If you have seen The Wizard of Oz, then you probably recognize one of cinema’s most popular dogs, Toto, a Cairn Terrier. Toto stole the hearts of many people and played a huge role in making the breed more well-known all over the world. In fact, the breed is currently considered as a top choice for a home pet; Cairn Terriers are devoted, intelligent, protective and athletic. They are also known for their working and hunting background, particularly their instinct to dig. With the right type of activities and enough training, Cairn Terriers can make for a great overall companion and pet.
One of the many qualities that stand out for Cairn Terriers is their knack for digging. This instinct is innate and hard to control. Instead of trying hard to prevent your Cairn Terrier from digging, why not use this as a way to spend time with them? An ingenious way to utilize your Terrier’s digging abilities while also bonding with them is through gardening. A lot of people like to maintain their garden. With your dog’s help, you get to save time and energy that you would have used digging while satisfying your Terrier’s need to dig at the same time.
Cairn Terriers are known for being lively and vigorous, with a need to constantly move. Therefore, it is no surprise that the breed is frequently featured in a number of canine sports. But among all the current canine sports being held today, the Cairn Terrier excels the most in Earthdog trials. In this sport, small dogs dig and go through an underground tunnel or den to locate a rat, which is safely placed in a dog-proof wire cage. Earthdog trials are usually non-competitive. Instead, the activity is done in order to gauge your dog’s skills across different difficulty levels. Because of their background in digging and tracking vermin, Cairn Terriers are definitely the perfect candidate for Earthdog trials.
When it comes to their senses, dogs are known to have a keen scent. In fact, dogs like to use their sense of smell a lot, such as when meeting new people, exploring their surroundings or even before eating their food. A good way to tap into a dog’s impressive sense of smell is through K9 Nose Work. This activity is an informal version of the scent activities conducted by “professional” scent dogs and is an opportunity to stimulate dogs, both mentally and physically. In addition, K9 Nose Work is a good way for the Cairn Terrier to fight off boredom and any resulting destructive behavior. It also helps improve communication between dog and owner.
Despite their small, compact size, Cairn Terriers actually make for great hiking buddies. This is because they are generally athletic and curious. However, it would be best to keep your Cairn on a leash during these hikes because they tend to run after other animals.
Obedience is not a strong suit for Cairn Terriers, mainly because of their impulsiveness. Because of these tendencies, they would benefit a lot from obedience training. You may choose to train your dog on your own with basic commands or hire a professional trainer to do the job for you.
A small and lovable ball of energy, the Cairn Terrier is truly a joy to have in your household. However, owners of the breed must know how to keep the Cairn Terrier satisfied and constantly stimulated, not just physically but also mentally. These activities will help you make the most out of your time spent with your beloved buddy.