Skip to Content

What is a Cairnoodle Dog?

What is a Cairnoodle Dog?

Here we will discuss what a Cairnoodle dog is, including their history, personality, appearance, grooming needs, and health issues. Keep reading to learn more.

The Cairnoodle crosses two popular breeds: the Cairn Terrier and the Poodle. It was purposefully bred to inherit the best traits of the two parent breeds.

The Poodle is a popular breed for hybridization for its intelligence, disposition, and hypoallergenic coat qualities.

This Cairn Terrier Poodle mix is called Cairnpoo, Poocan, Cairnpoodle, or Cairndoodle. 

Cairnoodles are friendly, playful, obedient, and loyal dogs that make great family pets. These affectionate dogs like to be with their families most of the time.

They are intelligent dogs that like to please their owners. This makes them easy to train.

In addition, these adorable dogs are a favorite for many dog lovers thanks to their hypoallergenic and non-shedding coats. 

If you are considering adding a Cairnoodle dog to your family, you have come to the right place.

Cairnoodle History

The Cairnoodle is a relatively new addition to the world of designer dogs. A lot is not known about the history of this small-sized designer dog.

However, it is believed they originated from the United States of America. To understand the history of the Cairnoodle, we should look at the backgrounds of its parent breeds.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is descended from an ancient breed of Scotch Terrier that was only developed as a separate breed in the 19th century.

The breed is named after the rock formations known as ‘Cairns.” The rocks were used for boundaries or to mark a gravestone along the Highlands.

The word ‘terrier’ comes from the Latin term terr, meaning earth. Cairn Terriers were great at digging out vermin from the cairns, so they earned their name.

Cairn Terriers were bred to be brave and tough to seek their prey below and above ground. They could tackle larger predators like otters and foxes when working in a pack.

While they are believed to have been living in the Highlands since the 1600s, they were not seen in print until the late 1800s.

They were once used as skilled ratters, but today they are more frequently just companion dogs. These dogs are known for their rugged and spirited personalities and adaptability to harsh environments.


The Poodle s one of the oldest and most popular dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Despite being the national dog of France, Poodles originated in Germany about 400 years ago, where they were bred to retrieve ducks.`

Many historians believe that the Poodle results from crosses between several European water dogs, such as Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, German, and French water dogs.

Their high intelligence, protective coat, and swimming ability make them excellent retrievers.

Poodles come in three sizes recognized by the American Kennel Club: Toy, Miniature, and Standard Poodle.

It is unknown when they arrived in the United States, but the American Kennel Club registered their first Poodle in 1886.

Cairnoodle Appearance

The Cairnoodle is a small-sized designer dog that inherits the best traits from its Poodle and Cairn Terrier parents.

Their appearance can vary greatly due to the influence of their Poodle and Cairn Terrier parents. These small-sized dogs weigh between 12 and 20 pounds when fully grown.

They stand 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their small size makes them manageable for most living situations.

The breed’s body is well-proportioned and compact, with a sturdy frame that reflects its Cairn Terrier heritage. While they are relatively short, they are strong and energetic dogs. 

These dogs have medium-length, curly coats that shed less and can be hypoallergenic, depending on the influence of the Poodle genes.

Their coats come in various colors: white, black, gray, brown, and cream. The dog has a large head in proportion to its body, featuring an expressive and distinctive face.

The tail is typically medium and can be slightly curved or straight. The Cairnoodle has medium-sized floppy ears hanging close to their heads.

Their eyes are often dark and expressive, adding to their endearing appearance. The muzzle can be more refined and slender like the Poodle or square-shaped like the Cairn Terrier.

Personality and Temperament

Poodles are sweet and sensitive dogs that demand attention. They are extremely intelligent and agile dogs that need mental and physical stimulation.

They can get along well with nearly everyone, including kids and pets in the family. On the other hand, the Cairn Terrier is feisty and a bit stubborn.

They love to burrow into the ground, and if they are not trained appropriately at an early age, they can exhibit these traits in adulthood.

It is nearly impossible or difficult to predict the dog’s personality with mixed dog breeds, even with dogs of the same litter.

Generally, the Cairnoodle inherits the best traits from the two parent breeds. They are friendly, playful, intelligent, and loyal dogs.

They are also affectionate dogs that love to be with their owners. Leaving them alone can lead to separation anxiety.


The Cairnoodle is known for being an energetic and active dog. This means they need regular exercise. Inadequate or lack of exercise can lead to destructive behaviors, such as digging, excessive barking, and chewing.

You can use a variety of fun toys to keep your furry friend happy and occupied while playing indoors. A couple of short daily walks can also give them the exercise they need.

Also, these dogs enjoy participating in dog sports, such as agility, rally, and obedience, which can be a great way for your furry friend to burn off excess energy.


As mentioned, the Cairnoodle is a highly intelligent dog. These intelligent dogs also like to please their owners. This makes them easy to train and socialize with humans and other pets in the family.

While most of them do not inherit the stubbornness of the Cairn Terrier, you will still need to be firm and consistent to train them effectively.

Positive reinforcement can go a long way in ensuring successful training. You can use treats and praises during training sessions.

As with most other doodle dogs, training should be introduced early at their puppyhood stage. It is easier to train young dogs than old ones.


Like most designer breeds, regular grooming is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of your furry friend.

These dogs often inherit a wispy or curly coat from their parent breeds. Therefore, they require regular brushing to keep their fur healthy and free from tangles or mats.

Depending on the coat type, brushing should be done at least five times weekly. You can use a slicker brush or a comb designed for curly-coated dogs.

These dogs do not need frequent bathing as over-bathing can cause skin irritation by stripping the natural oil from their coats.

Bathing them once a month or when they particularly get dirty is enough. When bathing your furry friend, use a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo. 

Their ears also need regular care as they are floppy and can trap debris and moisture, leading to ear infections. You will need to trim their nails to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.

In addition, you will need to brush your teeth regularly to prevent tartar formation, plaque buildup, and gum disease.

Health Issues

The Cairnoodle is a healthy hybrid dog breed with few health issues. However, they can be prone to a few common health issues to their Poodle and Cairn Terrier parents. 

The following are the common Cairnoodle health issues.


Bloat is a condition common to both Poodles and Cairn Terriers. It results from the dog’s stomach filling with air and putting pressure on other body organs.

The condition can also cause the dog’s stomach to twist, trapping blood inside. It can be fatal if not managed on time. The common symptoms of bloat are drooling restlessness, and enlarged abdomen.


Hypothyroidism is a health condition that affects the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland controls the dog’s metabolic rate and can cause weight changes and other health issues.

The common symptoms of hypothyroidism are flakey skin, hair loss on the tail and legs, weight gain, and muscle loss.

The condition is not life-threatening if you detect it early. Treatment usually includes medication.

Addison’s Disease

This health condition affects the dog’s adrenal glands and prevents the production of the required hormones, which regulate the body’s systems and organs.

The common symptoms include degrading body condition, loss of appetite, and inability to respond appropriately to stress.

In addition, your furry friend may experience bloody stools, diarrhea, and vomiting. 


The Cairnoodle is a friendly, playful, and loyal dog that makes a great family companion. They are also intelligent dogs that are easy to train.

This adorable dog is created by crossing a Cairn Terrier with a Poodle. If you are looking for a non-shedding and hypoallergenic dog, this is one of the breeds to consider. 

Sharing is caring!