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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,177

    Default Dogs that are great around horses

    So after losing my beloved 12 yr old Sheltie this summer to cancer, I think I'm ready for another dog. I still have another Sheltie who is 13. I'm looking for a medium sized dog who is affectionate, good with kids and other animals. Also one who doesn't generally run away if not leashed...(why I really like the herding dogs). I would like a dog I could take to the barn, trail ride with me and to horse shows. Any recommendations? All sizes considered. Thanks



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    136

    Default

    Mine is a black lab/german shepherd, and he is the best dog ever. (He's also socially retarded, but that's ok as long as every other dog he meets wants to play chase and no other game :P). He loves going to the barn, is happy to trot along behind my horse on trail rides, will follow commands from horseback (though "Go away!" is an unpopular one). Great with kids, super protective of my cats (who grudgingly tolerate his sniffing them over every time they come inside to see what they've been up to), and follows me everywhere...he tends to wander away at the barn to sniff things and find fun stuff to eat/roll in, but he's always a whistle away.

    The only thing I'd change about him is to make him aware of horsey-feet. He can recognize their facial expressions, and runs away if one chases him, but he also blithely wanders under their bellies and stands 6" behind their tail...I know he's going to meet some mean-tempered beast one day who will take offense.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,177

    Default

    I love Shepherds, but I've heard that you really need to know what you're doing with them..I am an experienced dog owner but a shepherd or mix may be more dog than my family can handle.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    Are you open to adopting an adult dog or do you only want a puppy? The best barn dog I have is a shepard mix I adopted from the kennel when she was 4. She came completely voice trained and is just so low maintenance. She keeps her distance from the horses without being told and obeys voice commands both when I'm mounted and not. I never have to worry about her wandering off and getting into trouble...she always stays within eye site of me and lays on the grass outside the arena when I'm riding. Such a great dog.
    Obvioulsy you'll have to do your homework with an adopted dog to make sure they don't have any baggage you can't handle but I highly recommend that route (plus no potty training!).

    ETA: Oops didn't see your shepard post but my experience with shepards has been they are the easiest to train (my parents have a shepard mix as does my sister and all of them are just like mine). I also have two jacks and another mix (no idea what she is...she looks unlike any dog I've ever seen) that are my regular barn dogs. All well behaved and have horse sense.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hedmbl View Post
    Are you open to adopting an adult dog or do you only want a puppy? The best barn dog I have is a shepard mix I adopted from the kennel when she was 4. She came completely voice trained and is just so low maintenance. She keeps her distance from the horses without being told and obeys voice commands both when I'm mounted and not. I never have to worry about her wandering off and getting into trouble...she always stays within eye site of me and lays on the grass outside the arena when I'm riding. Such a great dog.
    Obvioulsy you'll have to do your homework with an adopted dog to make sure they don't have any baggage you can't handle but I highly recommend that route (plus no potty training!).

    ETA: Oops didn't see your shepard post but my experience with shepards has been they are the easiest to train (my parents have a shepard mix as does my sister and all of them are just like mine). I also have two jacks and another mix (no idea what she is...she looks unlike any dog I've ever seen) that are my regular barn dogs. All well behaved and have horse sense.
    I'm open to anything really. Jacks are adorable but do they tend to wander and run off??



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikki17 View Post
    I'm open to anything really. Jacks are adorable but do they tend to wander and run off??
    If not trained correctly definitely! They can also get mean when in a pack (3+ jacks) and not trained. I did puppy classes with mine (I got them free when I sold a horse to a guy that bred them so they are sisters) and really worked with them. They are fantastic dogs. Not even a little bit aggressive towards humans or animals and stay put. On occasion when instinct gets the better of them they will chase after a bunny when we're on a trail ride but they always come back when I call.

