Do Cairn Terriers Shed?

Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason; they are devoted and loyal to their owners.

For this reason, I’ve wanted to adopt a Cairn Terrier for my son since he was born.

It wasn’t until recently that he asked me to get him one for his 10th birthday, and I was glad to do so.

While Cairn Terriers can sometimes be a handful, they are also very loyal and affectionate.

However, adopting them may seem unappealing if you have allergies to dogs or other pets.

Yet, knowing their shedding habits before investing in one will help decide whether they are a suitable fit.

So, do Cairn Terriers shed?

Yes, Cairn Terriers usually shed, albeit very little hair.

This is normal and does not affect their health at all.

Cairn Terriers do this, so that old fur does not collect inside their skin.

However, their hair grows back quickly, and you can groom them as needed.

This article provides a great deal of information about the Cairn Terrier’s shedding habits if you want to adopt one as your next family pet.

It’ll also provide tips on how to reduce their shedding and other aspects.

Do Cairn Terriers Shed

Cairn Terrier Shedding – What to Expect

The Cairn Terrier is a large dog breed with a short, dense double coat.

This coat protects their body from the elements and keeps them warm in the cold weather. 

The Cairn Terrier is a low-to-moderate shedder with a wiry, hard coat.

The coat grows out evenly over the surface of their body.

They tend to shed more than other breeds because their undercoats are thicker than their top coats. 

In general, Cairns shed twice a year.

Their 5 to 6-month shedding cycle is between spring and fall, with the heaviest shedding occurring during this period. 

They shed their undercoats in spring and outer coats in summer.

While this is normal, it can be hard to get used to.

For this reason, brush out your Cairn’s coat before the shedding season begins. 

If you notice that your Cairn is shedding more in the spring or fall, it’s likely because they’re experiencing their “rut.”

A Cairn’s rut occurs when their hormones change; during this period, cairns will rid themselves of excess fur and skin because it makes them appear larger than normal.

Shedding is common for all dogs, but it’s especially so for Cairn Terriers.

The average Cairn Terrier sheds approximately every two weeks, but some breeds shed more than others.

Cairn Terriers Shed

Are Cairn Terriers Considered Hypoallergenic?

Cairn Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic.

While they may still be easy on your allergies, they frequently shed hair or fur.

Moreover, they still contain trace amounts of protein substances that trigger an allergic response in some people.

Hypoallergenic means that a dog’s dander is low enough in allergen to avoid allergic reactions.

This may vary from one person to another. 

Cairn Terriers have longer coats than many other dog breeds, so they shed more often than those with shorter coats.

For this reason, they can leave behind some loose hair that can easily irritate people with allergies or asthma.

Since Cairn Terriers are low-maintenance and low-risk dogs (for allergic or asthmatic people), they are easy to take care of.

However, this doesn’t mean that they’re hypoallergenic.

There’s still a chance that your Cairn Terrier could cause an allergic reaction if you’re not careful.

In light of this, no dog is ever fully hypoallergenic.

All dogs shed some fur or hair, but especially pet dander.

This is something that triggers allergies more than anything else.

If you’re concerned about your Cairn Terrier’s sensitivities or allergies, speak to the vet before adopting one.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any allergies to pets or dander, then Cairn Terriers may be a good fit for you.

They tend to do better in households with people who don’t suffer from allergies.

Ways to Reduce Cairn Terrier’s Shedding

Cairn terriers are known for their thick, bushy coats.

This coat can be a nuisance as it can clog up your vacuum and make cleaning the house difficult.

Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce cairn terrier shedding:

Brush the Regularly

Cairn terriers shed their fur, so you’ll want to brush them regularly.

Brushing them once a week removes dead hair and dirt buildup.

It also helps keep their hair from getting matted and tangled.

Use a slicker brush to remove excess hair from the coat.

This will help make their coats more manageable.

Provide Quality Diet

A quality diet is essential for keeping your Cairn Terrier healthy and happy.

Ensure you’re feeding them balanced meals that provide everything they need to thrive and stay at their best throughout the day.

For instance, a protein-rich diet will help keep the fur soft and shiny.

You can also feed them quality protein sources such as turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, and cottage cheese for healthy fur.

Bathe them Occasionally

Bathe your cairn terrier occasionally to keep the coat from getting tangled up in knots or mats.

However, it should not be a regular bath because it dries out their skin too much or causes irritation due to shampooing too often.

During that time, use warm water with shampoo for such dog breeds.

Provide Supplements

Supplementing with vitamins or fish oils can also help reduce shedding during that season.

Dogs need dietary supplements such as vitamins A, D3, and E during winter when they are exposed to less sunlight and colder temperatures. 

These vitamins help maintain healthy skin and coats of all breeds.

If you live in an area that snows often, give your dog supplements year-round to stay healthy regardless of external conditions.


Like most dogs, Cairn Terriers do shed.

Yet, they shed less than many other breeds.

This breed’s shedding is due to the constant growth of its outer layer of hair.

That said, you shouldn’t take shedding too lightly.

It’s still a factor to consider when seeking out an ideal breed for your lifestyle.

Cairn Terriers require regular grooming and a quality diet to manage their shedding.

Megan Turner
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