Q&A: How can I get my resident dogs to accept my foster dog?

Question

I am attempting to foster a two year-old Lab, yet two of my other pups have decided not to let him into the fold. They growl, and the larger one will cut him off and not let him into the house, etc.

I have two other small dogs who accept him, yet they are definitely the submissive ones in the pack. I’m worried that if I can’t get them to accept him, I won’t be able to foster anymore and I desperately want to do so! Please, any suggestions?

- Anne

Answer

Hi Anne,
 
I am a big fan of fostering as it is a vital part of rescue groups and shelters being able to save the lives of as many dogs and cats as possible.
 
However, while we might want to open up our hearts and homes to an animal in need, we do need to carefully consider the suitability of the animal in regards to its relations with resident companion animals. It might be that your dogs would eventually warm to this foster dog, especially if they are able to spend some time together in neutral territory (i.e. away from your home).  But, from what you have described it doesn’t sound like it is worth the risk and the stress to all involved.
 
I would suggest you consider fostering another dog and/or volunteering your time and efforts in another way. 
 
Regards,
Andrea 

About Andrea Arden

Andrea can be seen on Animal Planet's shows Dogs 101, Cats 101, Pets 101, America's Cutest Dog and America's Cutest Cat. She is the author of numerous best-selling books on animal behavior and training. Andrea is thrilled to be a part of Pets for Patriots' efforts to help its members successfully adopt and share their lives with shelter pets! Read more...