Other People's Cairns, Page 2

Dolidh and Douglas
Cooper Cal Brom Franziska Max
Aggie and Fergie Tucker
Macy Moose
Meggie Axie
A photo of your little bundle of joy can go here, which also provides a link
to your own personal tale of woe, I mean joyful learning experience.

#1  is from Faith -  These Hairballs Rule!
Your Rufus story was a hilarious read. The “Never let a Cairn go off leash” part was the best as my husband was convinced, despite my warnings, that he could “train” our Douglas to walk without a leash.

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 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 .”


Dolidh Douglas
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.

10 Weeks 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 :)

#2  is from Courtney -  DB Cooper is Alive!

My husband ran across your website and just HAD to share it with me.  Your story is eerily similar to our own.

Cooper At 8 weeks old, we brought our little devil Cooper home.  
We named him after DB Cooper… knowing a bit about the breed.

We had every expectation of him taking us for all we’re worth and then disappearing without a trace.

Literally our stories are almost identical;therefore I will only list the few differences I can think of:

1. Cooper does cuddle with you occasionally… (however, HE picks the terms and conditions!).
2. Cooper is not ball obsessed, but he IS Kong obsessed.
3. The video you showed of Rufus on a walk was (in my mind) is an example of how I would  LIKE  Cooper to walk on the leash right        now…
     We struggle with bikes passing, other dogs, a slight breeze… (This is after 6 weeks of intense training…)

     He will sit (sometimes). He has never “come on command”.
4. Cooper is a true Wheaten color. His coloring is abnormal so I hear.   Most are brindle, black, or gray like yours. Cooper is now 2

Cooper and Kahula Well, I think that’s it for the differences.

Like I mentioned, I was a bit shocked to read your story of such a similar puppy upbringing!  Leave it to the Cairns.

I have attached some pictures for you to enjoy of my Cairn.
My other dog is in a few pictures too… Kahlua is a Beagle/Red Heeler mix).

I would love to share some of our Cairn stories with you if you would like!

Best Regards,


Comment:  Heh Heh, and some people think I am kidding. Cooper is a nice looking dog - very interesting coat color.  My wife after reading this said, Darn, we should have named our dog Cooper - what an appropriate name for a Cairn.  What is Kong obsessed?  Cairns it seems,
need something  obsess over and it isn't necessarily balls.  So far we have balls, cats, other dogs, swiffers and mini Frisbees
to name a few.  And now Kong?  

A Strange Day

Yesterday was a very strange day.  The only cairn I have ever personally seen in my neck of the woods is ours.  Yesterday I was driving by a Best Buy and saw an elderly gentlemen walking by all appearances, what looked like a cairn.  I stopped, got out and asked if by chance the dog he was walking was a cairn terrier.  He looked kind of surprised and said yes,  how did I  know that?  I told him I had one of my own. He told me the dog on the leash was 16 years old, stone deaf and otherwise in great shape and..........
he had two more in his car.

I must have looked like I didn't believe him so he went back and produced two more cairns - a black 14 year old male and a Wheaton 11 year old  female.  

Cairns at that age are still fickle as hell.  They promptly ignored their owner and came over to me, the males to be petted and the female lying down on top of my shoes to get her tummy rubbed.

While this is going on, a lady walked out of a curio store next door and said, 'Are those cairns?'  The  other owner looked slightly taken aback  and said yes, how did she know that?  The lady smiled, walked over to her car and produced another black, 14 year old cairn.

 Meanwhile the elderly gentleman's wife emerged from the same curio store and started chatting with the lady  about cairns.  The other lady  had quite a bit to say about hers and among other things was particularly proud of her dog's intelligence (I was trying to suppress a grin but was not very successful and the elderly couple had curiously blank expressions).

