The History of the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada

The Cairn Terrier Club of Canada (CTCC) was first formed in the spring of 1952 by a small group of Cairn fanciers; with the first meeting of members held in Agincourt, Ontario. The first Specialty was held in conjunction with the Canadian National Sportsman's Show in Toronto on March 18, 1953. The judge was Mr. John T. Marvin, USA. Best of Breed winner was Betty Hyslop's 'Kilties Foxglove of Cairndania'.

The first newsletter the "Cairn Quarterly" was published in 1955.

The club was active for approximately six years and then lay dormant for sixteen years.

On Feb 17th, 1973 a group of nine enthusiastic people met and became the founding members of the reactivated club. This group worked to develop a new constitution, code of ethics and guide the club through its formative years.
The new President, Jim McFarlane led the club for many years until his death in 1983. Jim, a native Scotsman, born in Kingussie near Badenoch, Invernesshire, was a nephew of the late Col Hector Whitehead, an early pioneer of the breed. Jim was well known in his homeland and was elected honorary president of The Cairn Terrier Club (UK) in 1981.

The first specialty show of the resurrected CTCC was held in 1976 in conjunction with the Terrier Breeders Association of Canada, with Mr. Alex Hogg of Edinburgh, Scotland and secretary of the Cairn Terrier Club, judging. Best of Breed was awarded to CanAmCh Foxgrove Susanella, owned by Mrs Betty Hyslop of Brockville, Ontario (Cairndania).

The one & only stand-alone specialty show was held in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1986. The judge was Mr. Willie McCulloch of West Kilbride, Scotland. Best Of Breed was Ch Cairngorlyn Ruffies’ Rufus. Ninety-five cairns were entered, a record that still stands.
In August 1982, the first Western Specialty was held in Winnipeg, judged by Mr. Nicholas Funelle, Florida, USA. Best Of Breed was awarded to Ch Kinncayre’s Grey Gilligan owned by Ms G.D. Cantwell.

The newsletter was reactivated in 1975 and is published quarterly, regularly enhanced by original artwork from club members and showcasing the achievements of members’ dogs as well as providing a variety of education articles. The yearbook was first introduced in 1980 and continues to be published, now on an annual basis. It is invaluable in helping to keep contact between members and is a showcase for pedigrees, bloodlines, show pictures and all our cairn families.

The 1st Cairn Terrier Fun Day was held at Meadowvale Conservation Park, Ontario on Aug. 7th, 1983, being a picnic for members only. The Fun Day now is an active gathering where breeders and pet owners gather with their Cairns to socialize, watch grooming demonstrations, dog races, agility, and dress up dogs. Fun Days and other social events are held in several other regions on an intermittent basis.

C.A.R.E (Cairn Anomaly Registrations and Education) was started in 1992 as a confidential registry of all genetic diseases in Canadian Cairns. This registry was disbanded in 2003 as the Canine Disease Control Registry database in California was felt to be more widely used, recognized and accessible via the internet. The club continues to be active in raising and donating funds to a variety of initiatives relevant to Cairn Terrier health.

In 1987, Alberta CTCC members formed the Alberta Clan (Wildrose Cairn Terriers). Members felt a need for a local organization to organize boosters, specialties and social functions.  Edna Perks (Cairnorth) was the first president. The first Wildrose Specialty was held in Edmonton in 1988. The BC members formed their own clan shortly afterwards and held their first specialty in 1990 in Abbotsford, BC. Both regions continue to be active.
At a general meeting held June 5th, 1990 at the National Specialty, it was agreed that some form of local autonomy was necessary and the National Specialty was to become a ‘roving’ specialty.

In 2010, the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada Versatility Award program was initiated to recognize Cairns and their handlers who have demonstrated skill and commitment in a variety of performance sports. The Versatility and Versatility Excellent Awards have been awarded annually with 28 Cairns recognized with Versatility and 9 with Versatility Excellent.

In 2020, the club endorsed the implementation of a new program to recognize quality breeding dogs, the Breeding Quality Certification Program. The inaugural event of this program, planned to be held in conjunction with the National Specialty at Eire Shores Dog Show, had to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic that shut down most dog shows and events for the spring and summer. Instead, a smaller inaugural event will be held at the Saskatchewan Terrier Association Terrier Group Show in Deslisle, SK on August 8, 2020.  We anticipate a small entry of Cairns completing the judges' assessment portion of the program.  We look forward to continuing to implement this innovative program.

Another 2020 project was the development of our new website with expanded information for the general public and a dedicated members section. The members section of the website provides a wealth of additional information on grooming, breeding and health as well as providing an archive for newsletters and minutes.

The club now has a membership of approximately 150 members with representation from all regions of Canada.  Our club is a mixture of pet owners, serious canine sports participants and breeders and we welcome new members from all categories who are in agreement with the Code of Conduct. Information on membership is available in the membership section of the site.

Cairn Terrier Club of Canada History
Best of Breed was awarded to Can Am Ch Foxgrove Susanella, owned by Mrs Betty Hyslop of Brockville Ontario (Cairndania) in 1976.
The History of the Cairn Terrier Club
Best Of Breed was Ch Cairngorlyn Ruffies’ Rufus in 1986