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A Short Description of the Cairn Terrier

Common Appearance

This vivacious, gay and very active dog with a certain propensity for independence belongs to the smaller dog-races. Originally bred for hunting for small game he has developed into a prominent family dog and is fond of children. He adjusts himself to human relationships and way of life. Indoors he is quiet and watchful but not yelping too much, outdoors he shows his undaunted terrier-temperament.

The word "cairn" you may spell: 

C of strong character, steadfast
A active, persevering and affectionate
I intelligent and individual
R robust and rough
N natural and not resentful

Quick, attentive, native, active, brave, fearless, gay and self-confident are the attributes of a cairn terrier and has to show them. He is a loyal companion, not only for children, and a good consoler for children in sorrowful hours; he tolerates some cuffs and doesn't get aggressive by them. You can lure him at any time into playing with a ball or a game of hide and seek or a chase. He is a courageous defender and he indicates danger by acute barking.

Who became acquainted with a cairn terrier can only agree to the words of a German countess, called "Aya von Hagen", written in 1935:
"Who likes creatures like goblins, apparently elevated over all purposes, only enjoying their living, a piece of temperament and kindly slipped away the creator at the creation of the world, must become acquainted with the cairn terrier".


Requirements for the Owner

When you have decided to get a cairn terrier the choice of the kennel is very important to get a healthy and wonderful dog. You should choose a renowned breeder who is associated to the German Club for Terriers (KfT). The breeding will shape the life of the dog from the beginning on. The cairn terrier will be a member of your family, which will be with you in good or bad days. He is no dog only to be kept in a kennel most of the time, only to fetch him out, if you want to. To be forced to live in this way will hurt his soul.

It is sufficient to carefully comb him with a steel-comb once a week. His coat must be trimmed two or three times a year, depending on the rate of growth of his hair. You can do the trimming yourself after having learned it from your breeder or you can let him do it. You should never choose a dog parlour which is not specialised, because there hair is usually shaven. The shaving of the coat of a cairn terrier damages it severely and causes allergies and other health problems.



The country of origin of the cairn terrier is Scotland, where these dogs live under meagre conditions, include their feeding. The cairn terrier can get normal dog food with a low protein content. High performance food or too much food can lead to problems with his coat.


Last Updated ( Samstag, 31 März 2007 )