Teddy Roosevelt Terrier vs Cairn Terrier - Breed Comparison

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier vs Cairn TerrierTeddy Roosevelt Terrier is originated from United States but Cairn Terrier is originated from United Kingdom. Both Teddy Roosevelt Terrier and Cairn Terrier are having almost same height. Both Teddy Roosevelt Terrier and Cairn Terrier are having almost same weight. Both Teddy Roosevelt Terrier and Cairn Terrier has almost same life span. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier may have less litter size than Cairn Terrier. Teddy Roosevelt Terrier requires Moderate maintenance. But Cairn Terrier requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Terrier dog
Terrier dog
United States
United Kingdom
Height Male:
20 - 36 cm
7 - 15 inches
25 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
Height Female:
28 - 36 cm
11 - 15 inches
23 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
Weight Male:
3 - 11 kg
6 - 25 pounds
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
Weight Female:
2 - 9 kg
4 - 20 pounds
5 - 8 kg
11 - 18 pounds
Life Span:
14 - 16 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 5
2 - 10
Small dog
Small dog
Other Names:
Short-legged Rat Terrier, American Teddy, Teddy Roosevelt Rat Terrier, Teddy, Bench-legged Feist, Type B
Cairn, Toto Dog
Colors Available:
solid white, and white with a variety of colored patches. , other solid colors with markings
Black, Brindle, Cream, Wheaten, Red, Grey
rough, short
Medium length and wiry
Friendly, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Protective, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


teddy roosevelt terrierTeddy Roosevelt Terriers (Teddy, American Teddy) are American hunting terriers related to American Rat Terriers and a host of other working, farm, hunting dogs initially brought by working-class immigrants from England and Europe. Largely due to the working nature of these dogs early the cross breeding was to reinforce useful traits like a superior ability to scent prey. It also bequeathed the breed with superior intelligence. While they take a while to warm up to new people, to their human family they like to be close all the time, and are eager to be with them and please them. Teddy's share their early history with American Rat Terriers, Fox Paulistinha, Tenterfield Terrier and Beagles. They also are related to Feist (dog), and Turnspit dogs, English White Terrier and Wry-legged terrier (all now extinct), as well as Bull, Smooth Fox, Manchester Terriers with Beagles, Italian Greyhound and Whippets in the mix.

Only since 1996 have Teddy Roosevelt Terriers had standards set for the breed. The major difference between Teddys and the related American Rat Terrier is Teddys are closer to the ground (bench-legged), have greater bone density and more muscle. Teddys are medium to small sized. It was in the mid 1990's that the effort began to breed only the shorter legged phenotype into the Teddy lineage and allow the rat Terrier to be the longer legged variety. The UKC (United Kennel Club) and AKC (American Kennel Club) both recognize Teddys, the UKC since 1999.

The Rat Terrier Club of America separated the long legged and short legged varieties, the short legged ones were named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. It is rather interesting that President Theodore Roosevelt, while being very fond of his family dogs did not own any Rat Terriers, and did not help develop the breed that bears his name. He mentions dogs in several of his letters, Skip who rode with the president on his horse while hunting and belonged to a friend, Scamp who lived with the Roosevelt's in the White House and hunted and caught rats and their dog Jack.

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.


teddy roosevelt terrier puppyTeddy Roosevelt Terriers are hunting terriers that are short legged, well muscled and very active. They have proportionate wide, sightly rounded heads cuneus (wedge) shaped on which the V shaped ears are set on the outside edge. Their ears may be button or erect, and breed standards prefer a docked tail, but it is not necessary. Ideally Teddy's have length/height ratio is 10/7 or 10/8. The Teddy Roosevelt Terriers coats may be solid white, other colors with patches and markings. Their coats are short and rough. Because they are working dogs, what is termed as “honorable” scars from work are not deducted from the dogs points. If the dog is not proportionate to breed standards (for example long legs or square body) it may be disqualified, but exaggerations and faults are marked only is in as much as it interferes with the ability to work. They are very pleasant looking and have a lively manner.

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are happy when they are the constant companion of their owner(s) and will shadow their master all day. Temperamentally they love to play, do well in obedience training and are territorial and protective and are exceptional watch dogs. Of course, they were bred as hunting dogs and have hunting instincts, a greater than median prey drive and will chase anything they consider prey such as rabbits, squirrels, birds, stray cats, (and if not trained poultry), as a working dog training is really important. With a heightened sense of smell and superior prey drive, Teddy's have been observed to follow and dig along mole trails (adding further damage to what the moles may have already inflicted), as well as ferret out edible mushrooms.


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.

Health Problems

Health Problems

  • Basically very healthy

teddy roosevelt terrier dog• Ectopia lentis a congenital problem where the lens of the eye is displaced. Eye disease

  • Patellar Luxation or subluxating patella (kneecap dislocation.
  • Allergies

• bite problems (malocclusions -teeth that are incorrectly aligned when jaw is closed.),

• Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, (hip or elbow socket that does not fully cover the ball which increases the risk of displacement.

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.

Caring The Pet

Caring for Pet

teddy roosevelt terrier puppies1 Feeding the puppy Puppies should eat a minimum of a cup and max of a cup and three quarters each day. 1-13/4

2.Feeding the adult Adult Teddy Roosevelt Terriers should eat three-fourth to one-and-a-half cups per day.

3.Points for Good Health - fairly healthy The Teddy Roosevelt Terriers displays some common joint issues that are shared by Rat Terriers.

4. Games and Exercises Having descended from hunting/working dogs Teddy Roosevelt's are able to learn and work conformation rings, and agility trials. They like to play and take part in swims, hikes and playing fetch or Frisbee. They take well to obedience training.


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.


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.



teddy roosevelt terrier dogs1.Children friendliness yes Teddy's love to play and enjoy children. Enjoys spending time with family and interacting with their human family taking part in the everyday routines.

2.Special talents The breed has high prey drive and an very intense sense of smell One of their talents is to be trained to find, by scent, Black Truffles (a type of edible mushroom) found close to the roots of some trees in the Western half of North America.

3.Adaptability Teddy's are very versatile and adaptable.

4.Learning ability breed is smart and learns very well.

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.

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