Anyway,  I asked how they ended up with three cairn terriers and the answer was a familiar one.  They said  that the terrible
twos was so bad with the first cairn that they figured it must have been defective and decided to try again.  The second experience ended up being as bad as the first and they swore they'd never take in  another Cairn.  Several years later they took possession of the female who came from a couple owners that couldn't make it past that critical one-year milestone of cairn ownership and it was
either they take the dog or it was off to the pound.

Four cairns in one day?  Must be an unexpected consequence of global worming.

#3  is from Sam -  Death to Bunnies!
Cal My wife and I read your website on Cairn Terriers and loved it. I'm not unhappy to hear that our dog at 1 1/2 years old is still in the "puppy" developmental phase.

Ours is named Cal, though I think Napoleon would have been more appropriate. I have attached a picture.

As you noted, he has no fear of anything. He cornered my cousins' 80 lb Boxer when they visited. He has barked at a plastic bag stuck in our fence, every dog that is walked by our house (every single one), any people riding bicycles, skate-boards, roller skates--just about anything. He growls at us when we move our legs under the covers in bed. 

He tries to bully us on a regular basis, and we have to pull him back into line. On garbage day, he acts as if aliens are landing. He has to bark incessantly until the trucks are out of the area.

I think my favorite story is that he hunted and killed a 4 lb. bunny. This was a young, healthy rabbit. I walked out in our back yard and he was behaving strangely; when I caught up to him, he was waving it around in his mouth--little balls of fur flying all across
our back yard. I couldn't believe that he was able to catch the thing--it was 1/3 of his body weight!

We absolutely love him, but he can truly try our patience. The constant Alpha competition gets old. I was also glad to hear that it's
normal for Cal to love anyone but us...any time we have company, they get extreme attention and he doesn't want anything to do
with us.

As for the color, Cal started out dark brown and has turned a mottled reddish-brown color, and he has gotten grayish streaks.

Thanks for your website, Sam

Comment:  It warms my heart to hear there is one less bunny in the world.  Congratulations!  Cal is a nice looking dog.  

As for the Alpha Male thing,  one thing I found that works reasonably well is when the dog gets too obnoxious,  I point a finger at him and
give him a stern 'No!'. If he continues I toss him outside. Do that a couple hundred times and he might make the connection.

#4  is from Rad -  Hell on Wheels
Brom I noticed that my male Cairn (4 months old -10 lbs.) was starting to dig out under my 6 foot privacy fence.   I decide to put a concrete border at base of fence to prevent his escape tunnel from being a success.

This effort took 200 lbs of concrete and 5 hours of work in the hot Florida sun.  This worked for a couple of weeks- then we had rain everyday for 7 days. (Typical  Florida thunderstorms - about 2 to 4 hours) 

The ground was soaked and he found a weak spot in the concrete border.  I have had to chase him through the neighborhood for the last 2 days. 

I don't think a Russian gulag could prevent him from excavating another escape.  I have started reinforcing the concrete with metal conduit driven into the ground. 

Attached is a picture of the little devil.
This may be extreme, maybe  it's futile effort; at least this should present a challenge to him for a week or two.

Rad - West Coast of Florida

Comment:  Now that dog to me looks like hell on wheels.  Great picture!   When ours started the escape artist routine, we put him out on one of those clothes line leads for a month or so and amazingly enough he didn't seem to mind it at all.  One month later he forgot all about the joy of escape and has had only occasional lapses since.

I know a little bit about Florida sun, having worked in and out around Lakeland for a couple years.  We were out inspecting a fence one day after one of those 2-3 day deluges and ran into a culvert pipe filled with rattlesnakes trying to stay dry.

~ My wife on seeing the picture took one look started laughing, said the picture says it all and to send her condolences.  

Minor Update:

Apparently there is a bit more to the story than we were first led to believe and the motive has got to be revenge....

Maggie Dan,

Dee (my girlfriend) is from Kansas - always wanted a Cairn - so for Valentine's this year - I bought her Maggie.

When we picked up Maggie at the breeders she was a little thin but, up to date on shots and healthy.

