Cairn terriers and Norwich terriers are small terriers that originated from Great Britain. During the mid-1800s, there were no distinctions between these two breeds. They were just general farm dogs. They were initially bred to work on farms and hunt foxes, badgers, and rats.
Cairn terriers and Norwich terriers have compact bodies with short legs. They are not aggressive and will not start a fight, but they are fearless when faced with an adversary. Norwich terriers are known to have honorable scars from fair wear and tear. These scars are accepted because of their nature.
At first glance, these two breeds might look similar, but certain attributes differentiate them. Here are the main differences between cairn terriers and Norwich terriers.
Comparing: Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier
|Cairn Terrier||Norwich Terrier|
|Size||Weight: 14-16 lbs|
Height: 11 to 12 inches
|Weight: 11 to 12 lbs|
Height: 9 to 10 inches
|Color Variation||Cream, wheaten, red, gray, or nearly black||Red, wheaten, black and tan or grizzle|
|Coat||Double coat; slightly wavy harsh outer coat; soft and short undercoat||Medium-length double coat; wiry outercoat, soft undercoat|
|Temperament||Active, hardy, and fearless; assertive||Lovable disposition, not aggressive, tremendously active, hardy, and fearless|
|Trainability||Independent and observant but very stubborn, so training should start from an early age||Intelligent and stubborn, but they will work well with rewards and treats|
|Life Expectancy||13 to 15 years||13 to 15 years|
The Key Differences Between Cairn Terriers and Norwich Terriers
Cairn terriers and Norwich terriers have similar appearances and personalities. Both breeds have pointed and erect ears. They are tremendously active and hardy, ready to hunt rats and leave no stones unturned. They are adventurous and curious. However, their average size, color variations, coat textures, and body proportions differ.
Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier: Size
Cairn terriers and Norwich terriers are toy-sized dogs, but their average sizes vary. Adult cairn terriers are larger than adult Norwich terriers. Cairn terriers can grow up to 11-12 inches (28 to 30.5 cm) at withers and weigh up to 14-16 lbs (6.4 to 7.3 kg). Norwich terriers’ average height at the withers is 9 to 10 inches (22.8 to 25.4 cm), and their average weight is 11 to 12 lbs (5 to 5.5 kg).
Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier: Color
Cairn terriers’ colors vary between cream, wheaten, red, gray, or nearly black. According to the FCI standard, brindling of these colors is acceptable, which means their fur can be a combination of more colors. However, solid black, white, black, and tan are not breed standards. Some cairn terriers have darker muzzles and ears.
Norwich terriers differ from cairn terriers in terms of coat color. Norwich terriers’ colors vary between all shades of red, wheaten, black, tan, or grizzle. The FCI standard lists white marks and patches as undesirable patterns.
Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier: Coat
Cairn terriers and Norwich terriers have double coats. However, their textures and undercoats are different. Cairn terriers have a weather-resistant coat, which prevents soaking, keeps them warm, and helps them swim in cold waters. The outer coats of cairn terriers are profuse and harsh. Their undercoats are soft and short and can be slightly wavy.
Norwich terriers have hard, wiry, and straight coats. Their undercoats are thick and close to the body. Their neck areas have longer and rougher hairs, while the hairs on the face, head, and ears are shorter and smoother.
Both cairn terriers and Norwich terriers are groomed using a technique called hand-stripping, which implies removing old outer hairs and excess undercoat to make room for new hairs. Cutting their hair may change the coat’s color and texture.
Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier: Body Proportions
Cairn terriers are longer than Norwich terriers, so they are taller when they sit. The height of Norwich terriers, measured at the withers, is typically equal to their bodies’ length from their shoulders to the base of their tails. Cairn terriers, on the other hand, have longer bodies. The length from their shoulders to the base of their tail is 1.5 longer than their height at the withers.
Cairn Terrier vs. Norwich Terrier: Cost
When you’re buying a purebred puppy, the breeder should present an American Kennel Club certificate for the pedigree and a health certificate from the vet. On average, the cost to get a purebred cairn terrier ranges between $350 to $800. This varies on your location, the breeder’s location, and the quality of the dog’s litter. Additional costs may apply when screening your puppies. A responsible breeder will ensure a Cairn terrier puppy is healthy by undergoing health tests.
Here are the recommended health tests for cairn terriers:
- Patella Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- GCL DNA Test
- Kidney Aplasia/Dysplasia
On the other hand, the average cost to obtain a purebred Norwich terrier ranges around $1,500 and can go up to $4,000 – $5,000. Additional costs may apply when undergoing health tests, which are important to ensure that the breed’s unique qualities are preserved and that the dog has no disorders that its puppies could inherit.
Here are the recommended health tests for Norwich terriers:
- Patella Evaluation
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
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- Federation Cynologique Internationale, Available here: https://www.fci.be/en/nomenclature/NORWICH-TERRIER-72.html
- Federation Cynologique Internationale, Available here: https://www.fci.be/en/nomenclature/CAIRN-TERRIER-4.html
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/cairn-terrier/
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/norwich-terrier/
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/norwich-terrier-vs-cairn-terrier-how-to-tell-the-difference/