Are Cairn Terriers Good Family Dogs? 9 Pros and Cons

Cairn Terriers may be familiar to you from The Wizard of Oz.A Cairn Terrier was Toto! These canines are bred to be trustworthy and energetic, just like Toto was.

If you’re considering adopting a dog, it’s crucial to consider all the aspects of the breed, regardless of your nostalgia or sheer cuteness. Although Cairn Terriers are renowned for their versatility and liveliness, some owners may find them to be excessively energetic.

The following are some advantages and disadvantages of these dogs to consider:

1. Sturdy Yet Small

Cairn Terriers have petite stature. The AKC estimates that they weigh between 13 and 14 pounds. As a result, they can adjust to living in apartments provided their desire for activity is satisfied and they are physically manageable. These dogs won’t drag you around by the leash, so you don’t have to worry about that.

They are nevertheless rather robust. They differ from most smaller breeds in that they are not fragile toy dogs. In most cases, you can rely on them to hold their own.

2. Rugged, Natural Appearance

These dogs don’t have the same frivolous or delicate appearance as many smaller breeds. They don’t need professional haircuts and only need minimal grooming. They appear to be a tough, well-travelled dog.

This more natural look is popular. These days, it’s harder to find because many of the finer varieties are growing in popularity.

3. Moderate Exercise Needs

Dogs like Cairn terriers don’t just sit around all day. They are not followers. They don’t require quite as much exercise as certain canines that are more hyperactive, though. You can keep them happy by walking them vigorously for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day, especially if you break up your walks with playing!

A fenced-in yard is beneficial for these dogs. They are not, however, required to have it. An active person can easily adjust to flat living if they receive sufficient exercise.

4. Great Watchdogs

Like other terriers, these dogs are highly vigilant. They won’t be able to protect anything, but they will warn you of any outsiders approaching your house. If you have a Cairn Terrier in the house, you won’t have to worry about someone coming up behind you.

Naturally, socialisation and training to keep them aware just when needed are beneficial for these dogs. If not, they might bark a little too much, which wouldn’t be very beneficial.

A dog who barks at everything isn’t the best kind of guard dog.

5. Fiesty Temperament

These dogs are said to be fun to own, and that’s usually the case for the proper person. They are, nonetheless, a tad excessive. They can be quite gregarious, active, and obstinate. Terriers have a tendency to bark a lot and chase virtually anything. There are several dogs crammed into a tiny frame. Prior to adopting one of these dogs, it’s critical to understand what you’re getting into.

Fortunately, Cairn terriers don’t have as much anxiety as other breeds. This breed generally tends to be in the middle. But be aware that different people have quite different temperaments, so be ready for a very “much” dog.

6. Potential Hyperactivity

These dogs still require activity, even though their needs are only moderate. Despite their small size, cairn terriers are not suited for families with more relaxed lifestyles. You shouldn’t purchase a Cairn terrier if you don’t want to exercise your dog for about an hour every day.

These canines require a lot of cerebral stimulation as well. They risk becoming destructive and bored without it. (These dogs will find something to do if you left them alone for 30 minutes without anything to do.)

7. Dog-on-Dog Aggression

When properly socialised, many Cairn terriers get along just fine with other dogs. These dogs, nevertheless, are fierce and won’t back down from a fight. They will let another dog know if they are intruding, and this may often result in conflicts. They are usually rather tenacious.

Although socialisation can aid in this, it’s still critical to recognise your dog’s natural character. It’s usually not advisable to leave them alone with a larger dog because of their smaller stature.

8. Running and Running Some More

The urge to chase is ingrained in Cairn terriers. They will pursue and continue sprinting after anything that is moving. They have to be leashed or kept in a confined area as a result. If they have their sights set on anything else, you really can’t expect them to respond when you phone.

For this reason, they can also be rather distractible dogs. They often will leave a training session to “chase” something they see racing outside the fence. When there is fast movement around, don’t expect them to follow your instructions.

9. Independent

Training Cairn terriers can be difficult because, like most terriers, they are quite independent. You have to commit to obedience training from a young age. If not, they may easily turn rambunctious and conceited. Training is required to avoid bossiness in cairn terriers, as they frequently believe they are the world’s centre of attention.

Naturally, these dogs will never be as obedient as a Labrador Retriever or a breed similar to it, even with the right training. It’s simply not feasible.