This breed is in the Terrier group, originally bred to control vermin in Scotland. The Cairn Terrier gained popularity after hitting the movie screen as Toto from the Wizard of Oz. The Cairn stands 8 – 12 inches tall at the shoulders (withers) and typically weighs 12 – 18 pounds. With an average lifespan of 12 – 16 years, the Cairn is a hardy breed that is as feisty as he is charming.
The Cairn is a small, versatile breed that does well in just about any living situation. The Cairn Terrier is small enough to be litterbox trained for urban, apartment dwellers. The Cairn Terrier can just as easily thrive in suburban or rural areas with an active family that enjoys outdoor activities. The Cairn is outgoing, tenacious, and fiercely loyal to his owner. Intelligent but with a stubborn streak that simply adds to his comical charm. Many Cairn owners report a bit of selective hearing from their pets that choose to ignore some commands, especially if the dog is distracted by small prey in the yard. The Cairn is a good choice for someone looking for a small breed that can adapt to many different lifestyles and is easy to care for. The Cairn has an affinity towards children and fetch and makes a good watchdog since he has a voice and knows how to use it.
The Cairn Terrier coat is coarse and wiry, he is considered to be minimal to non-shedding and hypo-allergenic, making him a good choice for many allergy sufferers. The coat is easy to maintain either through occasional professional grooming or regular brushing sessions to maintain the coat in good condition and to prevent matting. Any color except white is allowed but wheaten or brindle is the most common for the breed.