by Annette Bahr-Gindl

Uniquecottage Gold Brush


It sure is rough. The climate of the West Scottish Coast and the Scottish Highland. This barren landscape with its multiple coloured rocks, it’s rugged coast, where stone piles are called “cairns” in Gaelic language.

It sure is rough. The coat of my little friends, the variety in colours of which reflects the colours of the rocks in their Scottish heritage, who more than 20 years ago conquered my heart by storm with their charming, hob-like character, and ever since kept it captivated.

Originally raised to hunt otter, fox, badger and other predators, for whom just these stone cairns were an Eldorado, the Cairn-Terrier – at that time still called short-haired Skye-Terrier – was first mentioned in writing in 1436 by John Lesly. They were supposed to be referred to as the original Highland-terriers, which were found in the Highlands and on the West Scottish islands from time immemorial.

Zwei Cairn Terrier

Although the question of the actually original terrier of Scotland cannot be reasonably clarified nowadays, the Cairn-Terrier without doubt resembles very much the progenitor of all Scottish terrier breeds, a circumstance not least based on set priorities in breeding objectives, considering their amiable character, health, sturdyness, their pluck, suitability for hunting and intelligence over the centuries was found more important than a fashionable appearance.

This is the reason why the Cairn-Terrier was officially acknowledged by the Kennel Club only in 1912 as the last one of the Scottish Terrier breeds, thereby gaining Champion status. Twenty years later, the first Cairn-Terriers were registered in the German Kennel Book of the Terrier Club (KFT), in the German Kennel Association (VDH) and in FCI.

In the year 1935, the Terrier Club (KFT e.V.) registered for Miss Lisa Hoffmann the kennel name “ALLERLEIRAUH”. This extremely successful breeder of this amiable breed, known by the name Lisa Hein, after graduating from high school had the chance to obtain a vast training as kennel maid in the leading kennels in England.

Champion Allerleirauh Sterntaler In spite of war times and currency reform she managed to import top dogs from excellent kennels and 6thereby to create an excellent and wide-spread basis for a successful stock. Up to this date, uncounted champions and winners of titles emerged from her kennel, which made the name ALLERLEIRAUH known all over the world.

Nowadays, they can be seen everywhere and the number of their fans is growing. They are merry goblins, whose amiable nature reflects the antagonism of their Scottish country of origin.

With their cheerful temperament at one time you see them chasing wildly after a ball or a mouse, and at other times you can find them dosing quietly in the sun or lying at your feet, cajoling in front of the chimney fire, or you can take them on long distance hikes up hill and down dale on muddy trails. In spite of their incorruptible watchfulness, they are never a permanent yelpers, but always friendly, respectful hosts.

Cairn-Terriers can be faithful single dogs to a nature-loving single person or a sprightly senior, but they can be happy as a family dogs as well, who adore children and stick by them through thick and thin. Their devotion and faithfulness are unlimited and are only topped by their self-assurance and intelligence. Especially the latter is the basis for their remarkable learning ability. Without letting themselves be forced into performing circus tricks, they are creative on their own, inventing individual pranks up to artistic acrobatics as well as vocal and mimic expressions to attract the attention of their surroundings. In spite of this, the Cairn-Terrier is docile and absolutely fit for sports and hunting.

Cairn Terrier im Schnee

Based on his distinct personality and his pursuit of independence, be it with view to his idea of quality of life or lifestyle, it requires some commitment to convince a typical Cairn-Terrier of what is good for him.

In this respect, he has his own ideas, so that occasionally considerable power of self-assertion and consequence are required to train or better to convince him.

Now, this is in no case to be taken as stubbornness, no, not at all. He is a spunky goblin with a keen mind, incredibly observant and with a feeling for how to get his way.

This is a talent that was absolutely necessary when it came to outwit a fox, badger and otter and which, nowadays, in living together with their master or mistress or family, can be applied, too. Intuitive understanding is required for his training, and the above qualities should be respected, encouraged and not obstructed. He should be guided with consequence but friendliness. Therefore, it is self-evident that a Cairn-Terrier requires unrestricted affection and close contact with “his” family, whilst being totally unsuited to be kept in a kennel.

Compared with his size, the Cairn-Terrier has a surprisingly high motor activity which cannot be satisfied by a big garden. By extensive daily walks, preferably in the forest and over meadows, he convert his family into nature lovers, and thanks them by showing vitality and animal spirits up to old age, not seldom of 16 to 18 years.

Terrier Gold-Brush


His sturdyness is proverbial, up to now he was spared the questionable fate of a fashion dog and he ranks among the healthy breeds, which, of course, is also influenced by thorough breeding, as well as proper upbringing and care. He takes pleasure in walking in the rain and jumping into a lake at any season of the year.

He would refer to himself as a “big dog with small outer appearance”. A dog dress is absolutely beyond his dignity. The leash is tolerated only with reluctance, he would rather run at large. This is a little bit of happiness that he should be granted far away from traffic roads and game paths, and for which he should be trained already as a puppy.

In contact with co-dogs he is self-assured but social-minded, a property he owes to his hunting in a pack in the old times. Any meeting of dogs is a ball for him which literally makes him live up a property that makes him apt to be kept together with a second dog.


Cairn-Terrier To a Cairn-Terrier, his culinary demands are much more important than his social life. He likes to be spoiled, preferring healthy whole- and mixed food, but high quality convenient food is also gratefully appreciated. With good care he normally doesn’t tend to grow fat.

Demands on grooming are not high. Weekly combing and brushing and trimming, i.e. plucking out the dead, rough outer coat is sufficient. This is a procedure easily to manage by a layman if once taught by an expert.

A Cairn Terrier, well groomed and trimmed, will not shed and doesn’t need to be taken to a dog parlour. Of course, grooming a show dog takes mor effort and support by the breeder.

But evedn for this occasion, always keep in mind that a CairnTerrier must never look styled or dolled up, nor should be look scruff, which is not really a problem if the hair quality is good. His outer appearance should be always self assured and cheerful, with a fox-like, daring expression.

A precise description of his appearance will follow in the annex in the form of a breed standard.

Due to his small size of body he can accompany his family on journeys and he is admitted in the passenger room of most airlines and railroad companies – also in hotels or on camping sites the Cairn’s motto is:


Cairn Terrier Image


Of course, as responsible-minded breeder in the German Terrier Club and as a fan of these little Scottish goblins I am always ready to give you my advice and support. Should you have questions, you can contact me during the week by phone No. 09747/1710 or by fax No. 09747/1711. Otherwise, Klub für Terrier (German Terrier Club) will help you, phone 06107/2365.

Cairn Terrier beim Graben