BA Cairn Terrier 300x257 1

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier. His job of seeking out small mammals in rocky cairns typifies him as a good hardy helpmate amid the rugged landscape and I love the quote from the AKC narrative that states, “Preserve the best in its best old working type”. Surely that’s what all breeds should strive for, but this breed description states it outright – Bravo!

Continue reading or click the button below to download the article.

Download Article

The Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier. His job of seeking out small mammals in rocky cairns typifies him as a good hardy helpmate amid the rugged landscape and I love the quote from the AKC narrative that states, “Preserve the best in its best old working type”. Surely that’s what all breeds should strive for, but this breed description states it outright – Bravo!

To survive and have good workability, this terrier must have a good harsh outer coat and a soft close undercoat. The coat should be water-resistant, that is weatherproof. The standard specifies the word harsh a couple of times and in the AKC standard lists as faults – open coats, blousy coats, too short or dead coats and lack of undercoat or head furnishings.

Thus it is imperative that one has a correct coat as indeed coat is stated as “very important” in the ANKC/FCI standard.

The ANKC/FCI standard does not mention anything to do with trimming or tidying but the AKC standard is specific in allowing ears, tail, feet and general outline to be tidied and that the coat must be clean & brushed.

Now I have seen the old school exhibitors who don’t subscribe to bathing or fripperies and those of the other persuasion that endorse grooming to the hilt. There is a happy compromise in all of this and to meet the letter of the law in the standard.

As one must adhere to a harsh coat and no dead coat as requested, bathing is, in fact, a great start to achieve the correct outcome as long as one knows how and what to do.

I am an advocate of bath, oil, dry routines for all show dogs. You do not soften a coat by regular bathing as long as one doesn’t have froth and bubbles up to the ceiling and uses a well-diluted shampoo to suit. The regular bathing allows you to rid the coat of that specified unwanted dead hair and oiling puts back the natural oil goodness that coats require. We never use a conditioner on a harsh coated breed as it softens and flattens.

For a breed that needs texture or added texture use Plush Puppy Texture + Shampoo. It is formulated to retain and improve coat texture. This shampoo thoroughly yet gently cleanses and deodorises the coat of Terriers and other wire, harsh or coarse coated breeds without softening or compromising texture. It’s ideal for boosting body and coarseness in coats of all colours and coat types. Formulated to be pH controlled, it can create or maintain texture, is low irritant with a subtle apple fragrance and is easy to rinse out. It is full of beneficial and powerful extracts from the Gentian Root, Juniper Fruit, St John’s Wart Leaf, Hay Flower, Lemon Balm Leaf and Arnica Flower that combine to nourish and vitalise the skin. Use diluted up to 1:10 or apply undiluted directly to areas requiring intensive cleansing. Rinse thoroughly.

For a shine shampoo on an excellent textured coat use Plush Puppy All Purpose Shampoo. We call this dog shampoo the ‘Shine’ shampoo as it features natural Henna stalk extracts that impart a beautiful gloss and shine to your dog’s coat. Natural All Purpose Shampoo is primarily derived from organic sources and also features Alpine and Lichen herbs. It is wonderful to use on normal to slightly dehydrated coats.

Use Plush Puppy Body Building Shampoo if the dog has less hair or bodily substance than one would like. Body Building Shampoo is perfect for dogs requiring a fuller and thicker coat. It is formulated using organic sources, bolstered by Wheat Protein and Wheat Starch with D-Panthenol and Lichen extract.

I prefer this breed to be bathed with the All Purpose and the head which has to have “plenty” of furnishings, to be done with the Body Building shampoo. Dilute the All Purpose at 1:10 (1 part shampoo to 10 parts water) and the Body Building Shampoo at 1:5. In fact if you are bathing every week then dilute even further to around 1:15 to a barely foaming application. Keep the Body Building shampoo at 1:5 because we want that head to be full. Body Building can be used with Texture + if you need that “more” look on the head.

The face and expression are a hallmark of this breed. Cleaning the face without causing any irritation is so important so use Plush Puppy Let’s Face It. This is a hypoallergenic sulfate free low foaming shampoo designed for faces. It’s a nil fragrance, no tear formula with the highest quality Blue Cypress Extracts, Panthenol with Pro-Vitamin B and SugaNate. These special ingredients clean, soothe, add moisture, aid healing and have anti-inflammatory benefits. A small golf ball sized amounts directly to the face and eye area allows you to thoroughly clean without causing irritation. Can be used in and around ears also with the same benefits. Its low foaming design allows easy rinsing yet complete cleaning.

