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Two Cairns - Yes or No?


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Hi All,

 

My husband and I have one 2 year old male Cairn Terrier, Scrabble. His is an amazing dog with a beautiful temperament and we love him to bits! He is easy going, fun, happy, and just getting affectionate at 2.

 

Recently our breeder said that she has a 6 month old female that she thought would be a good match for Scrabble as a buddy if we were interested. She says the girl is sweet, easy going and loving.

 

I have thought of getting another one to keep Scrabble company while we are at work, etc. I am fine with the added expense, however I am concerned about it changing Scrabble, who we love so much. I heard that they can form their own "mini pack", ignore you and run wild in the house!

 

Could anyone with two Cairns share their experience and thoughts on this?

 

Thank you so much!

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I only have one Cairn but also have a Shih Tzu/Terrier mix.  The two of them (mostly) get along great.  There are others here who have two or more Cairns and can give you better advice.  I think two dogs can be fine together; it's not until you add a third that the pack mentality kicks in.

 

Scrabble is adorable!

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This issue comes up from time to time, so I think you will get some good guidance here, from owners of multiple cairns.

I've only had one cairn at a time, so I can't speak from personal experience, but judging from the reports I've read, 2 cairns seem ideal. Although there are no guarantees, you are already an experienced cairn owner, your breeder knows both dogs, so that is an excellent endorsement, and the ages of the cairns seems just right!

Yup! If I were you, I know what I would do...But again, I'll leave it to the more qualified to advise you.

Wishing double the fun for you!

Edited by sanford

FEAR THE CAIRN!

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I've had two or more dogs living together just fine. And I've always thought two dogs better than one.

I've never had two cairns. If I were younger I'd certainly consider two cairns. Being a cairn owner you know what double the fun will mean :innocent:  :twisted:  :party::lol:  :lol:

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I had Demps a year or so before I we picked up Elsie.  It has been a great match.  They love playing with each other and when one is not in the mood it is accepted by the other.  Demps is 6 and Elsie will be 5.  Big brother and little sister - they have a lot of fun together.  Both of them exhibit a little jealously once in a while when playing with me, but it is short lived. I bet Scrabble would love having a little sister, but it sounds like he happy now too. Maybe you should introduce them and see how they respond. Good luck with your decision.  

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Elsie, Max, Meeko & Lori

 

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We're a two Cairn family and it's a lot of fun! Packy was 4 when we got Kirby. Packy is a laid-back, gentle boy and gets along with everyone. Kirby is more high-spirited and feels the need to be in charge. Although smaller and younger, he's the alpha dog in the house. I'm overall alpha! ;-)

Both boys go,their own way unless there's a need to work as a team against something. They have their spats but stand together if another dog seems to challenge one. They really act like brothers, it's pretty funny! They both love people, probably more than other dogs. Packy is our lap dog and is on my lap right now. If I'm sitting down, he's usually right there. Kirby is a sweetheart but more independent. He's a kisser and cuddles in the morning, but he's definitely not a lap dog.

I love having two Cairns. I'd get another if I had a third hand (for another leash) but since I don't, I'm stuck with just two. I will say that our breeder helped us select the right puppy for our second dog. She originally steered us toward a more passive puppy ( Packy) since our Cairn at the time was 15 years old. She felt a more gentle puppy would interact better with the senior dog. The next time around, since Packy was 4 and she knew him, she felt we (and Packy) could handle a more high-energy puppy. Her guidance was great and we love the similarities and differences between the two dogs. I think a good breeder's guidance is important and you're lucky if you have a good one.

So now I'm on my way up to bed where I will be the filling in a Cairn sandwich. Kirby is always smushed against my left side and Packy is always plastered to my right side. I can't move for at least 20 minutes when Kirby finally gets up and goes to sleep on his easy chair near the bed. I figure he's the forward guard and let's us know if he hears anything, Packy stays on the bed as the bodyguard, ready to protect us.

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Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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We love our 3-Cairn family, but it is a substantial challenge.  At a count of 3, they definitely have their own sub-pack

inside of our Wilk Pack.  I think we only got Sweet Pea because I felt a strong need for a little girl.  Imagine my surprise,

when looking at her papers, to discover she and Teddy were from the same "litter".  (Sorry, I find that term offensive,

knowing my Cairn family the way I do.)  Sweet Pea was the last addition to our Terrorier Trio.  (All three pups share the

same father. ) Meanwhile, back at the ranch, (this would have been in spring, 2006), we adopted Sweet Pea

and all was quiet on the Home Front, until...   Sweet Pea decided Olie (older half brother) needed to be attacked

every living minute.  You have to understand, Sweet Pea was at least 3 pounds lighter than Olie, but boy-oh-boy

did her Cairn-who-had-been-living-outside-in-an-awful-pen-and-having-had-at-least-two-bunches-of-babies

nature come out!  Took some professional training to help us curb that.  It took at least three months.

 

I'm not trying to scare you.  The first time I had two Cairns was in 1987.  I never knew how liberating it could be for

pups to have a "like" person with which to relate.

