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Guardian for pastured horses?

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  • Guardian for pastured horses?

    A large housing development will soon be off my back fence. I am concerned about loose dogs deciding to chase the pastured horses. I am thinking a guardian animal of some sort is probably my best bet, what does the great COTHB wisdom recommend? Mule? Guardian dog?

    If I'm home it will be SSS for sure, but I want some back up for when I am not home.

  • #2
    Donkey, and I mean ugly, hates everyone, chase it onto the trailer donkey, and dog height hot wire.
    Disclaimer;
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%

    Comment


    • #3
      I second donkeys, llamas are supposed to be good guardians too. I know people that have dogs but it would be nice to have a guardian in the pasture with the horses.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Like- Mammoth donkey? or would a smaller donkey work? Male or female?

        Comment


        • #5
          Personally, I'd probably spring for a really, really good fence as my first line of defense.
          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
          -Edward Hoagland

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Can't do that kind of fence. Property boarders a stream and the town did a bad job on the storm-water management front. I've been complaining about that issue for over 5 years. So there is periodic flooding along that boundary and mesh catches too much debris and rips out (we tried a test section).

            So we are left with keeping something that hates loose dogs. Like a stock guarding dog, a donkey, a mule, and me-when I am home.

            Comment


            • #7
              Although I have 7 mini's and the 30" jack is one of the best guards...I would go with a standard jack over the mini's. A bigger jack can do more damage to any sort of invader. And only get one. Pairs tend to visit more with each other than guard. Once a donkey bonds with your herd (and is taught to accept YOUR dogs) they will let nothing four-legged into the pasture. Just ask my old neighbor in NC who had two B*A*D dalmations!! My tiny jack spent days waiting for the dogs to get far enough into "his" pasture, blocked their escape to the hole dug under the fence, then went to work!! He didn't kill them, but they were seriously wounded - bites and strikes and we never even filled the hole in because the dogs NEVER stepped foot in the field again!! Out here in OK their are people (my SIL) who deal in guard donkeys!!
              www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

              Comment


              • #8
                Because it's a housing development - what if kids wander over, come into your pasture and get bitten by the dog, kicked by the donkey, etc.? I mean, you may feel this is fair game for trespassing and a worthwhile risk, but the kids, parents and police may feel differently.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                  Because it's a housing development - what if kids wander over, come into your pasture and get bitten by the dog, kicked by the donkey, etc.? I mean, you may feel this is fair game for trespassing and a worthwhile risk, but the kids, parents and police may feel differently.

                  Would posting the heck out of the fence line with No Tresspassing and equine liability signs take care of this? My feeling is, if they crawl through a fence and past clearly written signs explaining my lack of liability should they be injured while tresspassing, it shouldn't be my problem if they get hurt.
                  -Jessica

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                  • #10
                    A few strands of hot wire at the bottom of the fence will work, too. I used it to keep my neighbor's dog out of our garden. Worked like a charm. The first time he hit it, he went kayyayying home and I never saw him again. Worked to keep the coyotes out of our yard, too.
                    IF YOU THINK YOUR BRAIN IS NOT WORTH PROTECTING WITH A HELMET, YOU'RE PROBABLY RIGHT!

                    Damrock Farm

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                    • #11
                      I'd start with two strands of hot wire at the bottom of the fence for the dogs, and another waist high kids can't get under or over. If any further problems, get a donkey. I personally wouldn't want a donkey unless I had problems and really had to get one, then it would be a donkey I would choose.

                      I would only get a guard dog, like a Kuvash (spelling?) if I could handle keeping it - flock guarding dogs function living out in all weathers with the herd animals, and can require energy and management to handle correctly. Land, training, in other words you don't want your guard dog roaming into other's yards, you want it on your land with your herd. In a subdivision type of setting, I don't know how the dog would work or not.

                      On the other hand, you could encourage wild Canada geese to nest on your property. In the pond, for example, ask me why. I'll tell you. 3 pairs visited us every spring - it was just lovely having 30 babies and their parents coming up into the pastures and onto our lawn eating the grubs and bugs up. Not so lovely walking barefoot on the lawn, but what a treat to watch! They were so cute, the babies, grass green - I was surprised to see, in the early weeks after hatching, grass green goslings. Yes we were all of us, cats, dog, horses and people tick and slug-free, but we were tick and slug-free prisoners in our own house and barn. Three months out of the year we people, dog and cats couldn't venture out of our house without being attacked by the males, and wings-spred, those suckers are big! The horses grazed amongst them, but we humans and the dog would skulk from window to window and peer out, trying to see where the geese were so as to choose the best door for escape to the car, or to the barn to feed the horses. The cats would sit on the deck rail and glare. Then, having decided on one good door to use for escape, one of us would be sent to sidle around the corner of the house and signal the rest: "OK! He's not watching the front. He's walking around the back. You have 5, maybe 10 seconds to make it to the car! Go! Go! GO!!"

