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Three dogs. Female chow chow cocker spaniel is calm and likes to be left alone. Gunner, 2 1/2 year old male mutt rescue, had him for 2 years, always wanted to play with female and she started getting irritated, decided a playmate would be perfect for him. Almost 2 year old male mutt rescued mid January WAS a perfect fit. They played all the time and he adjusted very well. Slight jealously between the males but nothing that wasn’t nipped in the butt quickly. About a month ago, things changed. They stopped playing. They stand off often. Back hair straight up and my new guy has even caused a few scuffles with my female. He started really acting up on walks, whining and barking and trying to rip my arm off (easy fix with prong collar so not so worried about this part). My questions are as follows:
Is this common with rescues and it’s just a part of the adjustment concerning who is the dominant of the two males?
If I’m more stern with my alpha stand, and they understand that maybe more clearly and feel they are then equal, would they start playing again?
 

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From January till now is longer than I'd expect, but what I often saw in rescues was that it took at least 30 days in the new home for their true self to emerge. I think just like a person would, they tread softly at first while they work out who's who, everyone's status, etc.

However, when it comes to animosity between dogs, I think that can develop at any time, even when they've gotten along for years. As to your last question, I don't know. It's not something I've ever managed with dogs that have taken a dislike to each other. I live right now with 2 bitches that have to be kept absolutely separate. When years ago I pushed it with 2 neutered males who had had a few spats but didn't seem that serious and kept letting them out together, I got to regret it with one dog torn up so severely I almost had him euthanized.
 
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