Same sex dog households can be a touchy subject; as a rescue we would be remiss to ignore the challenges that can come with such placements. We adopt same sex households on a case by case basis. This is common among other rescues as well. We have had this rule since we were founded in 2009 and we will stick by this rule for the safety of our dogs and our ultimate goal of always setting both our dogs and their forever homes up for success.
We need to make it clear that this placement decision is not only based on YOUR dog but the dog we have in rescue.
If you are looking to adopt a dog in a same-sex housemate pairing situation, please send us an email with the answers to these questions along with the name of the dog you are looking to adopt and the age/sex of your resident dog(s). Emails can be directed to
During the initial meeting of the dogs, what are some positive signs and what are some red flags to watch for? (body language)
What does leadership look like to you?
Do you utilize a crate? If so, when and how to do you use it?
How do you plan to give both dogs the training, structure, and leadership that they need separately and together?
How might housemate dog relationships shift with age (when at least one of the dogs is young at time of adoption)? What can be done to mitigate negative potentials?
How will you handle a fight between the dogs? What would be your next step if such challenges occur between your dogs?
Are you willing to crate-and-rotate if the dogs can't live together in the future or will you decide to re-home one of them?
Below are some helpful links and literature on same sex households and general information about having multiple dogs.
Below are links and excerpts on same sex households from other organizations. You will see not every organization approaches it the same, but caution at minimum is common among all. If you are new to same-sex housemate consideration—OR even if you have lived with same-sex housemate dogs before—we consider it worth the time to read through and consider all the possibilities.
Boxer Haven Rescue
Why do reputable “bully breed” rescues say “no” to two female dog households?
The number one reason for re-homing a female is due to female on female aggression…
Female dog fights are the most vicious as they have been known to fight to the death. As cute and playful two female puppies are, chances are that once they mature, they will engage in some serious discussions that will turn bloody. Two females face a lot of competition, as natural pack animals they are always fighting for their place within the pack. The fights could be over literally anything such as who gets to walk through the door first, a younger dog feeling the older dog is weak , tension that isn’t visible to the owner but one may feel they need to send the other one a message they are ranked higher in the pack, sleeping areas, food, treats, and toys.
Please keep in mind that female on female aggression can occur at any age, at any time if they are intact or if they are spayed, and even if they have lived together for an extended period. Hormones do not help the situation but is not the root cause of the fights, spaying both females will not stop the fighting, typically the root cause of a fight is over dominance and establishing their hierarchy within the pack. All females that are in heat should be separated however, female on female aggression does not occur only between two intact females.
If you have two females and you begin to experience fighting, please do not assume this situation will work itself out, I highly recommend separating the dogs immediately and re-homing one of the dogs.
Are there exceptions?…rare but yes of course! We encourage you to do your own research before bringing a dog into your home make sure the breed is a good fit for your lifestyle and you fully understand the commitment the breed you are picking will take! We strongly discourage that you do not bring two resident “bully breed” females into your home no matter their age, intact or spayed.
Many ask why MustLuvBoxers Rescue doesn't adopt female to female, We don't say it's impossible nor do we say they can't exist under the same roof and get along great, We just prefer not taking the chance of having dogs returned or ending up dead. I have breeder friends, friends and trainers share when fights breakout it's horrible sometimes fixable other times a bloodbath and even the strongest leaders have issues. It's not worth it to me. I feel fortunate when my girls were a live and how well they got along but many times it doesn't work out like that.
I love how this trainer explains his experience and share when
Some of the most difficult work I have to do as a trainer/behaviorist is dealing with homes where two bitches live and are fighting. It is sometimes seeemingly impossible to correct and the best we can do in some instances is manage these dogs so they live in the same house, but don't have much contact with each other (sort of defeats the purpose of having a playmate for your dog).
On the other hand, I am the owner of two boxer females (both spayed). They have never had so much as an angry moment with one another. No growls, no biting, no fighting, nothing. But, as a trainer, I was very, very careful to guide my dogs into proper cohabitation from the onset. And, I think I'm just plain lucky to have found two dogs that are so well tempered.
What I am saying is that it IS possible to have two females in the same house who get along and all are happy and friendly. But, the majority of such households end up with trouble, fights and bloodshed. Once you've seen two bitches go after one another, you never ever want to see it again. It is so nasty and horrible and violent.
Even with my good fortune with my dogs, I don't think I would ever try it again. It has been a tremendous amount of work and supervision on my part to make sure that my girls understand that daddy will not tolerate any kind of fighting or jealousy or ugliness between the two of them. I'm lucky it has worked well so far but, somewhere in my mind I can't help but wonder will THIS be the day they decide to go after one another? There is something in me that is always cautious because I sense that no matter how well I've worked with them, there will eventually come a time when they will get into it with each other and I am going to have to deal with the same issue I hate dealing with so much with clients. Two fighting females in the same household. Not a pretty situation.
Save yourself some grief, hard work and possible heartache and get a male as a playmate for your boxer girl.
Bad Rap Rescue
Opposite sex housemate dogs tend to have fewer problems than same sex pairings, especially when both are fixed.
Mostly TRUE - When looking for a second dog or a playmate for your dog, start by searching for well socialized dogs of the opposite sex.
Did You Know? A study on dog/dog aggression found that problems between housemate dogs are far more common with same-sex pairs. This is especially true for female pairs. Study
Copyright © 2023 Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue - All Rights Reserved.