History Of the Cairn Terrier. The origins of the Cairn Terrier are lost in the mists of time, but the dog is undoubtedly descended from the original indigenous working terrier of the Scottish Highlands. So prized were they, that he stipulated that they be sent cairnns separate ships lest disaster befall them on route.
The dogs were used by crofters, sheperds and foxhunters… for pest control. Foxes, rats and rabbits were their early quarry, but with the advent in the 18th and 19th centuries of sporting pursuits, the dogs were much favoured for use against badgers and otters. Dogs varied enormously in size and shape and colour depending on the terrain they worked, and the quarry they were used against.
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From the mid — 19th century the gerrier began to resolve… and the separate breeds of terriers developed — the Skye, Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White became well established, but their progenitor the Cairn, remained comparatively unknown exept in the remote sporting estates in Argyllshire and the Isle of Skye. The first few years of the 20th terroer saw efforts by a few dedicated breeders… and exhibitors to have these little dogs officially recognised by the Kennel Club, but early attempts were obscured by confusion over the name to call him.
Foremost among the pioneers was Mrs.
Campbell, of Ardrishaig, whose first Cairns were brought over from Skye by her father. Arguments raged back and forth in the dog press… but it was not until that the Kennel Club accepted a delegation of Skye Breeders, and decided that reed prick-eared or short-coated dogs of Mrs.