Activities For Cairnwich Terriers

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Introduction

Like most terrier hybrids, the Cairnwich Terrier was bred for hunting vermin and other small critters. If you’re lucky enough to be a pet parent to one of these scruffy scallywags, you’ll know that they’re fiercely independent, but also kind of sensitive and great with families.

It doesn’t do to leave a Cairnwich terrier alone too often! Though they often have their own ideas on what they want to do, these puppers are super affectionate and need a lot of TLC. Make no bones about it, these pooches want to be part of your life!

Intelligent and curious, this cross between a Cairn terrier and a Norwich terrier can be pretty high-energy -- you’ll want to keep their brains and bodies busy before they go bouncing off the walls! Never fear -- we’ve put together a list of activities to keep your darling doggo active and entertained.

DIY Food Puzzle

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Muffin tin
Treats
Tennis balls
Activity description

Food puzzles are a furrific way to get your buddy’s brain working, and you may have seen them on the shelves of your local pet supply store. But did you know that you can make your own food puzzle toy at home?

All you’ll need to make this delightful doggy challenge is 12 tennis balls, a muffin tin, and a handful of your furry friend’s favorite treats (if you’re concerned about calories, you can substitute pieces of kibble instead). Your Cairnwich terrier is sure to have a whale of a time figuring out how to get through the balls to the treasure inside!

Step
1
Assemble the puzzle
All you need to do is put a treat in each of the cups of the muffin tin and put the tennis balls on top. If you’d like to add an extra layer of challenge, you can cut the tennis balls in half (which will make them more difficult for your doggo to dislodge) or only put treats in some of the muffin cups. Stocking only some of the cups will encourage your pooch to use their nose to find the goodies -- remember, your buddy was born to sniff out rodents, so it shouldn’t take too long for them to catch on!
Step
2
Watch your pup go!
Call your canine companion over, and watch them try and dislodge the balls to get the treats! A word of warning -- terriers are notorious chasers, and the Cairnwich is no exception. If the ball goes bouncing off, your pup might try go tearing off after it instead! If this happens, gently redirect their attention back to the game by calling them.
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Build a Digging Pit

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Hard
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Shovel
Toy
Treats
Wooden boards or planks
Sand
Activity description

Talk to any terrier owner and you’re guaranteed to get a digging story! Digging is part of your dog’s DNA. It’s a den-making instinct -- a totally natural behavior for any pooch, but particularly for a terrier dead set on digging out burrowing prey (real or imagined).

But knowing that a behavior is natural won’t get rid of the holes in your back yard or undo any damage to your fence poles. Enter the digging pit -- a pawesome way to let your doggo do what they’re gonna do without causing too much damage to your yard or your sanity.

Constructing a digging pit requires a bit of time and a little effort, but it’s not as hard as you might think. Give it a go -- your pup will thank you for it!

Step
1
Dig the pit
Mark out an area about 6 foot squared and dig a shallow hole -- you won’t need to go further than 5 to 6 inches deep. Next, fill the area with sand or fine soil. You’ll need to clearly mark the boundaries of the digging pit -- it’s no use going to all that effort if your doggo doesn’t know the limits of where they can dig! You can do this using a few planks of wood, or whatever else you have lying around (but be careful of sharp edges).
Step
2
Show your dog where to dig
Now that the digging pit is finished, you’ll need to get your pooch to use it. To start with, get their attention by burying a couple of treats in the pit. Your pupper shouldn’t need too much encouragement to sniff them out! Keep an eye on your four-pawed pal over the next few days. If you spot them starting to dig elsewhere, direct them back to the pit by throwing a favorite toy in. They’ll soon get the hang of it!
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Flirt Pole

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Flirt pole
Activity description

Like digging, chasing is a natural terrier behavior that can get destructive if it gets out of hand. You don’t want your Cairnwich tearing after next door’s cat or the mailman!

Using a flirt pole is a paw-fect way to introduce some impulse control (by teaching them that it’s okay to chase after toys, but never humans), while allowing your buddy some space to chase the way they were meant to. And of course, it makes for great exercise!

At its most basic, a flirt pole is a long stick with a toy attached to the end by a string. You can make your own, or pick up one from your local pet supply store.

As an added bonus, waving a flirt pole doesn’t require a lot of space, or too much effort on your part!

Step
1
Basic commands
Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure your buddy understands the basics of "sit", "stay", and "drop it". You want them to chase after the toy (or "lure") at your command, and not before then. Otherwise, your pooch might get over-excited, or even wrench the toy off its string (or your arm out of your socket -- sure, your pup is small, but don’t underestimate their strength or the delicacy of human tendons).
Step
2
Wave the pole
Once you’re sure your pupper won’t play chase until you tell them to, it’s time to wave the pole! Your furry friend will have the time of their life running about and leaping after the lure. It’s generally a good idea to let them catch it after a few minutes, lest they get frustrated. Also, keep an eye on your buddy’s energy levels -- if they look like they’re getting over-excited, it’s time to stop the game.
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More Fun Ideas...

Attend a Local Festival

Cairnwich terriers tend to get on very well with both humans and other animals, so they’re unlikely to cause serious trouble if you take them out and about. Why not investigate the local celebrations in your area and see if there are any outdoor events that you can attend together? Just be sure to keep them on a tight leash; the impulse to chase small scurrying things is very, very strong.

Get Grooming

One of the most distinctive features of the Cairnwich terrier is their loosely curled, shaggy coat. Unfortunately, this isn’t just adorable -- it also means that they’re prone to tangles and getting all sorts of things caught in their locks. It’s generally recommended to brush them once a week using a pin brush, and you can use this opportunity to shower them with pats and affection.

Conclusion

Cairnwich terriers are often bouncing balls of energy, but as long as they get plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and affection, it’s not too hard to keep these canine companions content! With a combination of brain games and interactive playtime, your pupper will be as happy as can be. The above activities should help -- you’d be barking mad not to give them a try!