The Cairn Terrier is a wire haired type and carries a double fur. A soft thick underfur and a rough upperfur. The underfur ragulates the warmth and can get loose in the warmer season. The rough upperfur grows and protects the Cairn Terrier against all weather conditions and is dirt and water repellant.
Exept controling eyes and ears, which can be claened with a humid tissue or cotton, your fullgrown Cairn does not need a lot of daily care. Your pup on the other hand could be combed and brushed, in a playfull way, a couple of times a week. The fur does not need the treatment, but just to let the young sprout to get used to it. To avoid that your Cairn in later times, has to be trimmed and will stand strange on the trimming-table. You will do good treating your dog on a small table. Use an anti slipmat so the dog cannot faal of.
As your Cairn get’s used to the treatment you can go to the weekly one time brush- and comb treat. As brush use a “Terrier palm pad”. This is an oval synthetic rug with on brushside close to each other standing iron pins. This kind of brush fits good in your handpalm and is very flexible. The comb has to be of medium size with a tooth distance of 3 to 4 mm. With the brush the hair has to be combed with short but powerful movements in opposite direction as the hairgrowth. That way you remove loose hair but specially dirt. With the comb you put the hair back in his normal direction. The fur, in the armpit, groin and the stomach area can cling together sometimes. Give those spots some extra attention.
When your Cairn will be about four months old his dark fragile nesthair could cause pruritus/itching. Than it is time to think about his first hairstrip. The nesthair has to be pulles out with thumb and forefinger/indexfinger all over the body, head, ears, paw and tail. After this small hair tussle, the final furcolour will appear. The use of a scissor is not allowed except for the hair between the footbedding and around the arse.
When your Cairn will be about eight or nine months old the upperfur will decease. It is ready to be pulled out. Than slowly it is time for the first big strip. The hair ready to be pulled out is recognizable by the fact that the colour is fade and the hair is more fragile. We talk about a “tussle”- or stripfur. Usually the fur will be about eight or nine cm long or better the fur is eight or nine months old. The best way, to keep your Cairn Terrier in good condition, is the admittence of the rollingcoat-system. About every four months half of the upperfur will be pulled out, while the other half will grow on till the next stripturn about four months later. On that moment (four months later) als this half will be ready to be pulled out and the first half (pulled out 4 months ago) will take over this place. According to the rollingcoat-system a Cairn Terrier is wearing short before his trimming, except for an underfur, also two upperfurs. One layer of eight or nine cm long, bleached, fragile hairpoints (stripfur) and a layer of short 3 to 4 cm intensive coloured hair. With this system your Cairn Terrier carries all year long a protective long upperfur. The rustic and natural some what rough looking, which is very special for this race, is preserved this way.
Do not let your Cairn be naked!
In some lecture there is talking of two or sometimes even one trimming a year. With this system all upperfur will be pulled out. The Cairn Terrier will than be standing letterly in his underfur or in his nude. This is a strongly non admitteble workway. The protection against bad weatherconditions or even against strong U.V.-light is missing. This last issue can cause nasty skindiseases. The underfur can assorb dirt and will spread a nasty smell. Above all a Cairn Terrier in his underfur is not flattering.
Bathing, no thank you!
A Cairn Terrier regulary brushed, combed and proffesionally trimmed will not need bathing. The most shampoo will affect the rough furconstruction and reduces the protective abbility. A mud smeared fur can, after you let it dry first, be normally brushed. Do you want to do it more thoroughly use only lukewarm rainwater. Wash, dry and brush. Will your dearly Cairn, during your walk, roll himself in a bad smelling substance, you can wash his fur with lukewarm rainwater and rub him with a raw knocked egg. Let the egg do his work, wash him again, let it dry and than brush. Your Cairn Terrier will look and small as new!