Cairn terriers make great companions. They're smart, feisty, adorable little dogs. You can get a cairn terrier puppy in Illinois from various sources, including breeders and pet stores. Rescue groups and animal shelters might have grown cairns available for adoption.
Chicago/Suburban Cairn Terrier Club
The Chicago/Suburban Cairn Terrier Club can provide you with information regarding cairn terriers and breeders in the Prairie State. The club holds a designated specialty and sweepstakes and conformation show each June, usually held either at the Lake County Fair Grounds in Grayslake or the Libertyville Sports Complex, Libertyville. At these events, you will see the region's top cairn terriers competing, and have the opportunity to speak with knowledgeable cairn owners and trainers.
Possibly the best way to obtain a cairn terrier is via a reputable breeder. That doesn't mean it's the most convenient way to get yourself a dog. Good breeders produce only a limited number of puppies each year, and screen potential buyers carefully. If you want a show quality cairn, expect to pay a substantial amount of money. Pet quality cairns aren't cheap, but don't cost as much as those who can compete in American Kennel Club conformation classes. Some breeders might place adult cairns in suitable homes once the animal's competitive or breeding career is over.
Cairn Terrier Rescue
As of 2014, there are no cairn terrier-specific rescues operating in Illinois. That doesn't mean you can't find a cairn terrier in need of a new home. National cairn terrier rescue organizations, such as Cairn Rescue USA, list dogs available for adoption in each state. Websites such as PetStew list various breeds available by state. Check local dog rescues and animal shelters for adoptable cairn terriers and leave your contact information. Even if shelters or rescues don't have any cairns currently available, they can get in touch with you if a dog becomes available.
You might find a cairn terrier puppy in a pet store. If you decide to go this route, ask questions at the store regarding the source of their puppies and make sure you receive a veterinary health guarantee for your cairn puppy. One prominent Chicago-area pet store offers a two-year money-back warranty if any of their puppies are found to have congenital defects. Ask that your cairn puppy come with Orthopedic Foundation for Animals knee, hip and heart certification.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.