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Cairn Terrier Wheaten Terrier Mix: Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & More

Chris Dinesen Rogers

By Chris Dinesen Rogers

Parent Breeds of Cairn Terrier Wheaten Terrier Mix

The Cairn Wheaten Terrier isn’t a common mix like other mixes. We couldn’t even find a clever name for the dog, such as Chin Pin or Cockapoo. The pup is a hybrid between the Cairn Terrier and the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. Both parent breeds have the typical personality traits we’d expect from dogs of this group. It’s a product of the jobs they fulfill that also influences the temperament of the mix.

Height: 9.5–19 inches
Weight: 13–40 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Black, brindle, red, wheaten, gray, silver, cream
Suitable for: Active families looking for an affectionate dog that can keep up with kids
Temperament: Energetic, playful, friendly

Both parent breeds have a long history in their respective Scotland and Ireland homelands. Enthusiasts selectively bred dogs in these countries to hone their hunting and work skills. They are intelligent animals that are affectionate with their families, although somewhat less open with strangers. We also expect to see the protective nature the parents possess.

Cairn Terrier Wheaten Terrier Characteristics


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Cairn Wheaten Terrier Puppies

You may find Cairn Wheaten Terrier puppies hard to find. The parent breeds aren’t within the top 50 of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) most popular breeds. Nevertheless, we have seen puppies listed for adoption, so it may not be as challenging as you may think. Both dogs are adorable and may not last long once an ad is posted.

We suggest requesting to see the mother and littermates before purchasing a pet. The size ranges of the parent breed are relatively wide, making it difficult to predict what you may get. The Cairn Terrier brings a wider possibility of colors in addition to wheaten if that’s an important consideration. We recommend buying from a seller who conducts pre-breeding screening and offers a health guarantee.

Remember that owning a dog is a big responsibility. It is a financial commitment to the animal’s care. It also means devoting time and effort to training and socialization. Terriers often have an independent streak that can make training challenging. Nevertheless, the Cairn Wheaten Terrier mix is still an excellent choice for individuals willing to train their pups.

Parent Breeds of the Cairn Terrier Wheaten Terrier Mix
Image Credit: (L) Marina Plevako, Shutterstock | (R) bohemama, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cairn Wheaten Terrier

Both parent breeds were hunting dogs historically. That fueled their intelligence and independence. Cairn Terriers were selectively bred to dig into cairns to find their quarry. That means these pups had to be alert and persistent. It also shows up in their high prey drive and wanderlust potential. These traits are also evident in the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Cairn Wheaten Terrier will make an excellent family pet. These pups are affectionate with their tribe and will even protect them if necessary, with their terrier courage on full display. They are energetic dogs and will keep up with the kids. You should supervise playtime with smaller pets, particularly with young children. This pup can be vocal, a habit you’ll have to curb as a puppy.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

The Cairn Wheaten Terrier can get along with other dogs if you socialize them early. They will enjoy the company and playtime with an animal as active as they are. We suggest using caution with cats and other pets because of the dog’s strong prey drive. We don’t recommend this pup in households with pocket pets, especially if they get time to roam outside of their cage.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cairn Wheaten Terrier:

Researching a breed is essential before bringing home any dog. Some traits are inherited. Weaning and early upbringing play a critical role in the personality of the adult animal. Both parent breeds aren’t tolerant of being left alone for long stretches despite their histories as ratters and herding dogs. The Cairn Wheaten Terrier isn’t the best choice for a single person who works outside of the home a lot.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You should feed your pet a commercial diet formulated for their size and life stage. That will ensure your dog gets the proper nutrition to support growth and development. Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adults. For example, the former should get foods with 22.5% protein and at least 8.5% fat versus 18% and 5.5% for adults.

Puppies should get fed three to four times daily to keep their growth fueled and their blood sugar stable. You can reduce it to two times once your pet reaches adulthood. We suggest following the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount to offer. You should also ensure your pet has fresh water always available.

Exercise 🐕

Daily exercise is essential. It provides training and socialization opportunities. It can also reduce the likelihood of fearfulness in your pet. Trips to the dog park will allow your pup to socialize with other dogs, which will also provide valuable mental stimulation. That’s a must-do for a dog that is as intelligent as the Cairn Wheaten Terrier.

Remember that the Cairn Terrier is a digger. Providing suitable enrichment may prevent your pet from taking out their boredom in your backyard. We suggest supervising your pup’s time outside to stop this unwanted behavior.

Training 🎾

Terriers are known for being fearless and independent. It was necessary for dogs tasked with the jobs they originally held. However, it can make training challenging. Consistency is the key. Positive reinforcement is also vital. Therefore, we recommend limiting treats to training aids to make their lessons more enjoyable. You’ll also have an attentive dog with which to work.


Grooming ✂️

The extent of grooming depends on the dominant breeding. The Cairn Terrier is usually less maintenance, with weekly brushing sufficing. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier needs more work to keep them mat-free. You should check your dog’s ears regularly and trim their nails as needed. Plucking excessive hair will improve airflow and prevent ear infections.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Both parent breeds are relatively healthy. The congenital and hereditary conditions for which they are vulnerable are similar. Pre-breeding health screening can catch many of them before they become problems. However, remember that you’re dealing with a mixed breed where there isn’t the same pressure as with purebred dogs. Ask questions before you buy.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Hypothyroidism
Serious Conditions
  • Luxating patella
  • Kidney disease
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL)


Male vs. Female

The size differences between the sexes are small for both parent breeds. The dominance of one over the other will make a greater impact. The dog’s upbringing will have the most significant influence on the animal’s temperament, regardless of the sex. Either one will make a delightful pet with early training and socialization.

3 Little-Known Facts About Cairn Wheaten Terrier

1. The Cairn Terrier Is One of Several Breeds Selectively Bred in Scotland and Is Probably the Oldest

Enthusiasts saw a lot of potential in terriers. Thus, the history of many breeds intermingle as individuals selected for specific traits. The Cairn Terrier is probably the oldest of many of these dogs.

2. The History of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Goes Back to the Romans

The Romans realized how special the dogs from Ireland were. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier caught their eye because of their looks and versatility.

3. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and Other Related Breeds Stand Out Because They are Long-Legged

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier shares a common ancestry with the Irish and Kerry Blue Terriers. Their long legs make them versatile, all-purpose farm dogs, which cemented their popularity among enthusiasts.

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Final Thoughts

The Cairn Wheaten Terrier has a lot going for it. The dog couldn’t be cuter, considering the parent stock. They have personalities that come from their terrier heritage. Undoubtedly, they will make themselves known. They are relatively healthy and will make a good family pet. Early training and socialization will curb any adverse effects on the dog’s willfulness.

Your greatest challenge may be in finding one. The Cairn Wheaten Terrier isn’t as well-known as many other hybrids. We suggest being patient and persistent. The mix certainly has a following that is sure to grow as more people get to know this adorable mixed breed.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: (L) Svetlana Valoueva, Shutterstock | (R) Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

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