Cairn Terrier – Dog Breeds – Info To Know Before Owning

Cairn Terrier characteristics, care, and dog training information.

We begin this article with the basic facts about the breed, then follow up with an in-depth look at their personality.

  • Group: Terrier
  • Weight: male: 14, female: 13 lbs
  • Height: male: 10, female: 9.5 inches


Originally the Cairn Terrier was used as a ratting dog and to hunt on the farmlands around the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This breed has been known since the 1500s, and many terrier breeds have their origin in this area. The Cairn terrier received its name because they can push themselves through the rocks that form cairns or stone fences. This breed was experts in the field of driving out rodents or animals such as otters. Apart from its ability to hunt, the Cairn Terrier is also prized for its watchdog and companion abilities. These dogs became very popular during the 1900s because more people wanted dogs that were suitable to live in the city with them.


This breed is flexible, brilliant and also caring. The Cairn Terrier is a pleasant dog and companion. These dogs are bold and curious, but they also have a very gentle character. The Cairn Terrier is a bubbly and cheerful dog and loves to get involved in activity and fun. Their tendency to bark and raise the alarm makes them valuable watchdogs. These dogs have ample spirit and are dedicated, willing, and intelligent. The Cairn Terrier, however, has a very self-assured and obstinate nature. They are recommended for owners with the previous dog ownership experience.


The Cairn Terrier does not have very high grooming needs for their coats to be kept in good condition. These dogs should be brushed and combed about two times during the week, and they can also be rubbed down with a rubber glove or damp cloth to remove dead hair. This is a low shedding breed, but it can become more on a seasonal basis. It is essential also to check their nails and teeth often. The coat of the Cairn Terrier should also be clipped once in a while. For show dogs, it will be necessary to strip the coat away.


Cairn Terriers are curious dogs that are quick to learn. This is a susceptible dog, so it is imperative not to be cruel when it comes to training and discipline. They also like to be taught tricks, and they blossom in obedience training. Without proper training and attention, the Cairn terrier will become bored – and this might result in destructive behavior.

Health problems

In general, the Cairn terrier is a very healthy breed. Some common health problems they struggle with are a tendency to gain weight which leads to obesity, flea allergies that will result in skin rashes and excessive licking and scratching.

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