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Our job and passion is to help Cairn Terriers lead an active and healthy life.
The Cairn Terrier - “Old Working Terrier of Skye”

The origins of the Cairn Terrier are closely tied to the Isles and Highlands of Scotland where they helped farmers seek out rats, foxes, badgers and otters that preyed upon their crops and domestic animals. Overall, Cairn Terriers are sunny in disposition and fun loving. They tend to be independent, not clingy, as befits a free thinking working dog. Cairns are not a “lap dog” but a companion par excellence.

Cairn Terrier
Health Issues

Cairns are long-lived dogs, with a life span averaging 13-15 years. The Cairn Terrier is basically a healthy breed; however, since pure-bred dogs have, on average, 3-5 genetic faults, the Cairn Terrier is not without its health issues.

Cairn Terrier puppy
Health Clinics

Our underwriting of health clinics gives Cairn owners an opportunity to have their dogs checked by a specialist at a low cost, and it helps breeders screen litters to make sure they are not passing on, unwittingly, unwanted abnormalities.

Cairn Terrier puppy
Research Projects

Since inception, the Foundation has distributed $200,000 in grants for medical research either directly to the medical/scientific institution with which the researchers are associated or through the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation.

Participate in Important Research Studies

The Foundation encourages you to join in current research studies to advance the health of our breed. Download the project flyer for details and help spread the word!


Help develop a generic test to screen for this disease and aid in making informed breeding decisions.

Dog Aging Project

Participate in a track of research specifically for Cairn Terriers in the largest canine health study in the world to date.

Ocular Melanosis

Help investigate the Genetic Basis of Ocular Melanosis in Cairns Terriers by participating in this study.

Sacred Connection photo by Sundog Pet Photography
You are our most important resource and strongest partner. Show your love by giving a tax deductible donation to help Cairns live a healthy life.

Sacred Connection courtesy of Sundog Pet Photography

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