Illustration of Cairn Terrier

The first time a dog of this breed was exhibited was in 1909, and three years later, the Cairn was recognised by the Kennel Club, with challenge certificates on offer. Yet, in spite of this comparatively recent emergence in our show ring, dogs of the Cairn type can be traced back some 500 years, and the breed’s development runs parallel with that of the Skye, West Highland White and Scottish Terriers. In fact, when first exhibited in 1909, it was known as the Shorthaired Skye Terrier.

Scottish in ancestry, this small, sturdy terrier is in every way a game little dog. He is very natural, with a slightly shaggy, but not unkempt, appearance, and his double waterproof coat takes very little effort to look after. He has a particularly expressive head, which is set off by dark, sparkling eyes that give a good indication of his character. He has small prick ears and shaggy eyebrows and his expression can change from mischievousness to one of gentle devotion very quickly.

He loves people, is an able swimmer and a great hunter. Ready for any activity, he makes an ideal companion for a family, fitting in well with any lifestyle.

Breed Group
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
More than once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

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