Introducing a Rescued Dog to Resident Pets?

Rescued Dog
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.

5 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

August 27, 2020

We are a family of 5 and already have a 13 yr old Husky, we just rescued a 7 1/2 wk old puppy and I have some questions. Our neighbors came home with a puppy and said that the lady who was giving them away for free was going to have them put down if she couldn't get rid of them.Caring for a New Rescue Puppy? - black puppy


Being the type of person I am and always wanting to save and help people and animals, I went to see these left over puppy's. Being as we already have a 12 yr old Husky who I rescued from a family friend a few years ago who had cancer and couldn't take care of her anymore, we were not going to get another puppy or dog until she was no longer with us due to her age. Anyway, I came home with a puppy and was very iffy about it at 1st because we have a family of 5 and a lot on my plate as it is.

The brother of the puppy we got who is with our neighbors has been put outside pretty much every day since they got him and they are only 8 weeks old. Our puppy is thriving with attention and always inside with us getting lots of love. 1st question is out of concern of the neighbor's puppy being outside all the time at only 8 weeks old? 2nd question is our 12 yr old Husky does not ever let our puppy near her and growls at him. I spend time with both the puppy and my husky equally. Is it bad for my 12 yr old Husky to feel like we betrayed her by bringing this rescue puppy into her home and into her domain?

I just want some advice to maybe help the neighbor's puppy, but also ease the stress on my Husky. We absolutely adore and love this puppy. My 11 yr old, my 5 yr old, and my 18 month old absolutely adore both our furry family members and I feel like it was meant to be.

Caring for a New Rescue Puppy?
Caring for a New Rescue Puppy?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
August 27, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

First and foremost, congratulations on your new fur baby! Your older dog is doing what is normal for a new baby in the house. This will take time for the 2 to bond. When your older dog growls, just simply say ,No No. As far as the neighbors dog, this dog is a little young. Most puppy info say about 16 weeks . It depends on the type of dog , location(hot climate location).I am hoping that this puppy is not out all day and night.


This is bonding stage for a puppy to get to know you and family. Maybe you could plan play dates to help out your concerns. They are your neighbors and this could go in so many directions. Here is some info - and -


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 28, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

Congratulations on your puppy!

You may want to talk to your local animal control to see if they can talk to the owner about the puppy being left outside. I know some people will let a puppy be adopted at 8 weeks but I always find 12 better....but you sound like you are doing well with yours (at least in the separation from the mom part), but that pup is separated and outside too young. Although if it does not seem in distress and has food, water, and shelter the animal control may not come out. It is a touchy situation...things are different in different palces.


It would be nice if person really doesn't want the pup, if they would find it a good home vs. leaving it outside. That is just so young.

About your pup and the older dog. We did this with an 11 year old dog in and a 1 year old and it is doable...but do not try it on your own.

We did this when we adopted a 1 1/2 yr old male into our home which had an 11 year old female. She terrorized him and broke skin at least twice. We were at our wits end. Our vet suggested a behavioral trainer and we did one session with her, and she gave us techniques to defuse the situation.

It was not perfect, but they lived together for 6 1/2 years before my girlie girl pup passed (G-d rest her soul).

Until we had the professional (about 4 weeks in) it was very stressful. It was the best $100 I spent to have her in and work with us.


I can't give you our techniques, because she says every situation it is a different reason why they don't get along so she has to assess and customize the action plan.

Ours had to do with food issues and female/male dominance--who was the alpha of the two...which we nixed by setting it up so that I was the alpha with the female and my hubby was the alpha with the male--and that seemed to make things better. They also always ate separately--him in his crate with the door shut and her on the other side of the house. It worked.

Please don't go it alone. Talk to you vet about behavioral training. They have to do it as a family with all dogs and all humans together (at least ours did).

