Although stereotypes depict cats and dogs as mortal enemies, stories from pet parents often testify that more often than not, the opposite may be true. We know from our own experience that cats and dogs can be friends. Additionally, certain breeds and personality traits make certain animals more likely to live well together than others. Every individual animal is different. Their personality and upbringing determine their ability to get along with other species more than their breed. However, in general, Maine Coons are acknowledged to be the best cat breed to have around dogs. Whether or not your dog will like your Maine Coon depends on how they’re raised and introduced to the cat, as well as what type of breed they are, to a certain extent.
Do Maine Coons & Dogs Usually Like Each Other?
Your dog is more likely to love your Maine Coon if they were raised around cats from a young age, or if you start with a Maine Coon kitten rather than a full-grown adult. Most animals can sense when a creature is a baby, and they won’t perceive it as a threat. However, a mature Maine Coon entering their household may strike terror into your pup and make them more likely to act aggressively, especially given the Maine Coon’s large size.
Maine Coons are one of the most affable cat breeds. Giant, gentle, and generally affectionate to their pet parents and other household members, the Maine Coon is one of the most likely cat breeds to enjoy canine companionship. At 20 lbs., they tower over toy breed dogs, but they’re usually not aggressive. At the very least, the Maine Coon is a very tolerant cat that probably won’t pick a fight with your dog, even if they don’t wind up being best friends.
Do Most Dogs Like Maine Coons?
As a general rule, most dogs can at least respect cats if they’ve been raised around them or if they meet them for the first time as a kitten. There are a few types of dogs, though, that you might want to avoid pairing with a Maine Coon.
Dogs are categorized into groups that are determined by their original breeding purpose. For example, sporting dogs were often bred to hunt while herding dogs usually worked with shepherds. You might want to avoid bringing a kitty into a household with a dog that has a high prey drive because this could be dangerous for the cat.
Typically, terriers as a whole, and some hounds and working dogs are the least likely to get along with cats. However, many of these individual dogs have gentle personalities that could make them an exception to the rule.
On the other hand, members of the non-sporting group such as Poodles as well as more relaxed members of other groups such as the Bloodhound or Basset Hound may be well suited for sharing a space with a Maine Coon.
How to Introduce a Maine Coon to Your Dog
If you’re bringing a kitten home to your adult or senior dog, you’ll need to prioritize their comfort and safety. While most animals recognize when a creature is a baby and won’t try to harm it, you’ll need to restrain your dog until you’re certain they won’t hurt the kitten. Preferably, try to keep your dog in a separate room as your kitten adjusts to their space.
Wait until the cat is comfortable with their surroundings before introducing them to your pup. When you’re ready for them to meet, you can begin by introducing their scents to each other first. Let your dog smell a blanket your kitty has laid on, and vice versa.
Then, when everyone is ready, slowly let them see each other. This works best if you let them have their first look through a baby gate where they can’t reach each other, or if you have someone to help you hold one animal while you hold the other. The key is to go slowly and stay calm. Don’t panic if one of the animals acts less than civil. Just give them a break and try again.
How to Bring a Puppy Home to Your Maine Coon
If your Maine Coon is already ruling over their castle, your job is a little easier. When introducing the puppy, let the cat roam free. Your house is their domain, and you want to reinforce the idea that the dog isn’t going to usurp their turf or their toys. You can begin the introduction with sniffs, by letting the puppy smell something that belongs to your cat and vice versa.
Just make sure that you don’t give away your Maine Coon’s favorite bed or let your puppy have access to your Maine Coon’s signature hiding places, or your cat may feel threatened. Cats actually have a higher territorial nature than dogs, so they need a place where they feel safe. Maine Coons are generally very agreeable and likely won’t try to hurt your puppy. However, don’t force them into a meeting if your cat isn’t interested, and make sure to hold your puppy back if you feel that they’re excessively annoying your Maine Coon.
Every animal has a different personality that’s shaped partly by breed, but mostly by personal experience. In general, Maine Coons tend to get along with canines. Dogs are a bit trickier though since certain breeds tend to cooperate better than others depending on their original breeding purpose. Non-sporting dogs such as Bulldogs and chill members of other groups such as Basset Hounds give you the highest chance of success, while breeds with a high prey drive such as the Siberian Husky and Terriers as a whole group are the least likely to make friends with a Maine Coon. To get the most accurate answer, though, you’ll have to check with your own dog or Maine Coon.