Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Dog Facts

Exercise Requirement:
Affection Level:
Fairly affectionate
Not highly protective
Grooming Maintenance:
Temperature Preference:
Typical Lifespan:
12-15 years

About the Cairn Terrier Breed

This short legged dog is longer than it is tall, but doesn't stand as low as some other terrier breeds. The narrow Cairn Terrier is built so that is can fit through small gaps and chase prey into undergrowth. It has good jaw strength for a terrier because of the short, wide head.

The breed has a weather resistant coat that protects it from the cold and the wet by being double layered. Beneath is a soft, close coat, while on top is a harsher, more wiry coat, that gives it a shaggy, ruffled appearance. This breed is coloured red, cream, brindle, light grey or black, has a straight tail that usually sticks up, and long facial hair that follows a recognisable pattern, giving the dog a cheeky look.

Initially bred to chase out otters, foxes and badgers from their hiding places, Cairn Terriers are likely to chase small animals, and dig.

It is named after the piles of stones (cairns) in which the prey would often hide in from a hunt. It was often the terrier's job to frighten the prey out of the stones again.

Of course, this little dog became widely known and popular as a result of starring in the Wizard of Oz. Toto, Dorothy's faithful companion was played by a Cairn Terrier called Terry.

The Cairn Terrier is a very active dog that needs daily outdoor activity, through either a moderate walk on a lead, or an intense game in the garden. It should be kept in a safe area because it likes to sniff around and explore, which could lead to it escaping. It does best living indoors and it needs brushing once a week, and stripping once every six months.

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