Dogs - Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier originated in the northern mountains of Scotland. "Cairns" are large pile of rocks erected as landmarks, boundary markers, or monuments. Fieldmice, vipers, stoats, and weasels like to hide amongst the rocks and the hardy little terriers were used to dig them out. The word "terrier" comes from the Latin "terra" meaning earth. A terrier was used to unearth the animals from their lairs. The Cairn terrier developed tough nails, big feet and strong shoulders for digging.
In order to plant crops or pasture, farmers cleared the land of rocks. The rocks were either piled into a high cairn or used to make dry stone dykes. These were rough walls made of stones, without cement. The tough little dogs were adept at climbing over the rock heaps in pursuit of game like ferrets, that hid in the crevices of the rocks.
The Cairn Terrier has a rough shaggy coat which helps to protect it in the harsh terrain and snowy winters. The coat does not shed, but requires regular trimming.
The tail is short and erect.
Cairn Terriers enjoy being with their owners and may get up to mischief if left alone. They are unafraid of bigger dogs and will bark aggressively to protect their territory.
Cairns are small dogs, which can adapt to being kept in a small yard.
Colour: any. Brindle is common.
Long ago, the Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a short ghost story - a fable called "The Poor Thing," in which he says,
It may have been that long ago on the rocky islands, folk were buried by heaping stones on top of them as a memorial.