American Canine Association


Cairn Terrier


One of the first Terriers of Scottland, dating back to the 1500's, the Cairn Terrier is believed to be related to the Skye Terrier. This breed got its name from their ability to get into small and tight "cairns" to hunt for foxes, badgers and small animals. This breed would only bark until their owner or farmer was able to arrive on scene to than capture the unwanted animal from the property. Today, this small breed is a beloved companion and small watch dog all over the United States!


The Cairn Terrier is a small breed terrier with males and females measuring 9-13 inches in height and weighing 14-17 pounds in weight. This stocky, small terrier is built very sturdy and firm in appearance. Their triangular shaped head often appearance square due to their hair cut, as their small muzzle forms directly into a scissor bite. Their nose is black in color. Their two, large round eyes are hazel to black in color. Their two, small triangular ears stand firm on the top of their head. The Cairn Terrier has a short, thick tail that remains standing straight out when relaxed. Their medium length coat is water resistant and is available in red, fawn, brindle, and all shades of these colors as well as gray. The only color this breed does not come in is white. This breed has a very harsh texture, coat.


Don't let the size full you, this breed is still a terrier at heart. A love for digging holes, sniffing out wild animals and a very lively and active personality, this small breed isn't fit for everyone. The Cairn terrier is a very loving, happy, outgoing dog who is always ready for action and ready to preform another task. This breed requires an owner who is firm, confident, knowledgeable of terriers and active. Early socialization and obedience classes are recommended. The Cairn Terrier requires daily mental and physical activity in order to remain happy and obedient. When not receiving enough of mental or physical exercise, this breed will become anxious and develop destructive behaviors. The Cairn Terriers should not be left home alone for long hours at a time and would do best with a family where someone is home more often than not.


This breed requires daily brushing and bathing when needed. This breed doesnt shed.

Special Notes

Please fully educate yourself about the Cairn Terrier prior to adding one to your family to ensure you are able to provide proper physical and financial care to your new addition, life long. We absolutely recommend a properly fenced in area for your Cairn Terrier at all times outdoors due to their natural instincts towards wild animals and following scents. It is extremely common for this breed to have flea allergies and gain weight easily. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

© 2023 American Canine Association, Inc.