Puppy Page

Please got to the new JCTC Site www.cairnterrierpuppies.co.uk


Before You Start


So you are interested in purchasing a Cairn Puppy!


How do you know a Cairn is the dog for you?


The first thing to do is research the breed, by reading as many books about Cairns as you can, these can be obtained from book shops or your library.

A few good books are:-


The Cairn Terrier by J W H Beynon, Alex Fisher and Peggy Wilson, Revised by Doreen Proudlock

(Published by Popular Dogs Publishing Co. Ltd.)


The Pet Owners Guide to the Cairn Terrier by Ron & Brenda Birch

(Published by Ring Press)


Cairn Terriers by Hector F Whitehead

(Published by Foyles Handbooks, London)


Take A Cairn to Your Heart by W E Mills

(Published by The Self Publishing Association Ltd)


After reading one or two or all of these and you are still interested in The Cairn then why not visit a dog show or two and look at the Cairns in real life, also take the opportunity to speak to some of the breeders who are there. Breeders are always happy to talk about their dogs provided you choose a time when they are not just going into the ring.

 To find out where and when the nearest show to you is contact one of the breed club secretaries listed on our Cairn Terrier Club Page, they will be more than willing to help you. Or you could check in one of the dog Papers, Our Dogs or Dog World, available at your newsagent for details of forthcoming shows. Not all Open Shows have Cairn Terriers, so again check with the person whose name is printed as to whether there are classes for Cairn Terriers.


Still Interested?

You must now ask yourself if you have the time and space for a new puppy. A new puppy should not be left alone for more than a couple of hours because they easily become anxious and bored and this is when they get into mischief. So you must be prepared for the first few months to spend quite some time with your puppy until they learn the rules of the house. Your garden must be “Cairn proof” as Cairns are notorious escapees and diggers, and as a new puppy will sample everything to see if it is edible you must be sure that none of your plants are poisonous.


Still Interested?

Although Cairns are usually very hardy dogs you should be prepared for the unexpected costs of Vet bills and you may wish to consider health insurance cover for you new puppy.


Still Interested?

You can contact our Puppy Sales Liaison Person

Mrs Julie Petts, 01226 212800 jules_doonrae@outlook.com

Or contact any of the breed club secretaries listed on our Cairn Terrier Clubs Page.


If you feel a puppy may not be suitable for you, you may wish to consider giving a home to an older dog, in this case you can contact the Cairn Terrier Relief Fund Secretary. This organisation exists to rehome Cairn Terriers whose owners, for one reason or another, can no longer keep them. The Secretary is Mrs Chris Roberts Tel no 01283 712498 or e mail chrisr@gpanet.co.uk


Once you have contacted a breeder then you should satisfy yourself that any puppies they have are healthy and sound. You should always be able to see the puppies with their mother and do not be afraid to ask to do so when visiting (Usually when the puppies are 4 weeks old). The breeder should be able to show a pedigree giving the Kennel Club registered names of the father and mother and their antecedents. If you feel you may be interested in showing your puppy you should make sure that the puppy is registered with the Kennel Club. The breeder should also give you a diet sheet and tell you when the puppy was wormed. Some breeders will also provide you with short term health cover, but it is advisable to take your puppy along to your vet for a check up within a few days of taking him home. Also check with your vet how old your puppy has to be before he can start with his inoculations.


A typical Cairn puppy at 2 weeks old

A litter at around 4 weeks of age


A litter at about 8 weeks of age

Puppy at about 10 weeks of age

A basketful!

Watch your slippers but I’m relaxed!








Below is some advice for the first few days of your puppy in his new home



Early Days

So that he doesn’t feel lonely, sleep him somewhere warm with a clock ticking or a radio on low.  Put newspaper down in case of accidents.  Make sure there are no gaps or holes in the room he can crawl into – watch electrical plugs and wires.  A crate is ideal for making sure he is safe, especially in the car.


Buy a plastic basket, not a wicker one.  Vet bed is good bedding which washes and dries easily.  Make sure any toys are safe, the plastic squeaky ones will soon be demolished and the squeaker swallowed.  Buy solid dumbbell type toys.


Your pup will need lots of rest, just like a baby.  Please give him time on his own and don’t let children tease him.  Teasing will make him nasty.


At about 5 months of age he will start teething, watch your socks!  Encourage the teeth to drop out by letting him tug on a cloth.  “Logic” toothpaste is brilliant for keeping his teeth clean.



Please always follow the diet advised by your breeder.  If you decide to change the meal do so gradually by mixing the new in with the old.  By the time your Cairn is fully grown, he should weigh ideally 16 to 18 lbs, excess weight can shorten the life of your Cairn. 



When you visit your vet ask about future worming treatment  which can be bought from him.



Buy a good comb and brush and start early!  Stand the pup on a table so that you are not bending.  Use a non slip mat.  Groom a few times a week and reward him with a treat after each session.  At 8 weeks most pups have a fluffy puppy coat which will gradually disappear.  By 10/11 months his coat will be ready for “stripping” by hand.  Gently pluck out the old coat with your finger and thumb, a little at a time.  Serrated edge scissors are useful for removing coat from the delicate area around the tummy.  Inside the ear should be kept free of hair and the coat on the top of the ears should be like velvet.  The tail should be shaped like an inverted carrot.  Trim the hair around the feet with scissors to the shape of the feet and ensure the pads do not have excess hair growing between them.  Please do not be tempted to have your Cairn clipped, this will ruin the coat and make it soft and curly.  The Midland Cairn Terrier Club Cairn Day in September of each year includes a trimming demonstration which you may find useful.


House Training

Feed, water and let out straightaway.  Leave paper near the door.  Your garden should be Cairn proof, no holes in the fence or he will get through.  Cairns are diggers and jumpers, make sure your fence is high enough.  Cairns are intelligent and you should have no real problems in getting your pup house trained easily.


Lead Training

Until he is inoculated he should not come into contact with other dogs.  After inoculation you may start taking him a walk.  Whilst you are waiting put a puppy collar on him so that he gets used to it.  When the time comes to go a walk, if you have a friend with a dog, go together so that he gets the idea.  If he goes to the toilet whilst you are walking reward him with a biscuit from your pocket.  Don’t forget to clean up after him!  Invest in a good quality collar and lead, with tag, and check the collar size regularly, it should be tight enough so that he cannot pull his head through but loose enough for comfort.  Leads can break, often with tragic results, check regularly.


Tummy upsets

If his motion is loose, then cut out any milk and refrain from feeding for up to 24 hours.  Leave plenty of water down. Then feed meal only with water to drink.  If concerned or if the problem does not clear up within 24 hours then seek veterinary advice.  Egg white is good for the runs and doggy garlic tablets are good for tummy upsets.


The Cairn Terrier is a lovely, intelligent pet to have as a pet.  If you feel that you may be interested in showing then have a word with the breeder of your puppy and join a breed club.  It is a smashing hobby and you will meet plenty of new friends.


Good luck and enjoy!



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