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Cairnoodle (Cairn Terrier & Miniature Poodle Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cairnoodle puppy

Height: 10–15 inches
Weight: 13–20 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Colors: White, cream, brown, gray, black
Suitable for: Urban families, seniors, singles, and those looking for a hypoallergenic dog
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, intelligent, and easy to train

The Cairnoodle is a crossbreed between the Poodle and the Cairn Terrier. They were purposefully bred to inherit the best traits of their parent breeds. The Poodle is an old breed. There are ancient Egyptian and Roman illustrations of dogs that look like the Poodle.

The modern version has origins in Germany, but during the 15th century, a few Poodles found their way into France, where they were bred into the standard, miniature, and toy varieties that are well known today.

The Cairn Terrier, on the other hand, can be traced back to Scotland. It was bred in the 1900s from the Scottish Terrier. This ancestor dates back to the Roman Empire. In 55 B.C., the Romans identified and recorded small, agile hunter-dogs who often went to the ground in pursuit of their prey.

The Romans named these dogs Terrarii, which translates to “workers of the earth.” The Terrier dogs thrived in Scotland and England.

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Cairnoodle Puppies

Little Cairnoodle Puppy
Cairnoodle puppy. | Image credit: Robyn Bartlett, Shutterstock

Cairnoodles are energetic dogs. However, most of them inherit the friendly nature of the Poodle. On a scale of 1-5, the Cairnoodle gets a respectable score for energy. This dog inherits their intelligence from both parents, making them easy to train. Unlike other dogs, they don’t need too much repetition. However, house training them can be challenging.

The Cairnoodle’s lifespan is slightly above most dogs’ average lifespan. This is mainly because Cairnoodles are quite healthy. As designer dogs, they suffer fewer health complications than purebreds. They also come from a relatively healthy lineage, and their parent breeds are not prone to many diseases. For these reasons, the Cairnoodle scores well for lifespan and health.

Cairnoodles are affectionate. However, they like being the center of attention and exhibit an interesting mix of sensitivity and stubbornness, inherited from the Poodle and Terrier, respectively. These traits give them an excellent score for sociability.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Cairnoodle

1. They’re Named After a Pile of rocks.

The Cairn Terrier, one of the Cairnoodle’s parent breeds, was named after the Scottish word for a pile of rocks, a “cairn.”

2. They Have an Alias.

The Cairnoodle is also known as the Poocan.

3. They Have Ancient History.

The Poodle has ancestors that date back thousands of years.

Parent Breeds of the Cairnoodle
Image Credit: (L) Marina Plevako, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cairnoodle 🧠

To get a feel for the characteristics your Cairnoodle might exhibit, let’s see what their parents are like. Poodles are sweet, sensitive, and demand attention. Poodle owners need to mentally and physically stimulate their dogs because they are known for being extremely intelligent and agile. They get along well with children and other pets.

On the other hand, the Cairn Terrier is feisty and a bit stubborn. They have an instinct to burrow into the ground, and if they are not trained well as a puppy, they will exhibit the traits in adulthood. The Terrier does not get along well with other dogs.

With mixed breeds, it is difficult or near impossible to predict their temperament, even with dogs of the same litter. However, most Cairnoodles exhibit a healthy mix of the two parents. If your Cairnoodle leans more toward their Terrier side, training them will require you to be firm. If they lean more toward their sensitive Poodle parent, training should be positive, or they will withdraw from you and exhibit negative behavior.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Cairnoodles require a great deal of attention. They are prone to separation anxiety, and when bored, they can get destructive. Chewing on upholstery and pooping in shoes are common examples, but their intelligence can inspire even more devious deeds.

However, their gentle temperament allows them to get along well with kids and family members. Their small size makes it unlikely that they will knock over children or elderly relatives.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If your pup takes after the Cairn Terrier, they can be a little aggressive toward other dogs. However, your Cairnoodle will get along well with your other pet because they have no natural prey instinct.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cairnoodle

You should always keep a few things in mind when considering getting a Cairnoodle. Diet, exercise, grooming, and training will influence your pet’s lifespan.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

The Cairnoodle is a small dog, and the amount of food you need to feed them is proportional to their size. One and a half cups of food, split into two or three servings a day, will be enough for the most active dogs.

But you must keep an eye on their weight. Obesity can bring a host of health issues for your dog, including diabetes, decreased liver function, and damaged joints. If you are unsure what to feed your dog, visit the vet. They will instruct you on the proper diet and when to feed your pet.

Exercise 🐕

The Cairnoodle is energetic, but as a mixed breed, their behavior is difficult to predict. If your Cairnoodle takes after the Poodle, they might be mellow and laidback, requiring only moderate exercise and mental stimulation.

If they take after the Cairn Terrier, they will enjoy being outdoors and require at least an hour of exercise daily. Chew toys will also keep your dog entertained indoors.

Cairnoodle on the beach
Image Credit: Robyn Bartlett, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

As mentioned above, training a Cairnoodle is relatively easy. This dog inherits the Poodle’s intelligence and is eager to please. Most Cairnoodles do not inherit the stubbornness of the Cairn Terrier, but the trainer still needs to be firm and consistent to train the dog effectively. As with all other dogs, the sooner training is done, the better the results will be.

Grooming ✂️

Cairnoodle dogs are hypoallergenic and do not shed much fur. However, their fur must be brushed daily to avoid matting and tangling. Do not bathe your dog unless you deem it necessary; even then, use a gentle dog shampoo.

Brush your dog’s teeth thrice a week to prevent dental problems, and clean their ears regularly to avoid ear infections. Also, make a point of taking them to the groomer once every 6 weeks.

Health Conditions ❤️

Cairnoodle dogs are susceptible to fewer ailments compared to their parent breeds.

Minor Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems
Serious Conditions
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver ailments
  • Osteopathy
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Cushing’s disease

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Male vs Female

The choice between a male and female Cairnoodle depends on your preference. Males and females do not exhibit any differences in behavior or size. Female puppies might cost more from the breeders, but the price difference should not deter you if you have your heart set on a female.

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Final Thoughts

The Cairnoodle is an affectionate and intelligent dog. Since they’re bred from two respected breeds that make excellent pets, they get along well with adults and children. They may not be the best guard dogs, but they will alert you to strangers or suspicious activity. They’re ideal for families but also make remarkable companions for singles and seniors.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Robyn Bartlett, Shutterstock

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