She was a Reddish/ Brindle (Black tips) Notice the dark mask - her ears and tail were tipped black. 

She is 4 month old in this picture.

Now she is almost 9 months and has some of her adult coat -- she is much lighter - almost all wheaton - only faint tips of black in her mask, ears and tail. 

She is 8 1/2 months.  Maggie will probably change colors again in a couple of years, Brom may get darker as he matures. 

His breeder said breeding Cairns for color was like "herding cats".
Maggie and Brom Maggie seems to be more hyperactive than Brom.

Dee and I just couldn't believe that she was typical of the breed - heh, heh ..

Well she was exhausting for the first couple of months we had her.

2:30 AM potty time,  I started making Dee get up on the weekends to let her dog out.

Then she got even with me - for my birthday in May - she got me Brom - (aka. Hell on Wheels)
Check out his puppy pic attached  - 10 weeks.  He is starting to become a little more brindle- but his mask is still jet black.  I know I failed to mention that we had two Cairns -- I just didn't want you and your wife to think we had totally lost touch with reality.  

If I survive the next few months with some sanity - I'll share another "tale of woe".  Tell the wife thanks for the condolences -  they are well received and appropriate.

Comment:  Brom looks so much like Rufus, it's scary.  You really need to save the original photo for posterity.  
Only a Cairn owner could fully appreciate the impact of the image.

It signifies as the old Nazareth song is titled, "The Shapes of Things to Come".  

Best wishes and if at some time in the future you feel the urge to vent, feel free. Just keep the *&#*%^  descriptors about the $*(%&$ dog within the bounds of propriety.

Oh, and my wife says if you decide you have finally had enough and feel like doing something drastic........ just chill a good bottle of Merlot and watch a couple hours of Oprah.


#5  is from Franziska -  Been there...Done that

I happened to end up on your website and owe you some very amusing minutes a huge laugh! As you asked to send in a little story:

My family had 2 cairns some years ago - for a pretty long time as the female, Tulipe, passed away at the ripe age of 18 and the male, Vishnou at 17. We got them from friends of ours in France who bred them.  At the maximum they had 8 of them in their house and it was a total mayhem.
The male, Vishnou, was a sweetheart; a loving, slightly not extremely bright darling. You couldn't help but adore him... except his tendency to sleep on the dining table, and, ok, he did not really obey that well, nearly no flaws.
Your description of your dog fits 90 % to our Tulipe. The only difference maybe: she did not even like to fetch stuff like balls (too boring). I cannot count the hours we were looking for that damn dog (she ran away every 3 days approx. and strolled through the village to find and subsequently hunt cats.

The whole village knew us because of the stupid dog which was roaming their property, chasing cats.
Once a neighbor called us to tell us she was sitting in his tree (a cat was higher above and got stuck because of her...and she was kind of stuck as well).

Once we had to postpone our Christmas dinner because the dog had disappeared.

Once we could not leave for vacation because she got stuck into a hole in the forest and finally came out 4 hours later.

Once she had entered another hole which turned out to be inhabited by a badger - there we really thought we had lost her as the hole was under the railroad tracks and the badger was home (we could hear both of them fighting). Hours later she came out with a blood smeared face and looked at us with the clear question in her face, "why did you not save me?"

I cannot recall the times we cursed this horrible dog. If you called her, she turned the other way. She was mostly in a bad humour, not very friendly, but still somehow very loyal (meaning she did not like many people apart from the family and showed total disinterest to them).

Nevertheless, the monster was the most intelligent dog I have ever met and when she died, we had lost a member of the family. This is now 10 years ago  but we still think of our little cairns with great affection and love.
My parents swore never to get a dog again but then got another one the year afterwards, but no cairn. The are now very happy with a well-educated Entlebuch Cattle Dog (which proves that it was not our fault that the cairn did not obey - same methods lead to a dog which does not escape, does not need a leash and follows every little command) and we cannot believe how easy it can be...
So, good luck with yours :-)

Comment:  Thanks Franzisca - my first letter from Europe!   Doing battle with a badger in a badger hole underneath train tracks  and coming out in one piece.........I wonder what happened to the badger?  While I have serious reservations about cairn intelligence, there is no doubting their bravery.  