Use Plush Puppy Seabreeze Oil as a rinse after shampooing. Seabreeze Oil is excellent for maintaining a healthy vigour to the skin and coat and features nourishing Evening Primrose and Calendula Oils. It is non greasy and totally water soluble making it easy to apply without the worry of build-up. Dilute 1-2 teaspoons in 2 Litres (1/2 Gal) of water and work well through the coat with a large sponge. LEAVE IN – DO NOT RINSE. It gives incredible sheen and finish to the hair. This will not soften but retains the correct coat texture. We cannot stress enough the wonderful attributes of Seabreeze Oil. It also puts back any removal of natural oils and allows you to continue on a weekly bath/oil/blow dry routine and therefore present that requirement of a clean coat.

We do suggest some blow-drying, even just to remove the dead hair. No brushing or combing will ever rid the coat of ALL the dead hair as does a good bath and a blow-dry. Watch that dead hair fly!

By doing this weekly bath/oil/blow dry regime you will not get that moth-eaten, undercoat dumping that is so usual in double-coated breeds. The weekly dead hair removal allows the new hair to continually regenerate. You need to have that dog out in the ring constantly as after all, who would want to miss out on our weekly activity? This is the best way to ensure continuity in the ring and keep that coat looking its best.

Once the coat is tidied and dry, you need now to have a texture, harsh coat check. I know there are those who bath days ahead allowing the coat to re-harden before the show but for those who like pristine presentation and like to bath the night before, then there is a simple answer. Plush Puppy Powder Puff Terrier is a must-have. This will instantly harden and whilst I prescribe just a light dusting on the edge of the brush and flicked through the coat for perfection, there are those who like a really rock-hard coat so just add a touch more. This can when used more heavily, to give you a wire hard coat. Also, perfect to use beforehand stripping and carding undercoat.

If you are not fond of powders you can use Plush Puppy Ruffy Tuffy Coat Spray. This is a softer feel to the coat and you again use just how much or little you like. Use straight after the bath, applying when the coat is half dry.

For those that require some extra hold use Plush Puppy HOLD. This is a strong sculpting spray for shaping coats on Show Dogs. The quick-drying formulation won’t become sticky and will not build-up. HOLD can be removed with ease by simply shampooing the coat. Contains Pro-Vitamin B5 to improve elasticity, moisture retention, and flexibility in their coat hair. We recommend using and storing at normal room temperature for a perfect mist spray. Optimum spray distance is approximately 30cm (12 inches).

If the head is not sufficiently well furnished use Plush Puppy Puffy Dog+. This is a strong hold mousse for shaping and styling. Add a small amount to the root area of the hair and blow-dry up with a Plush Puppy Ultimate Pin Brush until almost dry. Then finish with a Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush. It features a unique combination of pure boar bristles and dialon porcupine tufts set into the finest quality aeroelastic cushion base. and will eliminate static electricity leaving you with an incredible finish.

For the legs try the amazing Plush Puppy Ultimate Slicker Brush. This brush promises durability and flawless brushed results every time. It is ergonomically designed to lessen strain on the groomer’s hands while at the same time offering maximum brush contact for your dog. A soft, flexible rubber air-cushion houses the strong pins. These pins penetrate through the dogs coat without excessive pulling on the hair or scratching the skin. The stainless steel pins are positioned at the optimum angle for softness and effectiveness. The Ultimate Soft Slicker Brush ensures a gentler, more comfortable brushing experience. Finished with a beautifully crafted Beechwood handle.

Finish with a Plush Puppy Professional Grooming Comb, built for absolute ergonomic comfort in various sizes. The lightweight oval shaped spine combining fine and coarse pins made of hardened stainless steel with anodic oxide finish that reduces drag and static to the coat. Perfect for use for this breed of dog.

At times due to various reasons including the weather static electricity can create flyaways. If this occurs use Plush Puppy Anti-Static Coat Control. This is a lightweight spray is infused with organic extracts of Witch Hazel Leaf, Linden Flower, Birch Bark and Nettle. It includes a UV filter to stop sun damage and protect against heat strength for the perfect finished look of the coat. This amazing product is idea for this breed and a must for your tack box.

I like that rugged bitsy look to the head when finished so am not adverse to helping it show. Simply rub a bit of Plush Puppy Sit N Stay between your fingers until the wet sticky feeling crosses over to a dry tacky feel. Then apply it to the root area of the hair around the head and pull up with your fingers to the tips to create that tossed about style.

A good spray of Plush Puppy Odour Muncher for that added freshness to the dog as judges do use their nose as well as their eyes when they judge. It will deodorise and leave a pleasant non-offensive soft fragrance.

Now this fearless and active little terrier is ready for action in the show ring. He is a cheeky little individual full of gameness and assertiveness. He will work until he drops, and get about that ring with his true terrier shape and style.

Other Breed Grooming Articles

– Gundogs –

– Hounds –

– Pastoral –

– Terriers –

– Toys –

– Utility –

– Working –