Tarahill Cairn Terriers &
Wags to Wishes K9 Training 

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Puppy Availability.

As of May 2020 - I have placed all puppies from my recent litter and do not have any puppies available.

I may have a litter late summer / fall of 2020.


How to find a Cairn Terrier Puppy

1. Make sure, if you have not previously owned a Cairn that you do your homework and learn about the characteristics of a Cairn - Are they the right breed for you?
2. Visit the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada website.  You will find a listing of breeders who are club members there. It is still important to do your homework and learn about how the breeder raises the puppies and what health testing is done. Look for a breeder that does genetic testing on parents to rule out CMO (Craniomandibular osteoarthropathy), GLD (Globoid Leukodystrophy), Hemophilia B and Pyruvate Kinase deficiency.  Puppies should be tested for liver shunt after birth - ideally after 10 weeks.  This is done through Bile Acid testing.  Some breeders may also do renal ultrasounds to screen for renal dysplasia and do puppy eye testing.
3. The CKC also has a list of Cairn Breeders who are CKC members. Again it is important to do your homework!
4. Note that not all good breeders chose to be listed on either the CTCC or CKC site and listing on either or both of these sites is not a guarantee.  You always want to get to know as much as you can about the breeder and how she raises puppies and selects homes.  No good breeder will ever pressure you to make a quick decision or be willing to place a puppy with you without getting to know you and asking many questions.  When you contact a breeder it is helpful if you can tell them a bit about yourself and why you think a Cairn is right for you.  Many breeders get numerous casual request and it can be very time consuming to respond to all the 'tire kickers' who are not really committed, so be sure to share a bit about why you are looking for a Cairn.  
5. Occasionally breeders will advertise on various social media platforms such as Kijiji or Marketplace but there are also many puppy mill puppies sold and puppy scams effected through social media sites so it is critically important to do due diligence in vetting puppies offered through these sites. 
6. If there are dogs shows in your area, this is a great place to meet breeders - a good breeder will usually be involved in showing their dogs.  You can find out what shows are happening in your area through DogShow.ca.  A week or so before the show the judging schedule will usually be posted there as well - you can find out what time particular breeds are in the ring.  It is usually best to wait until after the breed is finished showing to chat to handlers as they will be busy with grooming prior to showing. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself and ask if they have time to talk to you about the breed. Most of us delight in doing that!

Tarahill Puppy News

Puppy news is usually posted first on my personal facebook page or on my Wags to Wishes K9 Training page.

If you are interested in a puppy, please feel free to contact me about availability.  My puppy questionnaire is located on the documents page. No puppy requests will be considered without submission of a completed questionnaire.

Please see the sidebar for information about my approach to breeding and puppy rearing. This will answer many of your questions.  If you would like me to answer specific questions, please ensure that they have not already been addressed in the information in the sidebar and be sure to tell me a bit about yourself and your home and family and history with dogs so that I can put things in context.

Soleil Puppies 2020

Sire: AmCanCh Quarrydene's Masterpiece (Leo)
Dam Tarahill's Here Comes the Sun (Soleil)
Born Feb 28, 2020
6 males, 2 females
The two females and several of the males look to be wheaton, the others will be brindle.





The 'Travel' Litter (Tentative Registered Names and puppy call names)
Tarahill's African Safari: (Stanley - now Gumbo) - male
Tarahill's Amazing Odyssey (Odyssey - now Fin) - male
Tarahill's Wind Beneath My Wings (Amelia) - female
Tarahill's Safe Harbour (Skipper - now Archie) - male
Tarahill's Little Explorer (Dora) - female
Tarahill's Grand Quest (Quest - now Chester) - male
and two tiny but mighty boys that lived only a few days:
Tarahill's Route 66 (Sixty-six)
Tarahill's Be My Guide (Magellan)


Miss Marple Puppies 2019

Sire: BISS Am/Can GCh Quarrydene's Wild at Heart (Merlin)
Dam: Ch Quarrydene's Diamond Heist  CGN, RATM, ETD (Miss Marple)

DOB: June 1, 2019
4 males: 1 female
All 5 of Miss Marple's puppies are lovely in structure and temperament and have again gone to homes in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The 'Weather' litter
Tarahill's Storm Chaser (Storm) - male
Tarahill's Wild West Wind (Zephyr, now Laochan) - male
Tarahill's Sweet Summer Breeze (Breezie) - female
Tarahill's Seismic Coda (Seismic) - male
Tarahill's Ride the Wave (Tsunami, now Skye) - male

Miss Marple Puppies 2018

Sire: BIS GCh Cairnisles Sharp Dressed Man (Dallas)
Dam: Ch Quarrydene's Diamond Heist (Miss Marple)

DOB: February 27, 2018
4 males: 1 female
Miss Marple's puppies have gone to wonderful homes in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. I look forward to watching them grow and compete in conformation shows, agility and barn hunt.

