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October 24, 2022 14 min read


The Cairn Terriers is a small, sturdily built terrier. It has a somewhat square, foxy head with dark eyes and erect ears that are set high on the head. The short coat of the Cairn Terrier should be hardy, dense and weatherproof.

Cairn Terriers Breed overview

A Cairn Terrier is a small, sturdy dog with a short coat. Their weatherproof coat is easy to groom and can be left natural or trimmed. The coat comes in red, wheaten (a light shade of brown), black and blue.

Characteristics of the Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers are small, sturdy and square-proportioned. They have a thick coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They have small, dark eyes and ears that stand up.

Cairn Terriers are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, making them great companions for children or other pets. These dogs also excel at agility trials due to their keen sense of balance and ability to use their small size as an advantage when navigating obstacles such as A-frames or tunnels.

History of the Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers are a small, sturdy dog with a very thick and dense coat. Known for their intelligence and friendly nature, they make great family pets. They can be found in many colors, but red or black are the most common.

The Cairn Terrier originated in Scotland and was bred to hunt foxes, badgers, otters and other small animals underground. They were also used to herd sheep and cattle on farms where there weren't enough dogs around to do all of the work by themselves.

Today's Cairns are still popular as working dogs because they're smart enough to hunt on their own while remaining good at obeying commands given by their owners (as long as those commands aren't something like "go under my house").


The average lifespan of a Cairn Terrier is 13 to 15 years, with the oldest one having been 20 years old.

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Height and Weight of Cairn Terriers

A Cairn Terrier puppy usually weighs around 2 to 5 pounds when they're born, and will grow to be 10 to 12 inches tall. An adult Cairn weighs 20 to 35 pounds, while an adult female Cairn can weigh up to 28 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 13 years or more.

Cairn Terriers Appearance and Color Variations

Cairn Terriers are small dogs. They have short legs and a long body. Their bodies are slightly longer than their height, which makes them appear to be tubby or stocky even when they're not fat. Their heads are well-balanced with their bodies, and their ears are large for a dog of this size.

The face is fox-like with dark eyes and a black nose; however, some Cairn Terriers have light gray fur on the muzzle or may have pinkish markings around the eyes and nose area (called "rubber" because of its resemblance to rubber bands). The tail curls over their backs when relaxed but straightens out when excited or alerting others to danger by wagging it vigorously back and forth like a flag in windy conditions.

Cairn Terriers Personality

Cairn Terriers are friendly, playful and affectionate dogs. They enjoy being around people, especially those that they know well. They also love playing games with their owners, such as fetching and tug of war.

Cairn Terriers are alert, intelligent and eager to please which makes them easy to train. With proper training, Cairn Terriers can be very good guard dogs because they will bark at anyone who approaches your home uninvited or when someone suspicious is nearby.

Cairn Terrier dogs make excellent companions for children since they love spending time with kids! However you should always supervise interactions between children and puppies so that no one gets hurt during playtime together

Cairn Terriers Temperament

Cairn Terriers are intelligent and alert, making them easy to train. They can be stubborn at times, but they usually respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. Cairn Terriers are good with children and other pets and enjoy being part of the family. These dogs have a lot of energy so they need plenty of exercise; however, they also enjoy relaxing on their own time as well!

Where to adopt or buy a Cairn Terriers?

There are a number of places to find Cairn Terriers. You can adopt or buy from a pet store, breeder, rescue group or an adoption center. You can also look for them online at classified ads sites like Craigslist and Kijiji.

What’s the price of Cairn Terriers?

The price of a Cairn Terrier puppy varies depending on where you get it. You can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 for one from reputable breeders or shelters, but some puppies are sold online for as much as $2,500.

A fully grown adult Cairn Terrier will cost between $1,000 and $2,000. Buying an older dog is cheaper because they’ve already been trained and have had their basic needs met (like food).

If you buy your puppy directly from the breeder (or in this case, shelter), expect to pay anywhere from $400 to about 1/4th that amount for each puppy in the litter (i.e., under 10 puppies).

Pros of Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers are great with children, other pets, and strangers. This makes them good family dogs.

They are loyal and playful.

They are intelligent dogs, so they can be easily trained to do tasks.

Their long lifespan of 12-15 years means they'll be around for a while!

Cairn Terriers puppy for sale

Cons of Cairn Terriers

  • If you have small children, a Cairn Terrier may not be the best option for your family. The breed can have issues with nipping, and it can be difficult to train them to ignore small children.

  • Cairn Terriers are not good with other pets. They often don't get along with other dogs or cats, so if you plan on having another animal in your home, this isn't the right breed for you.

  • Cairn Terriers are not good guard dogs either—which means they may bark when strangers come over but won't actually attack anyone or anything that poses danger to their owners or themselves!

  • Finally (and most importantly), they aren't great first-time owners because of how stubborn they can be when training new things like housebreaking and walking on a leash

Things to know if you own a Cairn Terriers

If you're thinking of adopting a Cairn Terrier, there are some things to know. They are energetic and playful dogs who need plenty of exercise. They can be stubborn, so training them is important. As with all terriers, they will try to dig if they get bored or want to go outside.

