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Cairns and Ferrets?


Jessica H
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Does anyone have a ferret with their Cairn? I know all the websites do not recommend terriers but I am sure people have done it. Thinking about getting a few ferrets and was hoping to see other Cairn owners had success with it.

Thanks!

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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I'm sure your Cairn would love for you to get a ferret! :twisted::evil:

My friend has one and has told us that when we visit, we are welcome to bring Packy. I just have this horrible picture of him catching the little thing and shaking it by the neck...

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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They have never been around any small animals unless it is running through the yard making all sorts of noises. They never show any type of aggression towards anything and I feel I know my dogs well enough that they would not hurt it, I just think they may think the chase if fun. They are great with the cats, just want to lick them a lot. I searched for ferrets in the forum and some old posts came up mentioning they also had ferrets, just never mentioned if they got along.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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we had a discussion like this about rabbits.

what is the scenario? the ferret is running around free? the cairn is running around free? you are out of the house while they are running around free?

my cairn has learned to live with free-running kittens, whom he could easily kill. they grow quickly and can defend themselves very well (if only by climbing and hiding). in a short period of time they all figure out that they are housemates, and there is no danger of death. kittens and housecats don't correspond to any of the animals cairns were bred to hunt and kill.

i have two rabbits, who live in a very study and spacious hutch, and sometimes have supervised play time with me in a room from which the cairn is excluded. though my dog is kindly by nature and quickly picked up on the idea that the rabbits are my pets --and quit molesting rabbits he sees outdoors-- i am never going to take a chance on leaving free, unprotected rabbits in the same space with my cairn.

to a cairn a ferret is a weasel, one of the very dangerous forms of vermin the cairn's ancestors were bred to kill. your cairn is probably willing to try to remember that the ferret is your pet and he should not kill it. as you know, cairns sometimes get distracted and don't always remember things they should.

on the previous rabbit discussion (which was pretty long and colorful), i think it was brad who summed it up by saying, if you try it, and it ends badly, don't blame the dog. i entirely agree.

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to a cairn a ferret is a weasel, one of the very dangerous forms of vermin the cairn's ancestors were bred to kill. your cairn is probably willing to try to remember that the ferret is your pet and he should not kill it. as you know, cairns sometimes get distracted and don't always remember things they should.

I so agree! Our cairns have always been around our other pets. They never mind our rabbits when they're in their hutch or outdoor run, but I wouldn't trust them close to our ferrets. We currently have 4 pet ferrets and 30+ ferret kits :w00t: I'm a ferret distributor, so the kits come and go usually within a couple of weeks. The Cairns have gotten use to seeing us hold the kits and look up at them w/ curiousity, but they never jump up at our legs after them. Still, I'd never ever trust them any closer than just "looking" at them. I think the instinct is much too strong to chance a cairn and ferret to be close friends, at least I'm not willing to find out.

Edited to add: Talk about different breeds, my lab loves the ferrets. One of our pet ferrets loves to run up to the lab to nibble at his feet. The lab will lift his hind legs up so he doesn't get bit and then look at me for help.

Edited by toomanypaws

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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I am still going to get the ferrets. I have a very large house so they can always be separate. Think I am more worried about the dogs than I am the cats, LOL. I really don't think the dogs will try to kill them but you never know, they may forget their tameness, lol. I guess I will see how it works out.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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I had ferrets and cats, who you would think would be natural enemies, but they were raised together. They would play together, but the ferret plays very rough and when he started getting the best of the cat, the cat would escalate and usually cause pain. I would imagine it would be similar with a cairn, except that the cairn would escalate way too much, you would probably have bloodshed.

Mollie:Mollie.jpgLena:Lena.jpg
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Yea.. I think you have a 50/50 chance with the 2 together.. I had a Ferret for 14 years and she was aggressive. She had the personality of a hyper cat. Very hyper.. Kinda like a Cairn actually! It may or may not work out for you. Good luck!

I LOVE MY CAIRNS PUDDLES AND IRIS!

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One of the main reasons I ended up with a Cairn is that while researching which terrier to get that is a lot smaller than my true love Airedales I discovered a web site that talked of how different breeds get along with non canine "other" pets. Cairns rated "good if raised with them", we have 5 cats so that was important. Gus indeed gets along very well with his house mates.

