View Full Version : Puppies and horses

Jul. 28, 2010, 11:16 PM
My boss has 3 puppies (3 months old.) They stay in the area around the house, but are loose and can venture farther away if they like.

I am currently working with my filly, doing a lot of walking around the farm. In the past two days, she's nailed 2 out of the 3 puppies with a kick. Both puppies are OK, but if they had gotten hurt, I would have felt terrible and my boss would have been pissed (regardless of whose fault it was.)

Puppy #1 got kicked while I was standing with my filly in the driveway talking to the BM. The horse never moved, so the only reason we knew the puppy got kicked was he ran away yelping and screaming back to his bed.

Puppy #2 got kicked while my filly was grazing. He walked right up behind her and she didn't kick him hard, but she did get him. (I was too far away to intervene.) He didn't cry as much as the other guy.

Good lesson for the little guys? They have to learn the hard way? Any thoughts or advice? I could call once an accident, but twice in two days is more than that. Neither kick happened in or near the puppies' living space.

Jul. 28, 2010, 11:38 PM
I personally would feel responsible if MY horse kicked anyone's puppy!! I would also have an issue with my horse being so insecure that it was kicking at ANYTHING that was not threatening it. (A child might be the next target.) The boss is irresponsible for not securing the puppies in a safe place, but a 3 month old puppy is no match for a horse's hoof or smart enough to sense a danger. I would tell the boss what had happened and gently suggest the puppies be kept a bit separated from the risk of danger AND I'd find a different space to walk my horse as well as doing some desentization of her hind legs. JMO

Jul. 29, 2010, 10:34 AM
My horses kick at dogs as well and unlike Crosscreek, I am not going to punish them for this. Why? I have had more loose dogs go after me and if it means they getting their teeth on my horse, potentially upsetting him and I hitting the ground, I would rather they get kicked and stay away than hurting him, potentially severely. We also have a neighbor who collects stray dogs, then lets them loose as were in the country and she says they deserve to roam free. Anyone ever been driving a team of drafts and a dog gets under them, snapping and biting their legs while your trying to controlling them? I will go after the dog....

When at home, all my horses know NOT to kick and I, as well as my friends and family, also know how to approach the horse or how to walk behind them. When my grand daughter is at the barn she is also always under adult supervision and will be taught, as she gets older and better able to understand, how to approach and work with my horses.

Jul. 29, 2010, 11:53 AM
As a dog owner, and a herding dog owner at that, my understanding has always been that it is the dog owner's responsibility to ensure that her dogs are NOT messing around with horses, for the safety of both animals. For one thing, unlike many herd animals, equines aim when they kick and are known to be very dangerous to dogs for that reason. For another, horses are usually fairly expensive animals to obtain, maintain, and treat when injured, and a spooked horse can suffer a catastrophic injury even if it is not directly inflicted by the dog.

If this were me, and I felt uncomfortable about remonstrating with my boss directly, I would probably ask my boss where s/he would prefer I work with my filly to avoid the puppies. This might clue the boss in to the fact that it is not a good idea to allow puppies to run loose in a pack (it also encourages them to bond with each other and not with people). Or, I might ask if there are certain times of the day that the puppies could be put up so that you can work without being molested. A little gift of puppy treats or chews for them to gnaw on while put up may help soften your words and make them seem less like a reprimand.

Jul. 29, 2010, 12:43 PM
Well, I had some ass drop off a pit/lab mix when he was 2 or 3 months old--naturally mangie and emaciated. My son found him living under the porch. $250 worth of shots, medicine for mange and his eyes, neutering and microchipping later, he is a cutie, EXCEPT he will chase the horse. He has been reprimanded, tied up, given chewies to occupy his time but soon as he sees the horse it's hell bent for election.

I then have to go tie up the puppy. He is now 7 months old and still plays this game. I have spent time training on "down/stay and to get out" and was sure he got the message but now he will wait for me to get on and and start riding and then he will dart out and hang off her tail. He has pulled out 1/3 of it chasing her in the pasture and hanging on her tail. She refuses to kick him. How I wish she would. I hate to think what he does to that poor horse while I am sleeping or at the grocery store.

Anyway I am just going to have to bite the bullet and have an electric fence put in---another expense because someone couldn't or wouldn't take care of their own damn dog. I hope a thousand fleas nestle in their privates.

OP: I don't blame you one bit. How on earth are you expected to get any quality work in when you have the puppies all around your horse and this won't get any better as they get older.