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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I might be getting this super sweet 11 year old Cairn Terrier from this older woman who has fell on hard times. Nobody in her family has offered to take him, which I find really sad :( and when I went to meet him last weekend she was in tears talking about how she has to find him a new home.

He does have a lump on his leg, and I told her if she gets it tested and its not something life threatening I would love to have him and give him a home. He is getting it tested this Friday so I am not sure if he will be my new family member or not yet.

I was told he is purebred (which I don't care if he is or not) but he has no papers. When I met him he was shedding like crazy, and I just assumed Cairns had a similar hair to Scotties and that their shedding would be similar to my 3 Scotties I have had, but he was shedding probably 10x what they used to shed.

He seemed really active and healthy, I took him for a walk to get to know him and he was happy and spunky all the way :) So I feel like he is not close to the end of his life at all but I just could not take him without making sure his lump was not cancer or something else life threatening since I just lost my last dog 6 months ago to cancer.

Anyways, I was just looking for any one with personal experience on Cairns since he is the first one I have met.

Are they super different than Scotties?
Do they usually shed like a lab? (not a deal-breaker at all, just more curiosity)
How healthy of a breed are they in your experience? (I have read all over the internet, but I am looking more for someone with personal experience)
I also would love to hear any stories about them or just pretty much anything. :D

I'm pretty excited, but trying not to get my hopes up if it does not all work out. I look forward to hearing from everyone :thumbsup:
 

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I strongly suspect that my terrier mix was part Cairn, when he was young people told me all the time that he looked just like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. He did not shed all that bad, but like I said he was a mix. Cairn's usually require what's known as stripping, where the loose undercoat is pulled out by hand, but I'm not sure how much they actually shed. My boy did have a pretty good undercoat but most of it came out with brushing, as the undercoat tended to keep it from simply dropping off. http://www.cairnterrierclub.ca/care.html has instructions on how to groom a Cairn and how to strip the coat.

It's my understanding that Cairns are busy little dogs, but shouldn't be hyper like my Shadow was. They were bred to be little hunters.

As far as I know Cairns are a healthy breed, but like all other breeds they do have some health problems. My Shadow lived to be 17 years 8 months, and up until the last 2 years never had any noticeable health problem besides cataracts. He played like a puppy up until a month before his 16th birthday when he had a stroke.

Shadow was go go go. He loved nothing more then to go exploring, and hiking. He was super fast and could keep up with Great Danes at the dog park, and was firmly convinced that he was 10 ft tall and bullet proof. The independent streak that terriers have, he had in spades, if he was going to do something then he was going to do it, I learned that the trick to training him and getting him to listen to me was to convince him that what I wanted him to do was better then what he wanted to do. He was never a big cuddler, he was simply to busy and if he was awake he thought he should be up doing something, but in the morning he'd settle in for 5 or 10 min of cuddling right when we woke up.

If you get the Cairn I'd bet that he still has many happy years left if the lump is simply a fatty tumor or something similar, and he'll be a great addition to your family.
 
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Cairn's seem to be pretty rare in these parts. But to add to Rain's comment, I know of 2 of them owned by friends, 2 and 4 years old. Funny little dogs.

I think if you can classify a dog as a narcissist, the Cairn would be one of them. It's all about me, me, me, me, me. What can I get into, what can I do today, I'm here, don't ignore me. At 11, it's hard to know what the personality will be tho.

Good on you if you're willing and able to rescue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I strongly suspect that my terrier mix was part Cairn, when he was young people told me all the time that he looked just like Toto from the Wizard of Oz. He did not shed all that bad, but like I said he was a mix. Cairn's usually require what's known as stripping, where the loose undercoat is pulled out by hand, but I'm not sure how much they actually shed. My boy did have a pretty good undercoat but most of it came out with brushing, as the undercoat tended to keep it from simply dropping off. http://www.cairnterrierclub.ca/care.html has instructions on how to groom a Cairn and how to strip the coat.

It's my understanding that Cairns are busy little dogs, but shouldn't be hyper like my Shadow was. They were bred to be little hunters.

As far as I know Cairns are a healthy breed, but like all other breeds they do have some health problems. My Shadow lived to be 17 years 8 months, and up until the last 2 years never had any noticeable health problem besides cataracts. He played like a puppy up until a month before his 16th birthday when he had a stroke.

Shadow was go go go. He loved nothing more then to go exploring, and hiking. He was super fast and could keep up with Great Danes at the dog park, and was firmly convinced that he was 10 ft tall and bullet proof. The independent streak that terriers have, he had in spades, if he was going to do something then he was going to do it, I learned that the trick to training him and getting him to listen to me was to convince him that what I wanted him to do was better then what he wanted to do. He was never a big cuddler, he was simply to busy and if he was awake he thought he should be up doing something, but in the morning he'd settle in for 5 or 10 min of cuddling right when we woke up.

If you get the Cairn I'd bet that he still has many happy years left if the lump is simply a fatty tumor or something similar, and he'll be a great addition to your family.

Thank you so much for your information, especially about the grooming, since I had not even looked into that yet.

I am also glad to hear your guy lived so long! I hope I will be so Lucky with Tiki (that's his name, I'm super fond of it but he is 11 so I'll probably keep it) When I met him he did NOT act 11 at all, I would have thought he was 2-3 years old and he looks it too without a single white hair.

I'm thinking the lump is a fatty tumor from feeling it and the way he is acting but you never know. Fingers crossed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cairn's seem to be pretty rare in these parts. But to add to Rain's comment, I know of 2 of them owned by friends, 2 and 4 years old. Funny little dogs.

I think if you can classify a dog as a narcissist, the Cairn would be one of them. It's all about me, me, me, me, me. What can I get into, what can I do today, I'm here, don't ignore me. At 11, it's hard to know what the personality will be tho.

Good on you if you're willing and able to rescue.
Haha just from hanging out with Tiki for about an hour I could totally see the narcissist personality, he needed his belly rubbed at every moment we were not moving around and was not about to take no for an answer.

I think they are pretty rare around me too, since I have never met one in person before besides years ago seeing puppies in pet stores.
 

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I had Cairns!!!! Wonderful little characters! I got my first girl from a breeder she had Norwegian champion bloodlines and was a wheaten color Loved her to bits! The breeder and I bred her and got two puppies of which I got one to keep so I ended up with two females.......they definitely are dogs that bond closely and are loyal and they are very prejudiced about who they hang with when it comes to other dogs! They prefer their own breed! My girls were reactive ( but not really aggressive per se) to all other dogs except when they went to my breeders house to be groomed where they merrily banded to her pack of 6 others to play! As far as grooming they should be hand stripped a few times a year and this is not hard to do .....I did it while watching TV! My girls did not shed that much at all! Great little dogs! I miss them!

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input everyone! Tiki has his vet appointment tomorrow morning, so if all goes well I should know by tomorrow evening if he is going to be the new member of my family. :)
 
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