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Cairn Terrier – Fun Facts and Crate Size

30" dog crates Breed chart Cairn Terrier Crate Size Crates Dog Dog Crate Sizes Dog Crates Medium

 Cairn Terrier - Fun Facts and Crate Size

Cairn Terrier

Quick Facts:

  • AKC recognized in 1913
  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Size: Small
  • Energy: Medium
  • Recommended Crate Size: 30” dog crate*

Return to main Dog Crate Size Breed Chart.

Originating in the Scottish Highlands, the Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest Terrier breeds. How they got their names is a long story. Briefly, in 1909 these dogs were shown in the UK as Short-haired Skye Terriers. But the Kennel Club didn’t agree with this name since they were seen as being different from the Skye Terrier. The Cairn Terrier was suggested as an alternative name and soon after accepted.


The American Kennel Club formally recognized the Cairn Terrier in 1913. These medium energy dogs are known as alert, busy, cheerful, and independent. They are also 'left-pawed', which has been shown to produce a superior performance in scent-related tasks.

The were originally from the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye with two other dog breeds, which are West Highland White and Scottish Terriers. The Cairn Terrier is ranked by American Kennel Club as 70th most popular dog breed.


Cairn Terrier dogs have a weather-resistant outer coat in every color except white. The males weigh about 14 pounds while the females weigh about 13 pounds. Males are on average 10 inches high and females have a height of 9.5 inches. Their short legs are strong and hard-working, keeping them very active. Their head is wider and shorter than other Terrier breeds and the hair on their face makes them look like a fox.

There are 13 colors of this dog breed registered with the AKC, which are black, black-brindle, brindle, cream, cream-brindle, gray, gray-brindle, red, red-brindle, silver, wheaten, red-wheaten, silver-brindle, silver-wheaten, and wheaten-brindle. There are 3 markings registered with the AKC, which are black, black mask, and black points.


It is recommended to provide feed formulated to medium sized breeds. It is highly recommended to discuss your dog’s feed with your veterinarian and/or breeder in order to determine size and frequency of meals in order to ensure a health, long life. It is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.


Although they shed very little, hand stripping their fur is recommended to pull out old, dead hair by the roots since using scissors or shears might ruin their outer coat. Removing this hair will allow new ones to grow, which protecting Cairn Terriers from dirt and debris.

Regular hand stripping will also help to maintain their coat's texture. Regularly trim their nails and brush their teeth for good mouth health. Periodically check their ears to ensure they are clean and free of potentially harmful debris.


Cairn Terriers need daily exercise such as walking. They have a working background so they love to dig and chase. Playing is acceptable but they prefer to walk and explore.

Training can be a breeze with this breed. By taking your Cairn for a 30-60 minute walk everyday will help avoid behavioral problems associated with pent up energy. Obedience training will also help prevent behavior problems from cropping up.

Pet Crate Size

Pet Crates Direct recommends 30” dog crates* for most adult Cairn Terriers.


* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.

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