Jump to content
CairnTalk

What's the "not so good" side of Cairn Ownership


cairncurious
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I think it's only natural to focus on the happy times we have with our pets. To tell of the victories and pleasures of having such a wonderful dog to share our life with. HOWEVER....since I'm really trying to research of this breed prior to a decision about getting one as our family pet, I really would appreciate a more candid assessment of the less pleasant side of Cairn ownership from owners themselves. Tell me what really does irritate you about your Cairn and what you tried to do about it (successfully or not) would be very interesting reading about from my perspective. Thanks to all for sharing your experiences.

cairncurious

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're very independent, and while that makes for lots of entertainment, it can be very frustrating. Like when you ask them to do something and they look at you and very clearly say, "No," then go on their way and completely ignore you.

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been trying to come up with a summary of the less than pleasant aspects of having cairns, and I'm having a hard time. I seem to focus on the happy times because that's really all I have. I think my personality meshes well with the general personality that most cairns possess, so maybe I got lucky. Or maybe I got lucky and have a great dog (and had 2 great fosters).

The only thing that I currently have to work with Henry (1.5 years) on is barking. He runs around the backyard incessantly barking sometimes ... for no apparent reason. Fortunately, he responds to "come" with no problem and heads straight for the house when I call him. A little light rain yesterday spooked him and set it off. The day before he started in the house because he noticed a ceiling fan that he had apparently never seen before.

We have taught him "shhh" means to be quiet. He actually lowers the tone of his barking when we correct him using soft voices ourselves. He will lower it until he is barely squeaking out a bark. He will stop if we make him.

So, less than pleasant ... barking. Wonderful aspect ... he's very smart and was easily trained to alter the behavior so that it doesn't drive the neighbors crazy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have owned Cairns for 17 years and currently have 3. This is a breed with a strong personality - a big dog in a little body. What may appear to be a negative trait to some is a positive to others. If you understand this breed and accept them for what they are, you will have a wonderful companion for life - best little pal in the world. They are stubborn, independent and strong willed - but they do well with training, discipline and consistency. They are eager to please! They have strong hunting instincts so you must have a fenced yard or they will take off in chase of prey. They are diggers, make that excavators, again discipline and teaching them the rules. They can dig a hole to China in seconds and most of that dirt will be tracked into your home! They can be barkers, again training is the key to solving this. The girls can challenge authority and the males take longer to mature. In fact this breed stays puppy-like for years. They will frustrate you, drive you crazy, make you laugh and warm your heart. I wouldn't own any other breed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

scottish terriers of the various families have very distinct traits (which i think can take variable form in individual terriers) that you have to admire to own one. i know there there are people who think of a "good dog" as one who sits quietly looking at you with great, adoring, chocolate eyes, waiting to be told your pleasure. a dog that learns his commands and always obeys them without fail. a dog who thinks you are the most intelligent, most wise, most interesting thing on earth. cairns and other scottish terriers won't fulfill any of those dreams. if you want them to think you are even a little intelligent, you have to convince them of it. if you want them to think you are courageous, reliable, and a help in times of trouble, you have to convince them. if you want them to learn commands, no trouble, that will happen very quickly. if you want them to obey commands, that is something else, and if you have never earned your cairn's trust and admiration it may never happen at all. if you don't want a dog that makes you work on yourself in order to become somebody the dog trusts and respects, you definitely don't want any kind of scottish terrier.

on the practical side, i find the most annoying thing about cairns is that they are too smart. everything you don't want them to figure out, they will figure out. and like many very intelligent creatures, they are prone to psychological ticks, including obsessive behavior, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention deficit disorder, most of which lessen or disappear with appropriate therapy (and maturity).despite the way rankings generally go (which are based largely on responsiveness to human commands), i consider them next to border collies in intelligence. i could never handle life with a border collie. i take great pride in being able to handle life with my cairn.

