Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 02/05/23 •  10 min read

The Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix is an unusual and rare breed created by mixing the Scottish Cairn Terrier and the Mexican Chihuahua. The result is an overly-courageous-for-its-size pup that adores its owners, is good with children and is active enough to keep you on your toes.

Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix
Photo: Instagram

The Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix, or “Cairn-Chi” as it is sometimes called, hasn’t been around long but is fast becoming one of the most popular Chihuahua cross breeds. To learn more about the dog, also called a “Toxirn,” read on!

Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix – At a Glance

Weight:6 – 8 pounds
Height:8 – 10 inches
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Tan, grey, black
Temperament:Bold, courageous, spunky, active, loyal, affectionate
Most Suitable For:Active families, active single individuals, active elderly couples or singles

What Does a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Look Like?

Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix
Photo: Instagram

As with most designer dog breeds, the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mix will inherit the best physical attributes of each parent breed. It will take its size and facial features from the Chihuahua, weighing less than 12 pounds and standing less than ten inches tall, this little guy would get lost in snowdrift.

You can expect your Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix to have the wiry hair of the Cairn Terrier, that will likely have a double coat, with the first layer being dense to keep them warm. It’s ears may be upright or they may be folded forward and triangular in shape.

As with many mixed-breed dogs, their exact physical appearance can be difficult to predict, as it largely depends on which parent breed has the predominant genes.

The History of the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix

Unfortunately, not much is known about the history of the Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix, but they were likely developed in the 1990s or early 2000s, as crossbreeding became popular throughout the United States.

Luckily, we can glean much about the Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix from the history of their parent breeds: the Scottish Cairn Terrier and the Mexican Chihuahua.

The History of the Cairn Terrier

The History of the Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is one of Scotland’s oldest working dog breeds. Named for the Scottish “cairn” – a pile of stones usually used as a marker of a landscape or a burial place, the Cairn Terrier was renowned for hunting between the cairns and are known as an agile dog used primarily in hunting small game.

The Cairn Terrier used to be called the Short-haired Skye Terrier, named for the Isle of Skye, where their primary breeder – Captain Martin Macleod lived.

But it’s named was changed in 1909 due to those who bred Skye Terriers – another type of Scottish terrier breed. The Cairn Terrier, alongside the West Highland White Terriers were all called a “Skye Terrier” prior to 1909, when they were each recognized as an independent breed.

Cairn Terriers were originally introduced to the United States in 1913 by Mrs. Henry Price of Scotland, with the breed being recognized by the AKC in 1917. As a double-coated breed, the Cairn Terrier is perfectly suited to the outdoors and can survive in many colder climates. They usually have a traditional white coat, but can also have a brown coat, black coat, or a brindle coat.

How Popular Are Cairn Terriers in the United States?

Cairn Terriers are surprisingly popular in the United States! Despite only arriving just over a century ago, Cairn Terriers have become popular with American families and farmers.

In 2021, the Cairn Terrier was the 74th most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

Who Are Cairn Terriers a Good Dog For?

Cairn Terriers are well known as an intelligent breed, beloved for their gentle nature and loyalty to their owners, Cairn Terriers make wonderful family pets. Cairn Terriers also have a hypoallergenic coat, making them great options for those with dander allergies.

Perfect as farm-type animals, they’re a very active breed who prefer a fenced yard that they can run in. Their white coat can get a little muddy sometimes – so be sure to give them regular grooming, but never shave them – their double coat keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

How Did Cairn Terriers Come About?

Cairn Terriers were originally bred from other Scottish Terriers in the early 20th century, and were originally known as the Skye Terrier, along with other Terrier breeds. They were first granted status as a distinctive breed in 1909.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Cairn Terrier?

The Cairn Terrier has been a popular crossbreed in the United Kingdom since their inception, particularly in Scotland, with other terrier breeds – but this only recently translated to the United States, when the Cairn Terrier became a popular cross in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Several popular Cairn Terrier crosses include:

The History of the Chihuahua

The History of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a small toy breed of dog first noted in the mid-19th century in the Mexican state of the same name. However, the Chihuahua’s ancestry is thought to stretch back to the 9th century when the Aztecs controlled much of South America. The Chihuahua is thought to descend from the Techichi, a small, mute dog kept by the Toltec Peoples.

Kept as a companion pet by their Mexican owners, they were first brought to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century by traders, who would trade them with American tourists on the Mexican/American border towns.

