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CAIRN TERRIER BREED STANDARD


A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

CHARACTERISTICS:

Should impress as being active, game and hardy.

GENERAL APPEARANCE:

Agile, alert, of workmanlike natural appearance. Standing well forward on forepaws. Strong quarters. Deep in rib, very free in movement. Weather-resistant coat.

TEMPERAMENT:

Fearless and gay disposition, assertive but not aggressive.

HEAD AND SKULL:

Head small, but in proportion to body. Skull broad, a decided indentation between the eyes with a definite stop. Muzzle powerful, jaw strong but not long or heavy. Nose black. Head well furnished.

EYES:

Wide apart, medium in size, dark hazel. Slightly sunk with shaggy eyebrows.

EARS:

Small pointed, well carried and erect, not too closely set or heavily coated.

MOUTH:

Large teeth. Jaw strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaw.

NECK:

Well set on, not short.

FOREQUARTERS:

Slopping shoulders, medium length of leg, good but not too heavy bone. Forelegs never out at elbow. Legs well covered with harsh hair.

BODY:

Back level, medium in length. Well sprung deep ribs, strong supple loin.

HINDQUARTERS:

Very strong muscular thighs. Good but not excessive bend of stifle. Hocks well let down, inclining neither in nor out when viewed from the rear.

FEET:

Forefeet, larger that hind, may be slightly turned out. Pads thick and strong. Thin, narrow or spreading feet and long nails objectionable.

TAIL:

Short, balanced, well furnished with hair but not feathery. Neither high or low set, carried gaily but not turned down towards the back.

GAIT/MOVEMENT:

Very free-flowing stride. Forelegs reaching well forward. Hindlegs giving strong propulsion. Hocks neither too close or too wide.

COAT:

Very important. Weather resistant. Must be double-coated, with profuse, harsh, but not coarse outercoat, undercoat short, soft and close. Open coats objectionable. Slight wave permissible.

COLOUR:

Cream, wheaten, red, grey, or nearly black. Brindling in all these colours acceptable. Not solid black or white, or black and tan. Dark points such as ears and muzzle very typical.

SIZE:

Approximately 28 cm to 31 cm (11" to 12" ) at withers, but in proportion to weight - ideally 6 to 7.5 kgs (14 to 16 lbs ).

FAULTS:

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Note:Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the scrotum.

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