|#1 is from Faith - These Hairballs Rule!|
Rufus story was a hilarious read. The “Never let a Cairn go
leash” part was the best as my husband was convinced, despite
warnings, that he could “train” our Douglas to walk
Of course it turned out being that Douglas was throne doing the training - training my husband to never let him off the leash.
Douglas comes when he wants, and except when he is feeling especially generous, won’t even allow himself be bought for the jerky treats he absolutely loves.
He sees dogs and their owners on walks and thinks “Oh goodie, there’s a human who’s bound to adore me”, turns his nose up at the insufferable 4-legged hanger-on and hurls himself at the 2-legged fan. For this good behavior, we are rewarded with him presenting his belly for a rubbing, and daily laughs at his sleeping positions (mostly with his 4 legs in the air).
So frustrated have we been these past 2 ½ years with this animal, that we searched long and hard to end our suffering –we bought a second Cairn, Dolidh, a girl who is almost a year old now.
On a bad day, we even dare to consider a 3rd. Needless to say, I don’t think we’ll ever consider another breed.
These hairballs rule.
PS. You are wrong on their intelligence. Cairns haven’t forgotten that the ball even existed.
They are thinking “Doe she truly think I’m as simple-minded as those other dogs to stand here and play stupid hide the ball games?
I’ve got better things to chase –like those squirrels in the back-yard .”
Comment: Faith, perhaps we should revisit the definition of insanity: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. "
And I too must respectfully disagree with your position on the intelligence of the average Cairn Terrier. You may have squirrels, but other people have Magic Squirrels!
You have some fine looking dogs and take some nice pictures. I don't think I have ever seen a Cairn as dark as Douglas and my wife really likes the contrast in Dolidh's face - the muzzle and coat color. Dolidh would be a true Wheaton?
A bit of a follow up:
I had some emails about Douglas, and Faith was kind enough to provide some additional information. It is interesting:
Thank you! I'm the picture taker in our family :) Douglas is from Sweden where we lived until July 2006.The Cairns bred in Sweden are quite well-regarded in the show-world. He is big (23 - 24 lbs) but the Cairns in Europe are bigger than the American Cairns. He is quite dark, but at various times of the year,his coat goes from a beautiful dark brown mixed with red and gray hairs, to being more a dark silvery gray. He is quite handsome and unfortunately he knows it. His hair is perfect - a harsh coat, but it is quite shiny and healthy. He can never show however, as he was born with a bend in his tail, which apparently is a not-uncommon birth defect. But we have never been interested in showing anyway so he was perfect for us.
Dolidh (Gaelic name pronounced Dolly) we bought last March from a breeder in Idaho. We wanted a female so as not to cause too much upset for Douglas. She is no shrinking violet, however, and was determined from day one to win him over, which I think she has succeeded in doing.He is rather protective of her and she has taught him a lot about being a dog as he had not had much exposure to other dogs before. Her hair began as a nut-brown with very dark points, but she has lightened up considerably with the only real dark points being her muzzle and tail tip. She has also become a brindle with gray and dark brown hairs in between the cream. Her coat is harsh on the back, probably because we have insisted on finding groomers who hand-strip. But she has a bit to go. Her hair is still too soft on her sides. The picture attached we took the day we got her and you can see she is much darker then. These pictures we took when she was about 3 or 4 months old.
- A Cutie
Contrary to classic male and female personality descriptions for Cairns, Douglas is the more aloof of the two. He totally ignore dogs who are his size and smaller. We think he identifies with the bigger dogs more than his own size. On the other hand Dolidh is rather sweet and attentive to us. She is very affectionate. She is however, still a Cairn. She loves chasing squirrels and would go after cats if she wasn't on the leash. She also believes that she is bigger than she is(she is around 14 lbs) and thinks that she is on equal footing with big dogs. And as you described Rufus, she has teeth a bigger dog would be proud to show.
We have noticed that Rufus is very much like Douglas in looks though Douglas is darker. Very handsome fellow. I think if you like your dogs to have their own personalities and not be lap-dogs, when it's not quite clear who is walking who, then Cairns are perfect. I don't think we'd ever own another breed :)
Happy New Year to you both and that handsome rascal, Rufus :)
|#7 is from Hilary & Ben ~ All the Way from the UK!|
|Somehow came across your amusing story and can understand totally your trials and tribulations Cairn-related.
Amy was our first - collected as a puppy - tutored by our older Ben (a Heinz 57 variety mongrel).
He did a lovely job and she grew up to be very well behaved with a very soft and quiet nature (absolutely super).
Sadly we lost her after 11 years - 4 of which she managed with diabetes.
months later the WWW changed our lives completely when the subject(s)
of the attached picture were found at the other end of the country in a
rehoming centre in Aberdeen - Abbie and Fergie, they were three years
old at the time.
