Cairn Terrier

Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Good With Dogs
Watchdog Ability


Cairn Terrier is a breed of dogs originating from Scotland, and more precisely from the Scottish Highlands mountainous area. It belongs to the group of terriers and the section small terriers. It is one of the oldest working breeds.

These dogs have been used since ancient times by the Scots. At the time of King James I, they became very popular and were imported to France. This is the predecessor of the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. He was bred for hunting foxes, weasels and otters. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1913.

Physical characteristics

The Cairn Terrier's weight is between 6 and 8 kg. Females height is between 23 and 30 cm, males – between 25 and 33 centimeters. The dog has healthy bones and muscular limbs. His chest is well developed for a dog of this size. The ears are erect and the inner part is covered with hair.

The coat is firm to the touch, below the base layer has a soft bottom layer. The color of the fur is golden or brown, with darker areas. There are Cairn Terriers that are completely black or very dark gray. They have smart almond-shaped dark eyes. The nose is black. This dog has a beard and sideburns.

Character and behavior

The Cairn Terrier is brave, intelligent and lively by nature. He is an excellent pet and companion. He is also curious and lovable, very energetic and playful and wants to be constantly entertained. He likes to bark, which makes him a good watchdog. When you look for puppies for sale, keep in mind that the Cairn Terrier could be persistent and stubborn, which makes him suitable for people with experience in growing dogs.

Training and education

Early socialization and training are of great importance. This is a dog that will easily understand what you want from him, but not always execute the command. It all depends on his mood, he could easily get distracted by an animal or toy.

The Cairn Terrier will react badly if you show aggression or try to punish him - he could attack and even bite you. It is not necessary to use a treat - that stubborn, but very clever dog will do anything just to please you and get tapping and approval.

Health problems

Representatives of the breed live between 13 and 16 years. There are many known diseases affecting this dogs - cataract, glaucoma, thyroid problems, PRA, CMO, seizures, allergies and many others. Adult specimens must have OFA, CERF and GDC health certificates.

Grooming and care

The Cairn Terrier is a dog that will easily adapt to any room regardless of its size. He could live in a very small apartment, as long as he goes out frequently. He is overflowing with energy and must be able to spend it.

It is necessary to check the eyes and ears regularly to avoid any infections. The coat requires daily brushing. It is easy to maintain in terms of pollution - if the dog is muddy, it is sufficient to wait for his hair to dry and then comb it - the mud will fall by itself. The beard must be kept clean, because as he walks, the Cairn Terrier holds his head down and collects a lot of dirt. It is not recommended to bathe your pet more than three or four times a year.

The Cairn terrier does not tolerate heat well, so in warmer days go for a walk with him only in the morning and evening when it is cooler. Since this dog has a strong hunting instinct, he could start chasing a cat or other small animal and vanish. Therefore, it is better to keep him on a leash.

If left alone for a long time, the Cairn Terrier will bark for hours or will make a huge mess in the house.

Children and other pets

This dog gets along very well with children, especially older ones, and loves to play with them. He behaves well with other pets. Could be aggressive towards other male dogs of the breed. Attitude towards strangers depends - some terriers are reserved, others are friendly. Digging is one of his favorite activities, which makes him unsuitable for people with a beautiful garden.

Interesting facts

Cairn terriers are born with very dark hair. After a lot of combing the old coat falls and the new light fur appears.

An interesting fact about the breed is that a Cairn Terrier played the role of Toto in the movie "The Wizard of Oz".