The Cairn terrier is one of the oldest terriers in the world; it’s part of one of two original Scottish terrier branches that became recognized as its own breed in the early 19th century. The Cairn terrier was bred to hunt foxes, badgers, otters and other animals that were considered pests and/or cash furs to the British. They are still energetic dogs that love to dig and enjoy being around people, children in particular. They are also smart and very lovable, which makes them reasonable to train; something that is helpful as many people will want to train the digging out of them!

Contents at a Glance

Cairn Terriers – Sturdy and Healthy

Cairn terriers are generally between 13-14 pounds, if healthy, and come in a variety of coat colors. They have muscular shoulders and thick pads, reminiscent of the days when they hunted digging vermin. They are sturdy and generally healthy as well as being fairly long-lived for a small dog. They also remain active even into old age as long as they are properly cared for.

Cairn terriers have few grooming needs, though many of them have allergies to flea bites, so you should keep an eye on anything that might promote an infestation. Weekly brushing and combing will be enough to mitigate much of the shedding.

Cairn terriers are all-around adorable terriers with a proud lineage going back to Scotland and hunting. They are great to have with children, but they must be well trained from puppyhood, especially if you have gardens or anything you don’t want to be dug up. You also want to make sure you have the time to play with and exercise this dog as they have a lot of energy to burn. If this sounds like your kind of dog, you should find a reputable breeder and get one of your own.

Cairn Terriers – Sturdy and Healthy

Cairn Terriers – Sturdy and Healthy

How to Groom a Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier is the oldest of the terrier breeds, originating in the Scottish Highlands and recognized as one of Scotland’s earliest working dogs. It is used for hunting and burrowing prey among the cairns. The Cairn Terrier is a non-shedding dog that has 2 coats, a soft undercoat, and a coarse outer coat because they do not shed they need to be stripped to remove the dead hair. Ideally, the dog would grow out the coarse coat and when it was time to be stripped they would have the soft coat underneath, but in some cases, there’s no soft undercoat and so when the dog is stripped it’s like starting all over.

The Cairn Terrier shouldn’t be bathed frequently, once a month or so if sufficient unless they really need it, this helps to prevent their skin from drying out.

If you’re not willing to do the grooming yourself, find a groomer who can do the stripping by hand, they will help you keep up with the dogs grooming schedule based on its needs. If you’re going to do the grooming yourself there are a few tools that are helpful to have on hand, a grooming table, scissors, a slicker brush and clean hands, which are particularly important when dealing with hair near the dog’s eyes, especially if you’re stripping them by hand.

Give Your Cairn Terrier a Face Lift

Even the shaggiest Cairn Terrier can turn into a beautiful dog with some well-done grooming, dogs that look like their old and feeble turn into young looking pups again with a good wash and haircut. If you ever decide to adopt a Cairn Terrier from a shelter and when you meet him or her, you realize that they don’t look like what you’re searching for, ask about them, find out how old they are and what kind of grooming needs to be done in order to have them looking like themselves again. You’d be surprised that despite being time-consuming, it doesn’t take much to have a Cairn Terrier looking like a million bucks.

Cairn Terrier Grooming Tips

While pulling at your Cairn Terrier’s hair may not seem normal for a grooming process it’s better for maintaining the texture of the hair, pulling small amounts of the longer hair will help get you accustomed to knowing which hair can be pulled and which hair cannot, the shorter and softer hair is good and should be left alone.

Cairn Terrier Grooming Tips

Cairn Terrier Grooming Tips

When trimming the head, brush all of the hair forward and then cut it so that the head is in the shape of a circle, giving their face a nice, round appearance, if there’s no undercoat to replace the outer hair just use thinning shears to trim and blend the hair.

Whether you do the grooming yourself or not a groomer will be able to provide you with tips on how to best maintain your dog’s coat to keep it looking beautiful and healthy and a good looking dog is a happy Cairn Terrier.