Dogs and Horses

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by fomorii56, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. fomorii56

    fomorii56 New Member

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    I am looking to get a new dog. I have done a lot of research on different breeds but was hoping someone might have first hand advice on my situation. I live in South Carolina and have a horse. We have over 60 acres so there are a lot of trails in the woods and large feilds. I am looking for a dog with the stamina, intelligence and ability to be trained to run with my horse. Most trail riding is done at a trot so great speed is not needed. While I know the sighthounds have the physical ability, I need something that will not run away after game or go sniffing around in the woods spooking the horse. I was thinking about an Italian Spinone, Airedale Terrier or German Pointer. Anyone have experience with a similar situation or know someone who does? Any suggestions on breeds? I also live alone, so a somewhat protective breed would be a plus. Thanks!
     
  2. Sush

    Sush New Member

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    Border Collie...hands down :) My ferrier has a few of them that he brings EVERYWHERE with him. They are VERY smart, physically able, loyal/protective, bred to be around animals, and energetic. They can be a bit unruly if you try to keep them cooped up or when they are un-trained, but a trained border-collie could arguably be the smartest dog around. They are sensative to commands and having land is a definate plus. How much time would you be able to put forward for training?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  3. happyhound

    happyhound New Member

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    Hmm, all the breeds you listed typically hunt both fur and feathered game. Are you looking to get an adult or puppy?
     
  4. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    How do your horses react to dogs? That may matter quite a bit. Our farm's BC is tough to have around horses who are moving, because he feels the need to get behind them and try to control the movement. While he is fairly well trained, and you can certainly call him off, it does require pretty constant monitoring.

    I would wonder about some of the hunting breeds, as hinted at above. Many of the pointers I've known would be leaping in and out of bushes the whole time going after birds and game. Of the three Airdales I've known, none could be offleash, although that may have a lot to do with their training. Again though, high drive terriers are going to be busy in the bushes hunting.

    Are you set on a puppy? If not, you may want to looking into some rescues that do "foster to own". That is how I ended up with Meg. I needed some pretty specific traits, similar to you. I run a horse farm, so I needed a dog who was good off-leash, wouldn't wander, wouldn't chase the horses and could keep up with me all day. I fostered her for a couple weeks before commiting.
     
  5. fomorii56

    fomorii56 New Member

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    I'm looking to get a puppy. I'm also willing to put in as much training/training classes as I need to, find local agility courses, really whatever it would take.
     
  6. Sush

    Sush New Member

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    I agree...border collies often herd (for obvious reasons :) ) but if brought up with certain rules I think they would make a great horse dog. Other than Collies...just your average lab would probably make a great companion for your needs.
     
  7. fomorii56

    fomorii56 New Member

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    The horse is young as well, just turned 4 a month ago, and we currently have 4 dogs on the property and he has no problems with them, even when they come running up behind him. I was hoping to get a puppy because the dog I have now does not have an easy time welcoming new, adult dogs into the family. He is fine when they are brought in as puppies and then grow up around him. I was also thinking it would be easier to acclimate a puppy to horses as I know a lot of adult dogs dont know how to act around them if they werent raised with them. I guess I'd kind of like a puppy to grow up with the horse.
     
  8. oc_spirit

    oc_spirit Snow Girl

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    Have you considered a Dalmation at all? A well-bred one (on that is bred for work) is hard to find these days but if you can locate one and train it properly they are fantastic trail buddies since they were bred to run beside carriages.

    Another breed that would fit what you are looking for is simply, an all around mutt. Try finding a rescue centre that will allow you to test their dogs' reactiveness to horses and then look for the one that seems to be the most trainable for offleash. My best hacking buddies have been mutts.

    I have met a few American Bulldogs that were raised as puppies on a horse farm and fit the bill precisely. Boxers too. Many stables I have visited also seem to have Dobermans as their trail buddies and then a couple of terriers as ratters. Retrievers are good too along with Rotties. A friend of mine though swears that the best type of dog for the stables whether it be just following you around during chorse, accompanying trail rides, or just chilling on the deck is Schnauzers and Giant Schnauzers.
     
  9. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

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    Don'[t have an answer but am interested as well. Will follow.
     
  10. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    My aunt, who has horses, has always had a German Shepherd running along side her.
     
  11. fomorii56

    fomorii56 New Member

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    I actually had not considered a dalmation. I had a very bad experience with a dalmation, was severely bit on the arm, and while I know I cant hold it against the breed, I've just never considered owning one. I'm also a little wary of german shepherds since pretty much everyone I know that has one has had health problems with them. Did your friend have any issues with the giant schnauzer and other dogs, I've heard they can be somewhat aggressive?
     
  12. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    The dogs I've met that do well with horses are usually border collies, aussies, cattle dogs, and many mixed breeds. I've seen many mixed breeds who are great with horses. It depends much on the dog and their introduction and experiences with the animals, though of course some breeds will have more intense instincts such as prey drive to battle with more than others.
    Really, a dog properly raised around horses shoudl not have too much trouble getting used to them.
    My Millie (border collie mix) is wonderful around horses but Lucy (chihuahua/terrier mix) is not too great around them because she wasn't around horses when she was growing up like Millie was.
    There are dogs of the same breed that have opposite reactions to horses and other livestock. If you have 4 other dogs, you know how to properly introduce dogs to horses, no?
     