they are generally healthy, but have a small number of known health defects (a unique glaucoma, general susceptibility to common degenerative conditions of the eyes, luxating patella, and von Willenbrand's disease).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only speak from owning a puppy, but I will chime in. I went from a Lab to a Cairn and there are some very big differences other than the cairn pup weighing 11 pounds and the Lab weighing 100. The First frustrating thing we came across was house breaking. The cairn was much more difficult than the lab. We brought him home at 9 weeks and next 1.5 months were very very frustrating. Be prepared to be extremely diligent on that and the dog will figure it out. You will be going outside constantly with treats and praises every single time he pees. If you don't do that I could see it taking much longer to house break them. Also be prepared to hover over them when they are in the house so you can scold them when they do go in the house. We are at nearly 5 months now and it has been well over a month since we have had a pee inside "our" house. He did pee over at a friends house just the other day though. Like any dog be prepared to give them lots of training and brain stimulation. If you don't you are going to be very frustrated. Socialize them well when they are young. If you don't they can get very snippy around other dogs. Make sure you can be the "alpha dog" if you don't he will challenge everything. Major frustration #2 for us is food. This dog is the pickiest eater I have ever seen in my life. I am not sure this is his personality or if it is the cairn. Either way its very frustrating. The negatives aside we are having a great time raising and training this guy. He is stubborn and will try to have lots of stare downs with us but eventually he gives and does what he is told. He learns quick (we had him sitting 24 hours after we got him at 9 weeks).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard to say what the "negative" side of owning a Cairn is because each one is different, as in true for any breed.

Rudi is one of the most obedient dogs I have ever owned - and that includes two German Shepherds. He truly never wants to do anything wrong. I got him at 1-1/2 years old and despite never being housetrained he only had two accidents in the house. Typical of the breed he is really keen to chase anything that moves. For a breed that is supposed to be independent, Rudi is the most affectionate dog I've ever owned and would like nothing more than to sit on someone's lap all day. If he can't get on my lap, he'll lay beside me and rest his head on my leg.

Abby is more "typically Cairn." She's more independent, but will sleep on my lap when she's tired (not get on my lap, it cannot be her idea.) She is happy to chase critters, but reserves her real enthusiasm for squirrels and mice. Birds and frogs she may or may not bother, depends on her mood. She is very smart and she took longer to fully housetrain (meaning no mistakes, ever) than I would have liked. (Worst for housetraining was the smartest dog I've ever owned, a Yorkie ... she was a nightmare until a year old.) Otherwise she is every quick to learn anything, very confident in herself, but does reserve the right to evaluate whether not its worth her while to pay attention. (She is, btw, totally trustworthy off lead.)

What bothers me about them both is their bark - they have a typical small dog bark and sometimes it seems like my ear drum is about to burst. Neither of them are problem barkers, but the down side is they both bark at different things :confused: On the other hand, the German Shepherds I had barked just as much and so did my Yorkie. So I'd say in terms of barking they are a "medium" breed - not the worst barkers, but not exactly quiet either.

Grooming gets to be a real pain because I keep my Cairn's coat rolled (stripped) by hand. However, many people here keep them clipped. However, they do not shed so my floor does not collect tumbleweeds of hair like it did with German Shepherds or would with other breeds that shed (like labs.)

All three Cairns I've owned have been very good with other dogs, love all people, and although none were raised with young children absolutely adore them. Uh ... you said bad things. Okay, the bad thing is they are not exactly shy about asking for attention, which is not appreciated by all my house guests.

Edited by Cairnmania
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought you might all enjoy this, from the Colonel Potter Cairn Rescue Network:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOTO: The Other Side of the Story

Written by Michele Stadnick

So, "The Wizard of Oz" is your favorite movie, you just LOVE Toto, and have always wanted a dog just like him? A dog who's small, cute, lovable, and doesn't shed all over your couch? You've done your research and learned that Cairn Terriers are (take your pick):

Good with children

Friendly

Loving family dogs

Adaptable to living in small apartments as well as large homes

Well, YES and NO.

