NitilioThe Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland’s earliest working dogs. It is used for hunting and burrowing prey among the cairns. Although the breed had existed long before, the name Cairn Terrier was a compromise suggestion after the breed was originally brought to official shows in the United Kingdom in 1909 under the name Short-haired Skye terriers. This name was not acceptable to The Kennel Club due to opposition from Skye Terrier breeders, and the name Cairn Terrier was suggested as an alternative. They are usually left-pawed, which has been shown in dogs to correlate to superior performance in tasks related to scent. Cairn Terriers are ratters. In Scotland they would search the cairns (man-made pile of stones) for rats and other rodents. Thus if one is kept as a household pet it will do the job of a cat, specifically catching and killing mice, rabbits, and squirrels

Referred to by those who are in the know as a “big dog trapped in a small dog’s body”, Cairn Terriers are adventurous, intelligent, strong, loyal, and tough–not a delicate lapdog. Like most terriers, they love to dig after real or imagined prey. They are vermin hunters. Cairns have potential aggression toward other animals with strong chasing instincts but will co-exist with them more readily than some other terriers. However, strange animals may be a different story, as the Cairn Terrier was bred to hunt and will chase anything that moves. They are protective of their families, and will defend their territory with courage and devotion, but they are also people-oriented and are friendly with everyone they meet. They generally do well with other dogs, but will stand their ground if challenged, and also have been known to harass, and sometimes hurt cats. There is very little a Cairn cannot learn if his owner takes the time to teach him or her. Cairn Terriers have a strong prey instinct and will need comprehensive training. However, they are intelligent and, although wilful, can be trained. Training of the Cairn Terrier has the best results when training as a puppy, as they become wilfully stubborn. Although it is often said that they are disobedient, this is not the case provided correct training is applied. They’ve been called “the best little pal in the world” and they are always a work in progress

 

Text from Wikipedia