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Dogs and horses

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by sezeelson, Oct 24, 2012.


  1. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    Today, the scariest thing in a while happened today! :eek:

    With Rossi my very high prey drive young staffie/GSD cross and my friend with her lurcher X puppy we went out for a lovely stroll and boys where playing brilliantly! They trotted off just in front of us around a corner when herd a "no!" Being shouted.

    I sped round the corner to see a huge white horse and rider and both dogs stopped dead in their tracks starring at it. Thankfully they both came running straight back with one call so we could shove them both on their leads to prevent any further danger and the horse trot by :cool: few!

    What is the likelihood of a dog spooking horses? I've always been weary as Rossi has chased deer in the forest. He does come straight back when he realises he can't catch them but I can't risk it with a horse!

    What are your experiences with dogs around horses?
     
  2. tashax

    tashax PetForums VIP

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    Some horses can be very spooked by dogs. My mare likes to attempt to stamp on dogs if they come near her, she had a bad experience when someones dog chased her around her field. She is now fine with my dog but any other dog she wont tolerate, one of the main reasons why i dont hack her out because she will either bolt or go nutsy if she sees one.
     
  3. delca1

    delca1 PetForums VIP

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    I always made Jaz sit till the horses had passed me if we were out, luckily she was never interested in them but I did worry that if she was moving about a horse could get spooked and get hurt or throw the rider.
    Indie shows far too much interest in horses, I wouldn't trust her not to charge up to them or bark.
     
  4. househens

    househens Guest

    I've seen dogs so stress a horse, it ran into a fence, and been horribly injured. I've also seen dogs after they have collected a hoof to the head, and almost died. One dogs bottom jaw was shattered, lost almost all bottom teeth... You really have to get your dog under control, and not let it encourage the puppy to pick up it's bad habits. Whatever your dogs prey drive, it should not be unleashed until you give the word, IF you ever do.
     
  5. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    What do you mean? My dog was under control? He came back to me immediately when I asked which did encourage the pup to follow so he was actually showing the pup some good habits. The horse was not bothered at all and the rider was very happy with us for acting straight away and What do you mean by not unleashing the dog until I give the word? He was already off leash he didn't slip his collar or anything? He is always off leash when walking, he is well behaved and although he does chase he has never ever killed a wild or domestic animal! Even though he has come across injured birds and rat he has never killed. I don't think he has it in him and I'm beginning to think its the game of chase rather then real prey drive.

    My grandfather looked after the queens horses back in the day and an incident involving him, a horse and a very stupid man almost left him permanently blind. I know the damage a horse can do and I know the stress a dog can cause to a horse.

    The area I was walking was the opposite side to where there are horses and this place is huge, I have never seen a horse over that side. I would never risk it. I think horses are beautiful animals :D
     
  6. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    It might be better in future to call him back before he goes around corners where you can't see what he's doing
     
  7. househens

    househens Guest

    I was under the impression from your post, that normally your dog isn't under control, from what you wrote, and that only your dogs indecision over the surprise of coming face to face with the large horse, and the rider? bellowing NO, that stopped a possible chase/attack. If your dog doesn't chase/attack unless given the go ahead, I'm sorry to have misinterpreted, but that is how I read your post - that this was not normal, and that the momentary indecision and obedience wasn't your usual experience.

    If your dog is always awaiting permission, I don't understand the reason for the post. :confused:

    As to my dogs, they chase/hurt nothing, from mice to sheep, cats to birds, to stick insects and horses EXCEPT for personal dislikes amongst each other. Even then, it's only one bitch I kept because she was dangerous with other bitches.
     
    #7 househens, Oct 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2012
  8. tashax

    tashax PetForums VIP

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    I read it as she herd a 'no' so assumed it came from the rider :confused:
     
  9. househens

    househens Guest

    Same here, Tash, and sometimes, if it is a really authoritative NO, a dog will obey a stranger, but not necessarily, an owner. I thought it was a 1st meeting incident, where the surprise of size and then the bellowed NO had worked. If the dog only reacted so, in surprise, next time, it might try it's luck. That was why I was SO concerned.
     
  10. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    You might want to look at this link from the BHS (British Horse Society) people and horses have been seriously injured from out of control dogs.

    BHS puts focus on dogs | British Horse Society

    Dog attacks on horses, or even when a dog chases a horse but does not attack, can have serious emotional, physical and financial consequences for horses, owners and riders. They can also deprive other equestrians of exercise and access to the countryside by deterring them from using routes.

    Since the launch of its dedicated accident recording website, Reporting of Equestrian Related Incidents | British Horse Society, in November 2010, The British Horse Society has received 316 reports of dog attacks on horses.
     
  11. Redice

    Redice PetForums Senior

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    Horse's will often run and kick out if something spooks them . A dog was killed at the dog training school I used to attend as he went up behind a horse and it kicked out. A dogs head and body is going to take the full force of a kick.

    I had a puppy whose foot got stood on by a horse and broke his toe and I have been thrown by a horse because a dog spooked it.

    All in all I think a great deal of care needs to be taken if mixing horses and dogs. They are both animals and so can be unpredictable.
     
