The good news is that peacefully introducing a female into a home with two males is a lot easier than trying to bring another boy into the mix. That is, unless the two males decide to start fighting for the lady's attention. To avoid conflict and to make sure Honey is accepted into the pack with open arms -- uh, paws -- some planning is in order.
Tip #1 - Spay and Neuter. Make no bones about it. If you want the best chance for success, you'll have to ensure that ALL dogs have been desexed. If the two males are intact and you bring a female into the mix (even who's already spayed) you're risking a world of trouble. The boys will suddenly feel the need to show who's the top dog to compete for the girl's attention. If everybody's been spayed and neutered, there won't be a lot of hormones to flare up, and fights will be much less likely.
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Tip #2 - Introduce in neutral territory. The dog park is a great place -- for your boys, it's just a casual "hey, there's a new doggie to play with at the park!" If everybody gets along at the park, the fact that Honey ends up coming home with the boys should then appear to your males to be a happy coincidence. But introduce your new girl to the top dog first if initial contact takes place in your home. Even among littermates or males who grew up together, one of them is alpha dog. Give him the chance to say hi to the new household member first; then bring boy No. 2 along.
Tip #3 - MInimize Possession Aggression. Remove all toys, bones and personal objects from common areas at first. If the female goes for a toy or treat that doesn't belong to her, two things might happen: either the boys will put her in her place or you'll have an all-out fight where everybody gets into it. You don't want the boys fighting with each other because of the newcomer, so remove anything that could cause trouble. Reintroduce the items slowly so you can teach everybody what belongs to whom.
by Tammy Dray
The Dog Training Secret: Introducing a New Dog to Your Pack
The Humane Society of the United States: Introducing a Dog to Other Pets
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.