is from Harriet -
Dexter: Behind the Mask.
#7 is from Tracee - The Brown Fox?
Dan, oh Dan … if only I’d read this web site prior to bringing home the newest member of our family … That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fiona Fynnagn Fanniefart Puppy Dog Beebe the Fifth just turned 8 months old (the equivalent of terrible twos?) and is a riot. I must say I am amazed that you could even get your Rufus on a lead –much less worry about ever letting a Cairn off of a lead. But I can totally related to the ball obsession.
Fynnie does not know a stranger – except of course for Mom and Dad. Her best buddy is a 7 year old chocolate lab whose infinite patience is tried every time they have a play date. As for caterwauling, well … as I played the video of Rufus and your Catahoula Leopard hounds, Fynnie was up on her hind legs staring at my computer screen, screaming for all she is worth, “New friends? New friends? Let me play! Where are they? Here’s my ball. I won’t share, but … it’s here, let’s play. Do you have a ball?”
Funny thing is … as brave as she is and such protector of hearth and home, if you bring anything new into the house, or new leaf blows into the yard, you will definitely hear about it until you move it. Nothing new is allows on Fynnie’s watch.
Thanks so much for the insight and the giggles. Hopefully I’ll be able to handle the challenges of Cairn-dom with as much grace as you and your wife.
Comment: That is a most interesting coat color. I have a few photos of a brown fox somewhere and at first glance Fynnie looked like a brown fox growing in her winter coat. She ought to look quite striking as she matures. I'd like to see photo of her as an adult .
Best of Luck!
Fynnagn - Part of an Old Poem:
One day on the section of avenue Finnigin,
On the road the superintendent was Flannigan,
A rail give way on a bit of a curve
And some cars went off as they made the swerve.
"There was nobody hurt said Finnigin,
"And reports must be made to Flannigan,"
And he winked at Mike Corrigan,
As married a Finnigin.
#8 is from Lori - 2 girls? You are much braver than me and just about everyone else.......
I decided on the Cairns because I read about the breed and thought it was good for our family. We used to have big dogs that shed everywhere and I swore I would never again get a dog that shed so bad.
I loved everything about the Cairn and just happened to find a breeder who had 3 girls and one boy. I wanted a girl because I always had boy dogs and they love to pee on everything. It drove me nuts! Well my 15 yr old daughter didn't want to share the puppy with me, (spoiled brat!) so I decided on two puppies.
I picked the chunky one, her name is Addie (everyone calls her fatty Addie).
Tithe smaller one I picked for my daughter. Her dogs name is Gir, after the cartoon Invader Zim. The name fits her because she makes a little 'gir' noise when you move her when she is tired and sleeping.
No one ever told me not to get 2 girls, let alone sisters. They ended up going through a rough stage, that I think was worse on me.
I had them spayed at 6 months and right after they were healed they began fighting - as in drawing blood fighting.
I was sure I would have to give one up because everyone I spoke to wanted to charge me $2000 dollars to help fix the problem. I couldn't afford that! My sister was talking to me about this and a friend of hers from church overheard and said her son trains dogs.
I called him, he came to my house and observed them told me what to do and almost 2 months later they are loving sisters again. I went through a routine everyday for 2 months and was so amazed it worked! (did i mention he charged nothing?)
I loved your story about your dog in the snow. I can't wait to take my girls to the snow. I took them to a dog park one day and it had a small plastic pool for the dogs. My puppies loved it! I bought one for our house and they have used it a lot!
My puppies are so different, Gir is more gentle, and when she is in trouble she gives you such a sad face it makes you feel guilty, and when she is around other dogs she lies on her back and is very submissive to them. Addie is tougher, and seems to have allot more energy on walks then Gir. I think Addie should be a sleigh dog, because when we go for walks she digs her back legs in and tries to go fast. I love this breed!!!!
Comment: Boy you are one brave lady. My wife says having twin boys (the human ones) was tough enough. The concept of twin girls (the Cairn variety) ....... the mere idea would cause way too many prematurely gray hairs and the consumption of way too much cheap red wine. at this stage in life.
