Cairn Australian Shepterrier

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20-35 lbs
14-16"
United States

The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is a hybrid mix of the small-sized Cairn Terrier and the medium-sized Australian Shepherd.  The designer Cairn Australian Shepterrier is bred for companionship from the working-class Cairn Terrier and the high energy Australian Shepherd to produce an excellent companion who looks like a mini Australian Shepherd and is affectionate, alert, and cheerful.  Both parent breeds are working class dogs.  The Cairn Terrier is an earth dog, and vermin hunter and the Australian Shepherd is a cattle herding dog. 

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
2000s
Ancestry
Cairn Terrier, Australian Shepherd

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Health

Average Size
Height: 15-17 inches Weight: 25-40 lbs
Height: 14-16 inches Weight: 20-35 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Thyroid Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Breed History

The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is a hybrid mix of the Cairn Terrier and the Australian Shepherd.  The hybrid is a modern breed and does not have a history outside of its parent breeds.  The purpose of breeding the two parents is to produce a miniature Australian Shepherd-like looking dog.  Currently, there is little information on the mix and owners should review the histories and character traits of the parent breeds to better understand the on the possible dispositions and traits of the Cairn Australian Shepterrier. The Cairn is an old and ancient breed of Scotch Terriers that was only developed a separate breed in the 19th century and distinguished from its other Scotch Terrier brothers by coat color.  The ancestor of the Cairn Terrier, the Scotch Terrier, was first described in 55 BC by the Romans who identified the small dogs as agile hunters that went to the ground after their quarry.  The Romans named these dogs Terrarii, which is Latin for workers of the earth.  Over several centuries, the Terrier group lived and thrived as earth dogs in Scotland and England, making their way to France and parts of Germany as well.  By the 1900s, the Cairn Terrier was firmly established as a wire-haired small Terrier of the Skye group in various colors, accepting white, which was designated for its cousin breed, the West Highland Terrier.  The Cairn is often confused for the Scottish Terrier, but the Scottie has a more diverse genetic makeup, having a large gene pool history whereas the Cairn Terrier was limited to the Isle of Skye.  The Cairn acquired its name from the stone monuments of the same name the little Terrier was known to hunt. The Australian Shepherd, despite its name, was not developed in Australia but California in the 1900s for cattle herding in the American West.  Records of the Australian Shepherd were not well kept, and many assume the dogs were developed from Collies and other herding dogs that arrived with Sheep from Australia during the 1840s; hence the name, Australian Shepherd.  However, the Australian Shepherd was developed in the 1900s and recognized in the United States by the American Kennel Club in 1991, making it an American breed. 

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Breed Appearance

The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is a medium-sized hybrid between the Cairn Terrier and the Australian Shepherd.  Your Cairn Australian Shepterrier will mostly resemble the Australian Shepherd and appear as a miniature version of the larger-sized dog in a medium sized body.  The Cairn Australian Shepterrier will also maintain the same yellow to dark amber or blue eyes of the Australian Shepherd and will be small and set far apart.  The ears are semi-erect and triangular shaped.  The height and weight on the Cairn Australian Shepterrier will vary from litter to litter and even dog to dog, but most mixes are medium in size.

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Breed Maintenance

The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is not a hypoallergenic dog and sheds moderately, given its parent breeds.  The medium hair requires weekly brushing to prevent tangles and mats and to remove dirt and debris that clings to the coat.  Regular ear cleaning with a veterinarian approved solution will help to avoid ear infections in your Cairn Australian Shepterrier and brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent dental disease and keep his mouth clean.  The Cairn Australian Shepterrier does not drool much at all and keeping his coat and teeth clean with help with any “doggy” odor that might arise; though this mix is not known to have odor. Cairn Australian Shepterriers usually resembles the Australian Shepherd but in a smaller package and will have medium to high energy.  This mix requires daily exercise of moderate intensity.  They are smart dogs but can be independent and stubborn, which makes them a little harder to train and novice dog owners or those with little time to devote to training should consider this. 

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Temperament

Despite having two working class parent breeds, the Cairn Australian Shepterrier is a companion dog with high energy.  The Cairn Terrier personality helps to balance some of the independence of the Australian Shepherd with a greater need for family time.  The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is affection toward its family including children and is more sensitive than its Australian Shepherd parent.  When it comes to strangers, the Cairn Australian Shepterrier is somewhat leery but will warm up quickly once it knows all is well. The Australian Shepherd is an independent-minded dog whereas the Cairn Terrier is a small animal hunter.  As such, the hybrid can range from dislike and indifference toward other pets to moderate tolerance of larger pets.  However, with proper and early socialization the Cairn Australian Shepherd can learn to live in harmony with other pets. The energy levels on the Australian Shepherd parent are high with high-intensity exercise needed daily, whereas the daily requirements for the Cairn Terrier are also high but not of the same intensity or length.  Mixing the two breeds aims at creating a smaller version of the Australian Shepherd with less intense exercise needs, but this medium-sized dog still requires a lot of daily running.

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Activity Requirements

The Cairn Australian Shepterrier has a lot of energy and needs daily exercise.  The Australian Shepherd parent breed loves to play Frisbee and other coordinated activities, so your Cairn Australian Shepterrier may also enjoy the agility and task work.  However, these dogs are smaller than the parent breed and may also enjoy staying close to the ground, like their earth dog parent, the Cairn Terrier.  The Cairn Australian Shepterrier is not well suited for apartment life due to its exercise needs.  This hybrid needs space to run around, and a large yard or dog park is ideal for burning off the extra energy. The Cairn Terrier is known to dig and root around; so proper exercise and mental stimulation is a must to prevent destructive behaviors in your Cairn Australian Shepterrier.  Daily playtime and exercise also strengthens your bond and keeps the Cairn Australian Shepterrier's mind properly stimulated.  Though this hybrid is not well-suited for small space living, it can live in all climates tolerably well, which makes going outside to play much easier. 

Cairn Australian Shepterrier Owner Experiences