The Cairn Terrier is intelligent, agile, active and hardy. Cairn Terriers are assertive but not aggressive. The Cairn Terrier does need training and firm discipline and isn't always suitable for small children with their hardy playfulness. Cairn Terriers are full of character and bustle everywhere at a great pace and almost seem tireless.
Click here on how to stop your Cairn Terrier's behavior problems
The thick, harsh topcoat allows dirt to be brushed out easily and should be combed regularly. The Cairn Terrier coat should be stripped (plucking out the dead hairs) about twice per year. Stripping can by done by a professional or the owner can learn to do it themselves. The excess hair in the ear canals also needs to be removed from time to time.
Cairn Terriers are bursting with energy and must have the opportunity to run and play. This breed suits an active or sporty family. They enjoy being taken for walks in the park or woods where they can run free.
The Cairn Terrier only eats a small amount and will happily eat whatever it's offered.
Cairn Terriers are one of the oldest Scottish breeds and got their name form the Gaelic word 'cairn' meaning a pile of stones. They were expected to hunt after foxes and other short-haired vermin found in West Scotland. Cairn Terriers are extremely hardy as the rugged countryside was bleak and decidedly rocky. In order to survive on land and water, these small dogs needed to be as tough as nails. The white dogs of this breed became the White West Highland Terriers.
General Appearance: Shaggy, compact and free in movement.
Color: Cream, wheaten, red, sand, grey, brindle or nearly black.
Coat: Thick, harsh but not coarse. The undercoat is short, dense and soft.
Tail: Short, well covered with hair but not feathered and carried gaily.
Ears: Small, pointed and carried erect.
Body: Compact, level back of average length, sloping shoulders and a strong, supple loin.
- Cairn Terriers love to dig, so would not be an ideal pet for a conscientious gardner.
- The coat of the Cairn Terrier has a shaggy look even after it has been groomed and is descibed by some breed experts as looking like a road-sweeper's broom.
- The Cairn Terrier is best known as Toto in the Wizard of Oz.