A Cairn Terrier is cute and petite. A Cairn Terrier has boundless energy. A Cairn Terrier is a person-oriented dog. These statements are true on all accounts. However, not all dog breeds are the same. Most of the time, we associate the temperament of the dog to its size, which should not be the case at all. Let us debunk some of the more popular myths that still surround the Cairn Terriers.
Cairn Terriers are toy dogs. No. Cairn Terriers are classified under the category of working dogs, as they have been bred as such since time immemorial. Cairn Terriers are the smallest dogs in the terrier line, but no, they are not soft, placid pets that you can place in a doggy basket and bedeck with ribbons. Cairn Terriers are active dogs that can chase down a fox or rabbit if it cares to. They also won't stand for mushy or sassy treatment. They prefer a long romp in the field or about an hour or so of intense digging in the yard. Although Cairn Terriers are now being sported as fashion dogs, this breed would rather walk on its own stubby legs than be carried around in a person's arms.
Cairn Terriers are intelligent and easy to train. This statement is half true and half false. Cairn Terriers are indeed intelligent creatures. They are often inquisitive and observant about everything that happens around them. They are often fearless when it comes to exploring new places and even strange creatures. Their intelligence and keen sense of self are the primary reasons why they are difficult to train in the first place. Many a Cairn Terriers enthusiast claims that this breed of dog has a mind of its own. True. Rather than sit through an hour of training, you'll likely find your pet fleeing from you like its prison break time. Part of the problem lies in their pent-up energy. They have this constant need to expend it in any way that they can. This does not mean that they are misbehaving willfully. Perhaps a more physical mode of training such as agility training or search training will be more appropriate.
Cairn Terriers are too small to pick up fights. This statement is false. For Cairn Terriers enthusiasts, these dogs are large dogs dropped in little bodies. They are often times considered fearless, and will not back off any fight if they decide to start one or take up another dog's duel challenge. Cairn Terriers can even show untoward aggression against other animals, especially those that seem smaller that they are or those that are in the act of fleeing. This breed of dog is blessed with a mouth full of sharp canines, which come in handy for delivering a crippling bite to its preys. Also, Cairn Terriers can act aggressive towards its human companions, (meaning you!) often barking incessantly and nipping at you whenever you are not looking. This rebellion can set your teeth on edge, but can be curbed by obedience and respect training.