Cairn Terrier Dog Breed Information and Pictures - All About Dogs

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier


The Cairn Terrier is the smallest representative of the versatile family of Terriers. Initially, they were developed in the Highlands of Scotland, as one of Scotland’s first working dogs. Cairn Terriers were widely used for hunting rodents; and nowadays, they excel as companion dogs. The Cairn Terrier was officially recognized by the American Kannel Club in 1913.

Height: 9.5-10 inches  Weight: 13-14 pounds  Lifespan: 13-15 years


The Cairn Terrier is intelligent, cheerful, alert, busy, persistent and courageous dog. Cairn Terriers are very vivid, they are smart and have an independent mind. Comparable Breed: Norfolk Terrier and Norwich Terrier.


Dogs of this breed are energetic, active and restless, they are always in search of adventure. Friendly and gentle, brave and fearless, the Cairn Terrier loves to play and games with his family. He is a loyal, alert but has a quite mischievous character, typical for a terrier.

Coat / Care

The Cairn Terrier wears a furry coat, consisted of two layers. The outer coat is long, rather rough to the touch, and the undercoat is soft, short and fluffy. The Cairn Terrier’s shaggy coat is the perfect protection from the adverse weather and does not require trimming. 

Cairn Terriers are small hypoallergenic dogs. This breed does not shed, but it needs to be cleaned several times a week. It is recommended to cut the long strands around the dog’s eyes and ears. Since Cairn Terriers tend to gain weight easily, it is important not to overfeed your pet.

Health Problems

Despite the fact that this is the smallest of all terriers, the breed is prone to the same diseases as the other members of the family. Cairn Terriers are prone to joint problems, cataracts, epilepsy, skin problems, a degenerative disease of the central nervous system and are allergic to flea bites. The Cairn Terrier has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years.

Weight / Height

The male Cairn Terrier dog breed’s height is around 9.5 – 10 inches and weighs around 13 and 14 pounds. Female Cairn Terrier dogs can reach a size from 9.5 – 10 inches and weighs between 13 and 14 pounds.


The Cairn Terrier is extremely curious and learns quite quickly. This is a very stubborn dog, which means that a teacher must be persistent and strict, but not rude. He likes to learn all sorts of tricks and copes well with the general course of training. If you neglect your pet, he will be bored and lonely, and this will lead to destructive behavior.


The Cairn Terrier is full of energy. Therefore, this dog is not suited for living in a city apartment. As a matter of fact, the best environment for this breed is a sufficiently large fenced yard where he could run freely. Cairn Terriers enjoy long walks with their owner and they love to play ball.

Cairn Terrier

Photo Credit: Patrick Standish/Flickr; Brad L./Flickr

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