Probably NO ONE ever told you that Cairns will almost INVARIABLY:

Chase squirrels

Chase bunnies

Chase bugs

Chase bikes

Chase paper fluttering down the street

Chase anything that moves

Chase things that aren't moving, just to GET them moving so they'll have something to chase

Bark at cars

Bark at bikes

Bark at birds

Bark at trikes

Bark at trucks

Bark at the phone

Bark at fireworks

Bark at thunder

Bark at the doorbell

Bark at the doorbell on TV

Bark to hear themselves bark

Bark just to get your goat -- or your attention

Or both

Bark sometimes just cause it feels so damned GREAT

Dig up that mouse hole

Dig up your tulips

Dig up your roses

Dig up your lawn

Dig under your fence

Dig under your shed

Dig up your linoleum

Dig up your carpeting

Nip at people's feet if you haven't redirected their intense prey drive

Nip at your hands too, if not trained properly

Try to control their universe and everything in it -- INCLUDING YOU

Will succeed at this unless YOU intervene. And even then, they'll try again. And again. And again and again and again and again.

Lunge at other dogs on leash

Lunge at people, unless trained not to

Lunge cause it feels good and they're in a hurry to get where they're going, and you're the only thing holding them back from experiencing the next exciting adventure around the corner or around the world.

Bolt out any open door in the blink of an eye

LET ME REPEAT THAT: THEY WILL BOLT OUT ANY OPEN DOOR IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

And won't return until they're good and ready.

Sometimes not even then

Refuse to come -- unless they want to

Refuse to sit -- unless they want to

Refuse to stay -- unless they're bored silly, and if so, that's the BEST time to move around to stir up the action anyway

Refuse to stop barking -- unless there's something in it for them...like a fabulous treat

Refuse to do what you want at the PRECISE moment that it's most important that they do...like when you're trying to show off how obedient and well-trained they are (which is, of course, a grand delusion on your part).

Nor, it seems, has anyone told you:

A Cairn can never, ever, ever be trusted off-leash, EVER.

Not even for a second. Regardless of how well-trained you have deluded yourself into believing he is

That all the dogs you've had before and have trained so well don't matter...if they weren't Cairns.

Because Cairns are different.

Very different

That they're generally NOT the best breed for a home with small children.

That one bears repeating: Cairns are generally NOT the best breed for a home with small children.

That Cairns WILL shed a little (or a lot) if you don't groom them properly.

That they're relatively resistant to housebreaking (don't expect them to be housebroken in a week, or even a month)!

And even when you think they're housebroken, if they've got something else on their agenda at the moment, they're likely to conveniently "forget."

That they are affectionate -- on their terms, not yours.

That they are stubborn and hardheaded, not to mention incredibly independent

That obedience training is a necessity, not a luxury. And that it's just the FIRST step in the process.

That you should read the previous sentence again, and forget everything you think you know. If you haven't owned a Cairn, it doesn't apply.

That they were bred to hunt and kill, and their intense prey drive can NEVER be trained out of them. Toto may not have KILLED those flying monkeys, but that's only because Toto KNEW they were fakes. Otherwise, they'd have been dead, not merely outwitted.

What they SHOULD have told you is:

They're wonderful for THE RIGHT OWNER

They're loving -- IF YOU LOVE THEM, TREAT THEM WELL, AND HAVE EARNED THEIR RESPECT

They're smart -- PROBABLY SMARTER THAN YOU

They're sweet -- WHEN THEY WANT TO BE

They're funny -- VIRTUALLY ALL THE TIME, IF YOU ENJOY DEMENTED, DEVIOUS, DEVILISH HUMOR

They're good with GOOD, WELL-BEHAVED CHILDREN WHO HAVE GOOD, RESPONSIBLE PARENTS. And if they haven't had a bad experience previously with ill-behaved kids. Otherwise, it's a recipe for disaster.

