We just adopted a second dog who is a female. We have a male dog which we adopted 3 years ago. He's used to having free access to all of his toys (he's a spoiled brat). I read that when you introduce a second dog, you should remove all toys and slowly introduce new toys to each dog. So far, we have taken away all toys except today we just introduced each dog to a toy. Each dog is very possessive about their new toy. If one dog shows interest in the other dogs toy, the other other dog will be aggressive. They both do this to each other.

For now, because the recently adopted dog has only been in our house for a few days, we take all toys away unless we are supervising the dogs. I'm wondering if it's possible for the dogs to learn to share their toys in the future, or is this a behavior that needs to be trained? If so, how should we go about training them to share their toys? We would ultimately like to leave their toys out again as we did with our first dog, so they can have things to chew on when ever they get the urge.

  • How are they with humans? If you isolate one and give them a toy they're playing with, if you take it from them do they mind?
    – jeremy
    Jul 19, 2014 at 2:04
  • If I take the toy away from either of them, they don't care. It's just with each other - when one is playing with the toy and the other comes up to try and play also, the first one will growl and sometimes even start to fight with the other.
    – Sabien
    Jul 19, 2014 at 4:18
  • You might take a look at this article on dog-dog resource guarding by Patricia McConnell, PhD, CAAB: patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/…
    – Jeff
    Jul 23, 2014 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


Your question, "Is it possible" is a 100% yes. Almost anything is possible.

How likely (better yet how long it would take), will depend on too many variables than could be listed here.

Now, based off the fact that you have had her for 3 years, that is deeply ingrained behavior. From my understanding there are two types of general behavior in dogs. Short term behavior (behavior they just recently learned, and can unlearn pretty quickly), ingrained behavior (behavior that they have learned a long time ago, and have it deeply ingrained into their psyche at this point).

Her behavior would be ingrained. Meaning it isn't impossible, but it would be very, very hard to do so. The old adage "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" has been proven incorrect a thousand times. However, after 3 years you would have a little bit of work to do. I would start correcting the behavior right away, and slowly start working with her to get her into a "Sharing" mood. I am under the opinion that you "share" the toys with her yourself, to play with her and so forth..so I feel that is a good start and build off of that. I would recommend doing your normal play sessions with her, but slowly incorporate the other dog into the play sessions. Within a few months, it should become easy for you to start training her to "share" directly just with the other dog, and if she enjoys playing together with you both, there is a chance she will just start adopting that behavior automatically without any need for real "training".

Good luck!

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