#6  is from James -  Did a Little Downsizing

Hey Dan,

You have really captured the "cairn experience" with your story. Got a good laugh out of it.  I feel your pain. After having larger breed dogs for most of my life (labs and golden retrievers), I decided I wanted to make things easy on myself and get a non shedding small breed dog.

Max in Action

I picked a cairn because they were described as tuff and durable. Not lap dogs. With a cairn I am not sure I made anything easy. I must say much that is written about the cairns disposition (personality) is true,as we are experiencing. I do love the little bugger though.

Max on Deck

We are thinking about getting another one. What can I say.... I am a glutton for punishment. Sending some photos of Max. The one of the 3 cairns is Max's mom and sisters.

Mom and Kids

Happy Thanksgiving. Jim.....

Comment:  Great action photo, Jim!.  That wouldn't happen to be a ball he's going after, would it?  

Yes, they do grow on you after a while.......make that a long while.  

Mom looks like she is a little upset that you didn't take all three.

This was a nice Thanksgiving email.  Here, we had to boot the dog out of the house early today.  Balls skittering across the floor, turkey, trying to cook, all the smells and one annoying cairn in the middle of it all  was not working out very well.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well,


2009 Update

About 2 Years Old

Around 2 Years Old

From James:  Yes, all is well w/ max and us. i will send a couple of current photos of max. his coat has not really changed very much since he was a pup. He will be 3 in Feb. 

..... He looks a lot more silver to me, compared to the photo of the of him flying off the porch as a pup.  He looked like a multi-colored Koala bear.  Now he looks like a member of the silver haired royalty class.   Nice Looking!


Turd Dog

Meanwhile, Turd Dog - I mean Rufus managed to get loose again.....

The dog was in the house.  We went out front to do some watering.  About two minutes later, there was a voice up the street yelling, 'Bad Dog!  Go on, get out of here!, Go Home!, Git!, Stop That!'

We looked at each other and and thought it would be a good idea to walk out into the street to see what was going on.

Up the street a ways, there was a very elderly couple walking a very large, very elderly dog off lead.

Guess who was running in circles around the poor old timer, jumping up and grabbing mouthfuls of cheek, hair, tail....yapping up a storm and having a grand old old time tormenting his geriatric victims?

Turd Dog.......I mean Rufus.

Profuse apologies later, Turd Dog was captured and returned to the back yard.

Get Even Time

How does one get even with a baaaad dog?

Bath Time

Might I suggest a nice looonnng cold shower.

Boy, if looks could kill........

#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.

Aberdeen & Fergie Eighteen 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!

Happy days!

Kind regards,

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. 
Tucker Tucker
We were having trouble house training him and I got the brilliant idea to enroll him in obedience school.  For the first three weeks we were made to sit outside the fenced area where all the rest of the puppies were since Tucker had never been socialized. On the fourth week we were allowed inside the fence and Tucker behaved pretty good. 

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. 

Alfie Alfie & Tucker

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!
Dan -
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.

Macy @ 6 Weeks
Around 6 Weeks of Age
Around 8 weeks of age
Around 8 Weeks of Age

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.
Comment:  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 difference.  

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.

Moose at 2-3 months of age.

The picture with the space heater was taken when he was around 2-3 months old, still his favorite spot to go.

A Familiar Scene

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)

Moose and Lady

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!!

Under Dog

"There's no need to fear, UNDERDOG is here!"
Comment:  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???
MeggieThis is our Cairn Meggie, same ball obsession, same independence, but would not be without her.  She is now 17, and slowing down, but come breakfast time, she is six months old again.

 Great site, loved reading about your dog.


Comment:  Wow.........Guess I'd better have a really good bottle of Merlot on hand before my wife sees this.  17 years - That is a record on these web pages.  Congratulations!   ~ Dan

#11  is from Sue ~  The CDC is obviously not doing it's job - the infection has spread to Canada too...
AxieHi Dan,
I've not laughed so hard in... How long have I been owned by Axie??? 2 months and 2 days! Yes, it has been that long. I had tears streaming down my face.
He is exactly the way you describe Rufus.  I'm constantly bombarded by neighbors, and people (Strangers) who all comment ,"Oh He's so cute!"  Had I done the research beforehand, his cuteness would likely not have gotten him beyond my front door. Everyone asks how his puppy classes are coming along. I hesitate with my answer. I can't say for sure... Depends on the minute of the day.

Just to think, I'd once believed that I would have to give him back to his breeder because, "he didn't like me."  To my way of thinking, we had not bonded and I'm told that all owners bond with their puppies almost instantly.  Little did I know, we'd bonded quite fine, considering he's a Cairn.
He's laying at my feet now sleeping off his 4th walk of the day.  Truly, he is a good dog but I've been heard to say I'll give him to anyone... ANYONE... at least once a week. The first time I felt so guilty... 'cause he's so cute and tiny'... I thought I might have been PMS'ing... which I claim NEVER to do.... but that was all I could think of.
Oh that caterwauling???? Ya mean the "Squealing like a STUCK PIG".... Unbearable... Axie does that every time I try to pick him up after an impromptu play date with other dogs in the neighborhood.  If I don't pick him up, he attempts to drag me  with all his 10.5 lbs in the direction of his desire. You'd think I was killing him.  I think it's like a 2-year olds temper tantrum... Not certain as this is the closest I've come to having children... and thankfully do not recall my temper tantrums.
Hope to stay in touch.... for advise, laughs and such.


Sue and Axie in Ottawa, Canada.

Comment:  Well Sue,  sounds as though you were looking for a bit of a change - a new direction in life. I think your wishes are going to be fulfilled.  That is one attractive pup.  I take it you may be one who likes to write and I would encourage that.  It is a great stress reliever and a time for reflection on those life changing events.  And why am I thinking about Cairn ownership.............  

 ~ Dan

Several Days Later........

The Sue and Axie Story
Axie is short for “Accident” and that, simply put, is how Axie came into my life. To add to this, I was told by his breeder that his litter was “an accident.” Therefore, upon seeing him, I took a quick look and said, “Axie. Come here.” He was 10- weeks at the time and still at the breeder’s home. He bounded over to me instantly. Little did I know that was the last time I could expect MY dog to “come” when called.

 How did we meet? I was spending a weekend with a friend from my high school days and after a lovely dinner, we were taking a stroll in her neighborhood, while her loving husband was doing dishes. Wow!

We eventually found ourselves walking past this cute, though rather yappy pup in a pen. His mother, Missy, was on a lead beside the portable pen, and the puppy’s owners/breeders were sitting out in lawn chairs enjoying the breeze and sunset of the mid-July evening.

 We stopped to pet “the puppy” and were told we could remove it from the pen. Puppy instantly latched onto its mother’s jowl and held on for dear life as if this was some skill he was certain he’d require in adulthood and was sure to get it right no matter the whimpering from Mom. Suddenly I heard questions passing my lips that I never thought I would utter… questions like, Boy or girl?… How old is he?… What breed is he?…. Is he for sale?…. but the clincher…. Can you hold him until tomorrow?


That night, I requested use of my friend’s computer and goggled “Cairn Terrier” Needless to say, I did not find your site. I pondered all the pros and cons of bringing a puppy into my life.....  Hmmm…

I have to say that despite a very comfortable mattress in my friend’s guest room, I did not sleep that night. Next morning, I googled some more and still did not locate your site. I did notice a site that mentioned the inability for Cairns to accept training… but I was not to be dissuaded.