Unfortunately they never had a big 'brother' named Ben and boy do we know it! We also now know exactly what Cairns are like! We have now been the 'proud parents' of the female equivalent of Rufus x 2 for 5 years (and counting), their coming up to 9 years of age in August this year.
Fergie is the feisty one (on the left in the picture) and Abbie is so laid back, she's embarrassing! But we love them both to bits!
Hilary and Martin
Comment: What a nice thing to do and what nice looking dogs. Thanks for the photo and comments.
There are a number of cairn rescue organizations in the states as well. They place a lot of animals.
'Feisty' is quite the polite way to describe a typical Cairn personality.
I will have to remember that when in the presence of mixed company.
We saw a litter of pups a couple months ago and it was quite the eye opener. Mom and two of the pups had a personality just like Abbie. We looked at each other wondering if prior to the visit they got a hefty dose of doggie downers.
The other three pups..........lets just say they were very feisty. Friendly, but feisty.
I don't know though.........I have done my fair share of expounding on Cairn personalities and intelligence (or lack thereof) but on the way home my wife said that for all the grief the current cairn has put us through......after having seen the other side of the coin.....she would take 'feisty' any day.
I reluctantly tend to agree.
|#8 is from Ray & Debra ~ Home of the Little Black Tornado!|
|My husband and I read your site today and laughed all the way through it. Honestly, there needs to be a support group started for people with Cairns. Our two boys are Tucker G and Alfie Moon. Tucker is the black cairn and Alfie has a silvery coat.|
Week five started out promising until a Newfoundland decided he would get in Tucker's road. This giant 75 pound puppy kept swatting Tucker in the face with his enormous tail. The trainer asked us all to take our puppies off their leads and let them have "free play". As soon as I did that, the Newfoundland swatted him again and it was go time. My eight pound cairn beat up that Newfoundland. Beat him bad! He was all over him like a little black tornado, on his back, hanging from his neck, clinging to his underside.
The whole time the Newfoundland owner was yelling at me to stop my dog from hurting his dog, his dog was yelping and Tucker was flashing all over growling like mad. We finally got them separated and we were kindly asked not to return. The trainer said she had never seen such a hostile puppy.
The next stop was to my Mom's where I was going to introduce him to her dog, a little well behaved Westie. Within 60 seconds of entering her home he peed, pooped and puked on her carpet. The fight with the Newfoundland must have upset him. We were shown the door and kindly asked not to come back.
During the first summer we had him a cable repair man decided foolishly to waltz into our fenced in back yard without making his presence known to us. We had the back door open so Tucker could come and go as he pleased. The repairman was held against his will in our yard for the following 45 minutes as Tucker had him pinned to the fence. I finally distracted Tucker enough for the poor man to vault over the fence, but not before Tucker latched on to his boot. The man was half over the fence, Tucker with a death clamp on his boot and me struggling to make him let go. The repairman kindly told us he would not be back.
After two years we decided in a weak moment that Tucker would probably be better off with a new little brother or sister. We purchased Alfie from a breeder when he was 8 weeks old. For the first four weeks my husband and I slept in separate bedrooms with the doors firmly closed since Tucker tried to murder poor Alfie whenever he saw him. They finally decided that they would get along.
Alfie has the exact opposite personality, laid back and very affectionate. He is the sweetest thing in the world, but completely untrainable. He doesn't like to fetch, will not come when he is called and only responds to treats.
My husband decided that since Tucker and I were complete failures at our obedience training, he would be in charge of taking Alfie to his. Alfie spent every session stealing the other dogs treats. After the third class Ray decided that he wasn't getting anything out of the class but everyone else's snacks, so he never took him back.
Alfie is bigger than Tucker and thinks he is a lap dog. Tucker on the other hand only wants a cuddle when it is convenient for him. He hates other people, my grandmother calls him "The Killer", so we can't have company over unless we have plenty of warning and have them put in the back bedroom.
We have a housekeeper who comes once a week and I have a small room I put them in so she can clean, but I have to tie the door shut with a small rope, Tucker figured out how to open the door by bumping it repeatedly with his nose.
Through all of our trials and tribulations, they have still brought us much joy. We are either gluttons for punishment or village idiots. I hope you get the pics of the boys.
Thanks for a great site. Ray and Debra
Comment: Boy, I sure can't add much to that other than to say one part of your tale of woe was eerily familiar - (last paragraph).
Tucker looks just like ours except he appears to be one thinner end of the weight range, whereas ours is more the vienna sausage with legs body type.
Very nice coat on Alfie. I haven't seen one like that before. Thanks for the photos and story. Well Done!
|#9 is from Norma ~ You mean that's not a Cairn? She deserves an Honorary Pedigree!|
Can't tell you how much I enjoyed your website and all the responses you received. I haven't laughed so hard in ages!
