Cairn Terrier


The Cairn Terrier is a relatively small breed, but it is very muscular. The breed is quick on its short, but muscular legs. Its front legs extend straight under its body. The back legs feature strong thigh muscles. The breed’s head is average in size. it has a muzzle that is also average in length. It has dark facial features. The ears are smaller than average and “V” shaped. Its coat is short and coarse. The bottom layer of its coat is soft and also short.


The feisty attitude of the Cairn Terrier can be entertaining. it is generally independent and smart. It gets along with children in its family since it can identify with its playful nature. Other pets in the home may present a problem. This breed can exhibit an aggressive attitude toward other dogs and may chase small pets in the home. Despite its independent nature, this breed is highly responsive to training.

Height and Weight

Male height: 10 inchesMale weight: 14 poundsFemale height: 9 inchesFemale weight: 13 pounds

Health Problems

The Cairn Terrier is generally a healthy breed is may develop globoid cell leukodystrophy, a fatal degenerative disease that affects brain. Some types may also develop patellar luxation.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Cairn Terrier can easily adapt to indoor or outdoor living conditions. A good tradeoff is to allow the breed to spend time in both places, according to the family’s schedule. The breed should spend time indoors when the family is indoors and remain outdoors when the family is away.


The Cairn Terrier is a moderately active breed. It typically gets the exercise it needs when it remains outdoors. If it spends a significant amount of time indoors it should receive more opportunities for physical activity.

Life Expectancy

The Cairn Terrier lives an average of 12-15 years.

Litter Size

The Cairn Terrier has an average of 3-5 puppies.


Wiry coats like that of the Cairn Terrier require more than average maintenance. In addition to brushing the coat to remove tangles and any loose hairs, the coat should also be stripped and washed on a regular basis. Cleaning the ears and clipping the nails is also recommended.


The Cairn Terrier originates from Scotland.




Just about any color is acceptable for the coat of the Cairn Terrier. White is not acceptable. The breed may have minimal dark markings.