Cairn Terriers have sensitive skin and should be protected from heat during hot weather. They aren't good with children because they tend to nip at their heels when they run around the house or yard together; this could lead to serious injury (or worse!) if your child falls down suddenly while playing with the dog!

Diet and nutrition of Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers are a small breed, so they don't need much food. However, their small size also makes them susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). As such, it's important that they eat several small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal three times a day.

A Cairn Terrier's digestive system is short and compact; this means the food will pass through quickly and easily. It's very common for your dog's stomach to feel empty after eating an entire bowl full of dry kibble or canned food—in fact, he may even refuse to eat if you give him too much at once! To prevent this situation from happening again in the future, feed your pup smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day rather than giving him all his allotted amount at once before bedtime or during mealtimes. This way he won't be left feeling hungry when it comes time for breakfast tomorrow morning (or whenever else his next scheduled mealtime happens).


Cairn Terriers are low-maintenance dogs, which means they can be easy to care for. They have short coats, so they don’t require extensive grooming.

Cairn Terriers are not high-maintenance dogs and rarely need baths or extra grooming. They shed their undercoat twice a year, and regular brushing will keep the shedding under control.

Cairn Terriers don't require much exercise but still need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise on a leash or in a fenced area if you're walking them off-leash on trails or in parks where there is no fence surrounding the trail/park area being walked through by your dog(s).


Cairn Terriers are lively, intelligent and energetic dogs. They need daily exercise to stay happy, healthy and out of mischief. A long daily walk is a must for most Cairn Terriers. They can be taught to run alongside you on a bike or jogger – but don't expect them to keep up for more than 5 minutes at a time!

Cairn Terriers are well suited to living in the country or suburbs with access to open space where they can run off-leash. But they will not do well in an apartment or city lifestyle where there isn't enough room for them to exercise their exuberant personalities.

Although Cairn Terriers are essentially small terriers, training them for dog sports like agility or flyball will likely be too much work for most people considering that most Cairns don’t have the patience needed to excel at these activities.


Cairn Terriers are intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn. They need to be trained from a young age for them to be easy to train. Cairn Terriers are not good guard dogs because they do not bark much and will not bite intruders unless threatened or provoked. A Cairn Terrier is more likely to run away and hide under the bed than bark at an intruder, which makes them unreliable watchdogs.


Cairn Terriers are medium-sized dogs that require regular grooming. This includes brushing their coat and cleaning their ears at least once a week, as well as bathing every few weeks. The Cairn Terrier's medium-length coat should be brushed with a pin brush or soft bristle brush to remove tangles and matting, especially around the tail head, legs, neck and underbelly. A comb may also be used for this purpose. Bathing is recommended about once a month; it's best if you can do this outside the house so you don't make a mess in your home!

Cairn Terriers FAQs

How often should you bathe a Cairn Terriers?

A Cairn Terrier is a small breed, so it does not need to be bathed very often. It's best to bathe your Cairn Terrier once every month or two. If your Cairn Terrier sheds a lot, though, or gets dirty easily (like if they play outside), then you should wash them more often than that. You'll also want to wash your Cairn Terrier more frequently if they have fleas or other parasites on their skin that you need to remove!

Are the Cairn Terriers dogs good for families?

Cairn Terriers are great dogs for families. They're happy and playful, which makes them especially good with children. If you have cats, though, you should be sure to get your kids involved in the training process so they can teach the dog how to treat their feline friends.

Cairns are also friendly and social with other animals, so if you want a pet that gets along well with your other pets or even welcomes new ones into your home, this breed is a great choice for you. Your Cairn will likely become best friends with any furry creature it meets!

With so many dogs around the house already, though—including your own—you may wonder how well-suited this breed is to strangers as well as people they don't know very well yet themselves? Well...

Dose Cairn Terriers get along with other pets?

Cairn Terriers are very loyal and affectionate towards their owners, but they can be aggressive towards other pets if they aren't raised with them. If a Cairn Terrier is raised with another dog, that dog won't seem like anything other than an annoying sibling. However, if the Cairn Terrier hasn't been raised with another pet, it may be aggressive towards the other animal.

Cairn Terriers are territorial and protective of their family's home. They will chase off any intruders or strangers who come by your house—even if it's just someone delivering packages! This is why you should keep an eye on them when strangers come over; otherwise your paranoid little pup might bite them! I also recommend bringing your pet inside when company arrives so that he doesn't try to attack anyone who comes into his territory (even though he may look adorable doing so).

Cairn Terriers have high energy levels—which means they'll need lots of exercise every day! They love playing games outside like fetching balls or frisbees in the yard; however they aren't too fond of bringing these toys back unless there's some food involved (like peanut butter) because then it becomes more fun for both parties involved."

Do Cairn Terriers bark a lot?

Yes, they do. Cairn Terriers are very vocal dogs and bark often. They don’t make good watchdogs because they are not loud enough to alert you to a stranger approaching your home. However, they can be good guard dogs if you have intruders who enter through the front door or windows as the Cairn Terrier will sound noisy alarms until you get up and come out of bed to investigate what's going on outside the house!

