dog breeds Total: 369 Breeds

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terrier Photo #1


First developed almost 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, where Captain Martin Mcleod is recognised as the breeder that produced some of the earliest strains of the Cairn Terrier. Although originally bred as a working dog, to deal with vermin on rural properties, it has become a very popular choice for a family pet because it is very tolerant of children but also because of its small size. This breed will get on along very well with other pets and is very adaptable to your home. The most famous Cairn Terrier in the world must surely be Toto from the Wizard of Oz film, who was played by a female named Terry.

Main Characteristics

The Cairn terrier is a small, wiry haired dog that is full of energy and fun. The average male stands around 10 inches tall and weighs in the region of 12-14 pounds, with females being slightly smaller.

There’s nothing this little dog likes more than digging, chasing and barking! However due to its small size it’s very easy to control and can fit neatly on the end of your sofa when you’re relaxing at night. This breed makes an excellent companion for the elderly as well as being a family favourite.

The kind of Personality and Temperament you can expect. 

The breed is bubbly, affectionate and will be totally devoted to you and your family. It can remember and recognise your friends as well and will welcome them into your home. It’s not an aggressive dog, although it will still chase a rat or a mouse if it gets the chance! If you’re getting a puppy try to meet one of its parents, which will give you more insight into its future personality, but as a general rule these are charming and friendly dogs. These dogs respond well to training and learn very quickly.

Shedding and Grooming

The Cairn Terrier has a double coat, to protect it from the cold, which is wiry and thick. Their coats can come in many colours which include grey, black, sandy coloured, brindle or even red. The coats are easy to groom and a good brush once a week should be okay.

When it comes to bathing, unless your dog gets very muddy in which case it will need definitely need a bath, then around once every 3 months is fine. This breed will shed some fur but very little so your carpets are safe!

Average Lifespan and Health Issues to be aware of with your Cairn Terrier

The breed is generally a very healthy one, with few genetic problems. If you are buying a puppy though try to get one from a well known and respected breeder who will be able to show you health records and vaccine certificates. The breed will usually live to about 12 years old, but this will vary between individuals of course.


The Cairn Terrier is a lovely breed to own and will offer you loyalty and companionship as well as fun and adventures. An excellent family pet, generally well behaved and easy to train.

Breed Information

Popularity:2018: #69
2017: #69
2016: #70
2015: #70
Origin:United Kingdom
Breed Group:Terrier (AKC:1913 & UKC)
Life span:12-15 years
Height:Male: 10-13 inches (25-33 cm)
Female: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
Weight:Male: 14-18 pounds (6-8 kg)
Female: 13-17 pounds (6-8 kg)
Litter Size:2-10 puppies
Puppy Price:Average $700 - $1000 USD

Breed Characteristics

Apartment Friendly:
Cat Friendly:
Child Friendly:
Health Issues:
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Dog names

Rank Male Female
1 Charlie Lucy
2 Cooper Molly
3 Tucker Bailey
4 Milo Penny
5 Harley Nala
6 Henry Pepper
7 Gus Lulu
8 Blue Missie
9 Scout Honey
10 Romeo Dakota
11 Peanut Trixie
12 Oreo Macy
13 Chico Hannah
14 Chester Madison
15 Benji Sassy
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