Exactly you expect a rough haired working terrier to be.
The History Of The Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is also known as the Short Haired Skye Terrier and originated in Scotland during the 17th century, although some mention of the breed appears as early as the 14th century.
Bred on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. Cairn Terriers were used to hunt vermin and is one of the oldest of the British terriers. It developed over several centuries but was accepted as a pure breed in its own right in the 20th century
The dog takes its name from cairns, which are piles of stones on the sides of paths throughout the Scottish mountains that aid navigation among the wild and dangerous landscape when deep in snow or covered in mist.
The Cairn is one of Scotland's original Terriers and most likely a contributor to the West Highland White and Skye Terrier breeds. Cairns were accepted for registration by the AKC in 1913.
Description Of The Cairn Terrier
This lively, tough little terrier has a shaggy outer coat with a soft undercoat. The Cairn Terrier has a fox like expression. Colors are red, brindle, blackish, sand and shades of gray. Dark points are preferred. Colors continue to change over a few years after the pups are born. All colors, other than white, are acceptable.
The head is wide with a bushy topknot. They have eyebrows and a black nose. The Cairn Terrier’s body is compact and around 14 inches from the front of the chest to the back of its hindquarters.
The ears are erect and not altered, while the short tail is carried high and not altered. Dogs average 10 - 13 inches high at the shoulder and weigh 14 - 18 pounds. Bitches are 9 - 12 inches tall and weigh from 13 - 17 pounds.
Coat & Grooming
The shaggy coat actually takes quite a bit of maintenance to prevent it becoming matted. Brush several times a week taking care with the soft undercoat. Bathe the dog monthly, brushing the coat as it dries. The eyes and ears should be carefully trimmed with a pair of round nose scissors and the nails must be trimmed regularly.
Temperament and Cairn Terrier Training
The Cairn Terrier is easily trained and love performing tricks. They are patient with children and very playful. Cairns are sensitive, and need firm, but gentle and sympathetic training and discipline. Cairns that are left alone and not trained become destructive and can be excessive barkers.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Cairn Terrier is around 12-15 years.
Reported health problems: Do not over feed as they gain weight easily. Cairns tend to be allergic to fleas.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
The Cairn Terrier is suited to life in an apartment if it is given lots of regular daily exercise and play outside. It is very active indoors and doesn’t have to have a yard.
For More Information on the Cairn Terrier
To get more information, check out the Cairn Terrier web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
It is vital that Cairn Terriers receive proper training. Although adorable, entertaining and lively, they are invariably “yappy”. Potential owners should take this into account before making the decision to take on on as a pet.
:: Cairn Terrier Training ::