Our Cairn Blog

You'll find helpful information about the Cairn Terrier breed, breeders, care and training, and current happenings at Crooked Creek Cairn Terriers.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Personalities in the Breed

Personalities in the Cairn Terrier breed range from somewhat reserved, to extremely outgoing and energetic. The reserved Cairn is not shy but is quiet, not vocal, enjoys laying with you on the couch, and may stay at your side watching everything you do. The extremely outgoing Cairn has lots of energy, is driven to explore, hunt, and approaches everything with fearless energy. They're looking to play a game, and enjoy companionship with their human but may want a good petting and then go about their business. You may read about a range of "personality tests" used to choose the perfect family pet from a litter of puppies. At Crooked Creek Cairn Terriers, we see a consistency among our puppies that isn't always predicting on their adult personality. For example, I had a 7 week old puppy that seemed reserved. She was quiet, and would sit on your lap while the other puppies ran and played. She enjoyed attention, and although active and playful, was not the energetic extreme. By 6 months of age, she was the energetic extreme and she still is at 2yrs of age! So I tell families that although we look for indicators of personality, at 5 to 6 weeks of age more of what you see in the puppies is based on development rather than personality. Personality and behavior tests are used for puppies after 8 weeks of age and are particularly important in testing an adult from an unknown history (rescue dogs to test their compatability with being a good family pet). MOST of our 8 week puppies are the same outgoing, energetic, fearless little characters that are looking for mischief. Some calm down upon maturity, others don't. We still choose puppies at 5-6 weeks of age because we do see such consistency in the puppies and no one wants to wait until 3-6 months of age to choose their puppy! The Cairn is very true to the breed characteristics, so be sure to choose the breed first. Then any puppy you choose will develop to be the perfect family pet with appropriate socialization and training. Of course, as the breeder, I do offer my observations about the puppies and their temperment and personality. I am just pointing out that they could change depending on their enviornment, training, and inherent personality development. The most important point I will make is that you get back what you put into it. So it's very important to do early obedience training and put lots of time into the development of your Cairn Terrier puppy. Set limits, establish and maintain your dominance in the relationship, and practice obedience in your daily life with your Cairn. You'll reep the benefits with a well behaved, appropriately socializaed, and valuable addition to your family.

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