Should I Worry? New dog vs Old Dog

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Should I Worry? New dog vs Old Dog

This is a discussion on Should I Worry? New dog vs Old Dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 3 yr old pit boxer lab. Had him since he was a puppy. Well trained, very good with other dogs. We have ...

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Old 05-07-2018, 11:00 AM
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Should I Worry? New dog vs Old Dog

I have a 3 yr old pit boxer lab. Had him since he was a puppy. Well trained, very good with other dogs. We have a 1 yr daughter he's doing great with as well. We recently decided we'd like another dog. Ours seems happier around other dogs, whether its at the park or a taking him to friends houses who have dogs (always does fine) So we found an 18 month old Boxer mix. We did a meet and great yesterday where his foster brought him to us. We had the dogs meet outside. It went ok at first. They sniffed and seemed excited, but than they began to jump around and it quickly escalated into a minor fight and we had to separate them. On the walk they were fine. Walked side by side, sniffed each other a bit more, and were even let of leash in the fences in park area and they didn't play but they walked around with each other checking things out. It felt good so we brought them to our house. The new dog did AMAZING with our daughter. Zero issues. He tolerated everything she did perfectly. However, my dog started guarding me and the new dog was acting anxious and like he wanted to play. Whenever he approached my dog, the new boy would lick his mouth and try to initiate play, but my dog would turn away or growl. Also, they lunged at each other 3 seperate times, usually if my dog was trying to guard or the new dog tried to play. Also when the new guy climbed on the couch, my dog jumped up on the other side of me and the new dog growled at him. My dog did fine with sharing though. He let him chew his bone and drink his water. A lot of friends and a dog trainer I personally know says this sounds like they're both trying to establish dominance, and my dog just needs to warm up and to give him time. We are going to do a 2 week trial period, but I'm worried it won't work, or what if they don't stop fighting? Is this a bad situation? Is it true that they just need time to warm up and things will smooth out? We really liked this dog aside from the issues we saw (a part of me thinks it could just be my dog causing the problems because at one point he also tried to sit on foster dads lap in front of new dog). He was decently trained, great with our daughter, and seemed smart and very loving. I'm just worried about trying and failing and wasting the shelters and fosters time.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:49 AM
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I'd be cautious. My male dog gets along much better and has less dominance issues with females than other males and in general males and females do better than two males or two females.
Think about why you want a second dog and if things are great with your current dog, if it's really worth stressing him out or not. He sounds like he was stressed.
I also have a three year old male who gets along great with most other dogs. If i ever got a second dog, I'd only get a female. I never had another dog in my apartment until recently i let a friend bring his gsd over who's my dog's close buddy. She had to stay on leash because we weren't sure if she'd be good with my cats. But my dog exhibited none of the behaviors you described, just was relaxed and happy with her there. So it made me feel like he'd be ok with a female he liked if i ever wanted a second dog. Personally i wouldn't take in a dog after that first meeting. It's probably all workable but i wouldn't want to knowingly add that much stress to my life or to my current dogs.
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:30 AM
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You have a lot of positives

There are signs that things will work out for you. You said your 3 year old dog is good with people, other dogs and your daughter. I'd guess that a dog like that is probably going to be okay with another dog in the house. A trial period is a good idea and generally shelters and fosters are willing to give you some time, just point out that you want to be the best pet owner you can and you're trying to make sure that they two can get along and not have problems. I foster dogs and a lot of times people will adopt before they know what they're getting into and then the dog gets returned. It's important to make sure the fit is right for everyone involved.
I suggest looking for ways to help them bond. You playing with both of them, cuddle time just hanging out, walks, any other positive interaction and encourage them when they're getting along. You've had a long time to form a strong relationship with your first dog and maybe he's feeling a bit put out, but he should get over that once he knows things are still good and even better now that he can have a buddy to hang with. The other dog might have it harder trying to find his place and feel like he belongs. Given time, love and stability It sounds like it'll end up being pretty great for all of you.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:06 AM
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Your dog may be fine having another dog in the house in general but it sounds like he didn't hit it off immediately with this particular dog. That's what would worry me. My dog has dogs he likes and doesn't like. He's gone to the dog park for years with the same group and some dogs he will coexist with but never like or play with even if they're the only other dog there and nothing will change his mind. For a second dog I'd only want a dog he instantly bonded with and seemed to really love so could tolerate living with and sharing space and me with. He showed zero possessiveness or stress when his best buddy the gsd came over. No growling or lunging, even brought out all his favorite toys to share with her.

I wouldn't want to take in another dog he didn't like immediately and stress him out and hurt our bond. So I'd prioritize the dog i have first. Living with chronic stress can cause all kinds of health issues and he's had a tough enough life before i got him.
Just my opinion.
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