#9 is from Helen - Another Rufus? ...... You've got to be kidding.
I have just found your wonderful web-site about Rufus your Cairn Terrier.
Everything you say is true, and definitely for me us as our Cairn Terrier is called Rufus too !
We’ve had a lot of dogs before, mainly Beardie Collies and a Jack Russell. However nothing prepared me for Rufus ….. We got him from the Cairn Terrier Rescue as his previous owner is sadly terminally ill.
He was just under a year old when we got him and he hadn’t been walked for 6 months !! It has taken him nearly a year to stop bouncing off the walls ….. (we have had him a year at the end of this month ..)
He is just VERY strong willed …. stubborn as you say … impossible to train …. selective deafness ….barks at everything and everyone. He isn’t “naughty”, just stubborn .. won’t move off the chair if you ask, repeatedly barks at the bin (or trash as you say ..) men despite them coming every week to empty the bins each week is one big surprise to him !!
Rufus really hates the windscreen wiper of the car and has burst out of 3 dog crates so far to get at them. I hate driving in the rain !!!! So now, I have a crate for him that they use for animals going on aeroplanes so he can’t break out now !!!
The only person who has any real control over him is my 74 year old Mum … he doesn’t put a paw wrong in front of her .. he loves her to pieces and she him.
Actually we love him dearly …. He’s just Rufus !!!
Comment: Yes, that says it all.....He's Just Rufus! The really dark muzzle and ear tips make a striking combination. Impossible to train?
Been there, done that but I will say we have sort of turned a corner since the discovery of liver-flavored treats. They have helped accomplish what no other treat has done before. If our Rufus knows you have them, his hearing magically improves on an order of something like 200%!
Best of luck on your journey and it's nice to hear from the other side of the pond!
#10 is from Jessica - The world needs a few more people like you.
I came across your website looking for teeth pictures because... & here goes the story.
We had a Siberian Husky. She was my husband's wedding anniversary present. She was most adorable dog that I had ever seen - black and white with blue eyes, and would play in the field with our horses. She loved our new baby horse which is just a few months old.
I also have a half husky, half lab mix that is the calmest lover of them all.
A few nights ago Krystal (husky) got into it with a huge momma coon and needless to say did not make it out alive. I was extremely broken up.
My husband was headed home at 7am from his night shift. He called me about the truck needing gas and not being able to find his debt card and that he was just gonna come home and screw it.
I went outside to check the truck as he drove up. He walked towards me with both arms full of who knew what. At first I thought it was our two cats.
Instead he had these two little brindle boys in his arms.
My husband was in love with themn at first sight, in part because he himself is an identical twin so them being look-a-like males made it even more hilarious.
Within minutes names were suggested: Chip/Dale (his mom was going to name him and his brother that); Batman/Robin (was not gonna fly with me), and on and on it went until finally two names that didn't seem to fit together, went together extremely well.
We live in the county and people constantly are dropping off and abandoning their pets.
Well, needless to say like so many I found your site about 48 hours too late.
They have already been tagged and sweatered because it is closing in on winter and they shiver when outside when attempting to try and use the bathroom. They are truly Cairn Terriers, but I know they haven't been around long enough yet to cause problems.
They seem to be between 12-16 weeks and are about 6.5 lbs each.
Milo (my husband's), which the puppy already acts like, eats every bit of food insight and steals toys from his brother. He is super curious and so active he is a blur.
Madi (mine, and short for Maddox) is laid back, non assertive and overall just wants to lie in my lap and sleep.
Needless to say my older dog Dakota has been the best momma I could want for them. She allows their curious kisses, endless jumping, and their being constantly underfoot with only a few low rumbles. When she has had enough she hides on the recliner because Madi can not jump very well and there is limited room for nothing else but her big 90lb butt.
So far no barking and few corrections on that side of it, but frequent nibbling which is being dealt with and responded to when necessary.
They love the cats but the cats don't love them. Orion, a stray cat we found just sits and low grumbles them while they peek a boo around our stove at him.
The horses just know its another dog that I am carting around and could care less.
I am waiting because I am sure it is to come, the barking. God help me with two of them. Hehehe.
My husband who originally wasn't a cat guy, became one. He also along with his friends, soon became a small dog guy.
They really were two of the best blessing we could have received at this particular point in our lives. It has been a hilarious 48 hours.
My husband now he has these two little dogs on leashes, sitting on his lap in the truck, tucked in-between him and the console, it goes on but the look on his face said it all the morning he found them. There was no question they were staying with us forever.
They will soon be receiving a new sister due to the factor that there is no way my husband or I can simply live without a Husky.
Whats one more crazy pup in our lives since it clearly seems there will never be a calm period any time soon in which to get her.
I will be sending pictures soon of the little buggers that stole my husbands heart in a matter of seconds. My husband Karl still swears that I planted the puppies on him, but the truth be known I was convinced it was him.
And truth be known what woman would be able to keep her lips sealed with a surprise like that sitting on her driveway patio.
first pic of of Milo(Karls) left, Madi (mine) on the right there are few things to tell them apart but now they have colored colars. Second photo is of my big dog Dakota (husky/lab) and Madi, Milo is just out of shot sleeping by her butt. Madi thought she made a great pillow and soon after climbed over her and between her front too paws were she proceeded to stare at my husband and I with a look of "really, seriously you lost one and then you brought TWO home geez really" little does she now whats in store for Christmas. :)
Jessica~North East Missouri
Comment: Hats off to you in taking in two bundles of joy. But..........I really could use some better photos. These things are almost microscopic. You need to do your boys justice!
#11 is from Gary and Roberta - A new Monster in the house
I have owned 2 West Highland White Terriers, and am now on my second Cairn, who is 4.5 months old, with another cairn pup coming home with us at the end of April. This being my second time raising a Cairn, I laughed hysterically upon discovering your web site one day 10 weeks or so ago when doing a search on "biting" as many of the things I read were reminders of my own experiences. My last Cairn was 13 weeks old when I brought him home, this little guy was 8 weeks old and I ran into some issues that I had not with my other cairn.
I was a little unprepared for some of the behavior of the younger pup, but we got through it! My little guy's name is "Monster", thusly named based on my experiences with my LAST Cairn terrier, who sadly died young at the age of 10 last April after multiple surgeries to attempt to fix a torn ACL which simply would not heal. His name was Toto (yes, I realize it was not original, but my wife is obsessed with the movie - we eventually referred to him when talking to other people as our furry little monster).
This time, we chose a name that I think fits MUCH better!! LOL. It pays tribute to my dear Toto, while fitting his behavior and personality to a "T". I thank you for posting a web site so full of information as you have, much of what you had on your site helped me get through the first 4 weeks! I have recommended your site to some friends who are getting their FIRST cairn soon and they are both amused and a little scared! HAHA. I told them not to worry though, the pay off is worth the frustration. I LOVE this breed.
Enclosed are a few pictures of my Monster from the last few weeks. As we speak he is whining at me to pay attention to him. Why is it that despite my knowing not to pay attention to him when he does this so as not to reinforce the behavior, he still continues to do it? Simple answer - he is a Cairn!
Gary & Roberta Mighton
Comment: Your backyard looks suspiciously like our backyard - this wouldn't happen to be another Northern Nevada cairn, would it?
Monster looks like he is going to grow into a handsome little guy, especially with those black tips - even the feet.
What works well for the whining or other less than desirable behaviors is the fine art of distraction, like a ball for instance.
Nope, scratch that......what am I thinking............
Another useful command is 'Kennel', meaning go somewhere else and stay. With minimal training, even Cairn Terriers understand it .
We also have a standard poodle, aka ADD Dog and he can get rather overbearing. When that happens, I point to the mat near the front door and say 'Go Park Yourself', and he trots over to the door and parks himself. It's quite funny and is a very useful command.
Good Luck with your Monster!
#12 is from Jamie - a Swiss Le Diable Noir!
I am sorry to say, I discovered your website about three hours too late.
I can safely say, we did everything one can do wrong.
We bought a puppy at a pet store in Paris. We now know that this is:
3) encouraging the potential mistreatment of dogs through puppy mills.
Anyone out there, DON’T DO IT.
Among other things, you end up with a dog who has no concept of frustration, since they aren’t with their mothers long enough to be taught the word ‘no’.
Add this to the Cairn’s already extensive ignorance on the subject, and you can imagine what we ended up with. We soon discovered that this is only the beginning of a whole range of words she didn’t know: “Come here”, “ Don’t chew that”, “Please don’t attack the neighbour’s dog”, “ Shut up” and my favourite “Stop sucking up to strangers” are all phrases that apparently she had no concept of or interest in learning.
But back to the story. We were actually looking at the beautiful cocker spaniel when this little bundle of black fur kept on jumping in front trying to attract our attention.
The shop owner was keen to show us both dogs, and when he heard our situation (we live in a good sized flat in Geneva, but close to lots of parks and plenty of chance for walks and exercise) he was very keen to encourage the black bundle (apparently a “Cairn” terrier, whatever the hell that is) as a more suitable “apartment” dog. As we held this minute little thing in my hand she climbed onto my shoulder and started gently chewing on the collar of my shirt. I was lost, and needless to say, we paid our deposit, and went back to the hotel happy in our purchase, having arranged to pick her up the next day for the trip back home.
So what the hell is a Cairn terrier. A brief google search, and we discover your website.
Alarm bells were beginning to go off, and I suddenly began to understand the shop owners apparent enthusiasm not only to make the sale, but the sale of that particular dog. I was also beginning to wonder if the chewing was maybe a harbinger of things to come. (With hindsight, and having had to replace most of my girlfriend’s shoe collection, I probably should have heeded the signs).
Oh well, she was wonderfully cute, very calm and quiet, maybe we had the exception.
The next day probably gave us a few hints... After three hours of carefully trying to get this darn dog to pee, nothing. So we get on the train home. First stop, we get off. Still nothing. Next stop, we get off, still nothing. Well only one more stop and then we would be home. Back on the train, literally thirty seconds after pulling out of the station, and the dog pees all over the table in front of me, carefully missing the absorbent pee mat we had purchased specially for this eventuality, looking exceptionally pleased with herself. A red faced few minutes clearing up and trying desperately hard to sink into our seats with shame followed.
However she was so cute that any walk was inevitably delayed and accompanied by hordes of admirers, much to her evident pleasure and our pride. Suddenly we knew every one of our neighbours in a mile radius, where before we would probably have struggled to recognise half the people living in the same block of flats as us.
The first month, Coco never barked. Not once. We were surprised, but pleased. Maybe, miracle of miracles, we had found the one cairn in the world which doesn’t bark incessantly. Then one day, we heard the tinniest little woof. It was so sweet we both smiled, especially as Coco had such a look of shock and surprise on her face. This was a new game...
We weren’t smiling a week later when she hadn't stopped barking. We were crying a month later when she still hadn't stopped.
We found dog trainers in the area, and prayed that maybe, just maybe, they could help us.
We ended up relegated in the corner for the first 6 months of classes (I think an attestation of our desperation rather than our perseverance) , behind a fence, covered in towels so that she couldn’t even see the rest of the class. Thank heavens for the patience and knowledge of our trainers, who changed her diet (she now is on raw food... ), more exercise, introduced us to clicker training, and exposed us to information such as the book When Pigs Fly and Karon Pryor’s training resources. At four years old, we now have a dog far from obedient, often difficult, in turns utterly adorable and totally frustrating, but at least and last we have reached a working (and loving) relationship where neither is hell bent on murdering the other.