  12. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes I agree and know of quite a number of dogs badly injured or killed after being kicked by a horse - my Twiggy's sister being just one.
     
  13. Redice

    Redice PetForums Senior

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    Yes if a horse spooks then the likelihood is that either the dog will get injured or killed by a kick or else the rider could be thrown.
     
  14. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Yes there certainly needs to be respect and common courtesy from both riders and dog walkers.

    My sister and I were walking our collies along a river bank a couple of years ago when we suddenly heard hoofbeats behind us and looked round to see a rider cantering towards us. We rapidly recalled seven collies to us and put them in the down. As the rider came by my sister really tore her off a strip about manners and the dangers her thoughtless behaviour could have caused. My sister is a qualified riding instructress.

    Another instance that springs to mind was when my husband's uncle came to visit along with his dog. He wanted to see my horses so I asked that he put his dog on the lead. Being a 'know it all townie' he refused, saying that his dog was well behaved. The next minute his dog was chasing my little companion Shetland pony round the paddock flat out and totally ignoring his calls..... Needless to say I was fuming.
     
  15. sezeelson

    sezeelson PetForums VIP

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    Sorry for the confusion! To clear a few things up.

    The "no!" Came from the rider of the horse, she was saying it the horse not the dogs. Both dogs stopped straight away at the corner just out of my site. As soon as I called both came running back and I leashed them so the horse could happily walk by.

    I would usually insist my dog practice walk to heel when I get to corners I can't see around but I have walked the area so often and I was walking at the crack of dawn, I've never seen anyone out this early so I guess I was just to relaxed! Lol

    My dog does not await permission to chase, I would never allow him to given the choice. The horse was in a very slow trot and then stopped Rossi does not chase things that aren't moving. He didn't bark, approach to sniff... Nothing. He has seen horses before but never been that close as I've always avoided them.

    The reason for my post is because I want to find out about people's experiences with dogs and horses, it just interests me.

    I have a lovely woodlands very close to me, it's a beautiful walk but there is a bridal way through the middle which gets used a lot so I purposely avoid it because I do not know how my dog will react. I'm thinking about the horses not my dog.

    Thanks smokeybear ill have a good look at those links you shared.
     
  16. tashax

    tashax PetForums VIP

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    Not with the mare i have now but on a gelding i had i was thrown when a dog came out of no where. We were on the beach so not a very hard landing but i did get a bit wet and Tj did disappear for 5 mins as he went galloping of up the beach, was scary at the time but the dog didnt go to chase or bark or anything it just appeared suddenly and made Tj jump
     
  17. Pezant

    Pezant PetForums VIP

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    Henry doesn't react well to horses yet and there's a livery nearby who constantly has them walking past our house, so we're planning to take him (on lead!) to the Higham Horse Trials in January to help desensitise him. I definitely agree that it's so important to get your dog used to horses and help keep both of them calm. A barking dog and flying hooves are not a good mix. :001_unsure:
     
  18. Leam1307

    Leam1307 PetForums Senior

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    Our livery yard backs on to the forrest and its always really busy with dog walkers etc, and with my last horse it wasnt a problem, he had extensively hunted previously so was used to dogs being all around him barking.. would still jump if something came flying out the bushes though. But my new horse is terrified of dogs. I struggle to get him past a dog that is lying down waiting patiently. And while most dogs are well behaved, if a horse started mucking about and being an idiot it stirs the dogs up.

    What i hope they all consider is.. i used to ride here when i was about 12 year old..on my own.. what happens if their dogs spook a pony with a young rider. You should only let your dogs off when you know the coast is clear. It might even be that there is another dog coming the opposite way that isnt friendly.. and they have the same ideas that their dog has "just" went round the corner. Alot of damage can be done in a few seconds.
     
  19. Werehorse

    Werehorse PetForums VIP

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    One of my horses is solid as rock with everything, including dogs, but she would kick out if a dog came at her. My OH's horse... I've no doubt he would attack a dog that he felt threatened by! :eek: He's fine with them around the yard and dogs he's used to but out on hacks he will charge at them and actually try to stomp on them if they get too close! He's not ridden any more, he's an old man now, but when he was younger OH had a few near misses with him going for dogs! (as well as being a ridiculous hot head in other ways, how my OH is still alive I don't actually know).
     
  20. alison11

    alison11 PetForums Member

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    This thread is really interesting, we live near quite a few equestrian centres so we encounter horses every now and then. I am just curious of the best way to train a dog to become used to horses? At the moment we get ours just to sit and he can watch but like I say its only every now and then he meets a horse.

    I was at the beach once walking duke and there was a guy on a horse and I honestly think he was following us (maybe to get the horse used to the dog?!) and we actually had to ask him to go around us - we were very obviously training our pup and having this horse follow us the whole way was so off putting for the dog. (It is a HUGE beach!) Even when the horse was gone he just kept staring at where it had gone, it was kind of like he was obsessed - there is no way I could have him off lead near a horse now because his recall isn't strong enough and I'd be eating his dust lol! Even when there's horseshoe prints on the beach he goes mad sniffing them.

    Any tips to get him used to horses would be greatly appreciated!
     
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