Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix- Complete Carkie buyer’s guide

The Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix is a cross between a purebred Cairn Terrier and a purebred Yorkshire Terrier. This Yorkie mix is also known as the Carkie and is a small crossbreed dog with a weight of 10 to 15 pounds and stands at 8 to 12 inches. He also has a life expectancy of 12-15 years. 

The Yorkie Cairn Terrier mix an intelligent, energetic, alert, and playful crossbreed dog whose origin is unknown.

This dog can also be independent which can make training him a challenge for most first-time dog owners.

However, he is great for apartment dwellers and novice dog owners.

-If you think that your home and family are ready for the Carkie mixed dog, keep on reading to learn more about this dog’s personality, appearance, price, and care.

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About the Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix

As I mentioned earlier this is a crossbreed dog between two popular purebred dogs which are;

  • The Yorkshire Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier

Both of these are favorites among many individuals and families due to their personalities and compact size.

They are small dogs with both of them weighing under 15 pounds and 12 inches. The offsprings are, therefore, small-sized.

This dog is also known to be a moderate barker and requires frequent grooming and daily exercise of about 30 to 45 minutes.

He is also intelligent and highly trainable but training should begin from an early age and should be done constantly for a well-behaved and well-tempered dog.

However, not much is known about the Carkie’s origin or who the first person to intentionally breed this dog was.

This mixed dog is also not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs.

Carkie mix

Cairn Terrier Vs Yorkshire Terrier: Breed comparison

Cairn Terrier Vs Yorkie
Cairn Terrier Yorkshire Terrier
This is an independent, friendly, affectionate, and compact dog that is great for families, single individuals, and apartment dwellers in general.

Cairn Terriers are also alert but are not known barkers. However, they have strong hunting instincts and are prone to digging and chasing after smaller animals.

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds but has a big personality. He is devoted, intelligent, energetic, alert, feisty but also loving.

This dog gets along with children and is great for apartment living. However, unlike the Cairn Terrier, this is a known barker and is very vocal.

The Cairn Terrier is a curious and smart dog that learns new tricks and commands quickly. However, is an independent thinker that tends to be challenging to train.

He is also fun-loving and enjoys being outdoors and playing with children.

This is an energetic dog that will require about 45 minutes of daily exercise.

This is an adventurous and loving dog breed that is known for being suspicious of strangers from time to time.

He does not tolerate being left alone but enjoys long play sessions with his family members and other individuals.

The Yorkshire Terrier will require about 30 minutes of daily exercise.

The Cairn Terrier is believed to have been bred in the 1500s and was used to hunt small prey in cairns or small holes.

This is where the name Cairn comes from while the Terrier name comes from his background as a small prey hunter.

The Cairn Terrier’s rise in popularity is accredited to his role as Toto in the movie Wizard of Oz that came out in 1939.

This dog is named after his place of origin which is Yorkshire in Northern England.

His developed and rise in popularity is attributed to the English industrial revolution where he was used to hunt rats in the mills.

Pros and cons of the Carkie crossbreed dog


✓ Loyal and affectionate.

✔ Great for apartment living.

✓ Compact and easy to exercise.


✗ May not get along with other pets, especially the smaller ones.

✘ Can be challenging to housebreak.

✗ Is fragile and prone to tracheal collapse.

7 Fun facts about the Yorkshire Terrier Cairn Terrier mix

  1. This dog is known to form stronger bonds with one member of the family more than the other preferably the one that feeds him.
  2. He is a great lap dog and therapy dog thanks to his caring and affectionate nature.
  3. Some Cairn Terrier Yorkie mixes are born with brown coat markings which can change color as the dog ages to become bluish.
  4. These dogs are appealing to many dog lovers due to a concept known as neurotomy that causes people to have stronger caring instincts for smaller animals.
  5. This dog can be prone to reverse sneezing which is also known as pharyngeal gag reflex which is usually harmless.
  6. Carkies may be small but they are protective and make great watchdogs.
  7. Some Yorkshire Cairn Terrier mixes have larger front paws than rear paws that enable them to be great at digging.

Carkie crossbreed dog breed profile

Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix summary table
Height 8 to 12 inches
Weight 10 to 15 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years 
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Companion and family dog
Suitable For Experienced dog owners
Grooming requirements Moderate
Color Variations Black, Brown, Sable, Grey, Cream, Red, Fawn, Silver, and Brindle
Health concerns Hypothyroidism, Flea Allergy, Tracheal Collapse
Temperament Intelligent, energetic, affectionate, alert, and independent
Other names Carkie

Height and weight

The Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix is a small dog that weighs between 10 and 15 pounds and stands at between 8 and 12 inches.

Physical appearance

The Carkie’s appearance can vary and can resemble either the Cairn Terrier or the Yorkshire Terrier. He can also be a perfect blend of both breeds.

However, some features are common with this dog and that includes his feathery and erect V-shaped ears coupled with his alert appearance.

This dog also has a medium-sized muzzle with a black nose with well-rounded and dark-brown eyes.

His tail is short and can sometimes be slightly curled upwards. He also has round paws.


Coat appearance and shedding

The Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix has a double coat that can be medium to long.

His undercoat is soft with an outer coat that can be wiry or slightly wavy to straight and silky.

This dog does not shed much because his coat is made up of hair instead of fur and is considered to be hypoallergenic as he does not release much dander.

However, you should note that no dog can be 100% hypoallergenic as allergens can also be found in the dog’s saliva, urine, and other secretions.

Coat color:

Cream Red Black
Grey Brown Brindle
Tan Sable Fawn

Temperament and personality traits of the Cairn Terrier Yorkshire mix

This is an energetic, cheerful, happy, and adventurous dog that is always alert.