They're strong

They're hearty

They're brave

They're relentless

They're devious

They're insightful

They're indomitable

They're energetic beyond description

They're intelligent beyond belief

They're the BEST dog you'll ever own

BUT...they just may be the WORST dog you can imagine.

THAT PART IS ALL UP TO YOU!

Oh, and by the way, Toto was actually a GIRL!

Jim, Connie, Bailey & Sophie

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say the negatives I have with my two are:

1. Cannot let off leash (sure I could but they have such a prey drive)

2. STUBBORN

3. OBSESSIVE (if they are set their minds to something FORGET IT!!!)

4. No fear which can be a problem. He will approach any dog no matter what size.

These are my main issues with them and I don't feel they are really even negative because I get around it. Sometimes you have to be smarter then your Cairn, which is hard!!!!

Edited by Jessica H

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

DSCN2419-1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love terriers in general - but I can honestly say they probably aren't for every personality type. They are independent - they often times won't listen (even with a treat incentive) they have their own agenda, sometimes they are VERY sneaky.... they love to bring things in the house, they are rodent hunters (so you're going to have to prepare yourself for a possible rodent kill) - but really all their minor little "negatives" is what kind of makes them a fun challenge... they are the most little lovable dogs - I never regret acquiring the two I have not even in their most difficult moments. They give me the most love and laughs.

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say...the things that frustrate me about my Cairn are also the same thing that attracted me....it is the situation I am in that makes a difference.

Yesterday, she went running out the front door (it had been accidently left off latch) and went he11 for highwater running down the street looking for cats. When we train and work her recall is perfect...she made a deliberate decision not to come......until finally on her terms she decided enough was enough and she came. :whistle: These are thinking dogs....she made choices to go out the door (although she knows that she must get a verbal command from me to step even one foot out, even when on lead and I am already out and going down the walk way) and the choice to not respond when I was recalling her. Frustrating...my dog was making her own decisions.

Now almost exactly a week ago, I was at a function where an acquaintence had with him a beautiful Golden Retriever. Lovely, well behaved dog...however, he needed affirmation every few minutes that it was okay to play with the children present....he kept coming back to my friend (even after being given the okay) and was pacing back and forth...I almost here the dialogue in this dogs mind "Oh..kids, I want to play...but is it okay...no really is it okay....come on are you sure you said okay....are you sure you meant I can go play" My thoughts were...oh my gosh..this dog would drive me NUTS...he was soooooo needy, my Cairn would have raced out once there if given the okay...and not come back to me until I called her.

There you have it benefit...Thinking dog....Drawback....Thinking dog :confused1:

Raise your expectations for what your Cairn can do....and try very hard to meet your Cairn's expectations of you.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The downside of Cassie is more from our cat's viewpoint. Marcie the cat left on Monday and didn't come back until this morning (Friday). I thought maybe that she moved away because the dog is so annoying. Neither of them fight with the other but poor Marcie puts up with so much, like having her rear end sniffed so vigorously that her hind legs leave the ground. Also I think it would be nearly impossible to have pet rats. DD wants to bring home the ones in her classroom over the holidays and I have been telling her no way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of the above are good answers. The list in jimnconnie's post just about covers it. One thing I was not ready for was the energy level these little guys have. Those who have had previous experience with other breeds of dogs, especially larger breeds, will quickly learn that you are dealing with " whole 'nother" type of dog when the word "Terrier" is the last word in the name of the breed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOOF! Eli, here. President of CUR (Cairn Underground Revolution)

WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF

OOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF OH, LOOK! A bug! WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF ooooo.... a LEAF! WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF................

Eli B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think one of the biggest things that bothers me about Bailey is that he can not be off leash. One time he got out and I could not find him for two hours, despite walking outside the entire time calling him. I called the police and had the Fed Ex man and mailman looking for him. He turned up across the street in a neighbors yard covered with mud from head to toe! I still wonder where he had been. He is also terrified of thunder storms, which didn't happen until he was about 7 years old. He is very intuitive, if something is bothering us. When my mom died he was so wonderful. When my husband had a hip replacement and walked outside with his walker for the first time, Bailey walked so carefully and slowly beside us. Which was not his usual. If you want a dog that will always do what you want a Cairn is not the dog. But if you want a funny happy dog that will keep you always interested a Cairn is a good match.

Gayle and Bailey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cairns are the funniest dogs I have ever seen. I could watch Scooter all day instead of tv. He is great entertainment for me and all my friends. He always gets a good laugh out of everyone at least 2-3 times with his funny personality. I won't hike unless he can come with me because he keeps it interesting.

There are negative traits in all breeds and I am willing to accept theirs. Labs are GREAT dogs but my friend's want to fetch ALL THE TIME! It makes me crazy, he cannot do his own thing and is so needy. I like a dog that will do its own thing, independent.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

DSCN2419-1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dogs are my best friends, truly. I do not have a negative thing to say about them, but this was not by chance. I realized early that these were not the average dog. My dogs require a lot of work. They have extremely high energy levels and I do not want them to get bored. Thsi means training, more training, walks, dog parks, training, play time and a lot of love. I cringe when I hear of people who leave any dog in a crate all day. I see how active mine are and how different they would be if in a crate all day. I recommend a stuffed animals to those who feel crating all day is "crate training". My dogs do well in their crate, but rarely do I make it mandatory. The hard part of owning any dog is that they are not a disposable relationship. Like any relationship it is hard work, lots of training, some tears and a lot of love and happiness. I all ready know the most difficult things in life I have to face is the loss of my family which includes my Scruffy, Sparky, Kitty and Stubby ( my 2 cats).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things I find undesirable about Kenna:

1) Despite knowing her commands PERFECTLY when in class, she chooses to be disobedient all too frequently. As someone else posted, these are thinking dogs. You can see the consideration cross her face as she decides whether to obey or not. For some reason of her choosing, she's great at drop it and leave it, and walks on a loose leash beautifully, but the "come" command...that leads me to #2

2) Kenna hates come. It's the only command she does poorly in class and even worse outside of it. Invariably, it becomes a game of me trying to catch a dog who is smaller, faster, and has more genetic breeding in manuevering tactics than myself.

3) Somebody else mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that can run in these dogs. Kenna has one major quirk that has developed over the last couple of months. When in my parents' backyard (I live in a condo and don't have a yard), she runs laps for hours on end. We're talking six straight hours before my mom and I went out to catch her (which took 30 minutes b/c of #2). When let out later, she went right back to it. By the end of the day, she had blisters on her paws.

I thought I would never get her housebroken and we are still not without accidents (she is 14 months), but she has decided she prefers outside, and that has mostly solved that problem. She gives new definition to "power chewer," especially for a small dog, but I've found a good supply and variety of chew toys and treats has alleviated chewing on my wood hope chest, books, etc. She isn't a barker and is actually pretty good at "Quiet." She switches to barking under her breath, which is fine with me b/c it's quiet and not disturbing to my neighbors.

All of that said, I love my dog. I love the energy and intelligence. She is adorable, friendly, and the best socialized dog I've ever owned. She's independent enough to hang out on the couch while I watch TV in my recliner. She's even learned to get along with my cat, who now jumps the baby gate while I'm at work to hang out with the dog. Given that this cat doesn't even like other cats, and despises dogs, that is a miracle, and I have to credit Kenna for learning to be patient with the cat. Kenna has been a challenge but she is a joy and I wouldn't trade her for anything.

By the way, this is an EXCELLENT question for someone considering a new pet. Kudos to you for asking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cricket is my first Cairn. My other dog is a Labrador Retriever. Totally different in so many ways.

