Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier


Cairn Terrier


Origin and brief history

The Cairn Terrier originates from the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye.  It is one of the oldest terrier breeds. This breed is also Scotland’s earliest working dog. They are used for burrowing and hunting prey among the cairns.  This breed hunts rats and other rodents and can do the job of a household cat, catching and killing mice.



The Cairn Terrier is very much an inside dog. They are loyal to their owners and are very happy playing in the house. The breed is known for digging and if not exercised appropriately can cause some indoor problems. The Cairn Terrier needs to be walked daily and trained in obedience. This is important to gain focus of the dog, if they see prey to chase.



The Cairn Terrier is hypoallergenic and shedding is minimal. The coat is very helpful in repelling water and keeps the dog very dry. Grooming consists of hand stripping the dead hairs out, instead of cutting. This should be done by a professional until you have learned the proper way, because it can hurt the dog. Dental and ear hygiene should be done on a regular basis. The nails should be clipped monthly and they should be checked regularly for any damage to their paw pads or body.


Specification of breed

The Cairn Terrier is a small breed. Males and females will weigh between 10 and 15 pounds and has a height of 9 to 13 inches. The outer coat is very shaggy and rigid, while the under coat is a soft downy. They range in color from black, cream, gray, and even brindle. Some Cairn Terriers have a purple tongue. Cairn Terriers have many genetic diseases that can occur. They are known to have dysplasia, cataracts, and hypothyroidism. The longevity is between 12 and 17 years.



Buyer Beware

The Cairn Terrier is a small breed, but can be very rambunctious. If not exercises properly, these dogs can cause havoc inside of a house. They have been known to chew through sheetrock and other surfaces to get outside to chase animals. They can also have severe health problems, it is important to test the dog and do research to understand the different types of diseases. The Cairn Terrier should also be trained in obedience and socialized. The Cairn enjoys interactive games like hide and seek and working on word commands, so it is important that the owner has time to spend with such an active and energetic dog.



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