Cairn Terrier Club of Canada Versatility Award Program

Cairn Terriers were originally working dogs, assisting farmers in ridding fields of vermin and fishermen of otters that threatened their catch. They were bred for courage, tenacity, independence and problem solving skills, without needing direction from handlers. Cairns  excel in activities like earth dog and barn hunt, which replicate the purpose for which they were bred. Many Cairns retain a strong instinct for such activities. Cairns are often considered less ‘biddable’ than other breeds bred specifically to work closely with human handlers. However, with hard work and good training, they can excel in many other activities far removed from the purpose for which they were bred. Participating in activities with your Cairn will enrich his life and strengthen the bond you share.

In 2010, under the leadership of Chris Roberts, the CTCC introduced the Versatility Program. Six dogs were presented with Versatility Awards and one dog with the Versatility Excellent Award at the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Since then, through June 2020 a total of 39 dogs have been awarded Versatility Awards and nine dogs have also been awarded Versatility Excellent Awards.

The program is designed to recognize club members who have made significant achievements with their Cairns through participation in a variety of performance sports and conformation. The program offers two levels of lifetime achievement awards:

  • Versatility
  • Versatility Excellent

To achieve these awards, the dog must achieve points (titles or achievement) in different categories of performance, demonstrating true versatility. Conformation and Ratting Sports (Earthdog and Barn Hunt) are considered key categories for the Versatility Excellent Award and the dog must achieve titles in at least one of these categories in order to achieve the Versatility Excellent award. Details of the requirements for each award are outlined in the brochure. The owner (or one co-owner) must be a club member in order to receive the award.

Recipients receive trophies, presented annually at the National Specialty Banquet or a Regional Specialty.  Names are inscribed on a perpetual trophy in memory of Andrée Hunter, who passed away in 2011, shortly after becoming one of the first recipients of a versatility award.