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Dog Aging Project

A research team composed of scientists and veterinarians from the University of Washington, Texas A&M University, and other top research institutions, has launched the largest canine health study in the world to date. Through discussions with the Foundation of the CTCA, the research team has agreed to create a track of research specifically for Cairn Terriers.

Dog Aging Project
Nominate Your Dog
There is a particular interest in recruiting Cairn Terriers into the Dog Aging Project to potentially help improve the breed’s health and longevity.

Called the Dog Aging Project, this innovative program will follow tens of thousands of dogs for ten years, as they age, in order to achieve two main goals:

  • Understand how biology, lifestyle, and environment influence aging in dogs.

  • Intervene to increase healthspan, the period of life spent free from disease.

The Foundation of the CTCA believes participation in the Dog Aging Project is a rare opportunity to learn more about the health of our breed. On our own, we do not have the resources to undertake a study of this size and length. Your Cairn Terrier is needed!
Three Reasons to Recuit Your Cairn Terrier

To make the information on Cairns statistically significant they need Cairns! Note that all information they gather will be anonymized.

There is a particular interest in recruiting Cairn Terriers into the Dog Aging Project for several reasons:


  • First, studying dogs with known ancestry and a defined genetic background like that of purebred Cairn Terriers makes it easier for researchers to identify environmental and lifestyle factors that influence health.


  • Second, having a significant number of Cairn Terriers in the program makes it possible for researchers to understand disease risk factors and patterns of disease onset specific to the breed.


  • Third, if the Dog Aging Project can collect baseline data on a significant number of Cairn Terriers, it is more likely that the project will be able to expand into more in-depth, breed-specific research, which could ultimately help us improve the breed’s health and longevity.

Dog Aging Project
How to Participate

To participate, visit the project homepage at and click the purple Nominate Your Dog button. You’ll be asked to complete a short survey that includes basic information about you and the dogs in your home and guides you through the process of nominating a single dog for inclusion in the study. The single dog you choose to nominate for the study should ideally be one that you plan to keep for a minimum of 4-5 years and ideally for the Cairn’s lifetime.

For those of us who love and cherish dogs, keeping them healthy and happy as long as possible is a top priority. This long term research study is designed to help us do just that.

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