Are Cairn Terriers Good With Other Dogs?

Cairn terriers are known for their spunky and playful personalities, but how do they fare when it comes to getting along with other dogs? If you’re considering adding a Cairn terrier to your family or already own one, it’s important to understand their temperament and social nature. In this blog post, we will explore whether Cairn terriers are good with other dogs.

The Social Nature of Cairn Terriers

Before delving into how Cairn terriers interact with other dogs specifically, let’s take a closer look at their general temperament and social behavior. As a breed, Cairns tend to be confident, curious, and affectionate. They thrive on human companionship but also possess an innate desire for canine interaction.

Early Socialization is Key

To ensure that your Cairn terrier grows up to be friendly towards other dogs, early socialization is crucial. Introduce them to various breeds and sizes of dogs from a young age so they become familiarized with different doggy behaviors and develop proper manners.

Cairns and Their Pack Mentality

Cairn terriers have a strong pack mentality ingrained in them due to their history as working dogs used for hunting small game. This characteristic often makes them more inclined toward coexistence rather than aggression when interacting with fellow canines.

Same-Sex Pairings vs Mixed-Sex Pairings

When considering whether your Cairn should live alongside another dog in your household, the dynamics between same-sex pairings versus mixed-sex pairings may come into play. Generally speaking, male-male pairings can occasionally experience dominance-related issues which might require additional training or supervision. However female-female or mixed-sex pairings tend to have fewer compatibility challenges in most cases.

Individual Personality and Training

Just like humans, every Cairn terrier has their own unique personality. Some individuals may be naturally more social and friendly with other dogs, while others might take longer to warm up or prefer solitude. Proper training from an early age can significantly influence how well your Cairn interacts with other dogs regardless of their natural tendencies.

Introducing a Cairn Terrier to Other Dogs

If you already have another dog and are planning on introducing a Cairn terrier into the household, it’s important to follow proper introductions protocols. Start by neutral territory for initial meetings and gradually increase the length of interactions under supervision until both dogs become comfortable with each other’s presence.

The Role of Ongoing Socialization

Socialization is not only crucial during puppyhood but should be an ongoing process throughout your Cairn terrier’s life. Regularly exposing them to different dogs through playdates, walks in dog parks, or obedience classes will help reinforce positive behavior and ensure they remain sociable with fellow canines.


In conclusion, when properly trained and socialized from an early age, Cairn terriers can generally get along well with other dogs. However, individual personalities as well as same-sex versus mixed-sex pairings may impact compatibility levels. If you’re considering adding a new furry friend to your home that already has a Cairn terrier resident, patience and careful introductions are key factors for successful coexistence between the two.