                      Needless to say, the neighborhood children and dogs skirted our open spaces and cut through other neighbor's yards. Dang. Those geese even chased our car, hissing and honking as we sprayed gravel out the driveway, me weaving down the lane wildly, watching the rear view mirror, children crying, the dog riding shotgun silent, grim. If we made it out, I would think to myself, there's still the slow creep back down the drive returning home later - and how to get the groceries into the house? I could send a child out to the back yard to keep the honkers busy while I race to and fro from car to house putting the groceries away, but at what cost to the child? A bite on the leg? A knock-down and a pecked ear? Last time, poor Jamie nearly lost an eye. I know. This time, I'll throw them the cat...
                      Last edited by AnotherRound; Mar. 22, 2012, 12:38 PM.
                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dog-hating donkey. I didn't really need one, since my mares don't put up with crap from any dog, but ended up with one anyway. He was standard size and gelded. Broke to ride (sorta), he was friendly with people, but hated stray dogs. My own dogs he ignored, but they usually weren't out in the pasture without a human escort anyway. We'd watch him go after strays and the occasional coyote- even if they were just passing through and weren't threatening anything! I sold him as a pet several years ago.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
                          Because it's a housing development - what if kids wander over, come into your pasture and get bitten by the dog, kicked by the donkey, etc.? I mean, you may feel this is fair game for trespassing and a worthwhile risk, but the kids, parents and police may feel differently.
                          They could also be kicked or bitten by a horse. My donk was less likely to hurt someone than a full size horse, and my "guard" dog (a Great Pyrenees), would never in a million years bite a child.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I like the donkey idea, backed up by the biggest fence charger you can afford.

                            Also, check to see if you live in a "purple paint" state. Appropriately painted fence posts backed up by a few signs designate a "no trespassing" area.

                            Be proactive about would-be intruders. Hitting them first and hitting them hard establishes a precedent.
                            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                            Winston Churchill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                              I like the donkey idea, backed up by the biggest fence charger you can afford.

                              Also, check to see if you live in a "purple paint" state. Appropriately painted fence posts backed up by a few signs designate a "no trespassing" area.

                              Be proactive about would-be intruders. Hitting them first and hitting them hard establishes a precedent.
                              LOL

                              whack! Didn't you see my purple paint, boy?? whack! Its purple, don't you know what purple means? whack! The whole HOUSE is even purple! whack! What?? Lavendar! That's not lavendar! That's not even violet! Its purple! Purple, I tell you, and Purple is fair warning around these parts, purple means I can hit you! whack! Hey! Come back here, boy! The laws on my side! The law says I can hit you and hit you hard!! Fool kids. Don't know purple when they see it!!

                              heh heh heh.
                              Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would get a donkey only because it sound like that would work best with your current set up.

                                If you can't keep stray dogs out you're not going to be able to keep a guardian dog in. They will take on huge tracts of land as "theirs" and can wander far & into road ways if you don't have something keeping them in.

                                I've been warned off Kuvasz as they can be very aggressive towards people in protection of their flock.

                                We have a Karakachan dog, he's a real sweetie pie. We've only had him a few weeks so he's still getting used to & bonding with our big flock/herd but he's very friendly with our house dogs & with our kids; but you still wouldn't want to mess with him!

                                LGDs can be electric fence trained but I've heard Pyrs can climb a 6' fence if there is something on the other side they want.
                                "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                                Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                                Need You Now Equine

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Nes View Post
                                  LGDs can be electric fence trained but I've heard Pyrs can climb a 6' fence if there is something on the other side they want.
                                  I don't know about climbing, but we watched my Pyr and the neighbor's Pyr clear a 5' woven wire fence in hot pursuit of a coyote. They got it!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I had a flat coated retriever/boarder collie mix. Nothing could contain that dog. He climbed a 7 foot (seven foot, mind you) chain link fence paw over paw to get out of a kennel I built which had a plywood roof on it, with a I swear only around 5 inch gap between the roof and top of the fence. Paw over paw.
                                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Just a note...I like the VERY hot electric fence plan, but a donkey is still a good bet. They hate canine type animals, but mine lOVE people, kids and attention. I have never owned one that kicked or bit people!!
                                      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Most of the time an average horse can lay a whole can of whoopass on any dog I've ever seen. If the dogs are large and form a pack then the horse has problems. Adding a donkey under these circumstances won't help much.

                                        First, what are the laws in your area regarding "dogs at large?" Many people think that because they don't live "in town" there are no limits. In TN it's unlawful to have a dog at large that's not "under control." No need for a leash, just "control." This means that off lead work, hunting, coursing, etc. are legal. If, however, the dog does damage then the owner is liable. Does your state have a similar law?

                                        Second, what are the firearms laws in your area? Can you shoot a dog actively harassing your stock? That would be a "nice to know" even if you don't intend, presently, to do that.

                                        Third, do you have an active ACO in your county/town? If so, talk to them about your concerns. They may have information you can use.

                                        Fourth, as noted, "fence them out" to the best of your ability.

                                        Fifth, "post" your property in IAW with local laws. If you don't know that they are then pay for an hour of an attorney's time and learn what they are. At the same time make sure your fences comply with local laws.

                                        Sixth, contact your local Extension Office. See what they can do for you, if anything.

                                        Seventh, contact your county/town authorities regarding your drainage/flooding issues.

                                        There's a lot you can and should do. A "guardian animal" with horses is pretty rare and I think there's a reason for that.

                                        G.
                                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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