Did you know that the Cairn Terrier was almost our state dog? This would have been a perfect choice. After all, Toto, the beloved pooch from The Wizard Of Oz, is definitely a Kansas favorite. A 2012 bill proposing that these lovable pups become our mascot was sent up the flagpole, but ultimately didn’t pass. A Wichita, KS vet discusses these cute canines below.


Speaking about Toto, the famous pup was originally named Terry. Her name was changed after The Wizard of Oz became popular. Filming wasn’t an easy process: Terry was actually seriously injured on set, when one of the Winkies accidentally stepped on her paw and broke it. The pooch recuperated at the home of Judy Garland, who was smitten with her adorable co-star. The actress wanted to buy Terry, but her owner didn’t want to sell. The Wizard of Oz wasn’t Terry’s only film appearance. In fact, she appeared in 15 other movies!

Breed History

The Cairn Terrier breed originated in the Scottish Highlands. Fido got his name because of his original job, which was hunting prey between the cairns that dot the area. The breed was added to the ranks of the Kennel Club back in 1912. Interestingly, the name Cairn Terrier didn’t come about without problems. The breed was originally dubbed the Short-Haired Skye Terrier. However, breeders of the Skye Terrier objected, and Fido got a new name.


Fido’s coat is one of his most distinctive features. Cairn Terrier fur is very thick and wiry, and does require some special care. Hand stripping is often recommended for them. This involves pulling the old hair out by the root. It’s crucial that this be done correctly, to avoid hurting your canine pal or damaging his skin. If you’ve never done this before, take your pooch to a groomer. Ask your vet for more information.


Cairn Terriers stuff a lot of dog into small packages. These cute pups are very active, and must have lots of walks and playtime. Keep your furry buddy entertained, as otherwise he may turn to mischief. Fido is also very independent, so proper training is also a must. Also worth noting? Cairn Terriers are diggers by nature, as one of their early jobs was hunting vermin.

Do you need to make an appointment for your canine companion? Contact us, your local Wichita, KS animal clinic!