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  • Writer's pictureLeilani Nichols

A 1000 Foot View Of The Cairn Terrier Breed

Cairn Terriers: The Lovable Little Dogs with a Big Personality

Cairn Terriers are an energetic and affectionate breed known for their playful, curious nature and scruffy, shaggy coats. Originally bred in Scotland as hunting dogs, they are now a popular family pet and beloved companion to many. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the Cairn Terrier breed, their characteristics, and what makes them such a great choice for a pet.

History and Origin

Cairn Terriers, also known as Cairns, are a small breed of terrier that originated in the Scottish Highlands. They were originally bred to hunt small game, such as rodents and foxes, and were often used for working in the rocky terrain of the Scottish countryside. Cairns were first recognized as a breed in the early 1900s, and have since become a popular pet in many countries around the world.

Appearance and Coat

Cairn Terriers are small dogs, typically weighing between 13-14 pounds and standing around 9-10 inches tall. They have a shaggy, rough coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, brindle, and wheaten. The Cairn Terrier coat is water-resistant, which is a trait that originally helped them when hunting in wet and damp conditions. Their fur is also hypoallergenic, making them a great choice for those with allergies


Personality and Temperament

Cairn Terriers are known for their playful and energetic personality, and are often described as "big dogs in small bodies." They are highly social and love being around people, and make great family pets for those with children. Cairns are also very intelligent and trainable, making them great candidates for obedience and agility training.

One thing to keep in mind when considering a Cairn Terrier is that they can be strong-willed and independent, which can sometimes make them difficult to train. However, with consistent training and socialization from an early age, they can become well-behaved and obedient pets.

Cairns are also highly curious and adventurous, and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They love exploring their surroundings and playing with toys, making them a great choice for active owners who enjoy outdoor activities.

Health and Care

Cairn Terriers are generally a healthy breed, with a lifespan of around 12-15 years. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia, allergies, and eye problems. It's important to keep up with regular vet check-ups and ensure that your Cairn Terrier receives proper nutrition and exercise.

Cairn Terriers require regular grooming to maintain their shaggy coats and prevent matting. Brushing their fur at least once a week and regular baths can help keep their coats looking healthy and clean. Cairns also benefit from regular exercise and mental stimulation, such as daily walks and interactive play.


Cairn Terriers are a lovable and playful breed that make great pets for those with an active lifestyle and a love for small dogs with big personalities. They are affectionate, intelligent, and highly trainable, and are a great choice for families with children. If you're considering getting a Cairn Terrier, make sure to do your research, find a reputable breeder, and provide them with the love, care, and attention they deserve.

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