The Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland's earliest working dogs. It is used for hunting and burrowing prey among the cairns. Although the breed had existed long before, the name Cairn Terrier was a compromise suggestion after the breed was originally brought to official shows in the United Kingdom in 1909 under the name Short-haired Skye terriers. This name was not acceptable to The Kennel Club due to opposition from Skye Terrier breeders, and the name Cairn Terrier was suggested as an alternative. They are usually left-pawed, which has been shown in dogs to correlate to superior performance in tasks related to scent. Cairn Terriers are ratters. In Scotland they would search the cairns (man-made pile of stones) for rats and other rodents. Thus if one is kept as a household pet it will do the job of a cat, specifically catching and killing mice, rabbits, and squirrels.The Cairn originated in the Highlands of Scotland and the Isle of Skye, initially grouped in the "Skye Terrier" class alongside the Scottish and West Highland White Terriers. In the early 1900s, the three breeds began to be bred separately. The name "Cairn" refers to the rock dens that foxes and badgers lived in throughout the countryside. The dog would squirm down into these "cairns" and bark to hold the predator until the farmer killed it.