Breed History / Description

The Cairn is one of the native Scottish Breeds and from the 17th century had been used in the Western Highlands and the Isle of Skye to keep down vermin which were a threat to game. They often worked in small packs and they take their name from the Cairn – small outcrop of stones, common in the highland moors. 

Several of the Scottish Terrier breeds: the Cairn (first exhibited as a short-haired Skye Terrier) the Skye itself, the Scottish Terrier and the West Highland White share common ancestry. 

The Cairn is remarkably unchanged in appearance throughout the centuries, lighter in build than the other terrier breeds from Scotland but a game, rugged and harsh coated sporting terrier.


Should impress as being active, game and hardy. 


Fearless and gay disposition; assertive but not aggressive.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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