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Can we talk about dogs in the barn?

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    Can we talk about dogs in the barn?

    Forgive me for venting, but I’m super frustrated right now. A fellow boarder brings her dog to the barn *every single day.* The dog is friendly, but poorly supervised. She runs loose in the barn, jumping up in the horses’ faces and getting under foot. I’ve mostly let it go in the past, but in the last month the dog has interfered with multiple vet and farrier appointments, despite several conversations with the dog’s owner about keeping her confined while horses are being worked on.

    It happened again yesterday. Owner was working her horse in the outdoor arena and the dog was left loose and unsupervised in the barn. After the she literally ended up underneath my horse and in the farrier’s way while he was trying to tack a shoe on my horse, I had had enough. I called the dog over to the other side of the barn and attached a crosstie to her collar so she was confined and out of the way.

    Dog’s owner returned to the barn and proceeded to yell at me for tying the dog up. I was at a loss. I don’t want the farrier, my horse, or the dog to get injured. It shouldn’t be my responsibility to babysit someone’s dog. I spoke to the barn manager and facility owner yesterday, but I’m not sure what if anything will come of that.

    Just out of curiosity, what is your barn’s policy with regard to dogs?

    Dogs are allowed at my barn but must be controlled at all times. One woman let’s her dog off leash when she is not riding but said dog also does agility so is highly trained. When the owner is riding the dog is in a crate in the back of the her SUV with the hatch open.

    What does your BO say about the situation?


      Jesus, I own the barn, and it's my horses, and my dog, and I don't have her out there with the farrier. She's a good girl and doesn't do at all what you're describing but the distraction is terrible.

      If the barn owner doesn't have your back here, you may want to consider if this is something you'd move over?


        We had an agister who continually brought her dog off leash and was continually told to put it on a leash.

        One say she saud that I had never told her that Pepper did not like dogs.

        I said that he is not really scared of them.

        Her dog had gone into his yard.

        He reared, struck it and killed it instantly.

        That would not have happened if it was on a leash.
        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


          Original Poster

          The barn owner seemed supportive when I spoke to her. Her concern was that the BM regularly has her dog with her at the barn. Totally different situation in my opinion - BM’s dog is impeccably trained, never in the way, and absolutely never left unattended. But I can understand why BO would be concerned about the appearance of a double standard if BM is allowed to have her dog but boarder is not. For what it’s worth, barn manager is barn owner’s daughter, who lives on site. If it were me, I’d say “my house (literally), my rules”, and if boarder had problems with not being allowed to bring her dog, she’s welcome to find another place to board.

          That, however, is well above my pay grade. I have no plans to move unless all hell broke loose. This barn is 5 minutes from my house, which is an absolute godsend when I’m making trips out 2-3x a day to tend to my horse who’s stall rested and rehabbing a DDFT injury. Which, for added context, is a large part of why I’m so annoyed with the dog situation right now. My horse’s PRP injection (under sedation, sterile field) was interrupted by this dog a couple of weeks ago. Sterile field was broken, so horse’s leg had to be re-scrubbed, new syringes and equipment prepared, etc. My horse came out of sedation while all of that was happening, so he needed more drugs (which cost more $). Dog’s owner could not understand why I was irritated with her and the dog at that point.


            If dogs are well behaved and under control, I don't have any issue with them being there but the ones who are making a general nuisance of themselves, I'd talk to the barn owner about telling the dog owner to leave the dog home or on a leash.


              My barn is officially no dogs but so many people bring their dogs and they are poorly supervised. Fortunately, none of them mind (much) when I yell at or re-direct their dog away from my horse. They know they are in the wrong, but they are just lazy dog trainers/supervisors. I think of this habit as typical of town/suburban people who really don't bother exercising or training their dogs. Their dogs love the barn because it is social and there is room to roam.

              At one point, one of these dog owners-bringers had a bad accident, due to their own dog spooking their horse. Did that change anything? No, they changed horses....

              p.s. I never bring my dogs to the barn. I exercise them separately....on my own farm.


                I would think the farrier and vet should tie up the dog and let fly at her when she gets uppity.
                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                  For the life of me, I will never understand why so many horse people are in denial about their dogs’ bad behavior around horses!!!
                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                    Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                    For the life of me, I will never understand why so many horse people are in denial about their dogs’ bad behavior around horses!!!
                    Agreed are their horses as ill trained as their dogs?
                    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                      It sounds like in this situation it needs to be addressed.