Carkie personality can also vary and he can display a range of traits from being super cuddly, mischievous, clingy, outgoing, and even perky.

He is, however, nothing but a great companion that forms strong bonds with his owners and other people that he considers family.

Because of this, the Cairn Terrier Yorkie cross does not tolerate being left alone for extended periods as he can suffer from separation anxiety and can also become very destructive.

This dog also gets easily bored and start exhibiting behaviors such as excessive barking and digging.

He will proper mental and physical stimulation to prevent him from getting destructive. Training will also come in handy in reducing any destructive behaviors such as chewing.

This crossbreed dog is very welcoming but without proper and early socialization he can become aloof to strangers.

Also, this dog is sensitive and does not love being shouted at or scolded.

Is the Carkie mixed dog a good family dog?

The Yorkie Cairn Terrier is a good and loyal family dog that gets along with children.

However, due to his small size, this dog is very fragile and can easily get hurt in case of rough play. Play between this dog and young children should be supervised to prevent any incidents.

He can also develop small dog syndrome and become snappy, very vocal, nervous, and even neurotic.

It is also important to keep in mind that this dog has a high prey drive and may not always get along well with smaller household pets such as hamsters or birds.

Here are some great prey management tips that you can use to keep this dog’s hunting instincts at bay.

Cairn Yorkie mix


Litter size:

1 to 4 puppies.

These puppies take about 12 months to reach their full size but tend to exhibit their puppy-like traits long after that usually for up to 3 years.

How much does a Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix cost?

The Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix cost between $1000 and $1800 from a reputable breeder but the price can vary from one breeder to the other and depending on your location.

However, before buying one of these puppies, it is always recommended to check if any Carkies may require fostering or adoption.

Adoption fees typically run for around $200 if you are lucky enough to find one of these crossbreed dogs.

Also, if buying a puppy is your only option, you should ensure that you have a clear understanding of how to take care of him.

You should also avoid buying puppies from puppy mills and backyard breeders and most of the puppies tend to more unhealthy when compared to other puppies.

How to take care of Yorkshire Terrier Cairn Terrier mix

1. Grooming requirements

This mix has moderate to high care needs depending on the coat type he inherits from either parent breeds.

The longer and thicker the coat is, the more grooming will be needed.

All Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix dogs will need regular brushing with at least 3 coat brushed a week to prevent matting and tangling of the coat.

Regular brushing is also essential in ensuring the even distribution of coat oils and restoring the dog’s sheen. A pin brush, slicker brush, and steel comb will come in handy in this process.

After brushing you can also spritz the coat with a leave-in conditioner to strengthen the coat and to ensure that it stays moisturized.

A bath will only be needed once a month or when it is necessary such as when the dog gets muddy.

This should be done using a neutral dog shampoo and warm water.

You will also need to check the ears regularly for any signs of infection and dirt and clean them using cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution to prevent wax build-up.

The nails should also be trimmed every six weeks and hair between the paws trimmed to enable this dog to walk more comfortably.

Dental hygiene is also equally as important. This can be achieved through regular brushing and using dental chews and sticks.

Yorkie Cairn Terrier mix

2. Feeding and dietary requirements

A well-balanced and high-quality diet will be essential for the Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix sensitive stomach.

This mixed dog does best on a dry diet formulated for small dogs and you should avoid canned food as they tend to upset this dog’s stomach.

You can also prepare a quality homemade diet occasionally and only use high-quality treats such as liver.

Make sure that the diet is high on proteins which should make up for about 22% of the diet. Also, don’t be afraid of giving this dog vegetable and fruits such as carrots, bananas, watermelon, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and so on.

As for his daily calorie requirements you can take the dog’s weight in pounds and multiply that by 30 calories to get the daily amount.

Cairn Yorkie Terrier Daily Food Consumption
Guide 150 to 300 calories
Cups of Kibble 1 to 1.5

3. Carkie mix Exercise needs

Despite being small this dog is active and will need about 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise to meet his mental and physical stimulation needs.

These should be mild exercises that can range from short daily walks to playing mind games such as puzzles. Indoor exercises can also come in handy meeting this dog’s requirements.

However, you should keep in mind this dog’s fragile nature and ensure that during exercise he does not jump from high places and that you are not straining him.

Use a harness instead of a collar when you are leash walking this dog to prevent trachea collapse.

Number of walks 2 (15 minutes each)
Exercise needs 30 to 45 minutes

4. How to train a Cairn Yorkie mix

Cairn Terrier Yorkie mixes are intelligent dogs that are highly trainable but can be stubborn which can be very frustrating during training.

They are very sensitive and do not like to be told what to and they also do not respond well to any kind of aversive training methods such as punishment.

To get the best results in training this dog, you will need to use positive reinforcement using high-value treats and toys.

You should concentrate more on toilet training as this tends to be a hurdle for most Carkie owners.

If you can overcome this dog’s independent and stubborn attitude, he will be able to learn new commands and tricks much quicker. Preparing a training schedule will also come in handy.

Health concerns

This is a fairly healthy dog but he is also susceptible to some health conditions that can lower his life quality.

Some of the health conditions include;

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Flea Allergy
  • Tracheal Collapse

How long does the Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix live?

The Cairn Terrier Yorkie mix lives for between 12 and 15 years.

My final take

Cairn Terrier Yorkie mixed dogs are great companions for adult homes and families with older children that understand how fragile he can be.

These dogs do not need much space and are great for apartment dwellers.

However, they can be independent and sassy, especially during training sessions as they do not like to be told what to do.

You should also ensure that you get your Carkie puppy from a reputable breeder to ensure that he grows up healthy.

So, do you think this is the right dog for you? Let us known in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!