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Cairn Terrier

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There is no place like home, and there is no dog like the Cairn Terrier. These Scottish working dogs are brave creatures that make excellent family companions. Their claim to fame came when one of these scruffy-looking Terriers starred as “Toto” in “The Wizard of Oz”.

Where I'm From

Cairn Terriers originated over two hundred years ago in the Isle of Skye, having descended from the indigenous working dogs of the Scottish Highlands. For most of the 18th and 19th centuries, these tenacious little dogs were used for pest control.

Farmers and shepherds adopted the terriers to keep rats, mice, mole and rabbits at bay. They would also participate in hunting sports, chasing primarily badgers and otters.

It was at the start of the 20th century that the breed was officially recognised after some pups were brought to the mainland from their native island home. They were given the name “Cairn Terrier” which refers to the traditional pile of stones found in Scottish burial sites.

The breed reached worldwide notoriety in 1939 when a small Cairn Terrier called Terry played “Toto” in the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

What I Look Like

Cairn Terriers are small, yet tough and sturdy creatures. Don’t allow their innocent appearance mislead you, these are some of the most fearless dogs out there.

These messy-looking Terriers have a double coat that is soft underneath, yet harsh and wiry on the top. Their fur is also completely water-resistant and does a good job of protecting them from the elements.

Coat colours vary greatly from shades of red, sand, gray, brown and black. Dark markings around their face are common, making some of them look like they’re sporting a stylish mask.

How I Act

During their days as working dogs in their homeland of Scotland, Cairn Terriers were known for their relentless spirit and ability to overcome pain. Almost nothing could prevent these brave terriers from soldiering on with the task at hand. Today, these small pooches are just as perseverant and courageous as they were back then.

This breed can be described as confident and independent, but also as loving and affectionate. These mischievous dogs enjoy taking part in family activities and are extremely loyal companions.

Their devoted nature makes them amazing pets for elderly owners looking for a little friend. Cairn Terriers are also excellent pets for children, as they thrive in homes with a bit commotion and excitement.

Extremely curious by nature, they can be often be found digging or chasing some poor little animal around.

Looking After Me

It is important to socialise these Terriers from an early age, otherwise they will grow up to be suspicious of strange people and dogs. Training is usually easy when it comes to these clever dogs. Obedient and intelligent, Cairn Terriers can quickly learn to follow commands and perform various tricks.

They are also very sensitive creatures that are easily offended if scolded too harshly. Remember to always maintain a positive disposition, and to show your affection and approval towards your cute pet.

Like any other breed, neglecting your pooch is never a good idea. Cairn Terriers become disruptive if they are not properly looked after. If you want to avoid your terrier from digging up your yard or bark incessantly, then make sure you are there for them every day.

Due to their small size, Cairn Terriers are able to live indoors in homes with little room, which means they are great for people who live in apartments.

Grooming requirements are minimal, as a quick brush every week will keep your Terrier looking fantastic.

Am I the pet for you?

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.