Should I get a male or female dog to add to my pack?

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Dear Your Own Vet’s Animal Behaviorist,

We have three dogs, all sterilized – one male and two females. We would like to rescue another dog, but are not sure of what sex to go for. Could you also advise on the best way to introduce a new dog into our current pack.



Adding a male or female dog to a pack


Dear Penninah,

With regard to getting another dog to add to your pack – it is a very nice idea to rescue another dog, but sometimes you can bring trouble into an already stable pack environment.  I do not recommend getting another female and three females could really bring big fights. Another male would be better, but again it might just tip the pack in a negative way.

Getting a very young male, almost a puppy would be advisable so that it can grow up with the others and fit into the pack nicely.  An older dog might not get along with all the other three.
When you choose a new dog, then let your dogs meet it on neutral territory, so that none of the dogs will be territorial. If they get on there, then you can try the new dog in the home. The new dog must not be given extra praise or rewards and this might cause problems with the existing dogs.

dogs fight when a new dog joins the pack



Kathy Clayton


Chairman of the Animal Behaviour Consultants of SA
Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist &Professional Dog Trainer
011 783 3042   082 454 1750

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