cairnterrier Is the Cairn Terrier the Pet for You?


Behavior common of the Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terriers are energetic and playful dogs who are loyal to their owners. They love to play and enjoy spending time around people, but they are not as clingy as other small dogs, since they do not typically enjoy cuddle time. Due to this breed’s playful nature, Cairn Terriers require a lot of outdoor play and exercise. Thus, they may not be the best choice for an apartment dog.

When outside, the breed can be quite rambunctious. If left unattended for too long, they may begin digging and barking, so it is important to give this dog plenty of attention and care. As a watchdog, this alertness and energy makes them able to sniff out trouble and bark to warn others.

The Cairn Terrier generally gets along with other pets children. The breed should be socialized well, as these dogs can sometimes grow aggressive toward other animals. The dog also tends to favor his owner, but Cairn Terriers will warm up to new people in due time. These dogs are also great with kids, though children should be advised to refrain from playing too roughly with these small dogs.

Playful training is recommended for this breed, and the Cairn Terrier will generally do well with positive reinforcement methods.  A firm hand and assertion by the owner of their role as ‘pack leader’ will prevent this small dog from taking over the household.

Appearance of the Cairn Terrier

At only 10 to 13 inches tall, the Cairn Terrier is a small dog. They weigh in at a light 14 to 18 pounds. A medium-length double coat on this breed consists of the typical wiry outer layer and short, soft undercoat. This dog’s coat comes in virtually every color besides white, including black, brindle, cream, gray, silver, wheat, or red. Sharply pointed ears, large teeth, and a tail that is typically kept at its natural length are characteristics of this breed.

Grooming your Cairn Terrier

This dog sheds only a light amount, making grooming hassle-free. The dog is a great choice for a hair-free home. Hand stripping- the act of removing dead hairs by hand or with a stripping knife- can also benefit the coat, but this isn’t necessary often. Like any breed of dog, the Cairn Terrier requires regular nail clippings, baths, and proper dental care. Regular vet visits and proper care will help keep the pet happy and healthy for years to come.

History of the Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier descends from rough-coated terriers living in the Isle of Skye in the Scottish highlands. They were named for the region’s “cairns”- piles of stones that served to designate property lines. Traditionally, they were used as ratting dogs and kept farms free of vermin. Originally lumped in with other Skye Terriers and Scottish Terriers, this breed got its own breed recognition in 1912 when terriers began to be separated into distinct breeds.