Cairn Terrier

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Average size and lifespan

chihuahua silouette
great dane silouette
Height: 0ft 9in - 0ft 10in
Weight: 13-14lbs
Lifespan: 12 - 15 Years


  • Affection3/5
  • Kid-Friendly3/5
  • Stranger-Friendly3/5
  • Dog-Friendly2/5
  • Barking Amount3/5


  • Grooming Difficulty2/5
  • Shedding Amount2/5
  • Easy to Train3/5
  • Can Be Alone3/5
  • Exercise Need3/5


  • Cold Tolerance4/5
  • Heat Tolerance4/5
  • Apartment-Friendly3/5

Cairn Terrier Information

Cairn TerrierThere’s no place like home! The Cairn Terrier is widely recognized as the breed of Toto, Dorothy’s companion in The Wizard of Oz. Although small in size, this pup is tenacious, agile and active. He loves to exercise regularly.

Cairn Terriers come in a variety of colors and are known to change colors throughout their lifetime. Grooming is relatively low maintenance; just a weekly brushing will do. The breed is sturdy and healthy, often living up to 17+ years old.

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breed stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Cairn Terriers be apartment dogs?

Cairn Terriers aren't ideal for apartments, but might be able to live there successfully if there are enough opportunities to find larger spaces nearby to play.

Can Cairn Terriers be left alone?

While Cairn Terriers prefer to be around their owners, they can do fairly well when left alone if necessary.

Are Cairn Terriers good with kids?

Cairn Terriers can do fine with kids. They will require some monitoring and training to make sure they get along and react well to unpredictable behavior.

Are Cairn Terriers friendly with strangers?

Although Cairn Terriers can take a bit to warm up to a stranger, they are mostly friendly with others.

Do Cairn Terriers get along with other dogs?

Cairn Terriers aren't usually friendly with other dogs. They tend to not get along unless carefully socialized.

Do Cairn Terriers bark a lot?

As far as dogs go, Cairn Terriers bark an average amount. You can expect them to bark to alert you, get your attention, or when there are strangers or other dogs.

Do Cairn Terriers shed a lot?

The Cairn Terrier isn't a heavy shedder. Some limited brushing and occassional cleaning should help prevent much hair build-up.

Do Cairn Terriers need a lot of grooming?

Cairn Terriers don't require very much effort for grooming. You'll just need to provide typical maintenance and baths.

Do Cairn Terriers need a lot of exercise?

A Cairn Terrier will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Cairn Terriers easy to train?

Although Cairn Terriers can be a challenge to train, they can be taught with some dedicated work or by hiring some training help.

Can Cairn Terriers handle cold weather?

Cairn Terriers do well in cold weather. You may need to protect their paws, but they'll do well in colder climates.

Can Cairn Terriers handle hot weather?

Cairn Terriers do well in hot climates and can stay out longer without overheating.

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