Doxie Cairn

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
fast facts

About Doxie Cairn

9-16 inches
16-32 lbs
12-15 years
Not applicable
Best Suited For
Families with children, singles, active seniors, people who live in an apartment or house with a backyard
Friendly, feisty, spirited, energetic, brave, loyal, mischievous, stubborn, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Dachshund, Cairn Terrier
Doxie Cairn Basics

If you like little dogs with a lot of spunk, you’ll love the Doxie Cairn! This energetic, goofy dog is a delight to be around. One of the more recent designer dog breeds, this hybrid was developed by crossing a short-legged Dachshund with the wiry Cairn Terrier. The mix of these two small feisty dogs results in a compact companion whose heart and spirit are much larger than its petite frame. The loving, entertaining behavior of these smart hybrids makes them a favorite with many dog owners.

Even though these dogs have a lot of energy in them, they still have moderate activity requirements. Owing to their small size, they tire quickly and will not need much exercise to be happy. This makes them a good choice for pet owners who live in an apartment. Their amiable, sweet nature, on the other hand, makes them a good choice for any owner! Read on to see what makes Doxie Cairn stand out from the many designer dogs.

This feisty, happy-go-lucky dog will be a ray of sunshine in your world.


The designer dog breeds are a fairly recent trend in the canine world. Up until the last 20 to 30 years, mixed breed dogs were considered products of “accidents” and while loved by their owners, they were considered to be mutts rather than new breeds. When Labradoodle dogs first gained popularity in 1988 and showed people that hybrids have many merits, breeders turned to crossbreeding in order to create improved versions of popular breeds.

While there’s not a documented source that confirms the exact time and place where Doxie Cairn was first created, it’s highly likely that the breed shares its origin story with many other hybrids. This means that the first litters of intentionally bred Doxie Cairn puppies were born in the United States, sometime in the two decades.

Even though information on the breed’s origin is sparse, it doesn’t mean that Doxie Carn is a mystery. Owing to the fact that this is a Dachshund and Cairn Terrier mix, we can tell a lot about these hybrids based on their parents alone.


Unlike purebreds, whose lineages are very well documented, the Doxie Cairn dogs don’t always have the luxury of having a recorded family tree. In fact, a lot of times these adorable hybrids come from shelters and rescues, so there’s no way to know who their mom and dad were, let alone their ancestors. To boot, even deliberately bred mixed puppies are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, so there won’t be any pedigree papers to come with your new pet.

However, if you are buying Doxie Carn puppy from a reputable breeder, you should be able to find out more about its parents. The Dachshund and the Cairn Terrier are both recognized by the AKC and will have a recorded ancestry. There might even be a certification for the hybrid puppies, as well, if they’re registered with one of the smaller canine clubs.

In any case, papers and certifications aside, you can be certain that your adorable hybrid comes from breeds that have been loved for centuries. The Wiener Dog Doxie had its start as early as 16th century, whereas the Cairn Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds- there are reports of them in the 1500s. Both of the parental breeds started out as hunting dogs, but have since evolved to take on the role of family companions.


While feeding a small dog might be inexpensive due to small amounts of food it needs, you still need to opt for premium brands. Like most other dogs, the Doxie Cairn does best on a diet based on high-quality dry food. Just make sure that the kibble you chose suits your dog’s size (small), age (puppy, adult, or senior), and activity (moderate). From time to time, you can add canned food, or cooked meat and veggies (unseasoned) to your pet’s bowl just to switch things up a bit.

Sometimes, pet owners don’t like the idea of relying on commercial pet food brands. Frequent recalls and the damaging effects of cheap, low-quality foods have encouraged a lot of people to look into alternative possibilities. While some Doxie Cairn dogs can do well on a raw diet or home cooked meals, it’s not the same for every dog. Canine nutrition is complex- even though it doesn’t seem so at first- and it’s easy to overlook many crucial nutrients when you prepare your dog meals on your own. Consulting a veterinarian is a must if you wish to feed your dog a diet of your own making.

As a small dog breed, the Doxie Cairn is prone to obesity. Their voracious appetite doesn’t quite go with their compact bellies, so make sure to monitor the amount of food you’re serving them. It doesn’t take a lot for them to become overweight, and that will lead to various health problems.

Their friendly demeanor and adaptable personality make them a suitable pet for families of all sizes.


When it comes to intelligence, the Doxie Cairn has a lot to be proud of. These cute pooches really are smart, but don’t let this fool you- they are not easy to train. Owing to their terrier genes, these hybrids are also exceptionally stubborn and strong-willed. When they budge, nothing can coax them into doing what you’d want them to do. This is why the Doxie Cairn is not suitable for beginner dog owners. The breed requires a handler with experience in training- and a lot of it, at that.

