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Hello everyone, I'm not a cairn owner but after researching many dogs I am beginning to think that this may be the best dog for me and my family. This is my situation and I'd like your thoughts. We live in an apartment and have a 6 month old son and two cats. From what I have read, these dogs get along well with other pets. I was hoping that if I get a young puppy, it can grow with my son and be good with him. I have read that they aren't always little child friendly. I do stay at home so the puppy would get lots of attention. I'd plan to do a lot of training with him. One concern that I have is that as a terrier, a puppy might be hard to housebreak. I had a yorkshire terrier and he never was no matter what we did. Any information and input you might have would be very welcome! Thanks so much!

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I can appreciate the thought and planning you are invoking. It will be very difficult to have a puppy, a 6 month old and 2 cats. You will be exhausted as the puppy can never be alone with the baby or the cats. I highly recommend an adult rescue that is good with children and cats. Once you get a handle on the extended family, add a puppy.

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We're getting a rescue Cairn in a couple of days. After researching Cairns we knew that one would fit very well into our lifestyle (we too live in an apartment). Unfortunately I believe that many of the rescue groups only allow adoptions to families that have a child over 7 years old. I don't know if that's a universal rule or what. It's not something of concern for us because it's just my girlfriend and I for now (and for quite some time).

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I agree that a Cairn is a terrific family dog. But ... in my personal opinion, now is not the time for you to take on a Cairn puppy. Any single one of your circumstances could probably be dealt with by a really dedicated family, but I fear that the aggregate (infant, cats, apartment, first-time Cairn owner) sets the stage for frustration, disappointment, and a potentially bad outcome for the Cairn.

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I tend to agree with the others. While I think Cairns are an excellent breed and I love my two tremendously without question - they are still a huge amount of work and honestly if I had to combine the effort of raising two puppies with children or cats or any other life factors that also required a large amount of time, there's no way I would have been able to keep up with it all.

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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Hi! My personal experience is that the Cairns aren't as hard to house train as Yorkies are. They are busy little dogs and need a lot of exercise. I have two kids ages 5 and 7 and they have been raised with terriers, they have a healthy respect for them and the dogs of course have had to learn that they are not to be nippy with the kids. I would say that we have done well but it is A LOT of work getting there. My kids aren't super into the dogs and pretty much leave them alone but if some one had a child who was utterly facinated with the dogs then that might become an issue. It is good that you plan on doing a lot of training, they need it just don't let any trainer hold you to lower standards because you have a terrier! It is also good that you are home most of the time, I am too and my dogs are happier for it.

Continue to do your research on the breed it sounds like you are doing a good job of it! Good luck with your search.

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Hmmmm.....My gut feeling is "wait". Cairns are a HUGE responsibility when they are little, and even when they are big. They must be kept active and occupied at all times or they go into destruction mode. Our dog is 11 months and cannot be trusted to be left alone for 5 minutes. A six month old child is still quite a baby, and quite a big responsibility in and of itself. I think you would deeply regret getting a puppy when your child is so young, especially a Cairn puppy. Wait until your son is older. You don't want to miss his baby years because you had to focus too much time on raising a dog. Their lives slip through our fingers too fast as it is.....

I still have fears of my daughter getting bit and she is 9 years old. A baby and even a 3 or 4 year old does not have the maturity to be around a dog that can be nippy.

I did a great deal of research on Cairns bfore we got ours, and have found that most of what I read was not very accurate. None of the info said they were barky dogs, which they are. Nothing I read said that they need a great deal of exercise, only moderate exercise. And most of what I read said they are good with other household pets. Well, so far that has been a nightmare.

I don't mean to be negative, I just want to share with you both sides of the story. I have a lot of problems with my Cairn, but not everybody does. Training him right has become a very high priority with me because I know that it is so critical for the future.

The huge amount of time that you will need to devote to your Cairn is better spent on your son. I dog is with you for 12-15 years. A child is with you for decades. I encourage you to choose to spend it with your precious child. Then when he is older, do the puppy/dog thing. I think you will be glad you did!

