Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained


Cairn Terrier Shedding Information Tips

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on October 21, 2021.

All dogs shed loose hair, and Cairn Terriers are no exception! If you want to find out how much this breed sheds, how to reduce and manage this, and how to look after your dog’s coat so the problem is minimized, read on…

Cairns Terriers are a breed that sheds moderately. They need to be brushed regularly using the right tools and bathed every week or two, depending on the individual dog. The hairs they shed are short and difficult to remove from the furniture but do not normally cause allergic reactions.

Be careful about bathing your dog because some owners claim that after bathing their Cairn terrier, it sheds hair for a few days, so you’ll need to see what’s best for your dog. Every dog and every situation is different, and the information given for the breed is a guide only, but with experience, you’ll get to know how much and when your dog sheds and what you should do about it.

One of the most common reasons for dog shedding is the change in the season. Cairn Terriers shed all year round, but it does have a heavier shedding season in the spring and fall.

If possible, they need to be brushed daily to remove the dead hairs from their coat and help prevent knots from forming in their fur. Compared to some other dogs a quick brush is easy but longer-term grooming and coat maintenance require careful thought. For example, they should not be clipped; shedding can increase as the clipped hairs fall out. Again, this is mainly trial and error; you’ll soon know how this works for your dog.

As claims, hair on Cairn Terriers seems to mat while the dog does nothing! It constantly needs brushing out and if you know how to groom your dog and take care of its fur issues correctly, you can make it feel better, shed less, and look healthy. If you’d like to know how to groom your Cairn Terrier correctly and deal with matted hair in its coat, then check this page for more.

Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained
Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Cairn Terrier

In the world of dogs, Cairn Terriers have a unique look. They have a foxy face with bushy eyebrows and triangular ears. They rank as one of the smallest dogs in the Terrier group. Originally, they come from the Scottish Highlands, which can affect their shedding, as your climate may be very different from that of Scotland, where it is cool and wet.

Cairn Terriers are known for being very intelligent and athletic. These two traits combined make them excellent hunting dogs. But they also have a willful streak. Their coats are one of their endearing features but can easily become matted, straggly, and dirty if neglected. Neglecting your dog’s coat may result in excess hair shedding, so make it a priority to spend some time each week looking after your pet.

Are Cairn Terriers Hypoallergenic?

At home, though, they are very energetic dogs, and you need to be aware of their shedding habits, which we will now look at. This is important because the hairs shed from your Cairn Terrier are considered by some as being a hypoallergenic breed, (not giving allergic reactions or creating associated problems in humans). However, dog hairs may cause problems for some people with allergies, but are not as bad in this regard as that of certain other breeds.

Being aware of this before bringing a dog into a home where you have someone who is allergic to dog hair or pet dander. In short, if you are going to introduce a dog to someone who may have allergies to dog hair, despite the risks of this, this is one of the better dogs to choose.

The Guide to Cairn Terrier Shedding

Cairn Terriers are a dog breed characterized by its thick, wiry fur. It sheds these hairs constantly but does not shed as much as other breeds. Those with allergies will find that the Cairn Terrier is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other breeds because it sheds less hair. The Cairn Terrier needs grooming regularly but not as much as other breeds because they shed less hair.

Cairn Terriers have wiry coats that keep out water and dirt, but these must be looked after, and excess hair needs to be brushed out regularly, or it will coat your furniture.

One problem that can occur with Cairn Terriers is that some grow excess hair on their undercoat, which may be a genetic thing connected to their cold Scottish ancestral climate. If the undercoat is too thick, it can suffer from a lot of shedding of hair over a longer period as the animal may get too hot because of its surroundings.

Cairn terrier Shedding
Cairn Terrier Shedding

What is a Cairn Terrier, and Will My Cairn Pup or Adult Dog Shed?

Like most dog breeds, Cairn Terriers shed hair in a natural process to replace old hair with new hair. Shedding also may increase seasonally, in this case, in Spring and Fall, to get rid of hair so the dog will feel cooler in warmer weather.

In other words, yes, your dog will shed hair, and you must accept this as a regular part of owning a dog. However, as we shall see, you can reduce the amount of shedding that ends up on your furniture and carpet. Regular grooming will limit the inconvenience of shedding and keep your dog healthy and happy.

Knowing what type of dog you are looking for is important before buying or adopting one.

Cairn terriers are typically light-shedding dogs that only require occasional brushing to keep them clean. if you notice a sudden increase in shedding or if it becomes a problem, then consult your vet to find out what the cause is and if it is natural or something else. For your peace of mind and your dog’s health, excess shedding can be a sign of health issues or incorrect care of its coat.

If you find hair around your home, it will most likely be seen on your furniture or clothes rather than your floors or carpets.

Tips for Easily Handling Your Dog’s Shedding Without Losing Your Sanity

A lot of people struggle with shedding dogs. It can be a difficult task to manage, and it can be difficult to keep the house clean. Planning how you will handle shedding to avoid these problems is important.

The good news is that there are many ways to handle the shedding in a way that won’t take much time and will keep your sanity intact.

It is important to brush all terrier breeds regularly so that you will be able to remove the excess fur that has built up on the coat. They need to be brushed about once a week or as needed if they shed heavily or more often, depending on their hair type and length. When brushing, it is important not to pull too hard, as this could cause discomfort and pain for your dog.

You may want to consider using doggie wipes or wet cloths to remove excess hair from your dog’s paws or around its face. Be thorough and be gentle!

Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained
Cairn Terrier Shedding

How do I Maintain My Cairn Terrier’s Coat with Proper Grooming?

Cairn Terriers are terriers that have a heck of a time trying to keep their appearance as they constantly shed their fur. But with some careful thought, you can help your dog.

