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The Cairn Terrier is one of the decedents of the terriers that originated in the seventeenth century over in Scotland. The breed was known as the Skye terrier and they were created to be courageous as well as keep foxes and other vermin from off the rocks and such located in the wild shores of Scotland.

The original breed was created to not only work but they could hunt, keep off prey and even withstand virtually any type of climate that was bestowed upon them. However, the ones that had white markings were not praised but if they were all white they were considered to be a prize winning dog.
By the end of the 19th century the breed began to diversify. Already in 1907 they had been separated into different groups such as the white Scotch terriers and then there were those who had color. Not to mention the fact that in 1908 there was the West Highland white terrier. Also, in 1909 that was when the Cairn Terrier of Skye was introduced. However, the first Cairn breed club was not created until 1910.

Additionally, dog shows began to recognize the breed in 1912 in Britain. Furthermore, the term “cairn” means short piles of stones located on the moors of the highlands in Scotland where rodents and other vermin were known for hiding.

In the year 1913 the AKC recognized the Cairn terrier and they were listed along with the various other terrier types. However, in 1917 if the Cairn terrier had been a product of mixed breeding they were banned from being able to become registered. Also, in 1923 England decided that they no longer would accept white dogs that previous had passed for Cairn terriers.

Overall, as you probably already guessed, this is one of the oldest breeds of terriers and they also became famous because of “Toto” from the Wizard of Oz movie. Even though numerous years have passed this terrier breed has been able to remain loyal to its origins and has been participating in pure pedigree dog shows for over a century. Lastly, it has remained the same as to when it first originated even down to its appearance and personality.

Cairn Terrier Health

This breed is known to live an average life of thirteen to fourteen years. However, they are subject to quite a few health concerns such as, atopy, allergies, liver disease, cataracts, hypothyroidism, refractory corneal ulceration, portal dysplasia, and patellar luxation just to give you a general idea.




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