The Celtic Litter
Tarahill's Celtic Hero (Begley) - male
Tarahill's Celtic Victor (Fergus, now Jock) - male
Tarahill's Celtic Fire (Finnegan) - male
Tarahill's Celtic Spirit (Aine, now Spirit) - female
Tarahill's Celtic Reveille (Clancy, now Revy) - male

One of Miss Marple's puppies 'manding' - asking politely for attention by sitting.

Aoibheann's Puppies 2018

Sire: Ch Ken Sigel's Poker Game (Jack)
Dam: AmCanGCh Quarrydene's Queen of Diamonds

After a long delay and some challenges, Aoibheann has given us a beautiful litter of 3 girls and 2 boys, born Feb 4, at Fish Creek Veterinary Hospital, by C section. This is Aoibheann's last litter.  Her puppies are now living in wonderful homes in Alberta and Vancouver Island.

The 'Sunshine' Litter
Tarahill's Kissed by the Sun (OJ, now Bullet) - male
Tarahill's Here Comes the Sun (Soleil) - female
Tarahill's Solar Flare (Blaize, now Teagan) - female
Tarahill's Walking on Sunshine (Sunny, now Jake) - male
Tarahill's You are My Sunshine (Dawn, now Molly) - female

Aoibheann's Puppies 2012:

Sire: Ch Quarrydene's Danish Outlaw
Dam: AmCanGCh Quarrydene's Queen of Diamonds
DOB: Aug 13, 2012

The 'Star' Litter

Maeve: Tarahill's Diamond Sky

So relaxed!
Maeve is a sweet girl and loves to play with her new house mates in Calgary.  Like her mom, she likes to climb and lay on the back of the couch...the best views in the world are from the back of the couch!
Maeve likes the tent - just like her mom.

Darby: Tarahill's Eastern Star

Darby in possession of the cat tunnel, and, for just a millisecond, - not in motion!

Darby (AKA Big bird) was the biggest of the litter - and a stunning boy.  

Darby's new name is now Dawson and he lives in Warman and loves camping with his family.
Smart too!  That was easy!  Darby learned the 'easy' button in just minutes.

Sullivan: Tarahill's Stargazer

Sullie's black dot on his forehead makes him easy to pick out from the rest!  He is a charming boy and learning so quickly.
Sullie lives in Saskatoon and is training for obedience and agility.

Sullie steals the clicker!  Smart boy - he already knows the click is a good thing! 

Doyle: Tarahill's Wish Upon a Star

Doyle is a lovely little boy who quickly wins everyone's heart.  He is a great cuddler but he is also full of spunk. 


In this picture his dark puppy coat has been stripped.  He is now a handsome wheaten boy.  He has titles in Rally Obedience, Sporting Scent Detection and Barn Hunt as well as his CGN title.  He was awarded his Trick Dog Championship in 2016.

Doyle meets a new friend. Doyle loves everyone - canine or human.  He is fearless but respectful and gets along well with all kinds of dogs from a pomeranian to a great dane.
Doyle searching for his favourite toy.

Ciara: Tarahill's Millenium Star

Ciara is my brindle girl.  She has some nice flecks of red along with the black and wheaten in her coat.

She is quite spunky and likes to tease.  A little more cautious than Mr. Doyle. Ciara lives in Saskatoon and will be a "second generation" Karen Pryor Academy dog.  

Ciara - means "dark" - she proved to be aptly named as she is the darkest puppy in the litter, with all the others turning out to be wheaten.

My thoughts on puppy breeding and  rearing...

Breeding is planned to optimize the health, structure and temperament of the puppies. This requires careful selection of both sire and dam and attention to the health histories and testing of both. I have infrequent litters as each litter represents a substantial commitment of time and energy. I also am active with my dogs in a variety of sports and there is much more to their lives than whelping and raising puppies. 

Puppies are whelped and raised in my home in close contact with people and other dogs in the household. Puppies receive intensive habituation and socialization activities to ensure that they become confident and well adjusted, ready to enter their new homes with ease.

