Cairn Terrier Resource

Cairn Terrier

A small, active terrier native to Scotland’s Western Highlands, the Cairn was used in packs to control fur-bearing vermin. The little Cairn Terrier makes an excellent choice of family pet for any setting, provided it has a safely fenced outdoor play area. Like most terriers, Cairns tend to be diggers; in fact, the word terrier comes from Latin and means “earth dog.” At maturity this compact dog measures about 10 inches at the shoulder. The coat is profuse and hard and may be any color except white. Cairns don’t shed much, and weekly combing removes dead hair. Some hand stripping is required to keep the outline trim. A couple of short walks each day will meet the Cairn’s exercise needs. This breed is good with children who are old enough to handle it properly.

Related Articles

10 Dogs Breeds That Love to Dig

Don’t be surprised when your yard receives some unsolicited landscaping by one of the following doggone-diggers. Few of us…

All About the Cairn Terrier

The 1929 Dog World editors tell us all about the Cairn Terrier, an intelligent and determined dog breed. From the…

Great Kid-Friendly Dog Breeds

Looking for a good pet for your child? These 20 dog breeds typically do well with kids. You might know…

Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Small Dog Breed
Any color combination, excluding white. Dark ears, muzzle and tail tip are desirable.

Hard and weather-resistant. Must be double-coated with profuse harsh outer coat and short, soft, close furry undercoat.


Brush weekly. Some hand stripping is required to keep the outline trim.

Life Expectancy:
13 to 14 years.
AKC Group:
Terrier Group
UKC Group:
9.5 to 10 inches at the withers
13 to 14 pounds
Use Today