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Hunting and Gaming your Cairn?


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Hi. I'm new to the forum but have been reading and learning from this site since logging on when I bought my terrier a few months ago. Billy Bob is a Cairn/Westie cross and at six months old he already weight 18 pounds. All muscle, because we live here in the NW forest and exercise a lot walking around in the forest. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres of about 30 year old growth. As you can imagine we have a real varmit problem. Skunk,gopher, possum, racoon, deer, you name it. Billy is very gamey and loves to hunt and I would like to teach him more about the sport. He is very obedient and is trained to the clicker. From observing him I think he is a "soft" hunter. and so far I do not have a problem anymore with sunk and racoon bedding down on the back poarch. I would like to know more about the hunting Cairn and where to find a locater collar before setting him loose on our walks. He maintains a close perimiter when outside in the yard and always comes when I call, even if it is on his own time. Only once did I have to jump in the car and follow him when he chased a gaggle of wild turkeys from the yard. (They have not returned.) I have found a great website on the "gaming terrier" but there is no forum. I am also interested in go to ground, but it seems trials are limited to registered Cairns and he is a cross-breed. But I totally love him just the way he is. He is a beautiful brindle (black and tan?). Does anyone else in here have the same intrest?

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Welcome. My experience is limited to AKC earthdog, a single day in the field rooting possum out of a condemned barn with Haggis and a couple of standard dachshunds, and reading Terrierman's Daily Dose blog :P You can get a Deben locator, at the JRTCA store.

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



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Watching the dogs hunt is a blast. Other than earthdog, I've had Kona out in some fields. In eathdog, on the hunt up to the den, I've noticed that the cairns tend to range away from the handler more than the dachs or other terriers. Kona is fairly easy to control off lead. He'll range and come back to check in when called, then go back out and hunt. I've been considering training with a (silent to humans) dog whistle. Other than rats in the den at earthdog, we haven't had any live encounters.

I have a friend who participated in a woodchuck hunt when she was back at the national cairn specialty back east. She sent me some pics. It seems the wood chucks are a problem back there and they use terriers to take care of them.

I'm interested, but cautious. I think serious hunting could be risky. Cairns will not back down from a varmint, even if they're bigger. We show Kona, and if we were serious hunters, we would have to be prepared for "battle scars". I have read that the crofters in Scotland most prized dogs were the ones that carried the scars of battle. I have heard that some breed standards prohibit a judge from penalizing a dog for noble scar, but I don't feel carn judges would forgive a flaw like that. In addition to asking an AKC judge to understand, I would have to face the dw.

Sil Sanders, who owns and tracks with a westie wrote a book tracking on the subject of tracking I've been kicking around in my head whether or not I want attempt teaching my cairns to track to get an AKC tracking title.

You might check in to an AKC ILP (Indefinate Listing Priviledge). If your dog isn't registerd with the AKC, and looks lke a cairn, (you have to send in photos along with the application) they may grant you an ILP to allow you to compete in AKC performance events, like earthdog.

Greg and Val Perry

Home of Kula RN CGC, Am. Can. Int'l. CH Cairngorm Coffee Tea or Me RA ME EE2/Can. SE NAJ NAS CGC (Kona), CH Clanmarr's Steele Princess (Hattie) and CH Scotchbroom Thistle The Patriot SE (Sully) Visit: CroftersDream.com

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Thanks for the input and the wonderful link. I've added it to my favorites. BB and I are embarking on a real adventure, but not without the necessary preparedness. The tracking training also sounds interesting. I am keeping watch for earthdog trials up here in Oregon and Washington for this spring and summer so we can go and watch and see if he is interested in trying it out. The scent of rats drives him crazy, in a good way. I can't download a picture of him just yet because we are in such a remote location that we only have dial-up and long long waits for download and often it does not complete. The entire community out here is investing in DSL but that will take six months before completion.

Just the way it is. Perhaps I can get a download at a friends house in the city sooner than that. He looks perfectly Cairn with brindle markings and a beautiful black face, very big ears though almost scottish terrier from some angles. Thanks again for sharing.

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