I love Miss Cricket and I admire her sense of adventure, her clown like antics, her tough little attitude and her generally happy nature.

What I do not like is

the barking..sometimes she just barks for the hell of it.

barking and lunging at cars.

she is a digger and there are holes all over the yard. I don't care really so it isn't much of an issue but it could drive an owner crazy if the lawn must look perfect and has special gardens.

Edited by Mollyrocker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't post much, but I just have to reply to this.

The things that drive me crazy about Daisy are...

1. Biting the poodle's ears

2. Biting the poodle's legs

3. When running in the yard (and not chasing bugs) she tackles & rolls the poodle like an NFL player.

The girls actually get along great, the play just gets a bit rough at times.

Other than those few issues I think we got beyond lucky with Daisy. I don't think she has ever read about the rep Cairn's have. She loves to sleep in her daddy's lap, she rarely barks and she has only attempted to dig a hole in the yard once. Oh, she is a bit of a diva though. She thinks anyone walking passed the house is coming to visit her. :kiss:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow... this has been interesting and in some cases humorous to read.

If you are looking into getting a Cairn for the FIRST time I WOULD recommend getting a puppy from the original breeder of the dog.

The reason I say this is because we adopted Bailey almost a year ago from a local shelter. Bailey was a little over 1 y.o. when we adopted him. He was sweet as could be and got along with our Darcy just great. However, they say it takes 60-90 days for an adopted dog to show his true colors. And after he got over being sweet and clingy and willing to do anything to please us.... the true Bailey came out. He is still sweet as can be. But we have figured out a few things about his personality that we thinl stem from his 2 previous homes prior to us. We are working through those issues and he is doing beautifully due to the training we are dedicated to working on with him.

Darcy on the other hand was with her dog-mom until 8 weeks old when we brought her home. Although we adopted her through a rescue group who had rescused her dog-mom while pregnant, the rescue group was VERY good about ensuring the pups were with their dog-mom. Learning all the things that puppies should from their mom and their litter mates. THE BEST THING WE DID WITH DARCY WAS PUT HER IN PUPPY TRAINING CLASSES AT 10 WEEKS OLD... when she was allowed to attend class. We are certain because of this she was pretty easy to work with as she grew up.

With both dogs we can echo the "I don't quite like" statements of.....

1. They can NOT be let off leash... if they spotted a bird, mouse, bunny, other dog, cat, etc... they would run and be gone

2. They are STUBBORN. If they want something they will figure out how to get it. If they smell something in they yard, they will disregard our existance until they have killed what it is they are scenting, and/or until THEY give up the interest on THEIR terms.

3. They are very excitable dogs... which leads to jumping on people, approaching all dogs, licking the faces off of children, etc. Although this is cute most of the time, you never know how OTHER will react to this which could lead to bad outcomes.

BOTTOM LINE: Struggling through puppy-hood is worth KNOWING that you will get out of the dog's behavior what you put into it (training, love, devotion, etc). Which you can not always ensure with an adopted older dog. I ONLY MAKE THIS STATEMENT IF THIS IS GOING TO BE YOUR FIRST DOG!

Good luck in your decision!

Kate, Darcy & Bailey's mom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have to say that the only thing I wish were different about Cairns - or at least mine and apparently most - is that he can't be off the leash. I am very used to it so it is not a big deal at all - but I sure do with at times that it would be okay for him to be off leash. We know it is not possible though so we just don't think about it. :) Otherwise I am a total Cairn Lover....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm laughing so hard at all of your posts although they are all pretty much accurate.

The things I find frustrating with this breed has to do with my attitude at the very moment they are acting like Cairns.

Case in point....I'm late for work and they know it so they think..."let's not come when she calls us but lets just play in the yard until she yells!" Not a problem if I'm relaxed and just wanting them inside but when I'm late (often, very often) they just KNOW IT!!!