Kept as companion pets, Chihuahuas have been steadily growing in popularity since their introduction to the U.S.

How Popular Are Chihuahuas in the United States?

In 2021, the Chihuahua ranked as the 37th most-popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

Who Are Chihuahuas a Good Dog For?

Given their small size, Chihuahuas are often favored by the elderly and those are living in apartments. However, Chihuahuas are also quite active dogs, requiring mental stimulation and plenty of exercise. They can also suffer from separation anxiety, which can result in destructive behaviors.

They are fairly common among families, though best-suited for those with older children, as they can be a little aggressive.

How Did Chihuahuas Come About?

Chihuahuas exact history is unknown – however, they were first noted in the Mexican state of Chihuahua in the mid-19th century. Although, they are thought to descend from the Techichi – a small, mute dog kept by the Toltec Peoples, an Aztec tribe that inhabited Mexico during the 9th century.

The Chihuahua was first introduced into the United States in the early 20th century and was registered by the AKC in 1904.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Chihuahua?

The Chihuahua is fast becoming one of the most popular crossbreeds in the United States. In the 1990s and early 2000s, many mixed-dog breeders began to breed the Chihuahua with other dogs of similar size. Several popular Chihuahua crosses include:

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

One of the most important aspects of a dog joining your family unit is how they’ll fit in with your family’s temperament. You’ll want to ensure that the dog you select will fit in well with your family’s habits and sense of routine.

For example, if you’re an active, outdoorsy family, you’ll want to find a dog that suits that lifestyle – such as a Jack Russell Terrier (if you’re looking for a smaller dog) or a Siberian Husky, on the other end of the size scale.

However, if you’re a more relaxed family, you may want to consider a more laissez-faire breed, such as a Pug. Finding a dog that’s compatible with your family will make your transition to owning a new dog that much easier.

What is the Temperament of the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix?

The Chihuahua Cairn Terrier is a courageous little breed – getting it’s activity levels and ‘small-dog-big-bark’ attitude from the Chihuahua, whilst inheriting the friendly, loyal part of it’s temperament from the Cairn Terrier.

They love to be loved, making them wonderful lap dogs, but is equally ready to rock for a game of fetch or a longer walk. They won’t be climbing mountains, but appreciate a brisk pace when walking. They generally like to be kept busy – whether that’s through physical exercise or mental stimulation.

Is The Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Friendly?

Yes! You can expect your Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix to be very friendly! They’re people pleasers and will be excited around strangers and affectionate among friends.

Is The Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Easy to Train?

You might experience some stubbornness and attention-span issues when it comes to training your Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix, but this can be overcome through positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

How Much Can A Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mix is between 6 – 10 pounds.

How Tall Can A Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Get?

The average height of a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mix is between 8 and 10 inches tall.

Similar-Sized Breeds

There are a few similar-sized breeds to the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mix. These include:

Does the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Shed?

You can expect your Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix to be a moderate shedder. This will require regular brushing and a bi-weekly bath. Professional grooming is also recommended every few months.

How Much Exercise Does A Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Require?

The Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix will require roughly 30 minutes of activity per day, including games that encourage mental stimulation. Or, if you’re leaving your Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix on it’s own for a period of time, then a KONG toy filled with their favorite treats is always a good idea.

How Long Can a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Live?

The life expectancy of a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mix is between 12 and 15 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Have?

How Can You Find a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Puppy For Sale?

Before you start searching for a Cairn Terrier Chihuahua mix for sale, consider seeing if one is available to adopt instead. Plenty of Chihuahua Cairn Terrier mixes wind up in animal shelters and vet clinics across the United States, due to accidental mating, or an ill-fit with owners. Check these places first!

If you’re unsuccessful in-person, try searching online at, which allows you to search your local area.

How Much Does a Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of a Cairn Chi is between $600 and $1200! This is roughly double or triple the cost of adoption!

However, if you’re intent on purchasing a Toxirn from a breeder, please make sure that you choose a reputable breeder! To help you, we’ve created this guide to help you delineate the good from the bad and avoid puppy mills!

Is the Chihuahua Cairn Terrier Mix the Right Breed For You?

If you’ve been searching for a spry, active companion pet that’s the perfect lap dog at the end of a long day, the Cairn Chihuahua might be perfect for you!

However, if you’re not sure, or think there might be a better fit out there for you – we’ve created dozens of other breed guides to help you find the perfect mixed-breed pup!

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

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