A brief Breed history


The Cairn terrier, one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, has existed since at least 1500, originating in the Scottish Highlands. Crofters, shepherds and foxhunters used the dogs for pest control– foxes, rats and rabbits were their early quarry.  The dogs varied in size, shape and colour depending on the terrain they worked and the quarry they were used against. 
By the mid-nineteenth century, breed types began to resolve and the Skye, Scottish and West Highland White terriers became established, but their progenitor the original Cairn, remained comparatively unknown. The name Cairn Terrier was a compromise suggestion after the breed was brought to official shows in the United Kingdom in 1909 under the name Short-haired Sky terriers. This name was not acceptable to the U.K. Kennel Club due to opposition from Skye Terrier breeders and the name Cairn Terrier was suggested as an alternative. 


The Cairn Terrier of Club of Canada (CTCC) was first formed in 1952. Among its many activities, the CTCC publishes a quarterly newsletter and yearbook every two years. For more information about the club, visit: www.cairnterrierclub.ca  


Wallis Simpson with Slipper, a gift from King George VIII


Terry,  a most famous Cairn,  with Shirley Temple in 'Bright Eyes', 1934.  Terry also starred in the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland in 1939.