FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please feel free to reach out to us by phone or email with any additional questions
WHAT DOES LIMITED AKC REGISTRATION MEAN?
AKC offers the option to “limit” registration to protect breeding and showing rights. This helps to keep the bloodlines in the hands of dedicated individuals who prioritize the health and longevity of the breed. This allows pet homes to still own AKC papered dogs without allowing free access to breeding rights to anyone who owns a Cairn Terrier. If you’re interested in Full AKC registration please see our Application for Full AKC Registration.
WHAT HEALTHCARE GUARANTEES DO YOU OFFER?
All of our puppies come with a two year congenital health guarantee. Should any puppy from us have a genetic issue that limits their quality life before 24 months of age the owner will be entitled to a full refund as long as they provide a statement from two veterinarians confirming that the puppy has a quality of life limiting defect or condition that is genetic. We expect new puppy owners to be diligent in their care of their new family members, and to take precautions against illness and disease that young puppies can be susceptible to. We advise scheduling a well puppy check within 72 hours of bringing your new puppy home to discuss future deworming and vaccination protocol. Young puppies are more susceptible to contracting diseases that are commonly picked up in public places such as pet stores and dog parks. We advise consulting your veterinarian about where it is safe to bring your puppy and how you can be proactive in providing them a healthy future. We require that all puppies be fed NuVet Plus immune system builder during the duration of the guarantee to help protect them from contracting diseases and support their bodies for a healthy immune system. We feed NuVet Plus to all of our adult dogs, and puppies before they go home.
HOW BIG WILL MY PUPPY GET?
The breed standard is 13lbs for females and 14lbs for males. Sizes may vary depending on which litter you are interested in. We have seen puppies grow anywhere between 9-23lbs depending on the parents. Most of our puppies will mature to 12-16lbs. More information is available about the breed on the AKC Website.
ARE MALES OR FEMALES BETTER PETS?
In our experience both males and females make great pets. Females usually have more independent personalities and males are usually more doting on their people, but we have found both to be very affectionate and wonderful additions to our own family.
DO CAIRN TERRIERS SHED?
Technically Cairn Terriers do shed, however, it is so limited that it is not likely to be very noticeable. A properly groomed cairn terrier should not “shed” very much if at all. Homes with dog allergies have had great success with Cairn Terriers for this reason even though they are not a hypoallergenic breed.
HOW DO YOU GROOM A CAIRN TERRIER?
Grooming can differ for show or pet purposes. Cairn Terriers are traditionally “hand stripped” which preserves their naturally coarse outer coat that wicks water and debris away from their body. There are many videos available on YouTube explaining this process. If you’re in love with the traditional Cairn Terrier “look” do not be discouraged it can be self taught and your terrier will only need hand stripped 2-3 times per year. Bathing should also be kept to a minimum to prevent “softening” the coat. Many of our pet homes have found it is easier to bring their Cairns to a local groomer for a “Westie Cut” where the coat is shaved. This is an acceptable practice as long as the groomer is properly stripping the under coat of your Cairn. Once a Cairn has been clipped the coat may never return to it’s original coarseness, but then again maybe your preference is a softer coat. Our advice is pick a method and stick to it. Once your Cairn has been clipped reverting to hand stripping may not be an option.
CAN YOU SHIP THE PUPPY TO ME?
Yes, here are two reputable transport services:
Many of our "Pawrents" fly to us and we are happy to meet you at the Portland Airport (PDX) the cost of bringing your puppy as a carry on is usually around $150.
HOW CAN I GET ON YOUR WAIT LIST?
**Our Waitlist Is Temporarily Closed Until Fall 2021**
Just email us your contact information and we will be in touch! Our waitlist has first option on all of our puppies and adoptable adult dogs. When a litter of puppies or an adult dog becomes available we move down our waitlist in order and give each individual 24 hours to respond before moving on. If you are unable to purchase a puppy when contacted or are passed due to lack of response we will automatically add you to our next waitlist.
WHEN CAN I BRING MY PUPPY HOME?
Our puppies are socialized with people and other dogs daily. We understand that our puppy homes have busy schedules and because of this are flexible about bringing your puppy home “around” the 8 week mark. We do have specific puppy pick-up days and highly encourage all homes to pick their puppy up on the designated day. This is also a great opportunity to meet other puppy pawrents!
DO YOU ALLOW VISITS? CAN I “MEET THE PARENTS”?