I had an English ferret once that I named "Fred the Ferret" and modified it to "Fred the Friendly Ferret" cause he liked everything. I'm sure with Fred's disposition if we still had him and Gus's they would play together. But as Cairns are basically bred to terminate the lease on critters like Ferrets I'd sure be careful, as mentioned if it went south it would be fast, tragic and permanent.

Edited by montdoug

Have you hugged your Cairn today?

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I have a friend who has ferrets and I am going to bring them to her house to test it out. I am going to keep them on leashes and keep their distance to see how they react. I will let everyone know how it goes. I think Scooter will not care and Sadie will want to lick it but you never know. We'll see.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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I took these pictures just to give you an example of a Cairn's reaction. Hannah and Abbey are both extremely gentle Cairns and are not always in that "hunt & attack" mode like Kiara is. They don't mind the cat and will share a bed w/ her. Ferrets are much different, especially when they get in the wild "weasel war dance" play mode. Like I mentioned earlier, I will only let mine look at the ferrets and would never leave them unattended w/ one.

Here is Hannah w/ my pet ferret Crispani. She's very curious here but not aggressive.

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Once Crispani started to move around, Hannah jumped out of the way. I do think she might possibly snap in fear, so pictures of her and the ferret ended w/ this one.

HannahCrispani.jpg

Abbey will give kisses and you would think she'd be fine.

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Once I let Crispani down, Abbey immediately struck the play and strike pose. I don't think she'd mean to harm him, but again, I'm not going to take the chance.

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I don't think you'll be seeing my Cairns and the ferrets in a pose anytime soon. You surely will never see my Westie w/ one, he'd tear them to shreds. :twisted:

<img src=&quot;http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/maiwag/terriersiggy.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />

Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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I love Cairn Talk. Somebody mentions Cairns and ferrets and lo' - pictures of same! That's very darned interesting. Thanks for posting those pics. Apropos of nothing, on my way home from Montgomery I saw a person in the airport carrying a Sherpa. Being nosy as I am and thinking "terriers terriers terriers" I sidled over to see what kind of dog might be in there. Answer: none. Two ferrets!

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  • 5 weeks later...

I still have not gotten the ferrets but I brought them to visit my friend's ferrets, much different reactions than I thought.

Sadie- she wanted to lick them (surprise), she and the ferret both would roll on their backs and play bite each other's faces. I let her off the leash and she loved them. I think she thought they were small cats because she treated them just like the cats, licking, rolling over and submissive ( surprise, sure you've seem my submissive post). After about 20 minutes she was bored with them and ignored them.

Scooter- I was worried about his reaction BUT he was actually afraid of them. They would walk up to him and he would back away or run away. He went out of his way to walk around them and he even jumped on the couch so they'd leave him alone. He was interested in them but only when the ferrets weren't paying attention to him or from up on the couch, just to observe.

Ferrets- were extremely funny, hiding under the couch and popping their heads out to bite the dogs feet, running up behind them and tackling them. When I say them it was mostly Sadie because she was playing back.

The nice part is that they are both pretty well trained that when I felt it was time for Sadie to stop playing I would say enough and she would stop and take a few steps back and look at me. She was getting so excited and rolling around with them that I was afraid she was going to squish them, the ferrets are still pretty small because they are babies.

I was very impressed with both of them and their ability to control themselves, especially them being terriers and ferrets being weasels. I would never trust them alone with them but they were very well behaved. Made me proud.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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  • 2 months later...

