. I saw him outside this weekend and he told me the dog was still peeing all over the house. I could tell that he was blaming the dog when in reality it is their fault. I watched as they potty trained and the first few weeks they went out with the dog everytime. About 2-3 weeks later, they didn't go out with the puppy anymore. The 'training' stopped. My bet is that was when the peeing in the house started. Most dogs do not potty train completely in 3 weeks. Now they are talking about getting rid of the dog.

I am also probably guilty of pointing out alot of negatives here. But, I take dog ownership seriously as I consider it a lifetime committment.

As far as how I feel about the Cairn breed....having owned Cairns for 14+ years, I would have no other breed (although Westies are a close second)! They are the most endearing little dogs you will ever meet!!

As some have already mentioned, I would definitely consider an older rescue Cairn if I were in your situation.

Good luck with your decision and look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Cathy and Piper

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


  • 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.