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Breed Library
Cairn terrier black and white

Cairn Terrier

Both the Scottish and the West Highland Terrier are descended from the lively, self-assured Cairn Terrier.

About the Cairn Terrier

Cairns are mounds of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark on a hilltop or slope in Scotland. They are used as hiding places by vermin, and Cairn Terriers were bred to hunt them down.

Cairn Terriers are active, hardy dogs, standing firmly on their forelegs, they move very freely, making great strides, while their hind legs drive them on strongly. Like all the working terriers, Cairns have a weather-resistant coat.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

United Kingdom
FCI Group 3, AKC Terrier Group
Size category
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Agile / Alert / Lively / Playful / Resilient / Confident / Friendly / Assertive

Key facts

  • Requires moderate grooming
  • Needs a lot of training
  • Garden not essential

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