However, with patience and effort, paired with positive reinforcement methods, you will be able to teach your pooch the basics. And it’s essential to do so! If you fail to properly socialize and train your puppy in time, you’ll have a willful, mischievous dog on your hands.

In addition to housebreaking and learning leash manners, you should pay attention to certain behavioral issues this breed is prone to. Barking, excessive digging, and resource guarding could all surface with this mix. To counteract this, train your new puppy to be comfortable with sharing food and toys, and to react to the command stop- both for digging and barking.


With all designer dogs, you can expect variations and uncertainties in terms of their appearance. A lot will depend on which parent the puppy favors more- sometimes there are major differences even across one litter. Of course, when the parents are similar in size, there’s less room for surprise. The Dachshund Cairn Terrier mix is a small breed and will weigh between 16 to 32 pounds.


No one can deny that the Doxie Carn is one absolutely adorable dog, but it’s their personality what really takes the cake. This feisty, happy-go-lucky dog will be a ray of sunshine in your world! As a mix of two very clever and loyal dog breeds, this hybrid has the potential to be a fantastic companion, family pet, and a watchdog- all bundled up in one very small package.

Playful, curious, and smart, the Doxie Cairn will love goofing around or touting its toys all around the house. With a mischievous cutie such as this designer dog is, there never will be a boring day. While their smarts and energy do give them a dose of independence, these are very affectionate, loyal pets. They will be very close to their owners and love to follow them around- not to mention participate in all family activities. Whether it’s a hike in the great outdoors or a Netflix marathon, you can count on your sweet pooch to be right there by your side.

If socialized on time, the Doxie Carn will be wonderful with children and friendly with everyone he meets. However, due to those hunter ancestors, these hybrids can have a high prey drive, so they’ll probably love to chase after cats or any other pet smaller than them.

Common Health Problems

One of the main reasons why breeders got into designer dogs in the first place is the desire to improve the health of existing purebreds. Some claim that crossbreeding leads to ‘hybrid vigor, improved resilience, and health of the mixed offspring, whereas others propose that the designer dog is simply at risk for two groups of breed-specific issues. The jury is still out for the overall health and vigor of the designer dogs, but the Doxie Cairn is a relatively healthy breed.

In terms of hereditary issues, the Dachshund Cairn Terrier mix is at risk for intervertebral disk disease, patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation) and eye issues such as cataracts. Proneness to obesity and early tooth loss is something all small dogs share; so make sure to keep them at a healthy weight and brush your dog’s teeth routinely.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy for a Doxie Cairn is 12 to 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

Both of the breeds that made the Doxie Cairn are lively, active dogs. Terriers are especially energetic and will need to have a dynamic routine to thrive. Even so, it doesn’t take much to tire out a small breed dog. No matter how much spirit and spunk these pooches have, one or two long walks, and they’ll be out like a candle.

For the Doxie Cairn, it’s best if you dedicate at least 60 minutes for walks each day, plus the time for some challenging playing. In case you live in a home with a big yard, you can let out your feisty pooch to run around and explore as much as he wants- but make sure everything is securely fenced. They are nosy and love chasing small animals, so they won’t hesitate to wander out the yard if given the chance.

Also, as a very intelligent breed that’s curious to boot, the Doxie Cairn will need interactive and puzzle toys to keep its mind engaged. Without mental stimulations, these dogs can quickly become bored, then depressed and destructive, Don’t neglect this brainiac need for challenges!

The breed requires a handler with experience in training- these dogs can be a handful for beginners.

Recognized Clubs

The Doxie Cairn is recognized by American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, Dog Registry of America, and International Designer Canine Registry.


The Doxie comes in three coat types- short, long, and wiry, and the Cairn Terrier sports a wiry double coat. However, in most cases, whatever the combination of parents is, the Doxie Cairn has either smooth short hair or shaggy-looking wiry coat. All colors are possible, from merle to sand, and everything in between.

When it comes to grooming, the Dachshund-terrier mix is not demanding. Regular brushing will suffice and keep its coat looking spick and span. One important thing to note is that your designer dog might need hand stripping if they favor their Cairn Terrier parent more.


Doxie Cairn puppies are sweet, energetic and very mischievous! Start with training and socialization early on to eliminate any potential behavioral issues and to teach them some basic manners. The mix of Doxie and terrier genes does mean you’ll need to put in extra effort to train your stubborn puppy, but it will all be worth it.

This hybrid breed is lively, loving, fun, and smart- the Doxie Cairn leaves very little to be desired. Their friendly demeanor and adaptable personality make them a suitable pet for families of all sizes. Whether you’re a single, active senior, or have kids in your family, the Doxie Cairn could be the right choice for you.

Photo credit: kocsik/Shutterstock; SummerxXx/Shutterstock; Jana Behr/Shutterstock

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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