The Cairn Terrier is a small, sturdy little dog with a slightly shaggy double waterproof coat. He will have the Terrier’s instinct to hunt and is said to enjoy swimming. He is generally full of character and would make a suitable family pet, provided that he has plenty of activity that he can join in with. He will need daily exercise and regular grooming.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.8% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS70.30
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Eye disease: Abnormal pigment deposition (APD) (annual testing).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKO) (a key enzyme deficiency which shortens the lifespan of red blood cells, leading to heomolytic anaemia)
- Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (GCL) (Krabbe Disease) (a degenerative disease affecting the myelin) sheath of the nervous system leading to death)
- Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO)
- Gallbladder Mucocele Formation
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Bile acid testing of puppies.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Atopy (hypersensitivity to pollens and other protein particles – causes intense itching)
- Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Portosystemic shunt (abnormality of the blood circulation, resulting in blood from the heart bypassing the liver and entering the general circulation)
- Polycystic liver and kidney disease (causes liver failure)
- Chronic hepatitis (autoimmune liver disease)
- von Willebrands disease (bleeding disorder)
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (disease of the hip joint causing degeneration of the head of the femur, severe pain and disability)
- Patellar luxation (dislocated knee cap)
- Cancer: Cutaneous melanoma; Sebaceous adenoma
- Cranio-mandibularosteopathy (abnormalities of the jaw bones)
- Neurological disorders (can be very serious)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: