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Cairnoodle (Cairn Terrier & Poodle Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Dogster Team


Cairnoodle (Cairn Terrier & Poodle Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, Care & More!

The Cairnoodle is a mixed breed created by mixing the Cairn Terrier with a Poodle. They also have several other names, including Cairnpoo and Poocan. They’re a small American dog that rarely exceeds 15 inches tall. They have a large head with dark eyes that are full of expression, and their body is sturdy and compact, with a dark nose proportionate to the muzzle.

Breed Overview


10–15 inches


13–20 pounds


12–16 years


black, cream, grey, white, gold, brown

Suitable for

Singles, seniors, families


Active, brave, loving

The Cairnoodle is an affectionate pup with a cheerful disposition and medium-length curly hair. They originated in the 1990s and have been growing in popularity due to their ability to adapt to a wide range of living situations.

Cairnoodle Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Cairnoodle Puppies

Cairnoodle puppies can be expensive if you purchase one from a Poodle or Cairn Terrier Breeder specializing in hybrids. You will also most likely need to get your dog spayed or neutered and pay for regular vet visits to keep your dog healthy. You will also need to purchase food, treats, toys, and many accessories to keep your pet healthy and happy, which can cost quite a bit over time.

Image By: Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cairnoodle 🧠

The Cairnoodle is a friendly dog that enjoys being around people.  They can get upset if you leave them alone too long, so they’re not well suited for single owners who work all day. They have plenty of energy and like to play and go for walks. They love to dig, so you will need to designate an area of your yard, or you will find holes everywhere. If you have a mole or other burrower in your yard, it will trigger your dog’s hunting instinct, and your pup will try to root them out.

The Cairnoodle is intelligent and quickly picks up on your habits and routines. They’re also easy to train and will learn new tricks with very little effort.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Cairnoodle is great to have around children due to their high energy level and gentle nature. They can entertain family members for several hours with their clowning and desire to keep your attention. They will let you know if there is an intruder, but they make new friends quickly, so they’re ideal pets if you frequently have guests. They’re adaptable to different environments and are just as happy in an apartment as in a large home.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Yes, the Cairnoodle gets along well with other dogs and will even befriend cats if they allow it. However, they will likely chase after rodents, so they may not be the best choice if you own mice, ferrets, or even rabbits.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cairnoodle:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Cairnoodle will need dog food with chicken, beef, turkey, or salmon listed as the top ingredient. We also recommend choosing brands with omega fats and probiotics in the ingredients. It’s best to avoid grain-free brands and other specialty foods until you talk it over with your vet to see if they are right for your dog. Read the suggested serving size on the package and only provide that much to ensure your pet doesn’t become overweight.

Exercise 🐕

The Cairnoodle is an active breed that needs plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. We recommend setting at least 30 to 45 minutes aside each day to exercise your dog. Long walks and games of fetch can be great ways to release excess energy that will help your dog sleep better at night. They may also enjoy swimming, which is a fantastic way to stay slim and healthy.

Training 🎾

The Poodle parent is extremely intelligent, so there is a good chance your dog will quickly pick up new commands. Positive reinforcement and a consistent training time will get your dog on a schedule they look forward to. Once your dog knows the routine, they will be easier to train because they know what to expect. Keep lots of treats handy and reward them when they do a good job.

Brief training sessions lasting 15 minutes will keep your dog focused and less likely to become distracted.

Grooming ✂️

Another trait your pet Cairnoodle gets from their Poodle parent is very little shedding. If you have had dogs in the past, you will be surprised at how much less hair you will find on your furniture and floor. However, the Cairn Terrier sheds, so you must brush your dog frequently to remove loose hair and prevent tangles and knots from forming.

You will also want to keep their ears clean and brush their teeth with pet-safe toothpaste as often as possible. If your Cairnoodle spends a lot of time indoors, their nails will grow too long and need trimming if you hear them clicking on the floor.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Addison’s Disease


Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland in your pet’s neck. The thyroid gland controls your dog’s metabolic rate and can cause weight changes and other problems in every dog breed. the signs of hyperthyroidism include hair loss on the tail and rear legs, flakey skin, muscle loss, and weight gain. Treatment usually includes medication, and the condition is generally not life-threatening if you catch it early.


Glaucoma is a condition that causes pressure to build up behind the lens of the eye due to poor drainage, allowing fluid to build up. The Poodle is genetically predisposed to this condition, so you will need to watch for it in your pet as well. Signs include excessive blinking, a receding eyeball, vision loss, redness, and loss of appetite. If you think your dog might have glaucoma, it’s important to immediately take them to the vet to get medication to relieve pressure. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness.


Bloat is a condition common to both parents. It results from the stomach filling with air and putting pressure on the other organs. It can also cause the stomach to twist, trapping blood inside. If the dog is not treated immediately, it can lead to a life-threatening situation. Signs of bloat include an enlarged abdomen, drooling, and restlessness.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease is a condition that affects your dog’s adrenal glands and stops them from producing the required hormones. These hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s organs and systems. Signs include loss of appetite, degrading body condition, and inability to respond appropriately to stress. Your dog may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools. There is no cure for Addison’s; in some cases, your dog might require hospitalization. Early detection can provide the best chance your dog will lead a long and happy life.

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Male vs Female

There is no discernable difference between the male and female Cairnoodle. Both sexes are identical in height and weight and have similar temperaments.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Cairnoodle

1. The Cairnoodle is Too Young for Acceptance Into a Kennel Club.

Hybrid dogs can eventually become official breeds, but the Cairnoodle is relatively new, and even most of the popular hybrid dogs developed in the early 1990s have not been recognized by the top kennel clubs.

2. The Poodle Parent Is One of the Smartest Dog Breeds.

Poodles are incredibly bright and were developed to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. They’re athletic and energetic and can be trained to participate in advanced canine sports.

3. You May Recognize the Cairn Terrier Parent as Toto, the Dog from The Wizard of Oz.

When dogs appear in Hollywood films, their popularity increases. After Toto appeared as Dorothy’s pet, more pet owners purchased Cairn Terriers. However, their popularity has declined in recent years.

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Final Thoughts

The Cairnoodle makes a great family pet that gets along well with humans and other pets and can make new friends quickly. They don’t bark much and won’t leave a lot of hair around your home. They enjoy playing and running but may dig a few holes in the yard if left unattended.  They’re more expensive than some mixed breeds, but their coats are easy to maintain.

We hope you have enjoyed our look into this mixed breed and found the answers you needed. If we convinced you to get one as a pet, please share this review of the Cairnoodle on Facebook and Twitter.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Robyn Bartlett, Shutterstock

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