New Zealand
Guide to Raising Your Cairn Puppy

This website created and maintained by Kelbryn Dezign. © 2012

Puppy Raising Guide by Anne Lacey   (Kelbryn)
Especially for the first-time puppy owner, this page offer some tips on raising your puppy to become a happy healthy canine citizen.
It is intended as a basic guide only.
Raising a puppy is mostly common sense.  Like a human baby, he needs to be fed small amounts often and he needs lots of sleep to grow.
The meals will get larger but less frequent; he will need less sleep and more exercise as he gets older.
He should not be teased, or bullied in any way, by any children (or adults), in the household.

This page assumes you have got your puppy from a reputable breeder who will have put a lot of time, love and money into rearing and socialising a nice healthy puppy through his first few weeks.
Your breeder will have supplied a Diet Guide outlining the feeding regime your puppy has been used to.

Generally, until around 3 months of age, puppy will require 4 meals per day; he may already be down to 3 meals by the time he comes home to you.

There are a variety of diet regimes and I won't recommend one over another!!

Some breeders may feed BARF (Bones And Raw Food); others a full dry food diet and yet another may do a mixed diet, dry food & dog roll etc.

Your breeder may advise you don't give your puppy any cow's milk.  Some puppies have a lactose intolerance although we have only ever had one litter here that couldn't tolerate milk well.

We do advise you to continue with the same diet  at least for a while but, if you wish to change it, gradually add the new food to the existing diet. A sudden change of diet will inevitably results in tummy upsets!!

If there is an intolerance to cow's milk it can safely be deleted from the diet completely, providing you are feeding quality puppy-formula food or adding a calcium supplement.

The first few days with you involve quite an upheavel for a young pup, leaving its mum and littermates, and becoming used to new people, sounds and surroundings.

Puppy may not eat well for some days as he has no competition from his littermates now.   Don't let this worry you even if he seems to be eating nothing at all.  He won't starve himself!

Put his food down at each mealtime and remove the uneaten portion after 15 minutes.  He will learn to 'get on with it' once he realises that it is quite a while until the next mealtime!
A small puppy needs plenty of sleep - do not allow small children to disturb puppy when he is tired of playing.  Give him somewhere quiet and out of the way to sleep.  Do not allow small children to pick puppy up - his bones are very soft and could be easily  damaged by being picked up incorrectly or dropped.  It is better to have small children sit on the floor and cuddle puppy.
The best approach to discipline is to try and imitate the natural situation.  Grasping the scruff of the neck and gently shaking is the best method as this is how wild members of the dog family discipline their young.  Smacking a puppy with your hand or a rolled up newspaper is not a good idea since they can become hand shy, distrust you, or injury may result.
A loud, firm "NO" is a great word.  Puppy will soon learn what it means.  Praise does wonders.  I always keep a food treat (puppy crunchies) in my pockets ready to reward good behaviour.
One of the best things invented is the dog crate.
Some people mistakenly think it is cruel to confine a dog in a crate - try telling our dogs that!!
There are several different types of crates available to buy; if you invest in one, ensure it is big enough for your puppy to be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably when he is an adult. Place it in a corner where he can keep an eye on what is going on while he is confined and still feel part of the family.
It can keep him out of trouble when you are unable to keep your eyes on him for a while or when he needs his naps. (Especially useful if there are children in the house who keep wanting to play with him, or vice versa, when he should be having a rest)
Sleep him in his crate overnight and it won't be long before he manages to 'hold on' through the night, though he may 'yell' for you to come take him outsid the first night or two.
Do not expect too much of your puppy in his first weeks with you.  Like a human baby he has no bladder / bowel control.  It is unreasonable to expect him to ask to go outside until at least 5 - 6 months of age.  However, you can be aware of when he needs to go to the toilet and show him where you want him to go.

Whenever puppy wakes up from a nap, take him outside and stay with him until he has done the necessary.  Try a command word, "Go potty" or similar, and PRAISE when he is done.
If your house has tall steps (not good for a puppy to be climbing up and down in his early weeks) or it is a long way from the room he is in to the outside, pick him up to take outside to avoid an 'accident' on the way.

