A cat that can be trained as if it were a dog? Welcome to the world of Maine Coons. This intelligent and eager-to-please breed exhibits dog-like tendencies and the capacity to respond well to training.
Ashleigh Ostermann adopted her Maine Coon, Maddie, from SPCA Tampa Bay in Florida when she was just a kitten. "I know cats get a bad rep of being disinterested in their pet parents, but Maddie definitely proves that wrong," she says in an email. Now Maddie is a nearly 20-pound (9-kilogram) giant with dog-like tendencies. "She lays next to me all of the time and even follows me from room to room in my apartment."
With the assistance of training techniques, like using a clicker that makes a clipped and distinct sound followed by treats, a Maine Coon's behavior can be harnessed. Some pet parents have taught their Maine Coons to sit, give high-fives or even walk on a leash.