Cairn Terrier vs American Hairless Terrier - Breed Comparison

Cairn Terrier vs American Hairless TerrierCairn Terrier is originated from United Kingdom but American Hairless Terrier is originated from United States. Cairn Terrier may grow 12 cm / 4 inches shorter than American Hairless Terrier. Both Cairn Terrier and American Hairless Terrier are having almost same weight. Both Cairn Terrier and American Hairless Terrier has almost same life span. Cairn Terrier may have more litter size than American Hairless Terrier. Both Cairn Terrier and American Hairless Terrier requires Low maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Terrier dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
United States
Height Male:
25 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
18 - 45 cm
7 - 18 inches
Height Female:
23 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
16 - 40 cm
6 - 16 inches
Weight Male:
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
3 - 12 kg
6 - 27 pounds
Weight Female:
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
2 - 10 kg
4 - 23 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
14 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 10
3 - 5
Size:
Small dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Cairn, Toto Dog
AHT, American Hairless Rat Terrier
Colors Available:
Black, Brindle, Cream, Wheaten, Red, Grey
variety of colors and patterns (blue, black, brown, pink, sable and tan) with white
Coat:
Medium length and wiry
hairless, coated variety has a short dense coat
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Energetic, Lively, Loving, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
Yes
Yes
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

cairn terrierThe Cairn Terrier originates in the Scottish Highlands. This feisty little dog was given the name Cairn, as he used to hunt prey between the Scottish cairns. At first the dog was grouped as a ‘Skye Terrier’way back in the 1900s with the Scottish and West Highland White Terrier. Then the different breeds began to be bred separately.

The name Cairn Terrier didn’t appear in print till 1887. It was in 1912 that the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom recognized the Cairn Terrier.

american hairless terrierDerived from the Rat Terrier, the American Hairless Terrier was born in a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972.

The evolution of this breed is very different from other hairless breeds. The American Hairless Terrier was independently developed when a hairless pup was produced in a litter of normal Rat Terriers. The owners of this pup, Edwin and Willie Scott attempted to breed her to other Rat terriers but were not successful in having another hairless pup until years later. Then they had a litter with one male and one female hairless puppy.

From that point on they worked with a veterinarian and a geneticist to develop the breed until it was accepted as a separate breed from the Rat Terrier in 2004 and accepted into the AKC in 2016.

The breed is very rare and with hairless dogs breeding only produces about two thirds of the litter as hairless and one third as coated. If a hairless is bred to a coated terrier, the chances of getting hairless puppies are 50% hairless and 50% coated. It is very rare to get a hairless when breed two coated terriers. The difference between the American Hairless Terrier and other hairless breeds is that the hairless gene in most breed is a lethal dominant gene, but in the AHT it is a recessive gene.

Description

Temperament:

cairn terrier puppyThe small sturdily built working Terrier is intelligent and courageous. Bright-eyed, he is small and active and he just loves to work- and party hard with his human family. You’ll see if you’ve got a ball you want to throw for him, his tail is quivering in anticipation and his ears are erect and alert to any noise. He is smart, independent and courageous.

Coat of Many Colors:

The Cairn Terrier has a tough, weather-resistant coat that can be any color but not white. He has a waterproof double coat – the outer one being wiry while the undercoat is soft. You’ll find the coat in man colours such as grey, black, red and brindle with dark points on the ears and muzzle.

The interesting thing with a Cairn is that when you get a puppy, you can’t be sure what color he will end up being as it changes over the years. The ears are fox-like, small and erect, and the natural medium-to-short tail is held straight out.

american hairless terrier puppyThe American Hairless Terrier is similar to it’s breed of origin, the Rat Terrier, and the coated AHT looks very much like a Rat Terrier. They are small to medium in size, very muscular and have more refined features than the Rat Terrier. Their round eyes can be a variety of colors including amber, brown, grey, turquoise and blue. The tail is not docked but rather long and thin.

The AHT might have eyebrows and whiskers or they might only have whiskers. Their head is broad, and wedge shaped with upright ears. They are an energetic, social and intelligent dog.

Health Problems

cairn terrier dogThe Cairn Terrier is a robust little dog, and with good care can reach 14 years of age and even older. However, with every dog breed there are some health concerns particular to that breed. With your Cairn Terrier look out for a disease known as Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL).

Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL)

Known also as Krabbe Disease, Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) is a rare but fatal disease. It is caused by a mutation on the dog’s DNA. There is abnormal processing of an enzyme needed for the production of myelin, a substance that protects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. The dog is weak, it has tremors and isn’t co-ordinated. The Cairn Terrier is a breed of dog more susceptible to GCL.

Bone and joint diseases

Your Cairn Terrier may well suffer with joint diseases. These diseases, such as luxating patella which is about loose knee joints, and hip dysplasia which is a degenerative hip disease, can cause plenty of pain and discomfort for your pet.

Eye Diseases

Glaucoma is an eye disease where there is pressure on the eye, causing inadequate fluid drainage. Without treatment, there can be damage to the optic nerve which can lead to blindness.

american hairless terrier dogThere are not many health problems bothering this sturdy little dog.

The American Hairless Terrier has limited breeding stock and it is still a rare breed. Its health problems are mostly related to its hairless state. The breed is highly susceptible to sunburn, rashes, pimples, and allergies. They often need clothing in all seasons to protect them from the heat of the sun or from the cold. The skin must be cleaned regularly often daily with soap and water. This is especially true if sunscreen is used as they are open to skin infections.

Hip dysplasia is also a common issue for this small breed.

Caring The Pet

Grooming:

cairn terrier puppiesThe Cairn Terrier sheds very little and the coat is easy to groom. Give him a thorough brushing twice a week to rid him of loose hairs. Some trimming will be needed as the coat can become shaggy and unruly.

Brush his teeth at least 2 or 3 times a week to prevent tartar build up that can lead to bacteria, gum disease and possible tooth loss.

Diet:

The Cairn Terrier is small but he is an active dog and therefore needs to be on a high-quality dog food. If you feed him a commercially manufactured food, make sure its appropriate to his age, size and activity levels.

He is a small dog so you want to be careful about not letting him become overweight. Try and alternate his commercially manufactured food with some home-made rice, vegetables and meat and also include some raw meat in from time to time. This is of particular importance as chronic skin allergies are common in all terrier breeds. Make sure that there is always a clean bowl of fresh water available to him day and night.

american hairless terrier puppiesThe American Hairless Terrier has some food needs that might be different from other breeds. They should not be given food that contains soy, wheat or corn. They need to be fed at least 3-4 times a day in small amounts as puppies and twice a day as adult. Be sure to avoid overeating and obesity. Puppies need about 400 calories a day whether you feed four times or two times. The adult American Hairless Terrier needs about 500-600 calories per day. This might be half a cup to a cup per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the American Hairless Terrier has skin health issues and is also prone to hip dysplasia.

Exercise and games

This is a great breed for games if you make them small to match his size. He is energetic, athletic and playful. He loves agility, lure chasing and barn hunt activities. They need a good half hour of vigorous exercise per day.

Characteristics

cairn terrier dogsThe Cairn Terrier is a fearless, jaunty little dog, known for his courageous spirit and inquisitive nature. He may be small, but he is stubborn. He will respond well to training and socialization which will turn him into the most awesome pet for families. He can make a wonderful friend and playmate for children too. Socialization and training ensures he gets on well with other pets in the household too.

He is small and energetic, and therefore not the kind of dog you can ignore in terms of exercise. He’ll need a good walk every day and he just loves to chase a ball as it takes him back to the days when he was used to chasing- and catching mice.

He isn’t your typical lap-dog at all and with the right care he becomes a devoted, loyal and loving companion.

american hairless terrier dogsThis is a curious, intelligent, little dog. They are terrific family dogs with a note to say they are better with older children than with younger. If they are raised with small children, then they are terrific with them. They are territorial, and the children become part of their territory. They will guard and protect them.

They need to play, and this is the biggest requirement for owners. Be sure you have time for them. This is not a couch potato dog. They have a lot of energy and can be destructive and “barky” if that energy is not dissipated. They are terriers through and through and love to “go to ground” whether going in holes they find or digging the holes themselves. They will go after small rodents like chipmunks. They need to be protected in these activities since their skin is vulnerable to scratches and cuts from brush. Their prey drive is strong, so it is important to protect them from themselves in this respect.

They are curious and feisty and every inch the terrier. Affectionate, friendly, and social it is also important to remember they can be scared easily, hurt if play is too rough, and this will trigger barking. They make very good watch dogs.

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