Cairn Terrier: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: Great Britain, Scotland
Shoulder height: 28 – 32 cm
Weight: 6 – 8 kg
Age: 12 – 15 years
Color: cream, wheat, red, gray
Use: Companion dog, the family dog

The Cairn Terrier is a small, sturdy dog ​​with a strong personality and typical terrier edge. With clear leadership, careful socialization, and consistent upbringing, the Cairn Terrier is a lovable and adaptable companion who never lets boredom arise.

Origin and history

The Cairn Terrier (pronounced Kern) is one of Scotland’s oldest terriers and also contributed to the emergence of the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White Terrier. The word “Cairn” is derived from the Gaelic “carn” and means “pile of stones”. In his homeland, the Scottish Highlands, he specialized in badger and fox hunting in rocky terrain. The Cairn Terrier only left Scotland’s borders at the beginning of the 20th century and has enjoyed increasing popularity in Europe for years.


The Cairn Terrier has retained its original appearance almost unchanged to this day. With a shoulder height of approx. 30 cm, it is a small, compact dog with pointed, pricked ears, dark eyes with shaggy brows, and a happily upright tail.

The coat of the Cairn Terrier is adapted to the climatic conditions of its home country: It consists of a harsh, lush top coat and a lot of dense undercoats and thus offers the ideal protection against cold, wind, and moisture. The Cairn Terrier is bred in the colors cream, wheaten, red, gray, or grey-black. A flow can also occur with all color variants.


The Cairn Terrier is an active, hardy, intelligent, and cheerful little dog. Like most terrier breeds, the Cairn Terrier is characterized by a lot of courage, self-confidence, and fearlessness. Its self-confident demeanor – even towards much larger dogs – goes in the direction of overconfidence. Although he is not aggressive and friendly to strangers, the dashing terrier does not avoid arguments with other dogs, is extremely alert, and barks.

The spirited Cairn Terrier has a very strong personality and needs consistent training. It has to be accustomed to strange dogs from an early age and needs clear guidance and boundaries from an early age, which he will always question in a charming terrier manner.

With consistent training, the Cairn Terrier is a highly adaptable, lovable, and friendly companion who feels just as comfortable in the country as in a city apartment. However, he needs activity and loves to be outdoors, no matter the weather.

The Cairn Terrier’s coat is easy to care for and hardly sheds. Hair care consists of regular brushing and occasional trimming.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *