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Cairn Terrier Dog

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Cairn Terrier Dog

cairn terrier

Cairn Terrier Dog

The Cairn Terrier was developed more than 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye, where Captain Martin MacLeod is credited with developing one of the oldest strains of the breed.

All terrier breeds in Scotland were originally classified as Scotch Terriers. In 1873, a new system was implemented and Scotch Terriers were separated into two classes: Dandie Dinmont Terriers and Skye Terriers.

The Skye Terrier classification included Cairns as well as dogs that are now known as Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers. These breeds were distinguished only by color, as all three could come from the same litter. A club for Hard-Haired Scotch Terriers was formed for the three breeds in 1881; a standard was approved in 1882.

Toward the end of the 19th century, Scottish Terrier breeders began to select for different characteristics, color among them. The West Highland White Terrier became a separate breed in 1908.

In 1912, the Cairn Terrier was designated as a breed, taking its name from the piles of stones that marked ancient Scottish burial or memorial sites. These stone piles were often hideouts for the vermin sought by the terriers.

The first Cairn Terriers were imported to the United States by Mrs. Henry F. Price and Mrs. Byron Rodgers in 1913. In both the U.S. and in England, the Cairn and the West Highland White were interbred until 1917, when the American Kennel Club barred registration to any dog from such interbreeding. That same year, the Cairn Terrier Club of America was granted AKC membership.

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