Behavior – introducing a new pet to the family

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Dear YourOwnVet,

I currently have two dogs – a Toy Pom cross (male, eleven years old) and a Staffie (Female, six year old).  I would like to introduce a Staffie puppy. However, the Staffie is aggressive to other dogs, except the Toy Pom. Is it possible? If so, how should I do it without the puppy being killed?

Gillian Mead


South Africa

Introducing a new puppy
Introducing a new Staffie pup

Dear Gillian,

In the case of many Staffies, if they haven’t been socialized at an early age, they do not tolerate other dogs.

The Staffie came into the household with an existing older male dog, so she will be tolerant towards that dog – which she has known all her life.

However, I’m not sure that she will tolerate another dog/puppy coming into her territory.

It is rare for a female to attack and kill a young puppy, but this is not to say that it won’t happen.  An unsocialized female with the “terrier” surname could very well attack the puppy seeing it as a threat.

The owner could “borrow” a puppy and put it into a strong cage (for the puppy’s safety”) and have this on the floor. Bring the Staffie in on a lead and see her reaction to the puppy in the cage. If the Staffie goes ballastic, then it won’t work.

Just try not to stress out the puppy when doing this.  About 5 minutes should be enough time to see what reactions the Staffie has.


Kathy Clayton

Accredited Companion Animal Behaviourist &Professional Dog Trainer

+2711 783 3042

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