The average Cairn Terrier absolutely dotes on his owner, but you may find that once you start working with your pup to teach him even the most basic of commands. Cairns are notorious for having a very strong stubborn streak. Fortunately, as long as you work hard to make crate training a fun and positive experience, you should find he takes to it quite well. Cairn Terriers make great family pets and endear themselves to just about anyone they meet.
Keep in mind that crate training is not only used as a form of housebreaking your pup. More often than not, crate training is used to give your pup a safe place to stay when you need to go to work or are sleeping at night. You can also place your pup in his crate when you have company coming or simply during the day if you need to run a few errands.
Cairn Terriers were originally bred as a form of pest control in the Scottish Highlands where they spent their days hunting rodents among the rock cairns (rock piles). Like most dogs, they prefer to have a den to rest in, sleep in, get away from danger in, or in the right circumstance, raise their family in. Your job is to take this natural affinity for having a den and turn it into a useful behavior. The goal of crate training is not all about potty training, in reality, this is a side benefit.
The main goal of crate training is to teach your pup to go into his crate and to remain there in a calm and relaxed manner until you let him come back out. This type of behavior can come in handy when you need to go to work, have errands to run, need to get a good night's sleep or any one of many other reasons.
A properly sized crate should be big enough for your pup to be able to stand up, turn around, and stretch out in. The crate should also have a little extra room for your pup to move around. The trick is to avoid buying a crate that is too small, as he will be cramped, or one that is too big, as the cavernous space can make him feel so overwhelmed he won't use his crate.
Training supplies you'll need:
Beyond this, you need a ton of patience, plenty of time to work with your pup on a regular basis, and the perfect spot for your pup's crate in your home.