Skip to Content

Do Cairn Terriers Shed? (Facts and Temperament)

Cairn terriers just like every other dog, have got hair that covers their body.

This hair is also known as a coat, people use the terms fur coat and hair coat interchangeably, but for the purpose of this article, I’ll stick to fur coat.

The covering of an animal’s skin is called a fur or feather. Now, a dog’s coat could either be a double coat or a single coat.

For dogs with a double coat, they’ve got two layers just like the name implies:

One with a thick and difficult to penetrate layer of short hairs, this layer be shields a dog from cold temperature as well as hot temperature, and it is usually woolly, this is under the top coat.

The top coat helps to ward off dirt and water. However, the challenge with dogs that have a double coat is this, they shed! Ouch!

Did I burst your bubbles? This is normal, and no!

They can’t help it, because that it is who they are, as a matter of fact, the bulk of work lies with you their owner.

Coat Blow in Cairn Terrier Dogs

There is something known as a coat blow, this is a time when there is a change from their winter’s coat to their summer coat, so, when there is a change in the season, the coat changes, making it suitable for them to enjoy the new weather.

However, this coat blow varies from one double coated dog to another. It is important to note that Cairn terrier falls in the category of dogs with double coat, and yes!They shed.

The good news however, is that their shedding is minimal and it’s not as intense as we have it in other dogs with double coat, and as it were, there is no extreme “coat blow” for cairn terriers, instead what happens with them is a grooming.

Grooming a Cairn Terrier is Hard

Cairn Terrier grooming

Grooming a Cairn terrier fur coat is quite a difficult task because of their crude nature; yeah cairn terriers could be a little bit turbulent in nature.

They are very lively and playful, hence, they require suitable care in order for them to be clean and healthy, because they are playful, their fur coat is usually covered with dirt, rubbles and at times, the scattered remains of something destroyed is visible around them.

It’s, however, evident that there’s a need for proper grooming. In order to have your cairn terrier looking Peng, and avoid shedding that doesn’t even look close to cute.

Peradventure your dog is shedding excessively, please follow the tips below, note, these tips are not to exactly stop shedding, but to reduce shedding and maintain its coat.

1. Clean up for your Cairn terrier only when it is required:

The degree or amount by which you bathe your dog should be reduced.

Never think your cairn terrier is human that you need to bathe two times a day, some of us actually have oily skin, and due to cold at times, we do not have a bath regularly, so why are you stressing the coat of your cairn terrier?

Too much bathing, can lead to breaking of your dog’s fur coat. Also, use the right product for their coat, do not use a shampoo, conditioner or bath gel meant for your hair or skin for your cairn terrier, they have products specially made for them, apply generously on their coat, and rinse with warm or tepid water generously, and ensure their undercoat is thoroughly rinsed, leaving no shampoo on their coat, then dry them up with a towel.

For the appropriate number of times to clean up for your cairn terrier, you can stick to once every three months.

2.  Brush your dogs fur coat weekly

Because the hair of a cairn terrier grows fairly quickly, hence you’d need to get a pin brush or a slicker brush (please ensure you get a pin brush or a slicker brush, so as to have a well brushed hair) to remove the coats that are broken and dead, and have loose ends; they’ll eventually shed off anyways, why not remove them before they tangle and become a nuisance.

So brush the coat of your dog, till it is smooth, at first, your dog might not find it enjoyable, but overtime, your Cairn terrier will become used to it and then have no choice than to stick to it.

It is like introducing your baby to a food that is not breast milk, at first, it might be a struggle but overtime, your baby will see that there is no other option than to adapt to the new life.

3. Shape your Cairn terrier’s coat: 

The more the coat of your Cairn terrier grows, the untidier it becomes, and less attractive also, especially around the edges.

Brushing on a daily, is good, but it is not good enough.

You’d have to either shape or clip the hair of your dog for better results, whether as a pet dog or as a show dog. We all love our ‘thing’ looking tidy, right? 

However, it should be worthy of note that if your cairn terrier’s coat is shedding more than usual, hmmm, you might have to take extra caution in the sense that, it might not be normal.

Other reasons why your dog’s coat might be shedding:

1. Allergies: you might need to pay extra attention to what your dog is feeding on, and the water it is taking in, also, there are allergies caused by fleas (for dogs, when there is a flea bite, there is an excessive loss of hair) grasses, wool, pets,

2. Fungal infections: They definitely make Cairn terrier’s shed. Fungi are everywhere; in human, pets, environments, and the scariest thing about them is that, they spread.

The moment you realize that your cairn terrier is having any fungal infection, in a bid to avoid shedding, you have to hastily see a vet.

3. Neurodermatitis: This is a skin disorder that is characterized by chronic itching and scratching, which most of the time, leads to hair loss.

4. Anxiety: Anxiety is an unpleasant state of mental uneasiness about something, you might want to find out what’s bothering your cairn terrier, hold on, when last did you check up on your shedding cairn terrier, have you been giving it the attention you used to, taking walks in the park, playing games with your dog and just loving up on your cairn terrier.

Now, if your answer is no! then you shouldn’t be on this page, you should be with your dog right now.

Anxiety is so strong that you shouldn’t allow your dog touch it, and absolutely yes!It can cause shedding.

I remember taking my dog for a walk sometime in October last year, when I met this old woman, say about 65 years, we got talking about dogs and she told me that her cairn terrier wouldn’t do what he normally does.

She was losing weight, becoming more like a dummy and was shedding so badly, she got to the vet and they realized that she has been to busy to take her normal playful cairn terrier for a walk, yeah, you heard it right, that was the problem.

The very moment she began to take her dog for a walk like she would normally do, it only took her two weeks to see the changes she had used months, visited the vet and spent money to see.


Live every other living thing whose hair sheds, including the naturalistas, the hair of a cairn terrier also sheds.

In the same vein, just like a golden retriever or other breeds needs a good regular routine, lots of patience and love to control their shedding.

It’s not the same with a cairn terrier. Cairn terrier shed, but do not shed excessively.