Earthe History

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Earthe dogges are know for their sense of humor, especially when they can get synchronized head stands from TBG and TOBG.  Can you tell them apart?  

(This description is from the CTC-NC web site, since TOBG wrote it, we felt free to us it.)

The Cairn Terrier is "an active, game, hardy, small working terrier of the short-legged class" that originated on the Isle of Skye, Scotland over 200 years ago. They may be the oldest know terrier and are still close to the original in size and style. The Cairn and Skye Terriers owners both lay claim to the First Terrier but both  are closely related in origination and purpose. Joining the line of breeds originating from the Cairn are the Scottie, West Highland, Norfork and Norfolk Terriers.

The Terrier designation comes from the Latin "terra" which means earth and cairn is the Scottish word for a pile of rocks. Throughout the Highlands of Scotland, these cairns were made to mark territory, paths, and some religious sites. They have dotted the landscape for centuries and over the centuries became the homes and nesting sites for foxes and many small vermin. The Cairn Terrier became the prefect dog to clean out the vermin and joined in the family units of most Highland Folk. This game little Terrier with its fierce independent attitude bigger than it's size fits right in with personalities of the crofters who lived in Early Scotland.

The Cairn became admired by others too. The early Cairn was referred to as the "earth dog of Argyllshire" long before we created our Earthdog Tests. Others refer to the early Cairn as the "earth dog of the North."

Nov 1, 1624, Kings James VI of Scotland wrote the Earl of Mar from Royston

"Righte truste and righte welbeloved cosun and counsellour wee greete yew well whereas we have presente occasion to sende into France some of those dogges they call terrieres, and in Scotland they call earthe dogges, we have thought good by these presentes to require yow to employ your best means by causing Sir George Erksin to send unto Argyle, and yee yourselfe sending not onlie the ther bot to Glenurquhay and all your other frendes, whereby yee may gette for our use four or five couple of these dogges and sende them to us with all exception possible."

He then stipulated that the dogs not be more than three years old and that they be sent "not all in one shippe, but some in one and some in another, leaste one shippe shoulde miscarie."

(Supplementary reports on manuscripts of the Earl of Mar & Kielle preserved at Alloa House, Clackmammonshire, UK   http//www.rcpe.ac.uk/publications/articles/journal_32_3/paper_12.pdf )  It is on Page 4 of the document.)

(Note there is no mention of WHITE earthe dogges as proported by some Westie sites.
Their main problem is that the Westie did not move to a separate place from the Cairns until the mid 1800's when Col. Malcolm began to collect and breed them, a few hundred years after the King James message.)

Long before the AKC and AWTA and any other dog registry, thar be earthe dogges out there doing what comes naturally.  


Click the Quarry  for an article from the June 1, 1933 issue of AKC Gazette titled 
"Cairns Are Working Terriers."
It describes in some detail how and where they worked and on what.  Not for those of weak constitutions.

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