- Up to 1 hour per day
- Size of home
- Flat/ Apartment
- More than once a week
- Coat length
- Over 10 years
- Vulnerable native breed
- Town or country
- Size of garden
- Small/ medium garden
The Cairn is one of the native Scottish Breeds and from the 17th century had been used in the Western Highlands and the Isle of Skye to keep down vermin which were a threat to game. They often worked in small packs and they take their name from the Cairn – small outcrop of stones, common in the highland moors.
Several of the Scottish Terrier breeds: the Cairn (first exhibited as a short haired Skye Terrier) the Skye itself, the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White share common ancestry.
The Cairn is remarkably unchanged in appearance throughout the centuries, lighter in build than the other terrier breeds from Scotland but a game, rugged and harsh coated sporting terrier.
Images for this breed
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.
Breed standard colours
Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.
Breed standard colours in this breed include:
- Cream Brindle
- Dark Brindle
- Dark Red Brindle
- Dark Wheaten
- Grey Black
- Grey Black Brindle
- Grey Brindle
- Light Red
- Red Brindle
- Red Wheaten
- Silver Brindle
- Wheaten Brindle
'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.
Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.
Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.
Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.
More about health
Important health schemes and tests
We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice.
Find out about a particular dog's results
Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.
You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.
Have any questions about health in your breed?
If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.
Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.
To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email
Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.
There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.
More about breeding
There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.
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