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I have a 6 year old female jack russell mix and I've had her since she was a puppy. Recently, I've been working longer hours and felt bad that she must be lonely during the day. She loves playing with my mom's dog when I take her there to visit so I thought I would adopt her a buddy here at my apartment. And a few days ago I adopted a 7 year old male dog with an unknown history. He's very sweet and I love him already, but he is totally people focused and is not really interested in being a friend to my first dog. They have been competing for my attention and getting into little scuffles, but nothing major. The frustrating thing is that I adopted him for my dog, not for myself and my dog is only losing attention now. My first dog just seems a little down and that sucks.

Also, this adorable little guy has a fear of men and when I took him to my parents house my dad rushed to try and pick him up, ignoring my warning to go slow with him. Consequently, he was bitten because the dog was so scared. Now my parents won't allow the dog to their house and I often visit there with my first dog.

I can't decide what to do. I adore the dog I adopted, but there are some glaring issues that I can't ignore. I'd feel so terrible giving him back, but that may be the right thing to do. I'd love to get some other people's thoughts on this.
 

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With the two dogs interacting and getting along may take some time. I have 2 dogs as well, but i got the second dog as a puppy. So the two may clash for some time, but the more you work with the two of them together they may or may not bond. But it could be as short as a couple of weeks to a year.

When you see them competing for you attention just ignore them. As hard as it is, you would hate for it to get worse. If you have one dog on the couch and you see him or her stiff or lip curling when the other dog walks past, take that dog off the couch. They will learn they have to share for attention or none at all. Remember nothing is a quick fix, it will take time and consistency

As far as feeding goes keep them separated, One in one room and one in the other. You don't want them competing for food.

You could try walking them together, playing in the back yard, or anything you would think they would enjoy.

Also with the pup having a fear of men that's not your fault. You don't know what happened in his past, so you can only work with how he is now and try to have him regain his confidence. This will take time. Take it slow and i'm sorry to say but your dad was at fault. You warned him and he ignored it. Don't push him out of his comfort zone. Like I said this will take time. Just make sure people know and even them throwing treats is a positive thing and can help him gain confidence and trust. Just don't give up on him :)
 

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While I do think it's best for dogs to have doggie companions, I think the idea of adopting a dog for your dog is a silly one. You need to bring pets into your household for YOU not for your dog.

However, dogs aren't like buying a new pair of shoes at Target, you don't get to simply return them. By taking on this dog you have accepted responsibility for it. You are responsible for communicating the dog's conditions and needs to people and making them understand those realities before allowing them to interact with the dog. You are also responsible to give time and effort and training to address problems vs just 'giving the dog up'
 

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I agree that it's never a good idea to adopt a dog for your dog. The vast majority of dogs are honestly just fine with human companionship as long as their people actually put time aside to spend with them.

I personally don't think failed expectations are a good enough reason to return a dog. It sounds like your issues are minimal, all things considered. There's always going to be an adjustment period for everybody. For you. For the first dog that may not be used to sharing it's home and people. And of course for the new dog that has a lot to learn. With time, attention and training, your dogs will get along and any fears the new dog has can be managed, if not improved. I would strongly encourage you to take responsibility for the decision to bring home this new dog and work towards incorporating him as your pet. Not your dogs pet.
 
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