She has received a plethora of nicknames from others, from the Tasmanian Devil, la Diable Noir, to Little Cutie and sweetiekins (the mind boggles) depending on her mood. She has the breed infatuation with balls, toys, anything squeaky, squirrels, hedgehogs (!), plastic bags, wind, snow, digging enormous holes to Australia or your more basic strip mine, chasing sticks, chewing sticks, stealing sticks from other dogs while they aren't looking, carrying sticks the size of a small tree trunk back to their owner in the hope that you will be able to throw them, you get my drift. She has started agility training, and loves it, though I will admit I will NEVER take her to a show: the very thought of her in a room with hundreds of other dogs and people is enough to bring me out in hives.
Various tussles still go on: she will insist on walking in the shelter during rain, leaving the unfortunate soul blessed with taking her out to deal with the elements; she sleeps so closely clamped to my side that during the night she tends to slowly push me closer and closer to the edge of the bed until I am hanging on for dear life (yes I know, I have only myself to blame for letting her on the bed, but I am a sucker); if one isn't careful she will jump onto any spare dining room chairs and hope that someone will serve her a plate (she isn't above carefully manipulating someone into abandoning their chair and then seizing the recently vacated spot with an entirely innocent “who me?” look on her face). We accept these as part of the perils of living with a Cairn, especially one who is more than a little spoiled!
She also has a slightly embarrassing tendency to nudge strangers’ legs while on walks to make sure they notice her and appreciate how pretty she is. Actual pats and tummy rubs, while not compulsory, are appreciated, or at least for five seconds until something else of interest comes along. But we still love her in spite of the loyalty and attention span of a flea...
In fact to such an extent that, like a few others on the site, we are now considering repeating our mistake and getting a little brother for Coco. We’ll keep you posted on how that goes... But nobody’s predicting a change in results!
I hope Rufus is behaving himself! Within expected limits for a Cairn at any rate...
All the best,
P.S. On the doggy IQ question, I read an interesting point stressing the difference in dogs who have a strong ability to learn behaviours (classic examples are sheep dogs), and dogs who have strong abilities to solve problems (such as terriers). Independent dogs are often exceptionally hard to train specific ‘learned’ behaviours, but have excellent problem solving skills (such as working out how to get the other dog to abandon their toys on a wild goose chase, or get out of concreted, dug in fences worthy of Alcatraz). I would, hesitantly, suggest that given Cairns undoubted ability to organise their lives exactly as they want it, rather than how we want it, suggests an almost suspiciously high intelligence, while they have also worked out that there is nothing to be gained by actually revealing that I.Q.! Down that road only hard work lies, rather than the fun and frolics of manipulating lesser mortals such as humans, other dogs, cats, rodents, etc. etc...
Comment: Well written, Jamie and it is evident that if writing is not your avocation, it could very well be a profitable sideline.
However, that has to be one of the worst photos that have ever accompanied a cairn email. Something subliminal going on here?
I would have to agree with you that the Cairn's problem solving skills are strong, believe it or not.
It is amazing how often cairn purchases are the result of impulse buying....
but then again........maybe not.
Thanks for taking the time to write. That was a treat.
A Follow Up:
Sorry, girlfriend is the guardian of the photos, so I just took a quick one from the webcam, and it clearly wasn’t the best :) Please find attached suitably cute and pretty photos which give no sign of how much of a devil she can be...
Coco is now a proud resident of Geneva, Switzerland, and splits her time between the ski slopes and swimming in the lake every chance she can get. She’s pretty happy whether she surfs or skis, though it can be a little problematical when she sees the swans and decides that she can take them on, no problem! (same applies to errant snow boarders...)
I guess we’ll just hang on in there and keep the wine cellar stocked up...
All the best,
Pup vs Adult Coat Colors:
A number of people have asked if I have pics of coat colors as a pup and then coat colors as an adult.
I don't have many.
If you have a couple pics to spare of pup and then adult coat colors, I'd like to start showing the comparisons.