Are Cairn Terriers good with children? July 16, 2018 15:52 8 Comments

It depends!  Although the Cairn Terrier has been described historically as “the best little pal in the world” he does have bold terrier traits, which need a firm hand.  They will push the boundaries as puppies and teenagers and do need to be kept under control.

Some would not recommend a Cairn Terrier for homes with small children because they do not always tolerate nonsense from little hands.  Tail and whisker pulling and general teasing might elicit a quick and snappy reaction.  On the other hand, other owners report that Cairn Terriers seem to have a natural affinity with little humans. 


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It seems that people with well-behaved children will have well behaved dogs (that would explain the mayhem in this house!).  From our own experience, when both dogs and children were young we never left them alone in the same room, and found that the dogs would simply hideaway when the excitement got too much.  Having said that, the best laid plans etc, I did once discover my daughter dragging little Homer backwards by his leg, and him simply looking at me in that bewildered, “What did I do to deserve this?” look.  Homer was the one dog that would normally snap or growl, but not that time.

If you do have a double blessing of children and Cairn Terriers, there are some definite guidelines to follow.  Never leave any child alone with a dog. Times of separation are vital.  The Cairn needs to know it has a sanctuary if needed, either in a kennel or crate or just in the kitchen with the door shut.  Much as Mummy sometimes needs time out when she escapes to the bathroom just to breathe in and out in peace.

Overall our conclusion is that Cairn Terriers make amazing family pets.  We are erring on the side of caution in this blog because that is the sensible thing to do, but many, many people report that they love children and are excellent companions.  If a child is too young to be able to understand when a dog needs to be left alone, then no, that may be too much of a risk, but the same risk would apply to many other breeds too.

We hope this answers your question: "Are Cairn Terriers good with children?"

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