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Breeds Home > Breed List > Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier Breed Information

Cairn Terrier

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CKC , CKC , CTCA , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
Mispellings: Tierier

Caring for a Cairn Terrier

Feeding: Cairn Terriers tend to gain weight easily and should not be overfed. Any treats should be given only in a limited quantity.

Living with a Cairn Terrier

Temperament: The Cairn Terrier is an alert, merry, hardy, restless, spirited little dog. They are very lovable dogs but can be independent and mischievous at times.

Family Dog: The Cairn Terrier makes a great family pet as they are naturally patient with children.

Shedding: The Cairn Terrier sheds little to no hair.

Grooming: The coat of the Cairn Terrier requires plenty of regular maintenance to achieve that natural shaggy look. The coat should be gently brushed several times a week. Be especially careful with the soft undercoat. They should be bathed once a month. After the bath, the coat should be brushed as it dries. The excess hair around the eyes and ears should be trimmed regularly with blunt-nosed scissors. The Cairn's nails should also be clipped regularly.

Training: Cairn Terriers are easy to train and love to perform tricks. They are a sensitive breed and require firm, patient training and discipline.

Barking: Cairn Terriers do bark and when left alone without proper attention tends to bark excessively.

Exercise: Cairn Terriers are very active little dogs. They should be taken on long daily walks. They should be given ample play time daily, either indoors or outside in a fenced area.

Living Conditions: The Cairn Terrier will make a fine apartment dog provided they are given plenty of time to exercise daily. They are very active inside and do not require a yard.

Cairn Terrier Appearance

Appearance: The Cairn Terrier is an active, hardy little dog with a strong build and short legs. The coat is short and weather resistant. The head is well furnished with hair giving the Cairn Terrier its general foxy expression.

Size: A female Cairn Terrier should be 9½ inches tall and weigh around 13 pounds. A male should be 10 inches tall with an average weight of 14 pounds. The length of body from the chest to the rear should be between 14¼ to 15 inches long.

Head: The Cairn Terrier's head is wider than it is long with a thick coat of soft fur on the top of the head.

Nose: The Cairn Terrier's nose is black in color.

Eyes: The eyes of the Cairn Terrier are medium in size and hazel or dark hazel in color. They are sunken in and spaced wide apart on the face. They are furnished with shaggy eyebrows giving the keen terrier expression.

Ears: The Cairn Terrier has small, pointed ears that are set wide on the side of the head and carried erect. They should have a short coat on them.

Muzzle: The muzzle of the Cairn Terrier is strong and moderate in length.

Teeth/Bite: The Cairn Terrier has large teeth with a level or scissors bite.

Body: The body of the Cairn Terrier is strong and muscular with deep, well-sprung ribs. The back is of medium length and level giving their impression of strength and activity. The shoulders are sloping and of medium bone and length. The body should be balanced and proportionate.

Forequarters: The front legs should be covered in a hard coat, perfectly straight and never turn neither in nor out.

Feet: The front feet are larger than the rear one and may turn slightly outward. The pads should be thick and strong.

Tail: The Cairn Terrier's tail should be proportionate to the size of the head and covered with a thick but not feathered coat of fur. It should be carried gaily but never curled over the back.

Color: The coat of the Cairn Terrier may be any color except white including red, brindle, blackish, sand and various shades of gray. The ears, muzzle and tip of the tail should be dark in color.

Coat: The Cairn Terrier has coat is hard and weather-resistant double-coat. The outer coat is shaggy, thick and harsh. The undercoat is close and furry.

Cairn Terrier Facts

Category: Terrier, AKC Terrier

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of a Cairn Terrier is 12 to 15 years.

Characteristics: The Cairn Terrier requires plenty of attention without which they can become destructive. They enjoy searching for and chasing vermin as a result it is not recommended to leave them unattended outside or off leash in an unenclosed area.

Celebrity Owners: Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz

Cairn Terrier Health

Health: Cairn Terriers are often allergic to fleas.

Cairn Terrier History

History: The Cairn Terrier has been around since 1500 but was not publicly presented until 1909. They gained popularity around 1930. The Cairn Terrier is one of original Terriers of Scotland. They are believed to have contributed to today's West Highland White, Skye and Scottish Terrier breeds. The name Cairn comes from the word for the piles of small stones used to mark Scottish farm borders and graves. This breed was used to chase small animals from their homes and toward these stone piles.

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