Cairnterrier - History


The Cairnterrier Is from the islands of Scotland; Skye, Mull and Harris and from the county of Inverness, who is located on the Scottish highland inside the Hebrides.

From the beginning they looked like distinct variety of long bodied, long legged rough- haired terriers. They were called "earth doggies" or "terrier" (from the Latin word "terra" that means earth.) These dogs were meant to protect sheep's, lambs and hens from foxes, who could take the hens and lambs by daylight. It was considered necessary to own a several individuals of these dogs by as well poor farmers as estate owners. This variety is the founder to the Cairnterrier of today.

The year 1908 people tried to introduce the race under the name short- haired Skyeterrrier, which caused a lots of protests from the Skyeterrier owners. Instead they tried with the name White Highland Terrier, but the owners of this race protested as high as the owner of the Skyeterrier had. Finally the race got the name Cairnterrier and was recognized as it own race in 1910.

Cairn is from a Gaelic word and means "mound of stones". It is referring back to the breedís main aria of use - as a burrower and exterminator of noxious animals. At the island of Skye three Scottish families was living; MC Kinnon from Kilbride, Mac Donald from Waternish and Mac Leod from Drynoch. They are considered to be the owners of the founder of our Cairnterriers today. At that point the breed was called Kilbride Skyes, Waternish Skyes and Drynoch Skyes. Those dogs was working-dogs and very rare at Shows, but a long- haired variety that was very popular and often seen in the rings. Among many owners you will find Queen Victoria as one. The lady who really introduced the breed at the Shows was Mrs. Campbell. In 1909 she put up three dogs under the name short- haired Skyeterrier at a show. The owners of the Skyeterrier loudly protested meaning that this rough- haired dogs had nothing in common with theirs lovely long- haired ones.

The kennel club of England recognized the breed in 1910 and the same year the breeding club was established. Mac Donald from Waternish became chairman and Mrs. Campbell secretary. 134 Cairn was registered in the first register 1912. The same year the first CAC was given at Shows and the first Cairn to be Champion was the bitch Tibbie of Harris (1913). The first male to be Champion, couples of month later, was Gesto. He was a crossbreed between White Highland Terrier and Cairn, which meant that the puppies could be either White Highland Terrier or Cairn! This crossbreeding was forbidden, first in USA 1917 and then in England 1925, but as late as in the 1960īs a white puppy could be born in the litters here in Sweden. The breed is very popular today and is competing at Shows, agility and in working- classes.

The Swedish Cairnterrier club was established in 1963 and took the name "the clan of the Cairnterrier". M. Bruhn, K. Schmidt, I. ÷qvist, B. Falk and L Bjarme, the first chairmen of the "clan" are the peoples in the first border. In 1969 the name changed to The Cairnterrier club and the same year the charter of the association was established. The first member feed was 5 SKr for adults and 2 SKr for juniors. L Bjarme had the post of chairmen to 1969. Karin Schmidt took over 1970. The first paper to the members came out in 1969.

That of an active, game, hardy, small working terrier of the short-legged class; very free in its movements, strongly but not heavily built, standing well forward on its forelegs, deep in the ribs, well coupled with strong hindquarters and presenting a well-proportioned build with a medium length of back, having a hard, weather-resisting coat; head shorter and wider than any other terrier and well furnished with hair, giving a general foxy expression.

You can find a complete standard of the breed under standard.

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updated 15-04-2005.© Kennel Vajert