Try to anticipate his needs: after sleeping, after eating, after drinking.  Often puppy will start going round in circles, checking the ground, possibly whimpering a little.  This is your sign to rush him outside!

Mistakes will occur - it is part of bringing up a puppy. Do not discipline him for mistakes - he does not know better and it may have been your fault!

Newspaper makes a good emergency toilet and should be put down in the room he sleeps in at night.  You can also now purchase 'Potty Trainers', which have a washable fake grass surface that help make the toilet training process easier.

If you have a crate for puppy, sleep him in this and he will learn quickly to be 'clean' through the night.  A crate is invaluable to give puppy his own space and where he can be shut safely away when there is too much going on.  My puppies love their crates and will often put themselves to bed when they are tired or want some time to themselves.
Chewing is normal puppy behaviour.  You shouldn't let him have old shoes or socks as part of his toy collection - he has no way of knowing the difference between old & new!
Puppiess generally love squeaky rubber toys (preferably latex) and soft toys.  Nothing too small
that could be swallowed whole or choked on.  NO GOLF BALLS or similar sized items.


Your new puppy was vaccinated against Parvovirus, Distemper & Hepatitis at 6 or 8 weeks (depending on regime followed by his breeder). This is a temporary vaccination only. Further vaccinations required at  either 9 & 12 weeks (following a 6 weeks vaccination) or 12 weeks - follow your vet's recommendations.  Thereafter, annual boosters (though new vaccines nowadays only require 2 or 3 yearly boosters AFTER the 15 month old one, which is important).

Puppy should not be allowed off your property or contact with other dogs until fully vaccinated.

Your vet may also advise vaccinating your puppy for Kennel Cough & Leptosporosis, depending on the lifestyle you intend for your puppy and, for Lepto, the area of the country you live in.

Puppy will have been wormed frequently. I enter the latest date on each puppy's vaccination certificate and suggest further worming with each vaccination, thereafter every 3 - 6 months. Use an 'All Wormer' at 3 months.
Your puppy's breeder will advise how to look after your Cairn's coat.  Hopefully, you will live close enough to be taught how to strip /  pluck out the coat.
Do read the Grooming Page - and there is a printable version of
Grooming Your Cairn for you to refer to.
You can start lead training your puppy at around 10 - 12 weeks of age.  First put a narrow collar on him and give him a day or two to get used to it - he will scratch at it for a while.  Next, attach a lightweight lead and try and get puppy walking with you, using a tidbit to encourage him.  He will quite likely scream
and throw himself around at first !!  Have patience.  Lots of praise and encouragement and he willl soon learn that the lead is really something to look forward to.
is required at 3 months of age.

is now required, by law, unless your dog is exempted as a rural Working Dog.
Many breeders will have the puppy microchipped before he leaves home.
Many Veterinary clinics now run 'Puppy Pre-Schools' where puppies, usually after they have had at least one vaccination, can learn to socialise with other dogs and get some basics of early obedience.  Particularly valuable if you have not raised a puppy previously.
This page assumes you have purchased your puppy as a family companion.
You may be interested in showing your puppy and have had your breeder select a 'show potential' puppy from the litter for you.
Your breeder should be happy to help you with all the training and processes or refer you to another exhibitor if you live too far away.
There are no actual Cairn Terrier clubs in New Zealand but you may like to join your closest Terrier Club (which cater for all the Terrier breeds and perhaps take part in the club events held.
There is a list of clubs on the Links page.

While you may have bought your corgi as a pet he / she is still eligible to compete at Ribbon Parades.
(Spayed or Neutered dogs may also compete in Ribbon Parades). 

If you have any queries or problems regarding your puppy, your breeder will be happy to help!
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PUPPY - The Critical Periods in his Development - a must read!!
There are links within the page to several articles that are well worth reading  (you will need to have Acrobat Reader installed) .
MOST IMPORTANT  Have fun and enjoy your puppy!!