I got a ferret for my Cairn when she was 6 or 7 months old because, even though I was home almost all day long, the time I was gone she seemed to be lonely (my neighbor said she said and stared outside the window like an "old man with alzheimers"). She's also the smartest dog I've EVER had and she needs constant stimulation (that I can't provide all the time!) I bought a 4 month old female ferret (I asked for the most playful one) and I almost returned her the next day because my little girl (Paikea) seemed to be playing too rough with her and I didn't think it would work. Within a day or so I became too fond of the ferret to get rid of her and now I'm VERY glad I didn't. Paikea's now 8 months old and she loves her little ferret friend (still haven't named her, since I doubt she'd come anyway). She plays a bit rough every now and then (which is why I NEVER leave them unsupervised) but it's extremely obvious that she would never intentionally hurt Ferret. When she grabs her roughly and I put Pai behind a gate so the ferret can play for a little while without being harassed, the ferret gets agitated and does everything she can to get at Pai and wind her up....I just learned last night after doing ferret research that even ferrets sometimes play rough and drag each other around a little bit, which is basically the same thing Pai does to her. I've never seen the ferret display an ounce of fear towards my little girl, and it's more obvious every day that they deeply appreciate each other's company (ferrets have a reputation for being destructive when bored which is why it's STRONGLY recommended you get two, but I have not had one problem with her because she and Pai get on so well and keep each other company). This afternoon I put the ferret in what I thought was an escape proof room, and when I came back she and Pai were walking around the apartment together sniffing things and sharing water bowls and each others' food bowls. (Granted, there was saliva on the ferret's back where Pai had been playing a bit rough!) I put the ferret back behind the "gate" for a few minutes while I fixed up her cage and within 1 minute I actually watched her climb over and Paikea HELP her over the rest of the way!!!!

THAT BEING SAID...

I just came home today from my mom's house where we have two male Cairns (both neutered, aged 3 and 5). We put her down on the floor with the boys and Paikea for a few minutes and it became extremely obvious that the boys could not be left alone with her....the 3 year old especially was unsettlingly fixated on her and tried to bite her a few times.

I'm not sure if it's because I've had little animals in and out of my apartment since Pai was little or if it's because she has an unnaturally low prey drive (for a terrier), but Paikea does absolutely fine with her Ferret whereas the others do not. Paikea chases other animals with the best of them, but always stops short of catching them...she could have caught a million squirrels and cats but always stops short before catching them. Like I said, I can't tell if she is naturally non-predatory or if it's because she's used to little animals, but our boys at home are ALL CAIRN and have killed little squirrels, etc many times before (when they run around in our backyard).

I would not recommend a ferret for any terrier, to be honest, and I think I just lucked out, plus my puppy is very young (I'm sure as the ferret and the puppy grow up together Pai will even stop playing so rough), but in general, unless you have a very young terrier I wouldn't risk it ending with the death of a little furry creature...they are truly lovely little animals and if you've ever seen a ferret move about, it becomes painfully obvious that they are entirely defenseless. Combine that with Cairns being bred to specifically catch small rats and weasels, and you're looking at an unhappy ending.

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"what is the scenario? the ferret is running around free? the cairn is running around free? you are out of the house while they are running around free?"

I have no idea how to actually "quote" but, as for the comment, I don't think someone, who paid hundreds of dollars to get these ferrets, would let them run around, unsupervised where they could sqeeze through a small hole and never return.

So long as it's supervised til they get acquainted with each other, I don't see the problem.

Amy

Edited by andrewnamy
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Your pictures where sooo cute. I wish i had pictures of my toto and rocky with my sun conure bird and my cocktiell birds.. they all got along just fine. Was scared at first when i first got the birds, but after awhile i knew the dogs wouldnt hurt them, but of course my birds never where out of the cage if i wasnt at home. If I come across the picture of them together i will post it,but that was over 12 yrs ago.

pammy

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I know this isn't the most recent post, but figured I would add my two sense! We have a ferret who is 2, two cats, a lab/coonhound and a 9 week old Cairn! We are crazy but it works really well! Chloe, the Cairn, and Sid, the ferret, get along great. If anything Sid is way rougher with her. I never leave them unattended, and am careful to watch for signs that either one of them has had enough. The thing is a ferret is way faster and smarter than any dog...yes even a Cairn! And they can get places even a puppy can't get. My ferret can get in Chloe's crate with it closed up! So when he has enough he just goes into hiding. Chloe also knows when I say know she is to back off and sit. I feel like I can trust the two of them together without a problem. I guess you just have to know your dogs and be able to get a response out of them even while they are playing! Hope that helps!

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I did not get a ferret but my friend has 2. I bring them over to play with them all the time. You are right, the ferrets are WAY faster and go under things that the dogs cannot get under. They love the ferrets, they acutally get along very well...

Think I am going to pass on getting my own though...

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer

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My dogs would kill a ferret in a heartbeat! One really stupid rabbit mother decided to build a nest in the middle of their kennel run last summer and both dogs killed the entire nest..6 in all. Then later in the summer she did it again and Pepper ended up killing all of them again. He ate one I think and got sick all over the house overnight. Yuck!

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