Finnish Cairn Terriers
First Cairn Terrier in Finland was Fergus of Harelands. He was imported from England by Baroness Frances Ramsey at 1933. First Cairn Breeder in Finland was Mrs. Hjördis Mannelin kennel av Scandia. She imported two Blencathra bitches at 1934 and later she imported two bitches more from England and one dog from Sweden. Unfortunately only one dog survived the war FIN CH Mikael. Soon the imports started again and the breeding of Cairn Terriers really started in Finland. At the late 40’s Cairns were imported from England, Sweden, Denmark and even from France. At the 60’s even more Cairns were imported from England and Sweden and when the Finnish Cairn Terrier Club was founded at 1974 the yearly registrations were already up to 100.
In the middle of the 80’s and during the 90’s most of the imports came from Sweden.These dogs has quite an influence in Finnish Cairn Terrier population today.
For years Cairn Terrier has been one of the most popular Terrier breeds in Finland. It has just been the few last years when Westies, Jack Russels and Parsons has been able to beat Cairn Terrier in popularity. Never the less Cairn Terriers has a strong position in Finnish Terrier World and has all the possibilities to keep the record going.
Finnish Cairn Terrier Club
Finnish Cairn Terrier Club or Cairnterrierikerho as we call it was established at 1974 and it was approved as an official Breed Club by Finnish kennel Club at 1979. In the end of foundation year FCTC had 172 members. Today we have over 1500 members.
From the very first year FCTC has published CAIRN-magazine. It is the most visible part of the membership and has traditionally been the main channel to spread and share the information about our breed.
FCTC has been publishing a Year Book starting from 1991. It includes photos, pedigrees, results & critiques of every dog shown in Finland, results for Cairn of The Year and some breeding statistics. The Club also has a Puppy Guide, a publication to be shared for new puppy owners and Breeders Guide including Clubs Official Breeding Program for Cairn Terriers.
FCTC organise Club shows, education & happenings for members, grooming classes etc. Main focus naturally is to offer Breed Info & Breeding Counselling . The Club also run a puppy list for combinations filling the criteria described in our breeding program and a Stud list for dogs filling the criteria for a stud as described in our breeding program.
Finnish cairn population
The rough estimate is that there are around 4,500 Cairn Terriers living in Finland today. Yearly registrations are app. 400-450. Traditionally Terriers has not been very popular in Finland but during the last 10 years people has created an interest for “small big dogs”. So the future is looking rather good, although the registrations will probably drop a bit during the following years due to the success of other small Terrier breeds.
Cairn Terriers are considered to be rather healthy dogs with the average lifespan between 12-16 years. We do not have any serious widely spread problems, since only few new cases are recorded yearly basis. Still there are few diseases to keep on eye to, so that the good health could be guaranteed for the future generations too.
Finnish Cairn Terrier Club organized a Health Survey in 2007. The question form was published in Clubs magazine & website. 470 answers was returned ( app. 10 % of Finnish Cairn Population). About 90% of the owners described their dogs health exellent or good.
Use and character
Finnish Cairn Terrier club is promoting Cairn Terrier as a great family dog & versatile companion for all kind of activities and sports which it really ideally is. Cairn Terriers in Finland are first and foremost pets and family members. Shows are most common activity and getting more popular – 392 Finnish cairns has showresults from season 2007. Agility is also getting more and more popular too, and we have around 30 Cairn Terriers competing too, few even in the most advanced level. Many more train it too but just for fun.
Cairn Terriers were originally used for hunting. The original hunting instinct are still present in some form, and blood tracking is maybe the sports modern Cairns still have potential. Most of the Cairn Terriers are more than eager to chase a rabbit but also cars and everything that moves. Few Cairns has been tested for instincts for their original work as an earth dog (one CH), but the success has not been very good. The instincts are still there but no longer guaranteed. Still with some careful breeding planning the original instincts could probably be restored in due just two or three generations.
Finnish Cairn Terriers are still looking like a Cairn and are mostly typical, moderate, basic dogs of very good quality. The best are competitive anywhere in the world. FCTC sees that a beautiful Cairn Terrier is first and fore most a Cairn with healthy, functional structure. Main focus among the right type and typical details lies in sound movement since faults in structure can be seen when the dog moves.
Finnish Cairn Terriers are still looking like a Cairn and are mostly typical, moderate, basic dogs of very good quality. The best are competitive anywhere in the world.
FCTC sees that a beautiful Cairn Terrier is first and fore most a Cairn with healthy, functional structure. Main focus among the right type and typical details lies in sound movement since faults in structure can be seen when the dog moves.
FCTC’s main goal for all breeding is to keep our beautiful breed typical, healthy and vital for future generations. Cairn Terrier Standard is a standard for a healthy, functional, basic dog and as long as we stay true to it, we should not have any problems. The health situation is reasonably good and the temperaments still mainly typical so we should make our best that the situation is not getting worse, and if possible, make it even better.
As the breeders are the ones holding the keys to make it happen, FCTC sees that it’s main job is to offer information, guidance and education about breed specific matters for all and work together, in co-operation with the breeders. After all we are all aiming for the breeds well-being.