 

All that being said, I believe we'll always be a multi-Cairn family.

 

Don't know if this helps...just relating real life experiences,

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Max and Nelly
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I had two Cairns for 3 mths, because I knew my older one was going to die of cancer and I wanted a another one to be home.  They got on with each other but could not walk them together.  However, as I am on my own found two hard work because of walking etc but think if I was part of a couple would happily have two!

www.cairnterriertalk.co.uk

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We have also been a two dog family, Cairn and a Scottie, until now. Always one male and one female. Looking back there was very little trouble between them. When we brought Jock as a 12 week old puppy, our then female Scottie, Sandie basically ignored him. However Jock came out of the crate ready to rumble. The first yr we would come home and at times find Jock hair tufts on the floor, with Jock sitting quietly away from Sandie. She was a good teacher and would tune in her Cairn cousin when he decided he would like to be the boss. He never achieved that status and grew wiser as he grew up. When we got Rosie our now Scottie, Jock was pretty disgusted and was not amused by this little piece of black fluff. However , he also taught Rosie great manners and as she matured they became great friends. I still have twinges of wanting another Cairn but somehow it just has not happened. No doubt if one crossed my path I would definitely bring him home. Two dogs are great, but I think I would stick with a boy and a girl, although I know there are lots of people on this site that have either two males or two females and have no issues. Two females seems to be a possible problem.

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Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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I'm in with the two Cairns are pretty great thinking. There is no question that they tend to do very well with a pal.  

 

That said, I don't believe anyone should feel even the slightest remorse, regret, or guilt about being a "one dog" family.

 

Cairns will integrate into  virtually any situation in which they are a participatory member, be that human-only pack, multi-Cairns, or multi-Species. Their happiness is more dependent on the dynamics of that pack itself than it is on the inclusion or exclusion of additional Cairns (IMO, of course).

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Just wanted to add to what Terrier lover pointed out above... Others here have also mentioned that often the "resident" cairn will teach the new pup correct manners, (or perhaps the new pup just absorbs & mirrors proper behavior from the older cairn). :thumbsup:

 

So there you are - yet another reason to go ahead with an addition! :wub: :wub:  

Edited by sanford

FEAR THE CAIRN!

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Angus is my first one dog only home. I finally had to realize two dogs of any breed are too much for me now that I am older and quite stiff and arthritic.

A wonderful gift and unsuspected bonus of this situation has been the closeness that has developed between me and Angus. Fabulous. I love it.

Life with a cairn is fun no matter whether one, two, or multiple.

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Although currently a one-dog home, I do like being a two-cairn home, and we will probably go that way in a few years.  Oban is under 3, and we plan to do a lot of traveling in the next few years so it is just easier to travel with or board one dog.  But when he gets to 6 or 7, I expect a younger dog will join our pack.  

 

Until 2013, we were a two-dog home, with both Allie and T Bone in our pack.  They actually did not like each other very well, but we liked them both enough to surpass that problem.  They were quite different in their personalities -- though classically cairn -- and responded well to our leadership. It was fun living with such different dogs, and we enjoyed each separately and for somewhat different reasons.  Unfortunately, we lost both dogs that year, and losing two dogs in one year is really, really tough.  Another reason, I think, to try to separate them in age a little.

 

My experience: two is not that much more work than one.  However, there is twice the expense.  With vet bills, we did see that difference but could well afford it and would not question the expense again.

 

Good luck if you go for two.  I think it makes for a great household. 

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Angus is my first one dog only home. I finally had to realize two dogs of any breed are too much for me now that I am older and quite stiff and arthritic.

A wonderful gift and unsuspected bonus of this situation has been the closeness that has developed between me and Angus. Fabulous. I love it.

Life with a cairn is fun no matter whether one, two, or multiple.

I am getting there, Hillscreek, my Pennsylvania friend.   I cannot keep up with the needs of three Cairn Terriers, on occasion.

Of course, in doggie vs. human years, they are way beyond my age.  Two out of three have some evident arthritis

limitations.  I don't know why Teddy Bear seems untouched by age.  I do feel guilty that I didn't think this through before adopting

Cairns of their age, knowing my age at the time of adoption.  I want and need them with me; they are the only children I will

ever have.   They are still beautiful people to share my life with.  I just feel inadequate for them.

Just some thoughts; no call for help or anything.  I love all of my Cairn Talk Family.  :)

Max and Nelly
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Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and honest replies! I must say I am still confused. I think I would love another Cairn though. My husband is not so sure. Any other notes, thoughts, comments are definitely welcome and I will keep everyone posted!

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We home cook for Rosie (using bison) and it cost around $150 per month for her groceries , plus another $61 for insurance so that's already over $200 per month not including other costs. I.e. Teeth cleaning, nails etc. If we get another dog it will get the same monthly care that Rosie receives so now that would be over $400 per month (not including teeth and other yearly costs). Something to think about ...anyway for us.:)

Until one has loved an animal, a part of  one's soul remains unawakened.  - Anatole France

Adventures with Sam &Rosie

 

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