Breeds of dogs: Cairn Terrier

Breeds of dogs: Cairn Terrier

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Great Britain.
F.C.I classification: Group 3 - terriers.

Many experts say that the Cairn terrier is the oldest breed in its category, that is, in the "Scottish terriers", and there is the belief that it is the progenitor of the "West Higland White terrier" and the "Scottish terrier". There are various documents confirming this theory and showing that the breed was known and also widespread since the eighteenth century. The breed is even said to have existed since the seventeenth century, a century in which, it is said, they were also bred by James VI of Scotland. In the past this dog was also known as "short-haired Skye terrier", then took its present name. The official recognition by the Kennel Club took place in 1909. His debut in dog shows took place at the Inverness show, where he was successful among dog lovers. Today it is a very common breed in England, but also in Canada and the United States.

General aspect

Small dog, mesomorphic mesocephalic. Morphologically classified as Lupoid type. It is a dog built strong and compact. The dog must be well placed on the front limbs. The hind limbs are strong. His chest must be deep. Its movement is very loose. It has a sufficiently hard coat. Its head is small, but very well proportioned to the trunk. It is characterized by a typical fox expression. Typical working terrier.


It is a breed that impresses with its gay and very courageous temperament. He is a very active dog and attentive to everything around him. It is a breed that apparently deceives, since many think that it is a delicate breed, contrary to what one might think, this dog is quite resistant. It adapts very well to any type of place and is a very good companion of the family and also of children. He can be, even if in his own small way, an excellent guard dog, and his loyalty to the person he considers his owner is incredible. It is a breed that does not give problems to live even in the apartment. He loves to play and be the center of attention.

Cairn Terrier (website photo)

Cairn Terrier (website photo)

Cairn Terrier (photo


Height: varies from 25 to 30 cm.
Weight: ideal 14 pounds, which correspond to about 6.3 kg.

Trunk: compact, with straight and well muscled back; deep ribs. Medium length, well-picked rump.
Head and muzzle: proportionately large skull, with strong but not too long and heavy cheeks. Stop decided; a lot of fur on the head. Powerful but not heavy muzzle. Very strong jaw that must not be prognostic or enognated.
Truffle: black in color, quite broad.
Teeth: regularly aligned and complete in number and development. Large teeth, strong and level jaw.
Neck: well inserted, but not short.
Ears: small, pointed, well worn and erect, but not placed too close.
Eyes: placed distant, of medium size; dark hazel colored, rather deep set, with bristly eyebrows.
Limbs: medium length; good bone, but not too heavy. The elbows must not be detached. The legs are covered with hard hair. Very muscular hindquarters. Front feet larger than the rear ones. The forelegs may be slightly left handed. Plantar pads must be thick and strong. Ferret feet are considered a defect.
Shoulder: well inclined.
Musculature: sufficiently developed in relation to the size.
Tail: well supplied with fur, but without plumes; carried gaily, it must not fall on its back.
Skin: well adherent to the body.
Hair: very important aspect for the judgment in the field of kinotechnical events. It must be double, with abundant external hair, hard but not coarse and with the undercoat, which looks like a fur, soft and dense. Non-compact hair is to be penalized. The head must be well supplied. A slight ripple is allowed.
Allowed colors: red, sand, gray, pepper and salt, or almost black. Very typical of the darker shades of the ears and muzzle.
Most common defects: prognathism, enognatism, too prominent or too light eyes, too large ears, rounded ears, silky and curled coat, flesh-colored or light truffle, shy character, non-standard measures, colors not allowed, defective rear, incorrect movement, monorchidism, cryptorchidism.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: Cairn terrier puppy playing with adult Cairn (October 2021).