Post back how it goes. Prayers for all....especially the outdoor pup.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 29, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Introducing a new puppy to your resident dog can be trying at first because the older dog has established his territory in your home and feels like the puppy is getting in his space. Over time the puppy will win the heart of the older dog. I brought in a new puppy with my older dog and at first, she was very standoffish to the new puppy. It did take her a lot of time to allow the puppy near her and not get angry with the new puppy. My other dog that was younger loved the puppy right away and allowed the puppy to crawl all over him, bite his ears and sleep next to him. This all depends on the dog and how they interact with each other. My daughter has a husky that is younger than yours and when her friends bring over her puppy or my daughter watches her puppy the husky seems to want to play but is too rough for the puppy. Maybe if you get some toys and play with the two of them in the same area this will easy the new puppy into the family and the husky will get used to him being around all the time.


As for the neighbor, it is not a good idea to allow a small puppy to be out in the yard so much of the time. The seasons will be changing soon and not sure how hot it is right now where you live. But the heat outside right now is not so good for the new puppy at all and should not be left outdoors all day in the heat. Does your neighbor give the puppy water and food to eat while he is left outside? I would go over and talk with them and give them a few helpful suggestions. I am sure they are doing this because they are not so sure how to house train the dog and do not want the dog going to the toilet in their home. If nothing helps and they continue to keep the dog out you may need to call animal services and have them come in and check on the condition of the puppy.

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March 4, 2020

We adopted two Border Collie Aussie mixes two years ago (they will be two on March 17) and one English Bulldog in July (will be two on March 24). Soon we will take on an Italian Greyhound mini-Pinscher mix (who is four).

A little background, after the passing of our 15 year old Border Collie we waited a year until we began looking. I went to go adopt one of the Bossies and they were the last two left from an all-kill litter. The plan was for my husband to adopt an English Bulldog. However, the only English Bulldogs up for rescue were older with health issues. So, he gave up on that dream because although he felt bad about the health of the Bulldogs, he couldn't see himself adopting one, only to have the health continue to deteriorate and we wouldn't have them for long. Therefore, we adopted both Bossies.

Then a year later someone he knows was surrendering an English Bulldog who was a year old, the same age as our Bossies. We felt it was meant to be! We adopted her! We love all of them with their individual personalities. At times there are squabbles, but we're on it. One of the Bossies tends to be the alpha. The Bulldog, although a lover, has become a little bully at times towards the other Bossie. However, there are times when they all play and romp around together in the backyard and it warms our hearts.

So why take on another you ask, well here's his story. My adult daughter rescued her dog during the last year of our Border Collie's life. He was our grand-pup. We love him as he is. He even had met our Bossies before they moved to NYC. The thing is, he's not a big city dog and he's not happy - separation anxiety has set in a lot. My daughter will only consider giving him up if he comes to us. This way she still can see him. We have the room, a fenced in yard, frequent the dog park all the time, have taken our dogs to doggie classes, and love, love, love them. How can we make taking on our grand-pup work? I'm concerned about the Bulldog asserting her authority more than the other two, because she hasn't met him yet. Any ideas? Suggestions? Thank you! From my Wolfpack to yours.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
March 4, 20200 found this helpful

Before you consider adopting the dog do what the shelters have you do. Make your daughter bring the dog wih her for the weekend and see how the dogs react towards each other. See how they get along and paly together and keep an eye on the dog you are worried about. If this all works out your daughter can leave the dog with you and return home. If you have any doubts about how it will work out you can try this for a few days longer and if you still have issues your daugher will need to come and take the dog back.


That is the only way you can know if this will work out and you can add another dog to the pack of dogs you already have. Shelters will make you bring your dog in to see how it will react to the dog you want to adopt. This is a good way to know if the other dog is a good fit or not.


Gold Answer Medal for All Time! 617 Answers
March 8, 20200 found this helpful

if you, as human owner, are able to establish dominance amongst the dogs, that will make it easier for the dogs to get along regardless of their particular personality quirks, etc.

it is good to be aware of what traumas or issues the dogs bring into the equation, because some trauma (especially when it manifests as hostility towards other dogs) cannot be overcome unless with a true professional

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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?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
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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