The Cairn Terrier originated in the Scottish Highlands and is known as one of the oldest terrier breeds. They are among the earliest working dogs in Scotland. Cairn Terriers are known for hunting and burying prey among Cairns, man-made piles of stone used for marking graves and the borders of farmland. One of their unique traits is their propensity to be left-pawed. Their thick and wiry coat protected these dogs from the sharp rocks and brambles of their home region, as well as the rain, sleet and snow of the Scottish Highlands.
Once called Short-Hair Skye Terriers, the name Cairn Terrier was used as a compromise to Skye Terrier breeders in the early part of the twentieth century. In fact, this breed remained a nameless working dog until they were officially named in 1912. They quickly climbed in popularity and have continued to be ever since. When kept as a pet, they will behave similar to a cat, in that they will catch mice, rabbits and squirrels.
The most famous Cairn Terrier is probably Dorothy’s pet Toto from the Wizard of Oz.