Cairn Terrier Description

The Cairn Terrier is a small breed of dog. They can weigh between 14 to 18 pounds and stand 9 to 13 inches in height. Males are always heavier and taller. Cairn Terriers are one of the most recognizable of all the terrier breeds. This is largely due to their presence in the time-honored classic movie “The Wizard of Oz”.

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Their coats are shaggy and thick. Their coats colors can include but are not limited to red, brindle, back, tan, and many shades of gray. They are never white. Their eyes are deep-set and always hazel. Their ears are small and pointy.

Cairn Terriers originated from Scotland in the 1500s. They are widely used in agility competitions and companionship today. Their first uses were for hunting and tracking.

Temperament

Cairn Terriers are a very friendly breed. They can be independent and standoffish at times but overall they are affectionate and social. They are a very spirited breed. They are extremely curious. They do not recognize their small size and are often known to pick fights with larger dogs.

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They are wonderful with children and make excellent family pets. They can be aggressive with other pets, canine or non-canine. They can be a difficult breed to train as they are quite stubborn. It is necessary to break them of bad habits that they are naturally inclined to do, such as digging.

Health Problems

Cairn Terriers are highly allergic to fleas. It is imperative to have your Cairn Terrier on adequate flea treatment. Without treatment flea, bites can cause irritation of the skin which will lead to constant scratching. Cairn Terriers are also prone to weight gain. It is necessary that you do not overfeed a Cairn Terrier and treats should be given sparingly.

Exercise

Cairn Terriers will usually meet their own exercise needs. They are very active indoors, often more than they are outside. They do enjoy walks, but a yard is not necessary. They are a breed very well suited for apartment living.

Special Grooming Needs

Cairn Terriers require quite a bit of upkeep. Their coats can become matted very easily. Once the coat is matted shaving is the only way to fix the problem. They must be brushed three or more times a week. They must be bathed once a month. They are not frequent shredders. Their nails do grow at a fast rate and need to be clipped regularly.