By noon, I was back at the breeder’s door with a hefty deposit and asked that they hold this fluff ball for me for 2 weeks so I could puppy-proof my home and purchase all the items required to keep a puppy/dog… bed, crate, dishes, collar, LEAD and such. Up until 15 hours prior to this exchange,

I’d no intention of even having a goldfish. However there was something far beyond his outward “Cuteness” (God! I’, really starting to use the word, Cute.) Something about this puppy called to me.

Yes, OK,… He’s cute but that wasn’t it. I liked his spunk and the fact that he was an independent little guy despite his age and size.

Why did I forget about these thoughts so suddenly after I brought him home?

Yes, until viewing your site Dan, I thought Axie and I had not bonded. I thought it would be in Axie’s best interest if I returned him to the breeder.

You caught me just in the nick of time. We HAVE bonded in the typical Cairn Terrier / Human way. My whole attitude towards him has changed in the past 4 days!

We get along fantastically now that I understand his breed better.

Axie’s favorite things?

Axie - Kong

1. Puppy Kong Shown in original pic to you. …. Especially with a bit of peanut butter…. Only way I can put him in his safe room without squealing… and it’s not due to separation anxiety… but temper.

Beef Sticks

2. Beef Sticks… Takes care of the need to chew and is NOT Rawhide.


3. His “Donkey“ Squeaky Toy - Not to be played with prior to 8am or past 9pm…. Way too loud!

When I first gave into my friends’ requests to give him squeaky toys (My home is very peaceful… scratch that… WAS very peaceful), I decided to purchase one myself and bought one with a tone I could tolerate. Not too high-pitched. At 14 weeks when I showed it to him he ran from it… OK.. So Donkey was almost as big as he was at 2 weeks. 

Later, it became his favorite toy… and remains so to this day.

4. Everyone who thinks and tells him he’s “cute”

5. “Digging” a hole in my 600-thread count chocolate-colored cotton sheets…at least he thinks he is digging… and proceeding to hide his treat in the “hole”. He thinks by alternately sweeping imaginary dirt over the treat with his muzzle and pressing his nose directly on it 3 dozen times will eventually bury his snack for another time. It is the funniest thing to see… And then if I’m feeling devilish, I’ll pick it up and hand it back to him. You see, he does this only a foot from me…and so the process begins again.

His Cairnisms;

1. Never coming when called without a liver treat bribe.

2. Confusing and frustrating his professional trainer to the point of looking up Cairn Traits… as they are not common in Ottawa either.

3. Squealing like a stuck pig (caterwauling, you called it) when he is not getting his way…. Aka temper tantrum. Worst I’ve heard so far was at his first nail trimming. I honestly tried to do it myself. Heck, I couldn’t even get him to sit still let alone get the trimmers in one hand. So we trotted off to the pet shop and it took two TRAINED women holding him down to get the deed complete while patrons and
4 staff members watched at the interior store window that I was assured was sound-proofed.

Everyone was asking who’s dog it was and I rolled my eyes and confessed. I feel very sorry for those ladies. This is the same pet shop where we-re taking puppy- obedience classes and last week’s class came with a free nail-trimming coupon. I don’t think it will get any easier my heart goes out to those ladies to have to listen to him. I must state that they did NOT trim too closely and did not hurt Axie in anyway… besides his ego/pride/patience… get my drift? Did I mention that they checked his back nails and said they did not need trimming yet so the fuss was for his front paws only?

4. Barking AT me when he does not have my undivided attention.

Walking on Lead

5. Thinking he can muscle any dog, no matter the breed, age, or size into playing with him… and following him. He just takes their leads and starts dragging them where he wants them to go. Funny to watch with his best friend, Pippin, a 15-month PB Collie of the Lassie Variety.

The list goes on and on…

Well I shouldn’t say much more as Axie has been VERY good as I spent the past hour or so typing this and he is patiently waiting to go outside.