    Jacks are definitely not for someone that doesn't have time to train them, though. That's when you get the JRT horror stories. They are super smart and learn really fast but you have to be very consistent and diligent. They are very loyal, too.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
    Posts
    1,843

    Default

    Why not another sheltie? Or an australian Cattle dog or Corgi?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
    Location
    passepartout
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    10,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikki17 View Post
    I'm looking for a medium sized dog who is affectionate, good with kids and other animals. Also one who doesn't generally run away if not leashed...
    The dreaded Australian Cattle Dog is all of these things and it will never, ever leave you.

    The ACD is not for everyone and you might want to start with something that's a year or so old because the first 14 months of a cattle dog's life just might age you in dog years. But they're very good with horses and barn life in general.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,857

    Thumbs up Corgi

    I have a Pembroke Corgi, Sydney, who I got in January (she was a year old) from a breeder, who does own horses but the dogs don't go near them. Anyway I took her to her first horse show (two day event) in October. She was PERFECT! She stuck by me the whole weekend. I was slightly bad and let her off the leash a few times just to see what she would do and she never wandered more than one stall down. And if we were walking she'd only get so far behind and the minute you called her she came running. Of course she was EXHAUSTED by the end of the weekend, but I was highly impressed with her behavior so she is now our official horse show dog lol. We even left her at the stall (tied up with leash of course) while we wandered to the tack tent and such and we'd come back and she'd just be laying there nice and calm. She also didn't mind the horses at all... I actually wouldn't mind if she was a little more wary. She walked right into the stall and sniffed noses with Fisher and wandered around while I braided him lol.
    I'll add to this saying that I honestly haven't done much training with her at all... it just seems to be how she is. More importantly she is a good HOTEL dog... was perfectly well behaved there as well.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    If you understand the breed dynamic and are a decent "trainer" most any dog can adapt.

    However, most people don't want to work that hard at the training piece.

    I would tend to steer people clear of herding dogs.....because their natural instinct is to nip and chase. If left unchecked, it can be problematic.

    All that said, my lab is fabulous around the horses. But he was RAISED around them. He does not go into pastures uninvited, he lies down while I ride in the "arena", and he knows how to stay out of the way.

    Great trail buddy AND he can jump like a son of a gun....

    I really do think most any breed can be trained to be good around horses if you are diligent and willing to spend the time training.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Location
    Colorado- Yee Haw!
    Posts
    2,761

    Default

    Virginia has a prison training program where you can adopt a dog trained by inmates. I have one from the colorado program (lab/ weim mix most likely.) She is awesome and they are great programs for both the dogs and inmates.

    http://blog.petfinder.com/cgi-bin/mt...IncludeBlogs=1

    here are available dogs:
    http://search.petfinder.com/shelterS...ort=&preview=1

    While I'm a lab fan - there's a cute JRT mix named Nimble!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    779

    Smile i luv my cattle dog

    I have a Catahula Leopard... she's a rescue and used to be a cattle dog. I don't know where you live but if you are even remotely close to me (Florida), people tend to shoot dogs that don't quite make it as cattle dogs or that no longer cut it...
    Horrible... anyways, I got mine right before she was heading that way... she answers to her name like nothing I've ever seen... is great with horses as they are used to work cattle around horses, LOVES to come trail ride with me... Only flaw... you can't get her close to a horse's hind feet if her life depended on it... not a flaw really!
    She lived her whole life in a dog pen, got her out of there at 7 years old, never even went to the bathroom in the house or ate anything!!! She's the BEST!!!!!!
    I really think herding dogs do great around the barn and horses... super loyal too!
    Good luck and sorry for the loss of your friend... all I can say is... adopt one.. don't get one from a breeder because there are too many dogs out there that need to be loved



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    4,971

    Talking goldens!

    I had two golden retrievers growing up, they were the BEST dogs! You are going to be hard pressed to find a more trainable breed (I trianed them myself as a 5 year old! Even did obediance competitions). Gentle, awasome with children, never wandered, soft mouthed, just great family dogs.

    When it came to the horses they could careless about them (unlike some excitable hearding and hunting breeds), but were SMART, they wouldn't get underfoot, and were happy to hit the trails with us all day long.

