Cairn Terrier Dog Breed Information


Cairn Terrier Quick Facts
Cairn Terrier
Breed Group: Terrier
Origen: Scottish Highlands
Nickname: Toto (from the wizard of Oz)
Weight: 13-14 lbs
Height: 9.5-10 inches
Color(s): Any color but white; dark ears, muzzle, tail tip desired


Cairn Terrier Appearance

The Cairn Terrier is a delightful pet and companion, hardy, small working terrier of the short-legged class; very free in its movements, is one of the oldest terrier breeds. The Cairn Terrier has a harsh, weather-resistant outer coat that can vary in any color except white, they are mostly red, gray, brindle, and charcoal gray. A notable characteristic of Cairns is that Cairns frequently change color throughout their lifetime. It is not uncommon for a brindled Cairn to become progressively more black or silver as it ages. The hair around the head gives him a general foxy expression, and his eyes are shining with intelligence, poised and ready for anything. It stands 9 – 10 in. (23 – 25.5 cm) high and weighs about 13 – 14 lbs (6 – 6.5 kg) small enough to carry easily and to fit comfortably on your lap.

Cairn Terrier Temperament

Generally active, hardy, alert, enthusiastic, eager, and intelligent little dog, is a delightful pet companion. His tendency to bark and raise the alarm makes him an effective watchdog. The Cairn terrier is energetic and playful and loves to get involved in activity and fun, will enjoy playing and joining in with family activities. No two Cairns are truly alike; each has distinct personality and character differences, his reaction with strangers can depend upon the personality of the individual, while some will be reserved whereas others will be friendly.

Is Cairn Terrier the Right Dog Breed for You?

Cairns love their families, but may try to test their owner’s limits, so obedience training is necessary. They seem to have an inborn affinity for children. They should not, however, be teased or mistreated, and close supervision of small children and puppies is essential. Cairns should be provided with a place where they can rest undisturbed until they are ready to play again. Although they learn quickly, the Cairn may always have the instinct to dig and chase for rats and other rodents and small animals. Thus if one is kept as a house hold pet it will do the job of a cat, specifically catching and killing mice, rabbits, and squirrels.

Cairn Terrier Mortality

The Cairn Terrier is a basically healthy dog, and frequently lives 14 to 15 years or more.

Cairn Terrier Health problems

The Cairn Terrier has a number of health problems linked to this breed, and some of these include cataracts, glaucoma, Legg-Perthes, luxating patella, blood disorders, kidney disorders, PRA, CMO, seizures, allergies, and thyroid problems.

Cairn Terrier Care and Grooming

Regular exercise is necessary to keep the breed fit and happy. Walking is excellent exercise for Cairns and their owners. A brisk walk daily, on leash, is ideal. From the Cairn's point of view, the longer the walk the better. Cairn Terrier requires a moderate amount of grooming in order to keep his coat looking good. You should brush and comb his coat twice week if possible.

Cairn Terrier Shedding

Shedding is minimal if the dog is thoroughly brushed and combed weekly, and infrequently bathed. Hand stripping is good to pull the old dead hair out by the roots. Removing the dead hair in this manner allows new growth to come in. This new growth helps protect the dog from water and dirt.

Cairn Terrier Photos