The Cairn Terrier may shed a lot because it’s a double-coated breed. This means the dog has two layers of fur: a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is typically long but not too thick. The undercoat is soft and dense, so when the dog sheds, it leaves large clumps behind on your furniture or clothes.

A Cairn Terrier’s coat is a work of art, so it’s important to maintain it with proper grooming. Here are a few grooming tips and the tools you need to keep your dog looking cute and well-groomed.

First of all, it is important to know the breed’s characteristics. Cairn Terriers are known for their wiry coat. They are low-maintenance dogs and require very little grooming, but their coat still needs some TLC. Failing to do this can greatly increase problems of shedding in the home.

There are many steps you can take to maintain your dog’s coat with proper grooming, and you might use various grooming tools.

Brush your pet’s hair at least once a week with a coarse bristle brush to remove dead hair and mats.

Other kinds of grooming tools may include the following:

  • Slicker Brush – This brush can be used with any coat. It has a flattened or rounded head with lines of small wire teeth that help untangle and remove stray fur.
  • Rubber Curry Comb – Hand brush for detangling and de-furring dogs. Detangles and extracts loose fur, allowing you to keep your home hair-free.
  • Shedding Blade – A Shedding Blade is an excellent tool for effectively removing and collecting dead hair. It keeps your pet looking great while reducing the amount of shed hair on your soft furnishings and apparel.
  • Scissors or Clippers for Your Dog’s Haircut

A common piece of advice often given to owners of Cairn Terriers is to check the thickness and condition of the dog’s undercoat and to have it “stripped” if necessary. This not only thins out and tidies up the undercoat it also enables the proper growth of the outer hairs and can control excess shedding. If this process is done correctly, your dog should not shed much.

It is worth checking out what tools you need and how to strip your dog’s coat properly, or you can leave it to a professional if it seems too challenging for you to do it yourself. 

If you groom your dog in this way regularly, I’m sure shedding will be minimized!

Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained
Cairn Terrier

What Causes Pets to Shed More Than Usual?

Factors such as age, lifestyle, diet, genetics, and medical conditions can all influence how much your pet sheds. So if you have a shedding problem with your dog, it’s time to work out which of these is causing the problem. If it is not obvious or unsure of the cause, consult your local vet for advice.

When pets are stressed, they often shed more than usual. This is because pets are more sensitive to stress than humans are. So, what could cause your Cairn terrier to be stressed?

Pet stress can stem from several activities, including moving homes, getting a new pet for the household, and even meeting strangers. A new pet or family member could introduce jealousy and may divide your attention away from your dog, and he or she will not be happy about that!

If your pet is shedding more than usual, it’s always best to talk with your veterinarian to find out what might be causing it. And if stress is the cause, you’ll need some advice on how to reduce this stress and return things to normal.

Diet changes could cause more shedding if you feed them food with higher protein content (which will make their hair feel thicker). So, in this case, be sure to notice when the shedding became a problem and ask yourself if a change in diet could be the culprit.

Cairn Terrier Shedding Explained
Cairn Terrier

About Cairn Terriers

The Cairn Terrier is most famous as the dog in The Wizard of Oz. He originated in the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands as one of three breeds but became the Cairn Terrier in the early 1900s. The word “cairn” means the rocks in which badgers and foxes live. The Terrier would squeeze down the cairns to trap the animal and then bark for his owner to come and kill it.

This dog performs well in agility, obedience, tracking, and terrier trials. He’s an active, alert dog with a strong instinct to chase small animals and dig holes, so owners must remember this.

Cairn Terriers, renowned for their spirited and adventurous nature, are small dogs that pack a lot of personality into their small size. A breed celebrated by the Cairn Terrier Club of America for its agility, intelligence, and robust health, Cairn Terriers thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity.

These traits make them excellent candidates for dog sports, where they can channel their energy and intelligence in a structured way. Regular dog park visits also provide physical exercise and socialization opportunities, which is vital for maintaining their good condition and behavioral health. Daily walks are essential for Cairn Terriers, as their activity level demands consistent outlets for their boundless energy, ensuring they remain happy and healthy.

When considering adding Cairn Terrier puppies to your family, seeking a responsible breeder is a good idea. A reputable breeder will prioritize the health conditions commonly associated with the breed, ensuring that puppies are not only hypoallergenic but also less prone to genetic health issues. Proper training from a young age is crucial for Cairn Terriers to develop into well-behaved adult dogs.

Given their high intelligence, they respond well to training that includes positive reinforcement, helping to keep their minds engaged and satisfied. With the right combination of physical activity, mental stimulation, and love, Cairn Terriers make loyal and lively companions ideal for those willing to invest their time and energy into their well-being.

His tough outer coat is resistant to the weather and needs regular brushing. He also requires lots of exercise to keep him happy. His coat can be any color but white. He stands around 10 inches tall.

Cairn Terrier Shedding
Cairn Terrier


If you are considering getting a Cairn Terrier, you must be prepared for their shedding. They shed year-round and are considered “moderate shedders.” The good news is they rarely have skin conditions from the excess dog hair in their coat. The Cairn is a fairly low-maintenance breed.

There are some things Cairn owners can do to help with this problem, including brushing their dog often with a slicker brush or combing it out after petting them so not all of the fur gets on their clothes. It would help if you also give your dog regular baths during heavy shedding periods, which you may find yourself doing more frequently than other breeds due to how quickly these dogs lose their coats when changing seasons.

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References and Further Reading:
AKC Cairn Terrier Information

Cairn Terrier Shedding Information Tips
Cairn Terrier Shedding Information Tips
Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terrier


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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