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Introducing a Rescued Dog to Resident Pets

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Introducing a new pet to the resident pets should always be done with care and patience. This is perhaps even more true of a new rescue pet who may have special issues resulting from abuse, neglect, or abandonment. This is a page about introducing a rescued dog to resident pets.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 18, 2017

I have a 9 year old male Husky mix and recently adopted a 2-3 year old male Husky. We have had the new dog for a week and while things have improved, we have noticed that the new dog when he wants to play will mouth or try to nip at the older dog.

My older dog is not really interested in playing to the level of the new one and often backs or runs away to myself or my husband. We have noticed that when the new dog is wanting to play he will go after the rear legs of the older dog and has caused my older dog to wipe out and has yelped on at least one occasion. How can we stop this behavior?

The new dog also like to mouth and bite our hands, but I have seen tips to help correct this that we will have to try. We have 3 weeks remaining to decide if he will be a good fit for us or return him back to the rescue group. I have never had multiple dogs of the same sex so this is new territory for us, in the past it has always been 1 male, 1 female dog both spayed and neutered. Both males have been neutered so that will not be an issue.

I prefer to keep the new dog, but need to make sure I have done everything I can before admitting the situation is not ideal. I know the age difference is not ideal and will have some impact, but I really want for these dogs to be able to co-exist and not be in fear of the other. Suggestions?


March 18, 20170 found this helpful

There is a big age difference here. Make sure they are not together unsupervised. Make sure they each have their own toys.


Give each one on one time. I would crate the younger one each time he nips. If nothing works, you may have to find the younger dog a new home.

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March 7, 2015

My 9-year-old dog is house-broken. My room-renter plans to move her piddle-pad trained dog into my home. Her dog is currently living in a foster home since she was never socialized, and at the meet-and-greet with my dog she was terrified. She is being introduced to other dogs. I'd like to know what to expect when/if her dog learns to accept cohabitating with my dog and moves in. Mine is a 60 lb. Spaniel/Lab mix; hers is a tiny Maltese. Mine is high energy and very social. The size difference is likely an issue also.

By Irene


March 14, 20150 found this helpful

There is no real issue with the size difference. The most high-energy dog is usually the boss, even if one is a pit bull and one is a chihuahua.


If the Maltese is afraid of other dogs, it can trigger an attack by your dog, even if your dog is generally friendly. Nervous dogs can have a defensive energy that invites other dogs to attack. Nature hates weakness and dogs are predatory animals.

Another question is whether or not the new dog is completely potty trained. If the Maltese has accidents anywhere in the house your dog has access to, it can make your dog regress.

Use caution. As the "landlord," you are responsible if anything goes wrong.

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March 11, 2013

I just adopted a 5 year old female Collie type rescue dog. I have a 4 year old female Border Collie mix that is very mouthy. Molly (adopted) is very intimidated by Lila, our dog and runs for the hills when Lila barks or gets near her. Molly is very scared to begin with and now she is intimidated at every turn. They are both great dogs and I want them to co-exist peacefully. How can I help in this transition? Both are here for good in my house and that will not change. Thanks for your help.



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