When most people hear the word terrier, they picture Toto, the Cairn Terrier in The Wizard of Oz — and rightfully so, because this sturdy little dog breed is everything a terrier was designed to be: strong, hardy, up on his toes, confident, plucky, and spirited.
The Cairn Terrier loves to play and needs his daily walks, but is adaptable to any home in which he can be a full participant and busybody and where his bold terrier traits are kept under control.
Adult Cairn Terriers may be friendly or reserved with strangers, but are always alert and quick to announce guests.
This breed can be scrappy and bossy with other pets, but will co-exist with them more readily than some other terriers. However, strange animals may be a different story, as the Cairn Terrier was bred to hunt and will chase anything that moves.
He is inquisitive, so a leash or fenced yard is essential at all times.
Assertive but cheerful, with typical terrier stubbornness, the Cairn Terrier must be shown that you are in charge. He does respond well to consistent discipline and to obedience training that focuses on treats and praise.
Cairn Terriers can be possessive of their food and toys. And being respectable terriers, they are enthusiastic diggers and barkers.