My Friend is struggling to integrate newly adopted second dog...

He has a wonderful female lab mix, 6yo, spayed, never met a dog she did not like or wouldn't play with, has been an only dog for 4-5 years, but has lived with roommate dogs and been with countless other dogs.

New dog: a shepherd mix, female, 2yo, spayed, Longmont humane society recommended she could go to a home with other dogs, the dog meet went well as did the dog walk, they either ignored each other for a time and then positively interacted, she was described by staff as very laid back.

First day went blazingly well, with them playing and bonding. 3rd day, first fight over water, had spats since, no playing, the lab is provoking the shepherd... and being jealous/territorial....

My friend, while not a behavioral expert, loves the new dog, has done great with the first, and really wants to be committed to the new dog...but this is not going as planned...

He is crate training the new dog, separate everything, fights are mostly over attention.
What do you think his options are?

Asked by Member 105845 on Apr 11th 2012 in Bringing Your Pet Home
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



I feel your friend's pain! I've gone through the same thing and even now I'm sharing these growing pains as my current dog is unsure of our new puppy.

I reccomend putting the dogs through a training class together. The lab needs to learn that even though she has "ruled the roost" for the last few years that there is another dog in town that's here to stay.

A change as big as sharing her owner is bound to leave the lab unsure and cautious of the new dog. I would encourage your friend to give it some more time and let her continue adjusting.

See if your friend can establish a routine with the dogs. Maybe taking them on walks together around the same time evey day. Dogs thrive on structure and stability and since both dogs' worlds have recently changed, it may be a good idea to put some stabilization where he can.

Hope that helps! Tell your friend good luck!

Bailey answered on 4/11/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Same sex aggression, particularily in female dogs, can be a serious, even deadly problem! Hiring a good CERTIFIED behaviorist, NOT a trainor, may help your friend recognize signs that a fight is going to start, but in most cases, with two female dogs the ages of these two, he is going to be fighting a losing battle. The only thing I can recommend, other than rehoming one dog and trying again with a male, is to do complete separate and rotate...not exactly what one thinks of for ideal conditions when having two dogs.
Sadly, in the last five years on Dogster I can recall at least six instances when an owner reported one of their female dogs had actually killed the other. These were dogs that had previously lived together for years with NO issues.
As a long time breeder I have had issues with some females and the only solution was to either place one of them OR crate and rotate.
I also have a friend who personally lost THREE FINGERS breaking up a fight between her two spayed females.

Member 641257 answered on 4/11/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer