Is it too dangerous to leave a big dog alone with a little dog?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/a215hq/is_it_too_dangerous_to_leave_a_big_dog_alone_with/

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Background

My roommate has a big mastiff pit mix, Buddy, who has a fairly typical prey drive. Buddy has chased after chickens, cats, rabbits etc. in the past, caught them and put them in his mouth. He's lived with little/medium/big dogs for years without problem, though, according to my roommate.

Recently, however, he had an incident where he dashed after little dog and picked it up by the leg. He released it as soon as she shouted at him, but the dog had a puncture that needed 2 stitches. According to my roommate, the situation before the incident was a high stress environment (a man was yelling). There was another little dog that was already there, who had been introduced to Buddy without a problem.

She's concerned Buddy has a prey drive issue, and plans to take him to training for it, but hasn't started yet.

Current Situation

We're considering a prospective roommate who has her own dog. It's a medium small breed, like a slightly larger than average whippet mix.

The dogs will probably end up being left in the house alone for the workday if new roomie moves in. It's possible for them to be separated by a child safety gate or something like that.

I've worked as a handler in the past at a high-volume daycare for about a year and half, so I'm fairly confident in my ability to manage the initial encounter, and assess initial reactions.

My questions are:

Will the initial encounter tell me for certain if Buddy considers the new dog "prey"? Or can a situation arise in the future where Buddy's drive could accidentally get triggered by the new dog?

Should the dogs always be kept separate when left alone, regardless of how they get along initially?

submitted by /u/globlobglob
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