And that constant barking at our neighbors cat who quietly sulks through his yard but has to be terrorized by my crew who think they own the entire neighborhood.

Do they honestly know I dislike this particular cat because he used to poop in my garden last year?

They are just too smart.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to chime in here, albeit I'm a new Cairn puppy owner. :) I will tell you WHY I insisted on getting a Cairn, despite the fact I have four kiddos (the youngest is almost 3), a crazy life, and I've never trained a pup before.

When I was sixteen, we got this little furball we named Darby, and he was the most hilarious, independent, spunky dog I've ever known. Darb fit the Cairn personality to a "T"...he had a cat-like demeanor, meaning he would greet you when you came in the door for the requisite ear scratch and hello, then he was off. It was like he was greeting his fans. :) I LOVED that about him...he was fun, cute, spunky, but not fawning. I'm not much of a "fawning dog"-type personality.

Darb was classic Cairn in that he would bolt out the door any chance he got. And he, too, came back when he darn well felt like it. But I knew all this already, and still wanted a Cairn in our own family, now that I'm all grown up. :) Here are the reasons why:

As before, I do love the independent nature of the dog. And the intelligence. I appreciate that I'm dealing with an animal who's not a "yes man." :) Maybe I see myself as that way somewhat, so I can relate! :)

Next, they are a small breed, but a hardy (and hearty) little animal. I knew I had four rough-and-tumble kids, but didn't want a huge dog in the house. EVERYONE I spoke with recommended a Cairn (good thing, 'cause I was gettin' one, anyway).

Finally, there was the shedding issue. Our Darb never shed, and all my Cairn owner friends give testimony to the little shedding their dogs do. BIG plus in my house. :)

Now, I have our little Cassie. She's 3 1/2 pounds, and fiesty as all get out. Concerning housebreaking: I will say (and knock on wood for this), in the past two days she's been running to the back door to go potty. We've had her for three weeks. WOOHOO! I will also say, she goes out about every hour, and then some sometimes. I don't think we are out of the woods yet, but that was impressive improvement to me.

To compare two Cairns: Cassie's much more affectionate than my Darb...she loves to curl up into my lap and if I'm on the floor, she's grabbing her toy and crawling on my legs to find a comfy spot. She licks my face for kisses, too. LOVE this little pooch! She's not as independent as Darby, but I think I like that even more.

Drawbacks...well, she's a pup, and she's nippy. I am looking for a training class to get us in, because I don't think we're qualified enough to properly train her. I will agree with others that they do seem to train easily; already she "sits" and "lies down" on command. (With a treat, of course ;)).

Puppies are exhausting, and she's no exception. But I've never seen a cuter dog in my life. She races up to any new person and, with ears down, rolls onto her back, begging for a tummy scratch. She knows how to weasle her way out of the gates I've set up in the kitchen to keep her contained. She "bark talks" when she's playing with us, or when she WANTS us to play with her. Other than that, she doesn't bark. Feeding her is a huge pain in the rear; we are in the same boat w/onesojourner: Cass is PICKY.

It's only been three weeks, but we are in love with her. I hope we do right by her, too. I now understand more fully that deep and abiding bond you create with an animal that is your sole responsibility to care for. It's been likened to having a newborn, and, having had that experience a few times myself, I'd have to agree, at least, in part, with that statement. But you could feel that about any dog. Having a CAIRN, though, who is brimming with life, personality, intelligence, and has affection for YOU, makes this bond seem that much more worthwhile. To me, at least.

So there's my epic! :)

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love cairns so much wouldnt change them for the world, they have the best character i've ever known they only thing is that i cant let Harvey off the lead but i have a long line which i couldnt live without and also BARKING at everything!! but im not complaining ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register after. Your post will display after you confirm registration. If you already have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

CairnTalk.net

  • A meeting place and
    online scrapbook for
    Cairn Terrier fanciers.

ctn-no-text-200.png

Disclaimers

  • 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.