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introducing my new roommates dog to my cat & dogs,help,(long)

post #1 of 2
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First I would like to start off by saying that for the last 4 years I have owned 5 large dogs, and never had a fight break out. Now I currently only have 3 dogs, still never a fight, and my current roomie has a dog(Charlie), so that makes 4 dogs, none of them ever fought, but they have also known each other for a long time.

So enter in my NEW roommie who is due to move in with us next weekend. She has a Saint Bernard. Now he has some issues with men, he doesnt attack men but was apparently abused by men when he was a puppy, she rescued him after that, so when he sees a guy he doesnt know he barks like crazy and will growl, this can be very scary since he is such a big dog. The only people who live in my house are girls so that wont be an issue, but for the record she is trying to correct this issue, she even sent a tape to the dog whisperer.

Last week she brought over her dog to introduce him to my dogs and my other roommates dog Charlie, we all met outside (except for my current roommate who was at work) and we let them go on a short walk together before letting them all in the house, and they all got along great that day, no issues at all, EXCEPT for the kitten. My kitten Jack loves dogs, but when this dog saw Jack he ran up to Jack and barked like crazy and had him trapped in a corner, needless to say Jack is not fond of this dog, he is so big it freaked out poor Jack and he hid under the couch the whole time.Other then that it all went fine.

So here is where the problem starts. Yesterday she brought the Saint over for the second meeting, this time my current roommate was home. Now my current roomates dog Charlie really liked the Saint Bernard last time, they were the only 2 playing, but this time he started growling at the Saint Bernard, and becuase of this the Saint was very interested in Charlie. Infact the Saint was almost obbessed, when Charlie came next to me by the couch the saint crawled under the coffee table to try and get in Charlies face and sniff him, he was also growling slighty. So at this point we decidied to let the dogs outside, so they had more space.
The minute we open the door the dogs go outside and Charlie and The Saint start fighting. I dont know who started it, and i dont know why it happened, but it took a while to break it up and one of my dogs got invovled by attacking Charlie while he was fighting with the Saint. We got the water hose and finally got them apart, both dogs had bite wounds, nothing serious, we seperated them the rest of the time.

Now I know fights happen but since i have never had one before I didnt like it one bit, especially cause the Saint is soooo big. It seems to me that since my current roommate was around this time, that maybe that caused Charlie to be protective and growl at the Saint, when last time he didnt, so i was thinking next time, we should take them all on a walk agian together before putting them together and this time my current roommate has to go with us. And another thing, after the fight I was outside with the Saint and his owner cleaning him up, my current roommate came out to bring us a towel and he charged her and barked at her!!!!! I didnt like that one bit, Im thinking he is asscoicating Charlie with her. But i cant have a big dog like that making my current roomie feel uncomfortable.

So after all this and having this big dog in my house, I dont know if this will work. The Saint doesnt really even listen to his owner, which I noticed yesterday, she was trying to get a toy out of his mouth, she was pulling it and he was pulling and he wouldnt let go, she was going to drag him to the treat jar to bribe him to let go, and thats when I told her not to do that cause it reinforces the behavior. So I dont think she handles her large breed dog correctly, she isnt forceful when she asks him to do something, it takes her countless times to say sit before he does, and if he is excited he really wont listen.

The fight has me worried, I dont want my life to change or my dogs lives to change because of this large dog that will be moving in, I feel bad for the cat and I dont know if the cat will ever get over it. I dont know what to do, but I can tell she is doing it all wrong with him. Im not scared of dogs but Ill be honest and tell you Im nervous around this dog, he has nipped at men before and im nervous that if I go to correct a behavior when he is living here, that he will nip at me, especially after seeing him charge my current roommate.(I also have noticed it seems that his owner is slighty nervous of him, at least it seems that way to me,like when she was trying to pull him away from the cat, she seemed like she was hesitating)

Im thinking of telling the Saints owner that the dog can live here but his issues with men, my roommate, and with the dog and cats needs to be resolved before he comes over agian, she needs to work with him harder and be sterner and be the dominate one, you can tell the dog has taken over the dominant position in their relationship, and he will be in for a big shock if he moves in here with me, because here I am the dominant one, I believe thats why I havnt had fights in over 4 years. I wont take this dogs bad behavior lightly, I dont with any dog that comes in my house, I feel that any new dog has to respect the house and the current residents, before he can be allowed to roam freely. Dont take this the wrong way, i dont abuse dogs, I just dont let them walk all over me, afterall I am the owner and they look to my for guidance, if I give it I am rewarded with wonderfully behaved dogs, im scared this Saint is going to ruin all the good things I have taught my dogs, Im scared he is going to teach them things, though my dogs know better, but when there is a new pack member who isnt stable it can change the whole dinamic of the house.

So sorry this was so long, had to kinda vent too.
What would you guys do in this situation?
And I know people can be sensitive about their dogs, so how do I say something without her taking it the wrong way, i mean she does know he has issues but i dont think she realizes how much she encourages his behavior by the way she acts with him.
post #2 of 2
I wouldn't take this kind of chance... and if I were the St. Bernard's owner, I wouldn't even want to bring him into a situation where he might hurt or kill someone else's animals. Do you think she would understand if you decided to find a roommate without pets?
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