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Home »  Dog Breeds »  Cairnoodle

The Cairnoodle is a mix of the Cairn Terrier and the Poodle. This cross is also called a Poocan, CairnPoo, Cairnpoodle and Cairn Doodle, or just a Cairn Terrier/Poodle Mix. He has a life span of 12 to 16 years and is a small dog with skills in agility, competitive obedience, tricks and watchdog. He is an independent dog but still very social and affectionate.

Here is the Cairnoodle at a Glance
Average height 10 to 15 inches
Average weight 13 to 20 pounds
Coat type Short, wispy, curly
Hypoallergenic? Can be – Poodle is
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Three or more times a week
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Rare to occasional
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Good to very good
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Excellent with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent due to size
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Easy to train
Exercise Needs Slightly active
Tendency to get Fat Above average
Major Health Concerns Addison's, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems, Von Willebrand's,
Other Health Concerns Hip Dysplasia, Skin Problems,
Life Span 12 to 16 years
Average new Puppy Price $600 to $900
Average Annual Medical Expense $460 to $560
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $680 to $780

Where does the Cairnoodle come from?

The Cairnoodle is mixed or cross breed that has been deliberately bred and as such is now referred to more commonly as a Designer dog. Most of these dogs have two different purebred parents and a lot have Poodle in the mix because of their low shedding coats, intelligence and temperament. Many have a name that puts together parts of the parents names. A lot of breeders have joined the trend but not all of them are people you should be buying from. There are a lot of puppy mills and bad breeders who are deliberately cruel or just ignorant and really know nothing about careful breeding practices. Take care who you buy from. Without much known about the Cairnoodle's origins we look at the parent purebreeds to understand them better.

The Poodle

A very old breed is the Poodle. You can find pictures of Poodle like dogs on old Roman and Egyptian artifacts and in tombs from as far back as the 1st century. Despite most regular people thinking the Poodle is a French dog, in fact he comes from Germany and was used for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. But he became a more distinct breed when he made it to France. There have been three sizes of Poodles for centuries, the Standard, the Miniature and the Toy. French aristocracy adopted the toy Poodles as companions to carry around with them. When the Poodle was adopted into traveling circuses to perform they clipped them into interesting shapes and the aristocracy copied. He was registered in the Kennel Club in England in 1874, and the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Today he is known for being super intelligent, eager to please and easy to train. He is very devoted and loving and while energetic, can be calmed with training, socialization and enough exercise. He may seem to be aloof but in fact when you talk to Poodle owners you discover he has a great sense of humor and loves to clown around and play.

The Cairn Terrier

Scottish terrier breeds were originally classed as Scotch Terriers but in 1873 a new system came in to play and there were now two classes, Skye Terriers and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. Cairns were included in the Skye terrier classification. They were developed 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye by a Captain Martin MacLeod. Eventually in 1912 the Cairn-terrier had its own designation and was so named after Scottish burial sites. He came to America in 1913 and was granted membership of the AKC that same year.

Today he is a friendly lovely dog, always happy and eager to meet new people. As a terrier he is independent though and very alert. He likes to dig, chase things and he is a barker. He is a devoted family dog, good with the kids but can be sensitive and does not do well if you scold him. Early socialization and training are important to help keep him more stable.



The Cairnoodle is an affectionate and loving dog who while enjoys being around people is also quite independent also. He is very loyal and protective and enjoys moments of cuddling as well as moments of playfulness and energy. He loves to get attention and be at the center of anything going on. He is an interesting mix of being sensitive like a Poodle but still able to be bold like a Terrier. He likes to have company and prefers not to be left alone for long periods. If he gets bored or is left alone for too long he can become destructive. He likes to entertain people, is eager to please, alert and confident. With strangers he is wary.

What does the Cairnoodle look like

He is a small dog weighing 13 to 20 pounds and standing 10 to 15 inches tall. He has a compact but strong body and looks quite tough with his wide head and large dark eyes. His coat can be wavy to curly, wispy and is short on the body. His ears are flappy and common colors are brown, black, grey, cream, white and golden.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Cairnoodle need to be?

The Cairnoodle is just slightly active so is suitable as a pet for most owners, even those who cannot be that active. With a good selection of toys to rotate through he can play indoors and then he should also have one or two short daily walks as well. It is important he gets mental and physical stimulation and has enough interaction. He is well suited to living in an apartment as he is small enough and does not require a yard. A dog who is not walked enough and given enough stimulation can become frustrated, bored and will start to act out with barking, digging and other such behavior.

Does he train quickly?

The Cairnoodle despite being independent is easy to train, he listens and obeys and even needs less repetition than many other dogs. He likes to perform for people so as well as learning basic obedience he would also do well at learning tricks and the like. However he is not as easy when it comes to house training and in most cases it is a good idea to use the crate training method. Early training and socialization are important to see him become the best dog he can be. Use positive methods, reenforcing his successes with rewards, use treats and praise to encourage and motivate. Stay firm making it clear you are pack leader and be consistent and patient.

Living with a Cairnoodle

How much grooming is needed?

There is a moderate amount of maintenance and grooming to be done with the Cairnoodle. It will need regular brushing although it at least does not shed much at all, it does get tangled. It will need to be bathed with a dog shampoo just as it needs one. Too often and it is not good for the coat or his skin. You will also need to brush his teeth two to three times a week, check his ears for infections and wipe them clean once a week and then clip his nails when they get too long. Make sure the nails are not cut too short as this will cause pain and bleeding. Groomers can do it for you if you are not knowledgeable about them.

What is he like with children and other animals?

With socialization this dog is very good with children, he is playful and affectionate with them in fact. He also gets on well with other dogs and even other pets especially when raised with them. He may like to chase smaller animals though.


General information

He can make a good watchdog but otherwise his barking seems to range between rare and often! He will need to be fed ¾ to 1½ cups of good quality dry dog food each day, split into two meals. He can handle most climates and conditions.

Health Concerns

Health issues the Cairnoodle can be prone to include Addison's, Bloat, Cushings, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Eye problems, Von Willebrand's, Craniomandibular Osteopathy, Cryptorchidism, Krabbe's disease, Liver problems, Hip Dysplasia and Skin Problems.

Costs involved in owning a Cairnoodle

The Cairnoodle puppy can cost between $600 to $900. Most Poodle mixes are a bit higher in price than other designer dogs though compared to some this is still one of the cheaper options. Other initial costs will include getting a crate, carrier, collar and leash, having the puppy examined by a vet, blood tests done, vaccinated, micro chipped, dewormed and neutered. These come to between $455 to $500. Annual costs for medical essentials like flea and tick prevention, check ups, further shots, pet insurance and heartworm prevention come to $460 to $560. Annual non-medical costs for basics like food, toys, treats, license, grooming and training come to between $680 to $780.


Looking for a Cairnoodle Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Cairnoodle is a sweet and very entertaining dog. He is smart but while obedience training may go very well, house training is going to need more patience. He gets on well with other pets and children and could be a great family dog or companion to a single owner or couple. He is also a good option for those who are less active and could be hypoallergenic though that is something you would need to confirm.

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