Cairn Terriers

Alert and spunky, life with a Cairn Terrier is never dull. Here’s what you need to know about these little bundles of joy. 

You may recognize the cute and courageous Cairn Terrier as Toto from the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz. Before becoming Dorothy’s companion, Cairn Terriers were bred to help Scottish farmers keep their land free of varmints.

Still close to their roots, Cairn Terrier dogs are active little nuggets that enjoy being energetic and inquisitive. These terriers are fiercely independent at times, but can also be snuggly family companions.

Why We Love the Cairn Terrier Breed

  • Cairn Terriers love to play and cuddle with their families, but they are just as happy having a little alone time. They don’t need attention every second, but appreciate your time when it’s given. It’s the best of both worlds!
  • Happy and cheerful, you’ll rarely find a morose Cairn that isn’t up for an adventure. This breed also loves to meet new people and pets and makes friends quickly.
  • The Cairn Terrier breed is small enough to live in an apartment or condo, so it’s not necessary to have a large yard to keep these pups happy (though they wouldn’t mind that either).   

Things to Consider

  • These feisty little ones follow their instincts, and their instincts are to dig, chase and bark.
  • You’ll need to establish a firm position as the alpha with Cairn Terriers. That fierce independence can lead to these dogs challenging your authority.  
  • Cairn Terrier dogs, in typical terrier fashion, don’t know they’re small and have the courage of a big dog. They may think they need to prove themselves to larger canines and humans even when they don’t.

Why Rescue?

This breed’s barking, digging and especially chasing can lead to frustrated owners who can’t handle the terrier temperament, forcing them to be surrendered. Worse, Cairns can run away if they catch an exciting scent and are unable to find their way back, leading to their presence in shelters.

Irresponsible and unethical breeding can exacerbate health issues that Cairn Terriers are susceptible to such as patellar luxation, eye disease and cardiac disease. Supporting unethical breeding only makes these health issues worse for these little pups. If you’re considering adopting a Cairn, check out nearby shelter rescues!

Cairn Terrier Rescues 

Whether you’re looking for a Cairn Terrier puppy or an adult Cairn Terrier dog, there are tons of pups near you just waiting to find their forever home! Here are just a few:

Feisty, friendly & adventurous
Avg. Weight
13 - 14 lbs
Occasional grooming required
Avg. Life Span
12 - 15 years
Cairn Terriers near 20149
Animal Rescues near 20149
Organization City, State Contact
Persian Rescue of Virginia
Ashburn, VA
The Cats at Longstreet
Sterling, VA
Save The Tails Rescue Group, Inc.
Leesburg, VA 1 888 379 5558 x1
Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA (703) 777-2912
Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Reston, VA
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