Good luck!

Mary

Barney's Mom

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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First of all, EVERY puppy is a lot of work if you are doing things right...not just Cairns! :) Granted we have only had Ellie 5 months...and she is a ton of work. I have a 3 year old daughter who does well with Ellie although we have gone over and above to socialize the two together. We have had 'rough' moments between both of them. I also do childcare in my home and I watch a 7 month old little girl (along with many other children)...one of the reasons it may be an issue for you is, a baby's cry can sometimes sound high pitched and almost squeaky. To a cairn, this means PLAY! Although we have taught Ellie that this is a baby...not a toy...we still NEVER leave her alone with the kids. They are so sweet with children if treated right, but they are terriers, and they are quick. One little 'nip' could be bad news for your baby. These are things to consider with all dogs. Think it over! :) It could still work but it will require lots of time and devotion with frustration and love. :D

Amber

Edited by Amber and the zoo

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I think potty training living in an apartment might be a challenge. Unless you live on the botom floor with a fenced yard/patio.

Then adding in a small child you will have to take with you might be a challenge.

The new pup will need to be taken outside very often and they will not wait for you to go grab a baby and then go outside.

New puppies are also very nippy and could bite your child just playing.

I'd wait a while before adding another pet to the family.

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sheila and Misty

I totally agree a cairn is not one to be raised with an infant or toddler for that matter. Not as a puppy anyways. I did watch children though, by the time Scruffy was 2 he knew the rules and I would only let the kids throw a ball or pet him when I wa around.-they have a low tolerance for aggitation if they arent in the mood or eles they want to play with the child and altho they dont mean too -they get rough and bite down harder than they mean to because they get rooted on their excitement. I would raise my child untill kindergarten then think about it....If you overlload now Someone will be hurt. whether its your child getting bit,you ready to pull out all your hair because while babys sleeping the dog will crave your attention and well-thats no relaxing for you, or the dog gets hurt because child pulls too hard dog then bites you then get rid of the dog-another cairn up for adoption. I'd wait!

Thats with any dog-but 3x as much with the active young cairn. Hope yo make a wise choice!

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sheila and Misty

forgot something-and the dog will want even more attention at the time your involved with your child. It Will Get Hectic-and I gaurantee you'll be frazzeled -really-wait! it will be better for the whole family in the long run

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Thank you everyone! This is exactly the information I needed about these little guys. It sounds like the best idea is to wait until my son is a bit older. I can't have a nippy puppy around him and I know that a puppy would get pulled and pounded on. I appreciate all the responses. Thanks again!

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I echo Brad's thanks to you for doing your research.

Cairns are cool, cool little dogs (well BIG dogs in a little dog suit), but they have their own agenda, and can be unpredictable and also aggressive at times.

Our cairn is 10.5 months and has never been aggressive towards her uprights or other dogs, but she is a very aggressive hunter. I woke up the other morning to my husband going "OMG!" He was standing on the floor by my side of the bed and I rolled over, still sleepy, to see what he was talking about. Through my haze, I was unsure of what was on the floor.......it looked like torn paper...as I focused, I could finally see that it was............feathers, and a lot of them.

I got out of bed and followed the literal trail of feathers from our bedroom, through the living roon, through the kitchen and laundry room, out the doggie door and on to the patio. My husband, meanwhile, found the defeathered carcass of the poor bird under our bed (lovely). Shaylee was so proud of herself and did the happy dance for at least an hour.

Yesterday she got another bird and two rats. We live in South Florida and we have rats that nest and breed in palm trees. Well, they have to come down for water and when she smells them about or hears that squeek, she is as fast as lightening and BAM, they are a gonner.

Dogs often mistake the squeal or squeeks of small children as signals of prey and go after them. Their prey drive overtakes everything. I would hate to see that happen to any child, or cats for that matter, and that is why I am also an advocate of not getting a dog until children are older.

Good luck and enjoy that baby of yours. My son is 16 and the old cliche is TRUE, time flies by in the blink of an eye!

Edited by Sculptedmoon
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