Puppies are raised using Puppy Culture (TM) protocols, an intensive program of habituation, socialization and training to optimize puppy development, socialization and resilience. Typically, puppies will be litter trained and crate trained and have some basic obedience before going to new homes. For more details on Puppy Culture rearing protocols, go to puppyculture.com

Puppies are not released to new homes prior to 12 weeks with rare exceptions at my discretion. These last few weeks are important opportunities for puppies to learn impulse control from litter mates and their mothers and it is well worth the wait.  During the last 4-5 weeks in my home, puppies will typically attend classes in my dog training business to further their socialization and help them become familiar with the class environment and other dogs working around them. 
Another reason why I do not place prior to 12 weeks is that some health testing is best done later rather than earlier and I do not want to place a puppy and later find out about a health issue. Bile acid and renal ultrasound testing is deferred as long as possible and usually done between 11 and 12 weeks so that results are available by 12 weeks.


Selection of new homes:
If you are interested in a Tarahill puppy - please note:
1. I do not offer "picks".  While I do most certainly consider your preferences in selecting a puppy, my goal is to ensure the best match between puppy temperament and the home that puppy will go to, as well as the goals you might have for your puppy. After living with the puppies for a minimum of 10 weeks, I am in the best position to help reach a successful match. Of course this will be discussed with you and I will do my best to accommodate preferences as long as they do not override other more important considerations with respect to the suitability of an individual puppy for a particular home.
2. I do not take deposits on puppies -  breeding is an often uncertain activity and there are no guarantees of number of puppies in each litter (or even any puppies) after a breeding. If we have communicated regarding a puppy and I have received a completed questionnaire and determined that your home is appropriate for a puppy, I will stay in touch you as the litter is born and grows and let you know as soon as I can if I will have a puppy for you. If you are accepted as a puppy home but I am unable to have a puppy for you, I will do my best to help you find a puppy from another reputable breeder.
3. Puppy homes are selected on a "best match" basis, not on a first come, first served basis.
4. If for some reason, after receiving a puppy, you find that things are not working out, the puppy is to be returned to me and may not be sold to a third party. Return of the purchase price in total or in part depending on the timing and situation will be discussed with you. Costs associated with returning the puppy will be deducted from any refunds.
5. In most cases, puppies are placed on a non breeding basis, spay / neuter contract.

Before going to new homes:
1. Puppies will be screened for liver shunt before going to new homes.
2. Puppies will also have age appropriate vaccinations prior to going to new homes. This typically means they have completed two sets of vaccines.
3. Puppies will have renal ultrasounds done at 11-12 weeks to screen for renal dysplasia.
4. Additional health screening will be conducted on an as needed basis.

What do I look for in a puppy home?
1. Experience with cairns or other terrier breeds is a definite plus, but not an absolute requirement. If you have no experience with Cairns or terriers, be sure to educate yourself on the terrier temperament and behaviour so that you know what to expect in a Cairn.  Terriers are wonderful, delightful and challenging dogs - but they are not the most biddable of breeds and may not be ideal for all families. 
2. Cairns are NOT off leash dogs for the most part.  They are easily distracted by small animals (or even larger ones) and readily give chase....without a thought for where they are going or whom they have left behind frantically calling for them.  A SECURELY fenced yard is a must.  Secure means that fencing goes tight to the ground (or better yet, buried in the ground) with NO small gaps that a puppy can squeeze through. Constant care is needed to watch for digging attempts and any new gaps that may allow escape.
3. Other pets in the household:  Cairns generally get along well with other dog breeds, especially larger breeds.  Many Cairns are good with cats (if appropriately introduced while still young). Please note that due to allergies in my household, my dogs will not be socialized to cats.  This is something that will require immediate attention if a puppy is to be introduced to a cat friendly home.  Cairns are not reliably safe around small pets such as rodents, rabbits, or chickens.  If you have such pets in the household, you will need to take care not to allow unsupervised contact. I am happy to send a puppy to homes with other small pets provided appropriate safety precautions are taken.
4. Committment to engagement in classes / training / activities with your Cairn.  While it is not necessary for families to engage in competitive dog activities, I do strongly encourage you to become active with your Cairn in some type of regular activity that will challenge your dog's mental and physical abilities. Cairns are working dogs and need a job....if you do not provide one for them, they may well create one for themselves, and it may not be one you like! 

Tarahill puppies living in the Calgary / Okotoks area are welcome to attend Wags to Wishes classes at a discounted rate.