Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier Dog Breed

About Cairn Terrier

Life Span
Getting a puppy home


Cairn’s unique qualities, called “”cairnness””, include a short, wide head and an independent-moving, short-legged body that experiences strength, but not heaviness, about 10 high and nearly 15 long. The double coat is rigid and lowered at the top and bottom. A cairn poses as a small, shaggy, cautious dog, with heads, tails and ears high above it, and eyes glowing with intelligence.

A British breed club has called Cairns “”the best little sail in the world””. Cairns are small enough for a lap-top snuggle and are strong enough for a good romp on the lawn. They do best with lots of close family contact. For owners who espouse the terrier qualities of gambling, independent thinking, and true-blue loyalty, no other breed will.

Cairn Terrier Dog Breed


The Cairn is one of several terrier breeds, some still extinct others, who have patrolled Scotland’s game preservation and farms for centuries. The history of these breeds is difficult to unravel as they were smuggled together as Scotch Terriers for so many years. Not until early 1800s did the fanatics formulate strict breeding programs and classifications for this rigid family of radicals. The name Cairn Terrier did not appear in print until 1887, although the Cairn-type Terrier was around for a long time by then. Cairns were known to have lived in the Western Highlands since at least the 1600s, particularly on the Isle of Skye, the birthplace of their kin Sky Terrier.

At one time in Scotland, a mound of stones was used as a border or to mark the grave, known as “”Cairn””. Under the protection of the Highland Game, rodents live within these rock piles. The Cairn Terrier, among the smallest of the go-to-ground terriers, was developed to dig into the Cairn and take out the critters. When grouped into packs, these lazy little predators also work on foxes, otters, and other predators. Cairn’s independence, courage, ferocity, and vigilance were qualities that served him well when digging into a cairn alone and encountering sharp-toothed mammals.

By the end of the 20th century, British Terrier fanatics had sorted out various Scotch Earthdogs and started breeding Cairn, Scottish, Sky and West Highland White Terriers as distinct pure breeds. Cairns were featured in British dog shows of the era, and the AKC recognized the breed in 1913.

The public profile of the breed received a major boost in 1939, when a Cairn named Tory was selected to play Toto in MGM’s production of “”The Wizard of Oz””.

General Appearance

An active, sports, hardy, small working terrier of the short-legged class; Very free in his movements, firmly but not heavily built, standing well forward on his forelegs, deep in the ribs, coupled with a well-strengthened barrier and presenting a well-proportioned build with a moderate length of back. Doing, a tough, weather-resisting coat; The head is shorter and wider than any other terrier and the expression of a normal fox well furnished with hair.

Cairn Terrier Dog Breed


This breed is intelligent and easy to train and are very low droolers


This breed is prone to health issues and has seperation anxiety
Cairn Terrier Dog Breed


The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time.


Cairn terriers are generally easy keepers, although weekly brushing and combing are recommended, as well as periodic hand-stripping to maintain the texture of the coat. Working a comb and a soft slicker brush will help with the grooming tasks. With a new puppy, spending time together in a grooming session helps her get accustomed to working with him or her and is an opportunity to develop a bond between you. Nails should be trimmed regularly, as longer nails can cause dog trouble.


Cairns are very smart and love their families, but they can try to test their boss’s limits, so obedience training is necessary. Although they learn quickly, Cairn may always have a tendency to dig and chase small animals, so new owners must be prepared for these behaviors. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-run companion.


Cairns require moderate amounts of exercise and can be well adapted to various living conditions during daily walks. They can roam anywhere from highlands farm to urban high-rise and are all excellent dogs. Training for dog sports provides an ideal outlet for their energy. The breed practices body and mind by participating in obedience, tracking, herring, agility, earthdog events, ability tests and other activities that dogs and owners can enjoy together.


Cairn terriers should perform well on high quality dog ​​food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, check with your vet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.


Cairn terriers are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders have tested their stock for health disorders and regularly communicate with other dedicated breeders, working together to preserve the health of the breed and the unique qualities of the breed Huh.

Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Cardiac examination
  • Patella rating
  • GCL DNA test
  • PSVA
  • MVD
  • Kidney aplasia / dysplasia
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