  13. fomorii56

    fomorii56 New Member

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    The dogs we have now are not 'working' dogs. They pretty much just stay around the barn and people. They don't accompany us on trails. Only one of the dogs is mine, a rescue from severe neglect which left him mentally handicapped and hard of hearing. I just can't trust him to come out on a long trail ride with me. So introducing to horses, yes, but I haven't had any experience with a true working dog that would come off leash with me on a long ride in the open/woods. I actually dont know any collies, but I was always under the impression that they are extemely energetic. While at home I'd like a dog that is calmer, one that isnt always in work mode but knows the difference between being at home and 'working' out on a trail or a hike. Like I said, I dont know any collies, so please correct me if I'm wrong : )
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I thought about this the whole time I was in the shower, and OC brought up the two breeds that most popped into my mind - Boxers and Dals. Dalmations were originally bred to run alongside horses. I've met a bunch of Boxers I adored and that were great in barns. I'll never own a short-faced breed, but there have been boxers who have almost made me change my mind!

    Retrievers are another possibility. Standard Poodle? Dobies?

    I just think with both the herding and the hunting dogs, you will be fighting an uphill battle to get the behavior you want. You'll be asking them to ignore behaviors that have been bred into them for a long time.

    I fear I may find myself in the same situation eventually, for the same reason. Unfortunately, because I'm not a huge puppy person! Again, with an adult rescue, you may be able to try out some dogs to see how they get along. But I do understand being in that position. Please keep in mind, with most of these breeds, you are going to be looking at a year and a half or so before they can really go out on big trail rides; just like the horses, you've got to let them grow and let the joints close before they do a lot of pounding on their legs (which you probably already know).
     
  15. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    I think most athletic dogs could easily be taught to do what you ask. A nice puppy from a shelter would be ideal. :) Especially one that had some obvious GSD or Border Collie lines.
     
  16. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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    I second the Dalmatian comment... I knew an AMAZING farm Dal, never raised with horses, was a rescue. First time she met the horses, she'd bring her toys over to them and try to play.
    She never bothered the horses at all, but would happily trot along side them when riding, or just stay out of the way at the side lines when ring work was going on.

    Dals have unbelievale amounts of energy to burn - they'd be awesome for trail riding purposes. Just MAKE SURE YOU SOCIALIZE as a young pup CONSISTANTLY...

    The farm Dal I knew would NEVER harm a person that came into her properly - she'd let kids pull at her ears, poke her nose etc etc BUT as soon as another dog was on the property she wanted to hurt it..

    So Socializing is imperative.

    BCs would be another good choice - you'd have to train the BC not to herd YOU with youer horses though. There is a lady I used to trail with who brought along her BC and the BC kept circling the horses anywhere we went..
     
  17. Kmh1

    Kmh1 Member

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    The two best "trail" and barn dogs I've ever known were both mixes. One was a medium sized GSD mix and one was a lab mix. I also knew one exceptional ACD--but overall I think its tough to overcome the instinct to herd the live stock with the herding breeds even though a lot of horse people have them.
     
  18. pitbullpony

    pitbullpony BSL Can Be Beaten

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    Dogs for horses

    I will say my dog is awesome with horses; not a very common breed however; so that would depend on what you are looking for.
    She is submissive to the horses; non-threatening - the horses (even the cowhorses) all allow Kim to lie in their pens or chill out with them and they are not nervous or threatening to her at all. She will leave their pens if they say so; or we say so.

    She has a long stride and a clear airway so can accompany us on trail rides; we usually go out for about 1-2 hours and she is happy plugging along beside or behind, never leaves the trail, always keeps an eye on us. She is a protective breed, so covers that requirement too.

    I would say for a more common breed;
    Boxer - choose a dog with the least extreme head you can; hard to breathe through the pushed up nose - but they are good dogs that are athletic and the boxers that I've known around horses are quiet and respectful, but as a rule they are bouncy, happy dogs.
    Dalmatian - be very careful of temperament - Disney ruined this breed - as OC says; look for a working breeder that deals with horses if you can.
    Doberman - good dogs again; obedient, watchful, stay away from the extreme chest; you want a conformationally balanced dog - they are more serious than the Boxer
    GSD - be very careful and get an extensive health guarantee - HD, Pano, Osteoporosis, Epilepsy, Spinal Myelopathy, no drive, too much drive
    Collies, aussies, ACD, BC - horses are not designed to be "herded". They are too flighty and delicate a critter - if you can't train your collie type to leave them alone - and provide them with another outlet for that drive to herd; I would leave this group alone. All ACDs, BCs I've seen on horse farms are either being yelled at constantly or are bothering the horses to no end.
    I don't know any schnauzers, bouvs or black russian terriers; but they could probably keep up with the horse, would be more interested with protecting you than hunting (possibly).
    Can't think of any more breeds I would like to have as horse dogs; but will say I have had the joy of riding with my stone cold APBT Indy; and he was a great dog to ride with; very respectful and obedient - but you'd have to find a cold one; and no guarantees with pups.
     
  19. EbonyDal

    EbonyDal Spot the Difference!

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    Dalmatians were bred to go alongside horse-drawn carriages; mine have been exceptional trail-riding companions they like horses and have been easily trained to be around them and stay near on trails. Everyone has such good advice, I just wanted to share my experience. What a fun question; happy trails wih your new best friend, of whatever breed you choose =)
     
  20. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I had a dalmation, got her from my farrier who bred them. She was a fantastic dog, very friendly and liked to stick close. And very elegant too.
     

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