Thank-you so very much Dan and Debbie,

Sue and Axie in Ottawa

Comment:  I hope you make it through the most important Cairn terrier trials, which would be through the terrible twos.  If you make that critical milestone, I would say you are home free.

Here, we lost our oldest female catahoula a few months ago and when looking for a replacement, the choice of another  Cairn Terrier was never an issue.

That's why we now have a new Standard Poodle  pup.

Thanks for taking the time to write.  This is a fitting final chapter for this page.



Oh, Debbie says not to forget about imbibing in your drink of choice should things get really bad.  With her it's Oprah and Merlot.

pps ~  

Debbie says thanks for the  tip on the "2008 Baco Noir released by Sandbanks.  This is from Prince Edward County Region... a new grape growing region thanks to global warming. "

It is always nice to have a back-up plan.

 ~ Dan

2010 Followup:

Hi Dan and Debbie,

This is Sue from Ottawa with Axie... HOWEVER...

I was looking up "Turning A Pod"... Banksia... but forgot the name... and low and behold ur website popped up! How many Gazillion websites are out there and I found YOU!

Axie is doing wonderfully. Poor little guy was neutered 3 weeks ago today... No worse for wear but was not going to have him neutered until I read the fine print on the pet insurance I purchased. Not covered if "collision with a car, fight with another dog, or any agressive behavior causing damage".  Didn't feel I had a choice then as I always want him to be covered... just in case.

I'm at work now so should get back to it. I'll send you an update from home... and a few pics... maybe this weekend.

The AxeMan


Sue and the Axe-Man

The Bowl

Comment:  Boy what are the odds of that - running into someone else that has a Cairn Terrier and turns banksia pods. Welcome back and I'll look forward to those updated photos!  Tell Axie not to feel too bad.......I imagine he did lighten his load.  A little.    

April 20th FollowUp - I think

Hi Mr. Davis ,

I turned ONE last Tuesday and we made a day of it.

The Pushover

Mom took the day off work and we did a tour of the pet stores. We went to 5 different ones and I got a toy at each one and lots of treats too. Mom got her blasted camera out AGAIN and took more pictures. She says I can send you the ones I like best.


Oh!... and I had a play date with Pippin last night too. He came over to play while his "auntie" went out. We had so much fun but Mom kept pulling me off him. I love jumping all over him and he doesn't seem to mind... but Mom did. She said I had to be good and let him sleep... Don't know why he had to sleep but I watched... A LOT. How BORING! It was a pretty good night though and Mom says I can invite him over again without his Auntie. She says I behaved very well when she walked us together for the first time... I didn't jump on Pippin's head once... Boy-oh-Boy, I REALLY wanted to! Mom took pictures of us together so I'll send a couple of those too.
New Toy

That's all for now,
Hope you are all well... (Mom says that if I insist on goobering all over her keyboard (typing with my nose), I had to add that last bit.) Now I have to go get her to attach the pictures. I don't know how... YET ;-)
Bow Wow!

My Comment  (I'm feeling like shooting our little bundele of joy today):

One year old?  That's Child's Play.  Give it another year.

My  Wife's Comment (and she is usually the negative one):

The photo “Mom’s a pushover “ is hilarious!  Unfortunately, I so get that… guess that’s what makes it funny. Very cute dog,  maybe she wants another Cairn?  I’m ready to give ours away, in fact I might pay someone to take him. 

Do you think she might be interested?

...........I dunno.    

Sue.........you interested?

Coat Colors
Here are a few photos illustrating the coat  color changes in Wheaton colored Cairn Terriers.
The first is of Axie as a pup.  The second and third pics are of Axie and his dad.  Dad is on the left.  

We don't see many Cairns in our part of Nevada - photos are always nice, especially if they are large enough to work with.
If you would like to send something along, please include 'cairn' or 'cairn terriers' in the subject header.

The spam filters are now on high.