Learn about the temperament and personality of the Cairn Terrier. Discover what he’s like to live with, his traits and characteristics and how he generally behaves.
Cairn Terrier Temperament
Everybody loves Toto, right? What a trooper that dog was, keeping up on the Yellow Brick Road! Like him, Cairn Terriers are independent little bundles of energy. They are alert and active with the trademark terrier temperament: inquisitive, bossy, feisty, and fearless. They are intelligent and can be a bit mischievous. Warn your flowers — many Cairns love to dig! Obedience training is very important with this breed. They will try to test your limits, and are born assertive (but not aggressive). They are not usually problem barkers, but will bark if bored or lonely. They love their families and need attention and affection from their humans. They are protective of their families, and will defend their territory with courage and devotion, but they are also people-oriented and are friendly with everyone they meet. They love gentle children but will not tolerate mistreatment from anyone. They need regular exercise, but need to be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in area, as their prey drive is strong and they will chase small animals. They have been known to harass, and sometimes hurt, cats. They generally do well with other dogs, but will stand their ground if challenged. They love long walks and like to play ball, or simply tear around the backyard with the kids. They excel at obedience, agility, and tracking trials. They remain active and playful well into their teen years. They are companionable, loyal and loving. They make great listeners, perky playmates, and good foot warmers. They’ve been called “the best little pal in the world.” And they are always a work in progress.
Cairn Terrier Training
The Cairn Terrier is intelligent and quite easy to train. He learns new commands quickly at an above average rate.
Cairn Terrier Shedding
The Cairn Terrier sheds practically no hair at all. You’ll virtually never find a hair in your home!
Cairn Terrier Grooming
Pet coat (less work): Cut his coat short every few months and then it only needs to be brushed every so often.
Show coat (more work): Strip his coat every six months and brush it daily.