How to Introduce Your Maine Coon to Your Dog

Maine Coon good with dogs?

Maybe you love your Maine Coon and your dog and think it’s finally time for them to meet, or you’re thinking of getting one or the other as a friend for your current pet. Whatever the case may be, you’re probably wondering how to introduce the two safely without any hiccups. The good news is that one of the reasons Maine Coons and dogs are so beloved by many is for their social, outgoing, and friendship-driven natures. There’s no reason these two can’t at the very least coexist together, if not become great friends! Here’s everything you need to know about Maine Coons and dogs living under the same roof and how to introduce them. 

Can Maine Coons and Dogs Be Friends?

As a pet owner, there are few things in life that bring as much joy as the bond between one and their dog or cat. It’s only natural that we want the same bond for our pets to share with one another. However, this begs the question, can Maine Coons and dogs be friends? While each cat and each dog varies, the chances are incredibly likely that these two won’t just get along, but go on to form a great bond. 

Though each family setting and dynamic varies from household to household, dogs and Maine Coons can often make it work. Dogs are loved for their adaptability, friendliness, and family-oriented approach to life. Maine Coons are often dubbed the ‘dogs of the cat world’ for their gentle, affectionate, and social natures. These two have much more in common than one would think. Both are devoted, loyal, and affectionate when it comes to their people.

In fact, Maine Coons and dogs that live under the same roof often go on to become great friends. From taking naps to playing together, the two see more of themselves in one another than your typical cat and dog. However, even though the Maine Coon is one of the friendliest and laidback cat breeds, that’s not all that should be considered. Both Maine Coon and dog socialization and temperament need to be considered before a proper introduction.

About Dog Socialization and Temperament

Many dogs can coexist with cats. Many even go on to form great, close friendships that involve nap time and lots of grooming! There are things to be considered though. Some dogs possess a prey drive. According to The Bark, prey drive can be defined as “a dog’s eagerness or desire, especially if in work that involves anything related to chasing and capturing prey.” 

According to Dogster, breeds that typically have higher prey drives include working, terrier, and sporting breeds like Afghan Hounds, Alaskan Malamutes, Australian Cattle Dogs, Basenjis, Beagles, Bullmastiffs, Doberman Pinschers, Jack Russell Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Samoyeds, Shiba Inus, Siberian Huskies, Weimaraners, Whippets, and Yorkshire Terriers. This list is not conclusive though, as one could have a Siberian Husky that is indifferent to squirrels on walks or a Chihuahua that brings in a lizard from the backyard. Prey drive varies from dog to dog and is based largely on breeding and genetic history. The act of stalking or hunting prey can be divided into these key behaviors: searching, stalking, chasing, and biting. 

So what does prey drive have to do with cats? Generally, the higher prey drive a dog has, the less likely they are to get along with other smaller animals, including cats. Your dog’s individual prey drive can be the deciding factor in whether or not it gets along with your Maine Coon. You can test your dog’s individual prey drive by seeing how they interact with neighborhood cats on walks or react to squirrels in your backyard. 

If you’re looking to adopt a dog as a friend for your Maine Coon, look for one that has been fostered or previously homed with cats or other small animals. This ensures that there will be no accidents. For dogs, socialization with other animals starts at a young age.

About Maine Coon Socialization and Temperament

Maine Coons are among the most popular cat breeds for their go-with-the-flow, laidback, gentle, silly, and adorable natures. Maine Coons are known to be very tolerant and accepting. According to Purr Craze, they are one of the absolute best cat breeds for other dogs in the home. Maine Coons are not like typical cats in the sense that they will not retaliate against a dog when they get annoyed with them. The fact of the matter is, Maine Coons are hard to annoy and are very easygoing. Your Maine Coon will most likely seek out your dog’s affection and friendship!

Maine Coons are incredibly social and thrive not just off of their people’s affection, but other animals’ as well. Their sensitive natures make them wonderful friends for adults, children, dogs, and cats alike. This is why they’re incredibly popular family pets. Rest assured, your Maine Coon and your dog are some of the most likely pets to get along.

How to Introduce Your Maine Coon to Your Dog

Since both these fabulous animals love walks, start by harnessing and leashing them up and taking them out together! This is a great way to get them used to each other by walking them side by side. In a neutral setting with lots of frequent movement, this relieves tension and allows them to accept one another along with their people in a ‘family’ based activity. Both your dog and your Maine Coon will understand they’re meant to coexist.

Set up a room for your Maine Coon that’s closed off by a baby gate. This will allow your dog and Maine Coon to observe each other from a distance as they acclimate. They can see, observe, and watch one another to familiarize themselves. Repeat this process on a daily basis until you feel comfortable enough to supervise them without a barrier and voila! Two new best friends for life! Continue to supervise them until you, and your pets, are entirely comfortable.