Cairn Terriers are probably the most lively dog breed among all terriers. It is quick to bark and even quicker to give chase. If there is one word that can best describe Cairn Terriers that will be "scrappy," for they certainly are. They are little dynamos that love to stretch their little legs by running and bounding over large tracks of play areas.
They also like digging into the ground, and this activity helps them expend some of their stored up energy. Cairn Terriers can be rather feisty and a bit territorial when it comes to its food, its favorite play thing and even its human companions. This territorial behavior actually makes them excellent family and home watch dogs.
Cairn Terriers are extremely clever escape artists. No fence or physical barricade can hamper their need to explore. These little dogs are very intelligent and like learning new things and investigating possible new scenarios. It would not do them any good to be cooped up inside the house for long periods of time especially without any form of companionship or mental stimulation.
This breed of dog is perfect for families who love the outdoors, and possibly has a large area for running and romping. However, Cairn Terriers can also be housed in smaller living areas provided that there is enough outdoor time for it to exercise and run about. Although Cairn Terriers can be trained to perform sedate tricks like fetch or hand (paw) shaking, they will rather run free and chase after real or imagined preys. They are energetic creatures and tend to remain lively all day. They can be a bit persistent and at times even bossy, especially when it comes to meal and play times.
It is not advisable to expose very, very young children to Cairn Terriers because of the dog's exuberant nature. A young child may "accidentally" pull at the dog's fur or disturb it while the animal is eating, to which a Cairn Terrier may instinctively react by nipping or jumping at the offender.
But for older children, Cairn Terriers make excellent pets for these animals are active go-getters. They are also extremely affectionate and love to be showered with affection as well. Inside your home, you may find your pet constantly nagging you to play with him, or to take him outside for some play time. Yes, Cairn Terriers are great "naggers". They can be very persistent when they want something and will not let up until you finally deliver. This incessant barking may be a bit of a problem, but is usually cured by giving it its favorite toy or a five-minute romp in the yard.
One bad thing about the Cairn Terriers is that they are inherent chewers. Chewing is a sign of boredom when it comes to this breed, so it is essential to either spend some time training or playing with your pet. If those two activities are not possible as of the moment, it may be prudent to buy your pet a chew toy.