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?
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. Puppies may be returned for a full refund within 72 hours of bringing them home if your veterinarian does not find them in satisfactory condition. 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.
What about long term health guarantees?:
As biological beings puppies and dogs can develop unpredicted health conditions (just as we humans can). When buying a puppy from us you are trusting that we, as breeders, are doing the very best we can to breed a healthy individual, and we are trusting that you, the puppy's home, will provide the best healthy environment for that individual. The Cairn Terrier Breed as a whole is known for being relatively healthy and hardy.
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. 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 pet homes have found it is easier to bring their Cairns to a local groomer for a “Westie Cut” where the coat is shaved. We do not recommend clipping as most groomers do not properly exfoliate the base layer of the coat which result in long-term skin issues for the dog.
CAN YOU SHIP THE PUPPY TO ME?
Yes, here are two reputable transport services:
Animal Odyssey Private Ground Transport
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.
**UPDATE** Cost to bring puppies to PDX for flights will now be $150 and health certificates for travel will be $150 please remember a small part of this cost is for my time. This will be due before your puppy's health certificate vet appointment.
HOW CAN I GET ON YOUR WAIT LIST?
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. There is a small fee for joining the waitlist that applies towards the cost of your puppy.
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.
DO YOU ALLOW VISITS? CAN I “MEET THE PARENTS”?
Due to the popularity of our program we no longer allow visits for families that have not already reserved a puppy. Homes that have reserved a puppy may visit between 4-6 weeks of age for their puppy. This does not include a full tour of our dogs for several reasons.
1. As a dog breeder our yard and whelping area should be treated with the same care a hospital nursery would. We have susceptible life stages in our care. Our dogs and program are not a roadside attraction. For families wishing to meet Cairn Terriers we recommend attending a dog show or expo near your or reaching out to cairnterrier.org about a local meet-up.
2. Many of our dogs live in guardian homes. Meaning the adult dog population in our home is generally 5 or less of our dogs. This is how we avoid a kennel environment and maintain a genetically diverse program.
Feel free to follow us for daily updates in the lives of our dogs on Facebook or Instagram and see our Our Cairns page.
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 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
ARE CAIRN X NORWICH CROSS PUPPIES AVAILABLE?
At this time we do not keep a waitlist for Norwich or Norwich Cross Puppies. Please keep in mind the cost of sourcing, importing, and breeding Norwich Terriers is much more expensive then cairn terriers, and these puppies will reflect this.
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.
DO YOU OFFER BOARDING?
We do not, we do have a connection with a guardian home in Battleground, Washington that offers private boarding for Cairn Terriers.
Another Happy Puppy Home
"Our puppy arrived today. Beautiful puppy. I want to share that when we started this process, we were hesitate being 1800 plus miles away. Let me tell you, don't be hesitant. Leilani is a wonderful dog breeder, no puppy mill there. She was so great to work with. Another great person is Leigh from Animal Odyssey. She cared for our puppy those 1800 plus miles. She sent text, called, sent pictures/videos, caring for our dog like her own and delivered our previous cargo. Thank you both for the new addition to our family." - Gail S