                      I did a stint as a BM and had to ban a boarders dog from the barn. “Rescued” husky with zero recall who thought it was fun to chase horses.
                      I boarded at one barn where the owners dogs were the problem. Group of JRT who were always running underfoot. If anyone fell off and their horse didn’t stop the whole pack would start chasing.

                      I also boarded at another barn that allowed dogs. The owner had 5 mellow dogs. Myself and a few others would bring our dogs. All had formal training, low prey drive, and a very healthy respect for the horses. Anyone whose dog had a poor recall or “stay” remained leashed. Typically we would let the dogs play on our way out to get the horses, then they would hang out on the “dog couch” in the winter or outside in the shade in the summer (we could see them). The indoor and outdoor rings each had an area for the dogs to lay down while we rode. Everyone watched out for each other’s dogs, and no one typically brought their dog when lessons were going on. Definitely not when a vet/farrier/chiro/etc was around.
                      However, we were all aware that it would only take one ill behaved dog or owner to ruin it for everyone.

                      Current barn only allows leashed dogs as they often have hens with chicks and a couple senior cats who aren’t very quick. No one really brings their dogs though, no shade by the rings or in the parking lot.


                        If you have support of the barn owner, but they're not willing to address it head on, you may just have to be the bad guy and tie up the dog every time it's in the way.


                          Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

                          Agreed are their horses as ill trained as their dogs?
                          Some, yes! But I’ve also known some fabulous horsemen and women with dogs who are terrors in the barn! Like, this is your livelihood and you clearly know how to train animals, so why do you have this ill-mannered creature running amuck???
                          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                            Not cool around a farrier. A friend let her own dog loose at her own barn while her horse was being trimmed. Dog was sneaking in for pieces of hoof. Farrier tried to shoo the dog away from the parings and ended up with 17 stitches on his hand. Couldn't even drive himself home and was out of work for weeks.

                            BM sounds inexperienced. This could be a lawsuit waiting to happen. For want of a leash. Crazy.

                            Good luck with the rehab.


                              Brings back memories of the boarder who would bring her elderly Toy Poodle to the barn and just leave her to wander around while she rode. I did not like the owner. She was thoughtless in other ways, too. Like riding through my line while I was in a lesson too many times to count.


                                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                Jesus, I own the barn, and it's my horses, and my dog, and I don't have her out there with the farrier.
                                Same but.... it's because they eat the trimmings and then barf at 4am soooooo...

                                Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                                For the life of me, I will never understand why so many horse people are in denial about their dogs’ bad behavior around horses!!!
                                Because dogs are akin to children now? That would be my guess. We have countless threads of people complaining about the exact same behavior from children and dogs, both of which go unaddressed by the allegedly responsible party. One of my dogs is basically "my child," but I also yell at him a lot because he is a flaming asshole. He goes everywhere with me, but he certainly spends his fair share of time in the car too. At my farm, he is allowed out for most visits but no on strangers. Today for example, both dogs out while the vet was here, including rads, because they are good around her and stay out of the way. When a guy came over to buy some posts, both went in the house because the old dog gets in the way and asshole bites. I would have loved for them to have been able to catch all the mice under the pile of posts, but alas.
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                                  Not okay that it cost you more money for your vet appointment. I would have addressed that specifically with the BO and asked to be reimbursed. Maybe then the BO would take the matter seriously.


                                    I allow boarders to bring dogs. They must be on a leash held by a human or tied/confined at all times. Period.

                                    I allow MY dog who lives in my home (I don’t have any right now but am currently fostering) out on the farm without a leash only when no one is at the barn riding.

                                    If the barn doesn’t have explicit rules and doesn’t do anything about this problem dog, I’d be looking for a new barn.


                                      Our rules are no dogs allowed. Even the barn owner who lives on property and had dogs for many years never allowed his dogs at the barn. We are a facility full of young horses and nothing is predictable.....our attention needs to always be on the horses in our care, not worrying about a dog underfoot.


                                        I'm pretty outspoken and have zero patience with ill mannered people or their animals. I would have given that woman the bill for what the vet charged for the extra drugs and materials. I would be in that woman's face so bad she would learn to discipline or confine her dog. So many people - especially the younger set (and they are mostly all younger than I am!) - have this entitlement attitude and no social graces. If that dog is in YOUR way or your horse's way or interfering with services or lessons, I would be yelling for that nitwit to come get her damned dog and confine it or take it home or I would. The barn owner is at fault for not being more assertive but someone has to be and that's never been a problem for me, especially where my animals are concerned. I have had my own farm for years and don't appreciate anyone bringing a dog. I have 4 GSDs and they would hurt another dog if out and usually one at a time goes with me to the barn. But I enforce good behavior and they are all my horses.