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Second Dog in Home. In over our heads?

1613 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Thracian

We recently took in a second dog as a foster on a temporary basis while deciding whether to adopt her permanently. We're running into some aggression issues that we don't really understand.

Here is some background about the dogs. The first is a neutered male beagle/hound mix and weighs 30 lbs. He has had his run of the house previously, but is kept out of the bedroom and bathroom areas. He also has no tail. The new dog is a spayed female beagle/collie mix and weighs 30 lbs.

We met in neutral territory, in a park that neither had been to before. They seemed to get along fine - although she seemed a little shy, they nuzzled and pawed each other a bit and never showed any signs of aggression for the hour we were there. We agreed to take her on a foster basis for a week while we determined if they would be a match.

Since we first met her, we noticed she's a bit skittish. Part of this may be that she's used to living in the country and now she's in a more urban setting. However, she seems generally fearful - doesn't like to go through doors, sometimes will just freeze in her tracks, often has her tail tucked unexplainedly.

Once we brought her home, she became aggressive/dominant(?) towards the male dog, doing things like guarding him out of the room, growling at him, taking his toys while he was playing with them, etc. They don't seem interested in playing with each other. It's a bit confusing to us that she would be the dominant dog because she's so fearful. We don't know why she's acting aggressive. We're a bit scared that she might try to attack us or turn her aggression on us next, but right now she seems very protective of us and tries to "guard" our old dog away from us.

To make things worse, when we're playing outside, he's dominant over her and she acts very submissive.

Today is our first full day with her, so maybe she's just settling in. I don't know though. We both feel like maybe we got into something we shouldn't have and aren't sure where to go from here. We expected all the normal training issues and some kind of dominance issues, but we can't even tell which dog is dominant.

Please help. Any help would be greatly appreciated.:confused::confused:
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When I brought home my second dog I encountered similar problems. The two just didn't seem to like each other at all. I have always crate trained my dogs, so I put the new dog's crate right next to my other dog's crate. For the first couple of days, every time I had them out in the house or the yard they growled and snarled at each other. Instead of trying to force them together, I started rotating them in and out of the crates. I would take one out for an hour, and then take the other one out for an hour, and so on. At night, they both slept in their crates and any time I wasn't home they stayed in the crates. After a couple of days doing crate rotation, they both seemed to just get used to each other. I started letting them out at the same time (always supervised of course) and they were fine. No more growling and snarling. Now the two are best friends! Having the crates next to each other gave them a chance to get used to seeing and smelling each other without any pressure to interact (plus I didn't have to worry about a fight breaking out!). I can't say for sure that this will work for you, but it really worked for my dogs.
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