Rufus and all the rest are spitting images of my Macy. However, Macy is a Westie-Yorkie cross. Somewhere I read that the cross was smaller than a Westie, bigger than a Yorkie, and looked like a Cairn. This is true to this point, but I've previously had a purebred Westie and also a Yorkie cross and neither of them acted like this one that my husband refers to as "the household horror". Since Westies originated from the Cairn, I really think Macy must be a throwback to her Cairn ancestors. When I took her for shots and spaying, the vet automatically wrote Cairn Terrier on her papers.
A Partial Profile of Macy -
1. She loves balls and squeaker toys.
2. She loves everyone that comes through the door.
3. She lets everyone pick her up but us.
4. She takes right off down the road if she gets out the door like a space ship blasting off. Fortunately, we live on a gravel road in a rural area or I'm sure she'd be dead by now. I have managed to train her to get on the window sill and look out the window when our two Labs go out. The video of your dogs and Rufus is a carbon copy of Macy and the Labs. On one excursion she got into our sled dog kennel and nearly got herself killed. I've had total knee replacement on both knees and the doctor told me not to run unless my life depended on it and then run like hell! Needless to say I forgot his instructions and went running across the yard and in to the kennel to rescue this 10 lbs. terror who was laying on her back screaming by then! Both of us came out of the episode none the worse for wear.
5. She takes herself for walks on her leash like Rufus.
6. She barks constantly at the cats, birds, and squirrels.
7. She has learned the command "come" but only when I say it, and not off leash either. The days of going out without a leash are over!
8. We are working on "no" although it usually takes a minimum of 4 times and a finger pointing at her to get her to respond. It's not that she doesn't know the meaning of the word, just a little stubborn streak. Generally, when she does finally respond she will grab one of her squeaker toys and race all over the house squeaking it as if in protest, like "OK, I stopped that so I'll do this instead".
9. She chews everything in sight, wood, carpet, clothes, bedding, pillows. She's a whiz at dissecting pillows. One night I woke to find her laying in a very fine nest of stuffing from a pillow. She looked like a bird and seemed to be quite pleased with herself.
10. Her biggest obsession is with anything paper! That "girl" can shred a roll of paper towels or toilet tissue in less that 30 seconds flat. I should buy stock in the paper industry.
11. She loves throwing her toys in the air for entertainment. The other day after cleaning the toilet bowl I flushed it only to see something that looked like white foam going around and there was Macy with her front paws on the toilet seat watching her favorite stuffed pig swirling around in the toilet bowl. I grabbed the pig just in the nick of time and threw it in the lavatory for a good washing. All the time Macy is looking at me as much as to say"What are you doing to my pig'?
12. She is partially housebroken, depending on whether or not I get to the door on time.
13. She will be a year old next month and I thought by the time she was two there might be hope for her or me, but after reading your website I threw that thought out the window.
14. You get the picture, I'm sure. Despite it all, I love her to death and wouldn't trade her for the world. She has more personality than most 10 dogs put together. She has given me more laughs with her antics in the past year and I'm looking forward to many more years of the same. She's always so happy to see me when I get home from work. It brightens my whole day and makes it all worthwhile when she tips her head to the side and looks at me with those cute little innocent black eyes! Of course, the devil is right behind that look just raring to go!
I have a picture of Macy on my wall where I teach school and one day another teacher came in and said "Now, that's attitude!" I asked what she meant and she said, "That dog has attitude written all over it!" She's certainly right.
I have sent pictures from 6 weeks to 11 months of age.
Now that is amazing. Other than the legs looking a little
longer, if you fluffed the hair out some it would be hard to tell the
My wife, who is also a teacher had a good laugh reading this before going off to do battle with the kids this morning and talked about it on the drive over to school. While getting out of the car, she said 'You would think a teacher would do a little more research before deciding on getting a cairn- a class of kids is trying enough.'
Then she got her lunch and books, stood up and looked at the school for a moment, turned around and said, 'Wait a minute... I'm a teacher.'
Must have been a senior moment.
|#10 is from Becky ~ "There's no need to fear, UNDERDOG is here!"|
Moose turned a year old around Christmas 2008.
The picture with the space heater was taken when he was around 2-3 months old, still his favorite spot to go.
He has never had his hair cut and spends most of his time outside with his buddy. ( This is a Great Photo, by the Way)
Not the one in the picture, that was the ex’s chocolate lab. The red head is his buddy now. Her name is lady.
And much like your description, he torments her endlessly. I love watching it. I think it has actually made her younger!
I don’t get to chat with people with Cairns much. This was nice and I loved the site! Go Underdog!!
"There's no need to fear, UNDERDOG is here!"
Thanks for the great action photo! It does a wonderful job
of capturing one aspect of the Cairn personality - the love of stirring
the pot.I really like Moose's black tips. Makes a nice contrast with the coat. |
I do think however that Moose would be much happier with a slight change to his personal motto:
"There's no need to fear, UBERDOG is here!"
|#11 is from Lyne ~ You Said How Old???|
#11 is from Sue ~ The CDC is obviously not doing it's job - the infection has spread to Canada too...