Cairnterrier Standard - Deskription of the breed.


Background and purpose:
The Cairnterrier is one of the oldest race of terrier. It is from the highland of the northwest Scotland and some of the island outside. The main aria of use was as a burrower and exterminator of noxious animals, but they could also take out foxes, wildcats and otter. The race is very little influenced of the "modernization" that has happen in many other races. The Cairnterrier was established a race as late as in 1909 and after heavy discussion about the name of the breed it registered in The English kennel club in 1910 under the name of Cairnterrier. "Cairn" is from a Gaelic word and means "mound of stones". It is referring back to the breedís main aria of use.

General appearance:
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.

Fearless and gay disposition, assertive but not aggressive.

Head and skull:
Head small, but in proportion to body. Skull broad, a decided indentation between the eyes with a definite stop. Muzzle powerful, jaw strong but not long or heavy. Nose black. Head well furnished.

Wide apart, medium in size, dark hazel. Slightly sunk with shaggy eyebrows.

Small pointed, well carried and erect, not too closely set or heavily coated.

Large teeth. Jaw strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaw.

Well set on, not short.

Back level, medium in length. Well sprung deep ribs, strong supple loin.

Fore- and hindquarters:
Slopping shoulders, medium length of leg, good but not too heavy bone. Forelegs never out at elbow. Legs well covered with harsh hair. Very strong muscular thighs. Good but not excessive bend of stifle. Hocks well let down, inclining neither in nor out when viewed from the rear.

Forefeet, larger that hind, may be slightly turned out. Pads thick and strong. Thin, narrow or spreading feet and long nails objectionable.

Short, balanced, well furnished with hair but not feathery. Neither high nor low set carried gaily but not turned down towards the back.

Very free-flowing stride. Forelegs reaching well forward. Hindlegs giving strong propulsion. Hocks neither too close nor too wide.

Very important. Weather resistant. Must be double-coated, with profuse, harsh, but not coarse outer coat, undercoat short, soft and close. Open coats objectionable. Slight wave permissible.

Cream, wheaten, red, grey, or nearly black. Brindling in all these colours acceptable. Not solid black or white, or black and tan. Dark points such as ears and muzzle very typical.

Approximately 28 cm to 31 cm (11" to 12" ) at withers, but in proportion to weight - ideally 6 to 7.5 kg (14 to 16 lbs ).

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the scrotum.

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updated 05-01-2007.© Kennel Vajert