Image of a Cairn Terrier behind a white background.

Cairn Terrier

A comprehensive guide to Cairn Terriers.

Life Expectancy
typically 12+ years
Medium length with low shedding

How to pronounce Cairn Terrier: keuhn teh·ree·uh 

Cairn Terriers are small, moderately active dogs first bred in the Scottish Highlands for hunting. Their coat is medium in length, wiry, and usually brindled, black, cream, sandy, red, or grey in colour.  

If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, then you’ve seen a Cairn Terrier. Terry the Cairn Terrier popularised the breed with her Oscar-worthy portrayal of Toto in the 1939 film.      

When it comes to behaviour, each doggo has their own traits and quirks. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re taking a look at everything Cairn Terrier, bringing you the important facts and things to consider.

Could you give a Cairn Terrier a forever home?  

Caring for Cairn Terriers 

Every dog is different with their own personality and needs. Here are some areas to think about when taking care of a Cairn Terrier.

Health issues

Before giving a Cairn Terrier a forever home, consider any possible health issues. Not every dog experiences them, but it’s important to be prepared.

For more advice on potential health issues for Cairn Terriers...

How much food does a Cairn Terrier need?

There is no set amount for how much food your Cairn Terrier need. This depends on their: 

  • age 
  • size 
  • activity levels 
  • fitness 
  • weight. 
An infographic showing the key indicators of healthy body condition for a dog

How much exercise does a Cairn Terrier need?

Cairn Terriers are usually moderately active dogs who need regular exercise and stimulation to keep them physically and mentally healthy.

They need daily walks, plus plenty of time and opportunity to explore, bu...

How much grooming does a Cairn Terrier need?

Cairn Terriers shed very little. To ease your dog into handling and grooming, introduce it step by step and in a positive way. Your dog feeling relaxed and confident will make grooming more enjoyable for everyone invo...

What crate size do you need for a Cairn Terrier?

In their crate, your dog should be able to comfortably:

  • sit and stand at their full height
  • turn around without touching the edges
  • lie down at full stretch
  • comfortably wag their tail....

Cairn Terrier behaviour and training

Even if you think you know about Cairn Terriers, it’s important to remember that every dog has their own personality. 

What's the temperament of a Cairn Terrier?

Each dog has their own personality and individual experiences of the world. So, each dog has their own temperament.

Two Cairn Terriers, for example, may have very different ways of reacting to certain situations...

Are Cairn Terriers easy to train?

You really can teach any dog new tricks. The key is positive learning. Find out what gets your dog’s tail wagging with excitement. Snacks or toys are popular choices, or even lots of praise. Whatever it is, you can us...

Are Cairn Terriers good with children?

Each dog’s personality is shaped by their experiences of the world and they respond differently to certain situations.  

But there are some universal ways to treat any dog, including Cairn Terriers, respect...

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