Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
fast facts

About Cairmal

10-13 lb
12-13 inches
12-15 years
Not Applicable
Best Suited For
Families with kids and other pets, those living in apartments, those with time to exercise him regularly
intelligent, fun-loving, affectionate, stubborn
Comparable Breeds
Maltese, Cairn Terrier
Cairmal Basics

This lively little dog with the stubborn streak is the Cairmal. He brings together the fun-loving characteristics of the Maltese with the plucky personality of the Cairn Terrier for a wonderful family pet that gets along well with kids and other animals.

This lively little dog brings the fun-loving characteristics of the Maltese together with the plucky personality of the Cairn Terrier.


Considered a Designer Dog, the Cairmal would have originated 30 to 40 years ago when breeders first began crossing various purebred dogs in order to create smaller, hypo-allergenic or gentler variations of some of the more popular breeds.


The Cairmal is not a purebred dog and therefore doesn’t qualify to be a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC). That said, both parent breeds are members; the Cairn Terrier joined their “terrier” group back in 1913 while the Maltese joined the “toy” group in 1888.

Food / Diet

Your Cairmal is a super playful pup, but this doesn’t always translate into a super active dog. As a result, always provide him with a top quality kibble that is nutrient rich and designed to meet his age, size and level of activity. Because he comes from 2 breeds that experience joint issues later in life, he must not become obese so do not free feed him but provide 2 to 3 meals through the day and avoid foods with fillers that can cause him to overeat to feel full. Because Maltese can also suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) you should establish a set feeding routine.

The Cairnal is a fun family pet with a patient, playful nature.


The Cairmal is a smart little dog who in spite of his stubborn streak is quick to pick up commands making him great for a first-time dog owner. As with any dog, socialization and obedience taught early are key to bringing out the best in this pooch and ensuring he fits in well with children and other animals. Taking a consistent, rewards-based approach is the best way to encourage this pooch – lots of verbal praise and treats of your choice with get the results you want over time.


Your Cairmal will weigh between 10 to 15 pounds.

Temperament / Behavior

The Cairnal is a fun family pet with a patient, playful nature that makes him a great fit with kids and other animals. In spite of his stubborn streak, he is a true people pleaser and doesn’t do well when left on his own for long periods of time and destructive behaviors may surface. He is ideal for a family where someone is at home, or he can be provided with plenty of interactive toys to keep him from getting bored and up to mischief.

Common Health Problems

Although Designer dogs can typically sidestep the health issues that can plague their purebred parent breeds, you should always be aware of what your new pup could inherit. With the Cairmal, that would include patellar luxation and joint issues from the Maltese as well as hip dysplasia and cataracts from the Cairn Terrier side.

Life Expectancy

The Cairmal will typically live for between 12 and 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Cairmal doesn’t require lengthy walks or extensive exercise and can do quite well in an apartment. He will need short daily walks to keep him physically fit and mentally stimulated with trips to the dog park and indoor interactive play making a great addition to his regimen.

The Cairmal has a patient, playful nature but doesn’t do well when left on his own for too long.

Recognized Clubs

Also known as the Malticairn, the Cairmal is recognized by the the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).


In spite of a thick, double-coat, the Cairmal is a low- to minimal-shedding dog and is considered hypoallergenic. His shaggy outer- and downy under-coat will require brushing several times a week to keep it from becoming matted while monthly grooming will keep him looking his best and cleaning around his eyes will help prevent staining. Because small dogs can run into dental issues, daily brushing should be an important part of his maintenance regimen.


Cairmal puppies are smart little dogs that should begin their socialization at an early age. A stubborn streak can cause him to be a handful to train as he gets older, but an early start will help make it easier to turn him into an ideal family dog. Because his parent breeds have a tendency toward joint issues, exercise and active play should build gradually so as to not overtax tiny joints and cause problems later in life.

Photo credit: jordanalisa/; Gina Callaway/; Jarry/

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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