How Much Do Cairn Terriers Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Cairn Terriers are short, shaggy-haired and fairly long for their height.  They are known to be the oldest terrier breeder and originated in the Scottish Highlands.  They generally have large heads, pricked up ears, and can come in a variety of colors.  This dog is ideal for those who want a dog who needs moderate exercise and needs a watchdog.

DSC_2629.JPG by robinsend, on Flickr
DSC_2629.JPG” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  robinsend

How much do Cairn Terrier puppies cost?

On the average, Cairn Terrier puppies between 12 to 22 weeks old can cost anywhere from $350 to $800.  The price depends on the breeder, the geographical location and quality of the pet.

Older Cairn Terriers that are a year or older can cost anywhere from $100 to $500.  Generally, the higher the level of quality, the more you can spend.  It’s not unheard of to spend close to a $1,000 or more for a dog that’s a show quality.

CairnRescueUSA.com, a cairn terrier rescue group, charges $350 for a dog less than one-year-old and $125 for dogs over 10 years old.  Mixes and dogs between one to 10 years old will have varying fees.

PuppyFind.com, for instance, has less than a hundred listings that can cost anywhere from $650 to $900.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

Most Cairn Terriers purchased from breeders or adoption centers will usually be de-wormed and spayed or neutered.  They should also come with registration papers, any medical paperwork and some sort of health guarantee. Your inclusions will vary depending on the breeder.

What are the extra costs?

Registering the dog with American Kennel Club will be an additional cost if it wasn’t registered yet.

All recurring dog costs such as the dog leash, food, vet checkups/vaccinations and toys need to be budgeted for the future.  It’s best to budget at least $300 to $400 for startup costs.  For food, plan on using up to one cup of high-quality food per day.

Obedience school is recommended since they can be quite stubborn.

This dog has a coat which requires quite a bit of grooming, and it’s recommended they are taken to a groomer at least once per month.  Its coat is a weather resistant double coat that feels rough to the touch.  Failing to groom will lead to a matted mess.  Nails should be trimmed once a month to prevent painful tears.  Usually, if you hear them clicking on the floor, it’s time to trim them.

Having the dog shipped via an airline can cost $150 to $250, depending on the distance traveled and the airline you choose.

Try to brush their teeth at least once per week to avoid tartar buildup and gum disease.

Tips to know:

The common coat colors may include red, brindle, black, sand and some shades of gray.  The hairs tend to be darker around the muzzle and the tip of the tail.  As the dog grows older, the colors may change frequently.

The male can reach 11 to 13 inches in height, while the females can reach heights between 9 to 12 inches.  The average weight is 13 to 18 pounds.

These terriers tend to be mischievous, independent and love to get into trouble.  Most experts will recommend that this type of terrier can be rather hard to train.

These terriers are great with children of all ages since that have great patience, but this isn’t the case with every dog.  If you have children, it’s important to properly socialize your dog and train them so they can respect younger children and their activity levels.  It’s wise to teach your children to never approach a dog when eating or sleeping.

Females tend to be more independent than a male.

These are strictly indoor dogs.  While you can take them outside, it’s best that you’re monitoring their situation as they can get into troubles with larger dogs.   Try to make sure they are always on a leash.

They also make ideal apartment dogs.

Their life span averages 9 to 15 years.

These dogs love to jump, play and are known to be very energetic.  Because of this, it’s recommended you take them on a walk daily.

The Cairn terrier’s temperament tends to be loyal, cheerful and is known for its “big body” mindset in a small dog’s body.  Bred to hunt rats, they still have the instinct to dig holes to find them.  They are also great watchdogs as they will bark whenever they hear something they aren’t comfortable with.

This breed is known to develop bad traits such as growling, snapping or having separation anxiety.

Common health conditions include eye problems, legg-calve-perthes syndrome, liver problems, Krabbe disease and patellar luxation.

The dog, Toto, in the Wizard of Oz was a Cairn Terrier.

While tolerant toward other dogs, they may be aggressive toward unknown dogs or cats.

Make it a habit to clean your dog’s ears every week to prevent an infection.  Red or ears with a foul odor may indicate there’s an active infection.  Cleaning them with a gentle pH-balanced ear cleaner will do the trick.

In general, these dogs can be very loving and will make great lap dogs; however, some females may be independent and won’t need as much attention.

How can I save money?

With any dog adoption, check with a few breeders and adoption centers locally.  Never purchase a dog based on the price tag, but rather, pay close attention to the breeder’s reputation and ethics.  It’s important to ask as many questions as possible to make sure you’re adopting from reputable breeders.

Don’t forget to check rescue centers since there’s a good chance one that solely works with these terriers will be nearby.


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