Cairns vs. Westies

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Kactriz, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Kactriz

    Kactriz New Member

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    After researching several dog breeds, I am trying to whittle my choices down and am stuck between cairn terriers and west highland terriers. I realize that both breeds exhibit typical terrier intelligence and feisty stubbornness. I would love to hear from others, however, more particulars about each breed.

    I've heard from one breeder that cairns tend to possess the "truest" terrier hunting instinct, while westies often struggle more with separation anxiety and the resulting destructive behavior. I would love to hear from others who know these breeds well! Thanks for any help you can offer!

    Kactriz
     
  2. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    This is what dogbreedinfo.com has to say:

    The Cairn Terrier is a spirited, hardy, restless little busybody - a big dog in a small dog's body. Alert, loyal, merry, lovable and mischievous. They are somewhat independent, but friendly. Females tend to be more independent than males and some breeders feel that males are more affectionate. They are very curious, fearless and bold. They are easily trained and like to do tricks. Naturally patient with children and very playful. Cairns adapt well to their new homes. They are sensitive, and need firm, but not harsh, training and discipline. Without attention and training, the Cairn can become destructive and/or bark excessively. Cairns like to dig searching for vermin, so it is not wise to leave them unsupervised in a landscaped yard! This breed can be a chaser and should not be left off its lead in an unsecured area. Never leave a Cairn tied out, as he may fight larger dogs to protect his turf, sometimes with tragic consequences. This dog will get enough exercise running around a small yard, but if you live in an apartment, it will need a daily walk or a romp in the park. Life Expectancy about 12-15 years. That shaggy "natural" looking coat actually takes quite a bit of maintenance and a neglected coat soon becomes a sorry, matted mess. Brush several times a week, being gentle with the soft undercoat. Once a month, bathe the dog and brush the coat while it dries. Trim around the eyes and ears with blunt-nosed scissors and clip the nails regularly. The Cairn sheds little to no hair. Do not over feed the Cairn for it tends to gain weight easily. Treats should be limited, even though the dog may be almost irresistible when begging. Cairns tend to be allergic to fleas.
    Height: Dogs 10-13 inches (25-33 cm) Bitches 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
    Weight: Dogs 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg) Bitches 13-17 pounds (6-8 kg)
    1) can be a bit dog aggressive
    2)Best with older considerate children
    3)Good with other pets (not dogs) if raised with them from puppyhood
    4)Reserved / Aloof / Wary with strangers



    West Highland White Terriers are described in the standard as being "possessed of no small amount of self-esteem with a varminty appearance." This game and hardy little Terrier is easy to train. They are fairly friendly toward strangers and get along well with behaved children. Westies may snap when irritated, but are not as willful as many of the other Terrier breeds. They are lively and extremely self-assured toward other dogs. Westies usually do not pick fights with other dogs, although some males are combative with other males. They may chase a cat for fun, but usually will not hurt it. Robust, friendly, cocky and spunky. Westies just love companionship. Despite its size, they make a very good watchdog. These little dogs are easy to travel with. The Westie likes to dig and bark. These dogs enjoy a regular walk or sessions of play in the park, but won't be too upset if they miss a day.Life Expectancy about 15 years or more.The harsh, straight, short-haired double coat is fairly easy to groom and sheds little to no hair. Simply brush regularly with a stiff bristle brush. Brushing should keep the coat clean, so bathe only when necessary. Trim around the ears and eyes with blunt-nosed scissors. The whole coat should be trimmed about every four months and stripped twice a year. Most are fairly healthy. Some are prone to chronic skin problems, Perthe's disease (hip problems), hernias, liver disease, and jawbone calcification.
    Height: Dogs 10-12 inches (25-30cm.) Bitches 9-11 inches (23-28cm.)
    Weight: Dogs 15-22 pounds (7-10kg.) Bitches 13-16 pounds (6-7kg.)
    1)Friendly with other dogs
    2)Good only when raised with children from puppyhood
    3)Good with other pets (not dogs) if raised with them from puppyhood
    4)Friendly with strangers




    so by that Cairns seem to be a bit more higher demand (grooming, exercise and behavior wise). They both will dig a lot (typical terrier) and bark if bored (or just whenever they feel like it :D ). Westies are a bit larger. I'll see what I can find from other places, I've never owned one so I can't give you my personal experience by I'll help as best I can.


    -Erin:)
     
  3. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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  4. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    I am training a Cairn puppy right now, and it sure has drive to hunt/dig/chase small things.

    But I do disagree with what Dogbreedinfo says about Cairns not being good with other dogs, Maggie (cairn puppy) LOVES other dogs.
     
  5. joce

    joce Active Member

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    the westie we have right now is not good with other animals at all:eek:

    He also has some mild seperation anxiety and some dominance issues.

    But I don't know a ton about how he was raised and I bet he came form a horrible breeder.
     
  6. sam

    sam New Member

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    Can't help you , as much as I admire and love other people's terriers, I would never choose to own one. Oh wait, that's not quite true. Border terriers are on my list of dogs I would like to own:D
     
  7. Kactriz

    Kactriz New Member

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    Thank you all for the links and information. Joce, out of curiousity, did you get your westie as a puppy or later in life? Regardless of the breed I choose, I would like to get a puppy so that I can take the time to train it and have it exposed to other dogs at a young age, but I'm curious as to how much of the separation anxiety apparent in westies is a result of improper training, or if it has a basis in heredity.

    I would be pleased to hear from anyone else who has experience with these dogs!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  8. joce

    joce Active Member

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    We jsut got him about a month ago-maybe two(my barin is gone!).

    He is around four to five and while the people we got him from acted like they treated him well and he was a nice dog I think they were full of it. They claimed they had to get rid of him because it was supposed to be his MIL's dog. Yet a couple days later my grandma ran into his son who said they got rid of him because he tried to fight with there other multiple dogs:rolleyes: And because his allergies that had his skin all tore up were jsut to expensive. Guess what-after jsut a couple weeks on a decent food his skin is great!

    Terriers jsut are not the breed for me though-A lot I have met have had seperation anxiety and issues with other dogs.
     

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