“That’s a black westie!” – one of the most common comment we hear from others. That “black” westie, is also known as the Cairn Terrier. A breed that is not exactly popular in Singapore or anywhere else in the world. Cairn Terriers are in fact, one of the breeds used to ‘create’ the Westies. While most people see the Cairn Terrier as a Westie with a different colour, Cairn Terriers to us, are a whole new level of terrier.
Cairn Terrier comes in a number of colours, Brindle, Black, Cream, Tan and Wheaten. Looks wise, a Cairn Terrier may look like a westie, but they do not have the same standards. We like to say that the westies are a more ‘refined’ breed, they have a more precised breed standard and by standards, a more refined grooming look. Cairn Terrier on the other hand, is more rugged, the grooming standard is in a sense, not as precise and the breed standards have a larger range. The main thing about how Cairn Terriers should look, is, NATURAL. They should look like they are not groomed on purpose, yet spotting a sporty look, they should look not too defined, yet a well-formed anatomy.
What most people are interested in – Is the Cairn Terrier similar to the Westies in terms of characters and behaviours. Having owned a number of Westies, one Cairn Terrier, and knowing a whole bunch of other Cairns, NO – is definitely the answer. The Westies are known to be stubborn little dogs, but really, thats just a terrier, they are not ‘made’ to willingly want to follow instructions. Westies are also known to be big dogs in a small package, but really, thats also just being a terrier. In general, we would say that the Westies are a more predictable breed, they are bold little dogs that are funny in their own ways, tough little dogs that are always ready, quirky in a sense and basically a very stable breed.
The Cairn Terrier, if we could just use a phrase to describe, it would be Westies on crack. Cairn Terriers are crazy little dogs, slightly bigger than the Westie in size, but their level of happiness, is unmatchable. They have what we call the ‘helicopter’ tail, it spins round and round instead of left and right. They are bolder, definitely more fearless and they do things with precisions. Westies are clumsy little bold dogs, Cairn Terriers are bold dogs with precisions. If there is a prey in sight, the Westies will chase after it regardless of whether they see it or smell it. The Cairn Terrier will make sure that he smells it, sees it, and catch it. They see everything as a game, if you are not game enough for a Cairn Terrier, they will soon find you boring, and you will have a creative little Cairn Terrier creating his own theme park in your home.
Watching a group of Westies in a show ring is phenomenal, every single one in the ring is focused, in their top condition, performing like every top dog should. Watching a group of Cairn Terriers in the show ring is mind-blowing. While every single Cairn Terrier in the ring is in their top condition, they never forget to have fun, lots of fun. Spinning helicopter tails, jumping and bouncing Cairns, barking, yelping, chest bumping Cairns.
Because, everything is a game for a Cairn Terrier.