"Today the Cairn Terrier in America is a sensible, confident little dog, independent but friendly with everyone he meets. He may be found in an apartment, suburban home, or on a farm. Alert, intelligent and long-lived, the Cairn tends to remain active and playful well into his teen year, endearing him to children. True to his heritage, the breed still has very large teeth, large feet with thick pads and strong nails (the better to dig with!), strong, muscular shoulders and rears, and a fearless tenacity." - Cairn Terrir Club of America
The immediate impression should be that of a small, shaggy, alert dog, head, tail and ears up, eyes shining with intelligence, poised and ready for anything.
The Cairn comes in a variety of colors. All are attractive, and you will love your Cairn whatever color he turns out to be. It can be difficult if not impossible to predict adult color based on the puppy coat. Color changes in many Cairns continue for years, most brindles eventually becoming very dark, bordering on black. Some wheatens and reds also darken while others may remain light.
Temperament and Training
No two Cairns are truly alike; each has distinct personality and character differences. As a rule, though, Cairns are somewhat independent. A typical puppy may sit on your lap for a few moments, but will resist being held for long, wriggling impatiently to get down and explore. Their intelligence makes them curious and extremely quick to learn. They are surprisingly sensitive, and harsh punishment is not necessary or desirable. However, a Cairn must know from the first that someone else is in charge. If he has any question about that, he’ll do his best to run the house himself. Firm, loving and consistent discipline is the key to a good relationship with your Cairn Terrier.
Cairn Terrier ring at Winnipeg, Canada Oct 21, 2017