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The Cairn vs The Norwich Terrier

Commonly Confused Breeds

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The Cairn Terrier
Alert, cheerful, busy

Agreeable, friendly, loyal, and very smart, Cairn Terriers may be the perfect package. At just ten inches at the shoulder and weighing 13 to 14 pounds, the hardy Cairn is small enough to be a lap dog, but possesses a sturdy physique and a willing, up-for-anything attitude. Agility? Bring it! Couch time? Yes please!

This happy, busy dog was originally bred to root out foxes and other prey, hence their short legged-ness. With their curious nature and independent streak, Cairns like to dig and explore, and have a propensity to chase squirrels and other small prey. Because they were originally kept to hunt in packs, Cairns are not scrappy towards other dogs, and they enjoy children. Their exercise needs are moderate and their shaggy double coat is low maintenance. The bright-eyed  Cairn is known for its “foxy” appearance. As the AKC notes, for “those who cherish the terrier qualities of gameness, independent thinking, and true-blue loyalty, no other breed will do.”


The Norwich Terrier
Affectionate, energetic, curious

Though the Norwich Terrier is among the smallest working terriers, he certainly doesn’t know it! Don’t be fooled by the small package—though the Norwich Terrier weighs in at around 12 pounds and stands just 10 inches at the shoulder, these small but stocky dogs were bred to be tenacious ratters and are oblivious to their shorter stature. 

This happy, affectionate breed loves lap time but definitely needs plenty of exercise. Originally bred to hunt, the energetic, fearless Norwich Terrier is prone to chase prey, so a leash or a securely fenced area is required. Epic fetch sessions will be rewarded with lots of love from this fun, inquisitive, clever, and very cute breed.

Spirited and eager to please, the Norwich Terrier responds well to training, which is a good thing as this clever breed can sometimes be stubborn or even bossy. A hallmark of the breed is its harsh, nearly waterproof double coat, which needs regular grooming to keep up its appearance.

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