The name of cairn terrier is derived from the words of stone. It represents a cairn or the tumuls indicating the final resting place of the deceased. Cairn terrier ancestors were used for hunting smaller wild beast, which hide in stones and burial-mounds.

     The dogs, which can be seen as the ancestors of today´s cairn terriers can be found on farms and estates on the West coast of Scotland and the adjacent islands.  Therefore, the cairn terrier evolutionarily closest to the Skye terrier and sometimes is called stubble  Skye. And very closely related is West Highland White Terrier.

     Acording J. Robertson datas of 1935 - in farms terriers in west Scotland and adjacent islands (f.e. Isle of Skye)litter puppies are deprived of their cream to white (ancestors of today´s WHWT) and dark. Dark puppies can be considered ancestors Cairn Terriers.


     The first breeder, which demostrated their working terriers to Cruft exhibitions in 1909, was Mrs. A. Campbell of Adrishaig. She sent three dogs, who were identifies as stubble Sky Terriers. This breed has been mark as working breed, but quickly ganed a large number of admirers. In 1914 at Cruft exhibiton has already been presented more than 60 dogs and bitches. It didn´t grip his appearance, but certainly character properties, resistance to bad wether and easy maintenance of hair.

     Naming the new breed, however, seemed to be a problem. Previously, they weren´t terriers as a special form, so anyone felt the need to be named.  And despite the fact, that the Campbells are dealt with breed ancestors Cairn Terriers since 1875. Later, very quickly name a new breed has taken the Carin Terrier. As a distinct breed Cairn Terrier recognized Kennel Club in 1912.


I.Stuchlý, M.Císařovský - "Terriers"



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