    Now I have a jack russel terrier mix. He is an idiot with the horses. Will walk right up and stand between their back legs! He doesn't chase them, he is a very good boy (has his good citizen certificate) but he isn't as smart as the goldens, and doesn't have their commen sense. I spend time training my dogs, but there are some things you can't train in.

    With goldens you have to watch out for hip displayia, but we bought from a good breeder, and choose a line that tends to stay smaller. Both were females, and lived healthy until the ripe old ages of 16 and 17 years!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2008
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    205

    Default

    A small dog! Radar is my moms/family dog, she is a chi/yorkie mix and the cutest thing ever! 5 pounds! She will give my horse kisses! her only downside is that she might get stepped on, but she is very friendly and respects horses space.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
    Posts
    24,484

    Default

    Put a vote in from me for a standard poodle. Beyond awesome all around dogs...smart as heck, easy as pie to train if you've had dogs before, generally good around horses, not prone to chasing or running off, do not shed and are hypoallergenic if you have anyone in the family with allergies. They do not have to be clipped in those dingbat looking styles yoou see in dog shows. (yes, I know that is supposed to be for keeping the organs warm but it's still silly looking and generally wasn't ever really used in the field) They can also keep up on trails all day without wandering.
    GSDs can also be great dogs...depending on the lines/breeder they're not all "experienced only" dogs..my GSD would have been just fine with newbie dog owners. He's a sweetheart on paws and naturally wants to please people. But...they do have a high chase instinct. In fact I named mine Chase, LOL! He does stop immediately and return to my side with a single command in mid-chase, though that doesn't always mean I'll be quick enough to see him take off and command him back.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2000
    Location
    Warrenton, VA
    Posts
    537

    Default

    I can't imagine anything better than my Bernese Mtn dogs. Loyal, loveable, best natured dogs! Great around my horses, kids, clients, cats, etc. I think my dog "Big Boy" is the official show dog as most places I go they know him better than they know me! One bad thing though is their short life span.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Golden Retriever, I have 2 and there very smart,easy to train,great w/kids
    there great around my
    horses,goats,cats and chickens. I do show my dogs in breed ,obedience & tracking so they are
    very well socialized and did i say already there very easy to train.
    They are also very loveable.
    I also put a deposit on mine before they were born,Its very important to have all clearances on parents,grandparents ect.
    Go through the GRCA to find a breeder.
    If you get a Golden you wont regret it.
    Good Luck



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,020

    Default Another vote for Standard Poodles

    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Put a vote in from me for a standard poodle. Beyond awesome all around dogs...smart as heck, easy as pie to train if you've had dogs before, generally good around horses, not prone to chasing or running off, do not shed and are hypoallergenic if you have anyone in the family with allergies. They do not have to be clipped in those dingbat looking styles yoou see in dog shows. (yes, I know that is supposed to be for keeping the organs warm but it's still silly looking and generally wasn't ever really used in the field) They can also keep up on trails all day without wandering.
    .

    I'll second all that MistyBlue had to say and add that they are very efficient at groundhog control!

    Our poodles always seem to enjoy having their very own "rescue mutt" to pal around with as well.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    557

    Default ACDs

    Another vote for ACDs. Mine is awesome but at 12 months she is trying my patience lots the last couple weeks. She learns so fast and she is wonderfull to go riding with. She knows that when a car comes she is supposed to get between me and the side of the road away from traffic and stay there till I tell her OK.
    Proud Mama of a BOY rider



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,337

    Default

    I have Corgis; they're very good around the horses, and they don't wander off. I've also had a heeler/sheperd X, a chow/goldenX that were excellent around horses. The PB heelers had too much herding instinct, and they killed my geese and guineas. My Pyrenees just does whatever she wants, but never bothers the horses. I also had a Pit Bull that was good around livestock. I've seen just about all breeds and mixes around barns and horses- I think it very much depends on the individual dog and it's upbringing.



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