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Rescuing a 6 month old...any suggestions.


rampz
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This Sunday we will be going to meet a black colored female 5-6 months old Cairn Puppy at a Rescue Shelter. All we know is that she was submitted to the Rescue Group by a older woman who purchased her from a breeder. The woman is in poor health and could not take care of her.

We have a 4 year old male neutered Westie and would love for him to have a companion. We have two young boys and love our pets dearly. I am looking for any suggestions from Cairn owners with experience on the breed to let us know what we should be looking for when meeting her. I have done my research but would feel better getting the inside info. from owners who have had Cairn Terrier.

Please help and advise us. Thank you.

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Lucky you! Cairns and westies are basically the same breed, which is not to say that all individuals are the same. You probably know or can guess everything that will be important, including the need to get the cairn puppy neutered as soon as advisable.

I would guess that your westie will be protective of his status and try to pull a lot of dominance stuff on the puppy. If nobody is getting hurt, I suppose you should let it proceed, since both dogs will appreciate the clarity. You must reinforce it with superhuman consistency. If your cairn starts getting pushy as he grows, you might want to go the whole program of making him wait while the older dog eats, letting the older dog sleep closer to you, and so on. How thorough you have to be in enforcing the hierarchy (with you at the top, of course) will depend on the personalities of both dogs, but whether you choose the strong or weak hierarchy program you must be sure to be consistent, every day.

Cairns and westies are prone to correcting another dog whom they think is disrespecting their toys, their space, or their status. This can be terrible to see, and can include frenzy. I have convinced my cairn that frenzy is absolutely not permitted, which I got across when he was younger by scolding and shunning. Frenzies are likely to happen between your dogs at some point. Be calm, pick up the offender (yes, he might bite you, never mind, it is more important that you prove to him he can't frighten you) and put him in a quiet place where he can calm down, make clear from your demeanor that he has committed a great wrong, and the behavior will probably subside to the absolute minimum. Your dogs really will want to please you, but any rivalry (which will probably happen no matter how much they come to love each other) between them may set off their inborn feistiness which is very hard (but not impossible) for them to control.

Enjoy! Remember that your dogs will pick up any anxiety on your part regarding their behaviors, and might construe it to mean that you fear or dislike one of them (the other guy, of course). Relax and your cairns relax with you. They'll probably be fast friends and loving brothers.

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Thank you for the response...sounds as if I was reading the Cezer Milan from the Dog Whisper who we watch constantly every chance we get and respect because of his experience. As far as the features, hair/skin, temperment of the cairn breed, is there anything I need to look for?

The puppy we are hoping to adopt, which we have not seen as of yet, is a female and supposed to be good with other dogs and kids. I am hoping that she is not the alpha type and will it will be a good adjustment. She was just spayed couple of days ago and is updated on her shots. I will be taking pictures of her on Sunday to bring home. Hoping for the best since would love to offer a rescue dog a wonderful home.

Thanks again for your advise and will be watching the territorial characteristics if we get her.

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You didn't say if you were taking the Westie with you to meet the puppy. If it's at all possible you should let the dogs meet before making your decision. Chances are they will get along, but you wouldn't want to get the new dog home and have them be completely incompatible. Minor spats are to be expected for some time to come as they get to know one another and establish just who is who. We got a one yr. old female three months ago to be a companion to our 4 yr. old male, and it has turned out (so far) that she is sort of the dominant one. Bailey is much quieter than he was before Sophie came to live with us, and she is the live-wire. Bailey still gets lots of attention and love, but things are just different. Please post those pictures that you take Sunday, can't wait to see her.

Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie

FLOWERCHILD-1-1.jpgBAILEYSOPHIE4-22-07002-1.jpg

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oh, a female --even better. several people here have commented that a neutered male and a neutered female make the best companions. i'm not sure it will alleviate dominance questions --some females seem to be into status and so on as much as the males-- but it raises the chances that they will have a harmonious relationship from an early point. she's already spayed, that great!

jimnconnie's advice is good. your westie will feel as if he made the decision to adopt her.

since you've been reading the site you know that there are plenty of "special" issues with cairns. health issues are limited, though real --knee problems, eye problems and von Willenbrand's occur a little more frequently cairns (and westies) than in some other breeds. rough-coated terriers generally can have some problems with allergies and hot-butt syndrom. there are various ways to deal with it if it occurs. if your westie isn't having allergy problems, you probably have a good environment.

they will be a cute pair, black and white. of course, you can't be quite sure what color the cairn will be in a year or so.

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Our Digger was 9 months old, when we got Jazz. Jazz was already just over a year old. We were so fortunate, because they immediately took to eachother. They actually take turns being the dominant ones.

We did have issues to deal with, as Digger was an only child....but sometimes only also means lonely. As long as we reinforced our love and care for Digger, he felt much more secure allowing Jazz to have more and more of his space, time, toys, etc.

Good luck!

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With only two dogs there is rarely a problem in terms of one being "alpha". It's really when you get to three dogs that the issue comes up and can cause serious problems.

That is not to say that jealousy will not be an issue, especially initially. I got Rudi when Abby was two years old. Rudi was 1-1/2 years old. Rudi is real wimp (except with varmits outside in the garden). However, he was very jealous of Abby. From the first day he did not want Abby to get any attention from either me or my husband. Rudi is a lot bigger than Abby and she was very intimidated. I was upset about the situation. It took several months before Rudi stopped trying to bully Abby. (If Rudi was acting like a bully he was ignored.) Rudi did not want Abby on the sofas and he did not want her anywhere near my husband or I. He wanted us all to himself.

Now, jealousy rarely is a problem. Rudi still tries to muscle in sometimes when Abby is getting attention, but he's now very polite about it. :) It took Abby several months to figure out that Rudi is a wimp and that when she wants to exert her authority she is the boss. Now, Abby spends most of her time nagging and pestering Rudi. He is totally henpecked. And Abby is totally besotted with Rudi, she adores him.

So net is that you should anticipate that the two will need some time to get used to living with each other. If nothing else, your 4-year old will need to adjust to life with a pesky puppy!

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Congratulations! You should be in pretty good shape since you have a Westie. They are fairly similar, Westies on average can be a bit more wound. But some Cairns are pretty wild to. My suggestions are simple. Crate train, obedience train and have a great time being owned by a Cairn!

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Thank you to everyone who responded with suggestions and personal experiences. I love this forum site. Very helpful.

I was told that it would not be a good idea to bring my male Westie to meet the female Cairn Puppy at the Rescue Shelter because of other dogs there and the barking, etc. It might leave a bad impression on him and he would associate the new puppy with that bad experience. I also tried that once at a Shelter and he was scared. Eventhough he acts like a Bull-Mastiff at times, it's all for show..... :thumbsup:

Can the Cairn Terrier Owners share their personal experiences and suggestions with u as to what is the best way to introduce them. Thanks again to all....

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I guess it's too late to clarify my suggestion that you take the Westie with you now, but ideally you would have the dogs meet on a neutral site, such as a nearby park, or even a vacant lot, without any other dogs around. Of course, a meeting among a bunch of other barking dogs would not be productive. Hopefully your visit Sunday went well, and you will be the proud owners of a new Cairn terror. Let us know what happened!

Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie

FLOWERCHILD-1-1.jpgBAILEYSOPHIE4-22-07002-1.jpg

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