Cairn Terriers have high-pitched barks that can be heard from afar (especially if there is less noise around). These low frequencies travel long distances well but may not always be heard by human ears depending on where we are situated relative to each other when we speak - which is why it's important for owners not just listen carefully but also encourage their dog/s by rewarding them whenever possible so that over time these high-pitched sounds become familiarized with us too!

Cairn Terriers head shot

Are Cairn Terriers aggressive?

No. Cairn Terriers are not aggressive, and they are very friendly and affectionate. They are good with children and other pets, as well as strangers.

Are Cairn Terriers high maintenance?

When it comes to the Cairn Terrier, the answer is a resounding no. These dogs are one of the easiest breeds to own. You can expect your new dog to be obedient and well-behaved right out of the gate—they're naturally easygoing, friendly, and calm.

They will make excellent family pets because they get along well with children, other dogs, cats and even other household pets like guinea pigs or goldfish (though there's no guarantee that they won't try to snatch something from these tanks). They're also known for not barking unless there's a reason for it: unlike some other breeds who bark constantly just because they want attention or are bored.

Do Cairn Terriers shed?

Cairn Terriers are low-shedding dogs, which means they don't shed as much as other breeds. However, they do shed from time to time. Cairns have a short coat and their hair is not very dense, so you may find yourself needing to brush your Cairn more often than you'd like if you want to keep them looking sleek and shiny.

In addition to being low maintenance when it comes to brushing and shedding, Cairns are also good for people with allergies because they don't tend to cause flare-ups like some other dogs can do.

How smart is a Cairn Terriers?

Cairn Terriers are intelligent dogs and they can be a challenge to train. Cairn Terriers are independent thinkers, which means that they may not always follow your commands. You should use positive reinforcement techniques in your training and make sure that you have plenty of patience for them, as it will be easier for them to learn when they are rewarded for good behavior rather than punished for bad behavior. Make sure that you have lots of time with your Cairn Terrier because if left alone too long without being properly exercised or trained, he might become bored which can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing or digging up plants.

Are Cairn Terriers good walking dogs?

Cairn Terriers are energetic dogs, so they need a lot of exercise. But that's not all—Cairn Terriers also enjoy being outdoors and playing in the yard or park. Because of this, Cairn Terriers make good walking dogs because they love being outside with their owners. However, if you live in an apartment building and can't walk your dog during the day, then it's best to look for another dog breed that is comfortable living indoor only (like a cat!).

Can Cairn Terriers swim?

Cairn Terriers are not suitable for swimming. They do not like water, so they will jump out of the pool if they get in one. This is a serious problem that can result in drowning. However, with patience and time you can train them to swim.

Cairn Terrier puppies are very difficult to teach how to swim because their instinct tells them not to go near water and it takes time for them to overcome this instinct. It's best if you start when your Cairn Terrier puppy is about 8 weeks old and start training sessions every day until he/she gets used to being around water

Do Cairn Terriers like to cuddle?

Cairn Terriers are affectionate dogs that love to cuddle and be close to their owners. They enjoy being around people, so they make great family pets. Cairn Terriers can also be wonderful with children, but it is important to teach your child how to approach and touch a dog so that the puppy does not get overwhelmed or scared by human interaction.

Cairn Terriers do not tend to bark at intruders or strangers in the home, which makes them ideal for apartment living. If you're looking for a quiet pet, this breed may be perfect for you!

Are Cairn Terriers clingy?

Cairn Terriers are very affectionate dogs, so they do like to be close to their owners. They can also be very clingy, so some people may find that this trait makes the Cairn Terrier too needy. If you have a busy life and don't have time to spend with your dog all day long, a Cairn Terrier might not be right for you. On the other hand, if you like having a pet around who is always happy to see you when you get home from work or school then having a Cairn Terrier could work well for your lifestyle!

Cairn Terriers searching something

Are Cairn Terriers good house dogs?

If you're looking for a small dog that will love you unconditionally, then Cairn Terriers are the perfect house pet. They are small yet sturdy little dogs that make good companions for everyone in the family.

Cairn Terriers are intelligent, easy-going and loving towards their owners. They can be easily trained and do not require much exercise. But don't mistake this for a lazy breed; they have plenty of energy to burn off! They love playing games and running around with their humans or other dogs in the household.

Cairn Terriers make excellent family pets because they're so tolerant of children's antics, which means they won't mind if your kids roughhouse with them on occasion! This makes them ideal companions for families with children who aren't quite ready yet (or ever) own cats

Are Cairn Terriers hypoallergenic?

Cairn Terriers are low shed dogs and can be good for allergy sufferers. The dogs have a very low allergy index, which means that they do not cause allergic reactions in most people. This is because their coat does not contain as much dander (skin cells) as other breeds.

Most owners of Cairn Terriers find that the shedding is minimal, but it is important to note that some people may still experience allergic reactions when near the dog.


This dog’s personality and temperament make it a special breed that you won’t regret owning. If you want a dog who will be loyal and loving, then this is the one for you!

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