in loving memory of Dan and Barbara Jessup
Due to a unique situation facing the "no kill" movement and its need to sell every dog they take in, including a flood of "pit bull type dogs" which are hard to market, a bit of misinformation has been deliberately circulated in order to trick the public into buying dogs they may otherwise realize are not appropriate for their situation. The misinformation is this: that just because a dog in a shelter LOOKS like a breed, doesn't mean it IS that breed, and even if it IS that breed, there isn't any "breed traits" anyway - so each dog should just be judges as a generic individual. In this way they have been able to market the overwhelming numbers of "pit bull type" dogs they are stuck with. [Note: Another tactic is to simply GIVE the pit bulls and other dogs away to whomever will take them in 'shelter clearing' promotions. True dog lovers are horrified by this lack of respect for the dog's safety and well being. Certainly NO REPUTABLE BREEDER would ever be so careless with their charges.]
What is the truth? The fact is, scientist are finding that specific breed traits CAN ACTUALLY BE MAPPED on the genes of purpose bred dogs! Mark Neff, PhD of the Center for Veterinary Genetics, School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis states of pointing dogs "These pointing genes are detectable with new DNA technologies that provide unprecedented power and resolution."
Are YOU Right For A Cairn - What A Cairn Needs
The NUMBER ONE reason that I saw animals turned into the shelter I worked at for 20 years was - WRONG DOG FOR THE FAMILY OR PERSON.
This is SO common today, because people are encouraged to buy "pot luck" dogs from "rescues" without knowing anything about the dog's genetic makeup or the individual dog's behavioral history. We've all gotten FABULOUS dogs from shelters, but it IS a risk, and to be frank, NOT the best way to go about obtaining a dog for your family.
Purebred dogs have been bred for specific purposes for well over 20,000 years! Our ancestors rarely kept dogs simply as "pets", but expected the dog to pull its weight in the struggle to survive. Kennel clubs and registration of dogs began only about 150 years ago - but make no mistake, the purpose-bred breeding of dogs and specific breeds have been with us since LONG before the ancient Egyptian drawings showing mastiffs, greyhounds, dachshund types, basenjis, hounds and other breeds.
A cairn wants YOU. And adventure.
And the wind in his face.
The painting (right) shows some of the terrier breeds already highly developed in 1860. These dogs were born BEFORE THE VERY FIRST DOG SHOW held in 1859, showing that "purebreds" did very much exist LONG before dog shows and registries. Shown are a Manchester, cairn, skye, fox terrier and pit bull.
OK, so now we have decided that terriers are terriers, hounds are hounds and huskies and huskies! Yeah for us!
Now, I'm going to break this down into what the Cairn needs, and what YOU need to own a cairn.
Your Cairn Needs:
ABSOLUTELY to have a fenced yard (dog proof, remember terriers dig) they WILL NOT "stick around".
ABSOLUTELY NOT to be kept in a shipping crate all day - don't do it. If that is the only way you have of containing a dog during the day, then wait until you are in a better position to have a dog. Don't fool yourself; it IS inhumane. Sleeping in a crate is a different issue.
Cairns are quite social, and get along with other dogs pretty well. I never recommend two dogs of the same sex if you want harmony at your house, but it depends on the dogs involved.
Cairns are first, last and always, HUNTERS. They CAN be trained to get along with small pets or chickens, but it takes work.
Cairns do not need extensive grooming, but they will need a monthly brush up. They don't shed.
You Will Need:
An EXTREME sense of humor the first 10 months of puppies life. Cairns are stubborn and wicked smart. Not always an amusing combination.
An ego that allows a dog to get the better of you on a daily basis. Like I said, they are smart.
Time for a puppy. So many people list "no time" for the reason they dump their dog. Think about this issue BEFORE you buy a puppy. Like any good thing, they take time and energy. You should go to training classes and take pup for a nice walk EVERY DAY.
Not having a "Better Homes and Gardens" type yard is a good thing. Cairns love to dig.
To my mind, Cairns are one of THE best kid's dogs going. Pictured is Dylan Short and Tuffy La La, my first and greatest terrier friend.