We do highly encourage visits, and applaud homes that do their due diligence in making sure they are not purchasing from a “puppy mill”. However, we want interested homes to understand that we do not have a “staff” and these visits take place within our home. We do our very best to be accommodating and flexible so that you can visit our dogs and puppies. If you wish to meet our adult dogs before committing to a puppy please plan to schedule your visit well in advance of the litter you wish to purchase from being born. We do not allow visits with newborn puppies or heavily pregnant females to limit both traffic through our home and all potential stressors during these sensitive windows. Feel free to follow us for daily updates in the lives of our dogs on Facebook or Instagram and see our Our Cairns page.
**UPDATE** until the State of Washington lifts COVID restrictions we are only allowing visits for guardian home families and necessary puppy owner visits. In good weather these will take place outside.
WHAT FOOD DO YOU FEED THE PUPPIES?
We believe in feeding a balanced commercial diet. Homemade dog foods are often lacking vitamins and minerals required for optimum health. Our preference is Taste of The Wild Bison and Venison Puppy Food. We will provide a freezer baggy with about a weeks worth of kibble for you to slowly transition your puppy to the food of your choice. For proper health and growth we strongly recommend a commercial puppy food, and we recommend consulting with your veterinarian during your well puppy exam within 72 hours of bringing your puppy home. We supplement all of our dogs and puppies with NuVet Plus immune system builder and require that it be fed for the duration of our health guarantee. We recommend that all adult dogs be transitioned to Taste of The Wild ANCIENT GRAINS formulas at the appropriate time. Please consult your veterinarian with further questions about diet.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE LITTERS AVAILABLE?
This will vary depending on how many actively breeding females we have at the time. Most homes can count on bringing a puppy home within 1 year of signing onto our waitlist.
WILL MY PUPPY COME WITH A PEDIGREE?
All of our AKC puppies come with a printed litter certificate that has a 4 generation pedigree. When you register your puppy with AKC you will be given additional options for your own frame-able pedigree certificate.
WHAT HEALTH TESTING DO THE PARENTS HAVE?
We take health testing very seriously and have spent countless hours weighing our health testing decisions. Luckily, the Cairn Terrier breed as a whole is very healthy and fairly free of genetic problems in comparison to many pure breeds. Researching peer reviewed scientific articles and consultations with Theriogenologists and Geneticists in our mind should be the standard on which all health testing decisions are made. There are many opinions within the dog world as to what is and what is not warrantied as prudent health testing, and unfortunately an “opinion” not backed by science is not evidence for or against breeding a particular dog. OFA CERF, Patellar Luxation, Cardiac, and GCL testing are common tests within the Cairn Terrier breed that we endorse. As science advances with time we expect these standards to change and plan to stay current and informed. We are expanding our testing regime to include genetic testing with Embark. This provides us with information about ancestry, COIs, and over 170 different diseases. We plan to use this information to make even more well informed breeding decisions.
WHAT ABOUT BILE ACID TESTING?
All Cairn Terrier puppies should be tested for bile acid levels at 15 weeks old to serve as a baseline for future reference. There are not currently any genetic markers for MVD or PSVA and the testing and protocol for both is still being researched and developed. Bile acid testing is the only reliable PSVA screening. Any puppy presenting clinical signs of PSVA that also tests positive in the bile acid screening is eligible for a full refund. Please see our FAQ about our genetic guarantee. There is a full article explaining current information regarding PSVA and MVD available at http://cairnterrier.org To this date we have not had a puppy born with this defect.
HOW CAN I RECOGNIZE A PUPPY MILL WHEN SEARCHING FOR A BREEDER ONLINE?
Puppy mills often have puppies available “All of the time” and are priced very cheap with a “quantity over quality” mindset. A puppy mill puppy may very well be the most expensive dog you ever purchase if it comes with a myriad of health issues due to negligent breeding practices with likely no health guarantee. Despite what pet stores may claim even if their puppies are from “local breeders” they very likely originated from a “puppy mill”. A good breeder will be willing to answer your questions and point you in the right direction wether you are purchasing a puppy from them or not. We believe in having “The heart of a teacher” and have compiled many resources to help you on your journey of finding your next puppy. We encourage you to reach out to us even if you just have questions about the breed. We offer social media and video resources so that you can see the “behind the scenes” in our dogs lives even if you are unable to visit us in person.
HOW MUCH DO YOUR PUPPIES COST?
If you're interested in one of our puppies please reach out to us to inquire about current pricing. We spare no expense in the rearing and care of our dogs and puppies, and invest a significant amount of time and effort in every pup. If pricing is your main concern we are likely not the breeder for you.
WHERE'S A NICE PLACE TO STAY NEARBY WHEN I PICK UP MY PUPPY?
We highly recommend the Kalama Harbor Lodge only a 30 min drive from our home
If flying into PDX and staying in Portland OR there are many nice options in Portland. Portland is approximately a 1 hour drive from us.