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Can we talk about dogs in the barn?

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    At our barn, dogs are allowed as long as they are well behaved. Our barn manager and trainer usually will ask the dogs owner a few questions as well as have them come to the barn on a leash first. If the dog seems well behaved, they will be allowed to come, and leashes aren’t necessary required. We are lucky to have complete fencing all around our property, so running away or getting lost isn’t much of an issue for us. When we have clients who do not like/are scared of the dogs or the dogs seem to be in the way (farrier, vet, etc.) we put them either in their fenced in area or an empty stall. Some owners bring their dogs over to just hang out all day with them and burn some calories (haha) and as long as the dog doesn’t go in the ring while riding and stays well behaved, all is good.
    In your case, I would definitely talk to whoever makes the rules and has some sort of authority to talk to the owner of the dog. When safety starts to become an issue, that’s definitely when something more “intense” needs to be done.


      That, however, is well above my pay grade. I have no plans to move unless all hell broke loose.
      If and when it does, it may be too late. Hopefully not for you or your horse, or even the dog.
      Sounds like the situation is already above your pay grade since you're having to pay for extras that, technically, the dog's owner should pay you for, since she is responsible for her dog's behavior and is ignoring that fact. Can you sue her for damages?
      Rack on!


        Dogs at my barn are supposed to be on a leash or otherwise restrained.

        I’ve been at barns with bad dog situations, including a trainer married couple whose mini-Aussies would run at horses at nip at their heels. They told me it was my fault when this spooked a young horse I was hand walking. At that point I would have left, but we already were. A year or so later I saw on social media that one of the dogs had been killed when it was kicked by a horse.

        One of the worst things I saw was at a horse show when a dog tied on a long leash got tangled up with a horse and both panicked. Horse ended up with multiple lacerations on all four legs.
        The Evil Chem Prof


          Information provided to new lesson clients specifically states "no dogs, we have enough of our own." If your dog is in your car and the barn dogs scratch the doors, it is your problem. A few boarders have brought a dog, but if they are too rambunctious they are asked not to bring them.

          Dogs who were born on the farm can come but have to behave. Two labs, English type and very mellow, have a couple of litters each year. Most of them are sold to lesson clients or boarders. She usually has most of a litter sold before the pups are born. Training has been an issue with a few of them.

          BO has 4 dogs now, it had been 5-6 but she said she was cutting back. She was down to the two labs, but her kids talked her into a new English bulldog (1st one died snoozing by the gator), and somebody bought a French bulldog over the winter. All dogs are named by her kids. Honeypot, Black Olive, Gertrude, and Maude. They don't have to learn a lot of skills other than sit, out of the arena, and away from horses, particularly with the farrier. Farm is at the end of a dead end road. They are inclined to dawdle in the middle of the road. Most of them know I carry treats in the car.
          "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019


            My barn has a "no outside dogs" policy. My coach has her dog all the time - well behaved, out of the way, used to horses, supervised, etc. The BOs (live on property) will bring their dog down to the barns now and then on leash (not a good off leash candidate), and that's it. I personally REALLY appreciate it. I love dogs (have 3!) but hoooly moly not all of them are suited to being around barns. Particularly not when their owner is distracted by riding/caring for their horse.

            If your BO is worried about a double standard, I think you could easily share that there are plenty of barns where the "no dogs" rule only applies to boarder dogs. It would be dicier if the BM's dog was also a nightmare (dicey in more ways than one!) but it's not, so no room for unruly dog owner to argue on that point.

            The situation you described with the farrier had the potential to be SO bad. My big guy is a pretty cool customer with dogs, but I am fairly certain he would have lost his marbles, or at least come close, if that had happened to him. And if I were that farrier, I would refuse to work with a dog like that running around. There are enough ways for farriers to get injured without rogue dogs in the mix.


              Most boarding barns are very clear about no dogs (at least no dogs off leash). I'm very surprised that your BM/BO are allowing this.


                I cannot remember a time in my life without a dog, so I am very pro dogs and dog owners. However, I never, ever, assume anyone else enjoys my dog -- even on a leash.

                Amy3996 typing up the dog was entirely appropriate. Honestly, you shouldn't have to wait until it is wreaking havoc to tie it up. If it is left in the barn without the owner, it gets tied up. Not your responsibility to keep an eye on it.


                  Our barn - no dogs off leash/unsupervised. We had one boarder, owned a small fluffy dog of some sort. Our stalls have open fronts. Boarder hooked dog's leash on halter hook by the stall door and wandered into tack room. A few minutes later I looked down the aisle and the horse had reached out of stall, grabbed the leash in its mouth and was swinging the poor dog around. Fortunately I was there to fix the situation and I gave the boarder a reasonably polite earful about the dangerous situation in which she left the dog.

                  Knew a woman years ago who tied her Dobie on a long leash right by cross ties, with horse in cross ties. It took 30 seconds of her not paying attention and the dog was under the horse and out the other side, leash up against horse's front legs.
                  Its pretty clear that you cant fix stupid...


                    I think it's reasonable to at least require this woman to restrain the dog when it isn't under direct supervision.
                    When I was a boarder and now as a barn owner, if I'm not able to supervise my dogs in the barn, they are in confinement. That goes for any dogs that visit my farm too. If I'm on a horse, dogs are in the tack room or feed room. The dogs know the routine and are happy for the climate controlled comfort on hot or cold days.
                    The vet and farrier never see my dogs. It keeps the horses, humans and dogs safe.


                      I think it's reasonable to at least require this woman to restrain the dog when it isn't under direct supervision.
                      When I was a boarder and now as a barn owner, if I'm not able to supervise my dogs in the barn, they are in confinement. That goes for any dogs that visit my farm too. If I'm on a horse, dogs are in the tack room or feed room. The dogs know the routine and are happy for the climate controlled comfort on hot or cold days.
                      The vet and farrier never see my dogs. It keeps 1 horses, humans and dogs safe.


                        Our barn allows dogs on a leash unless you have the barn owners permission to let your dog off leash and even then the unspoken rule is you pretty much need to keep your dog out of everyone’s way.

                        My horse was also attacked by a dog as a 2 year old (dog actually belonged to idiot barn owner) so she’s not great with dogs especially if she doesn’t know them. Even if the dog isn’t doing anything other than just being excited she still goes into fight mode. I’ve also seen her charge across the field to go after coyotes.


                          Any barn I've been to, it's no outside dogs unless you have expressed permission for a specific visit. And then dog must be on leash.
                          NEVER are dogs allowed to run loose unless they're owned by the trainer or barn staff. Period.

                          Co-boarder and BO have odd policies. Both are exposed to a lot of liability if their dogs cause damage.

                          And yes, I'd go after co-boarder for the cost of the additional sedation and re-scrubbing. Some people only understand when money talks. Hit her in her pocketbook. Especially if she had the audacity to come at you over tying her dog.


                            Probably makes me a mean/horrible person, but I'd give the person a verbal warning that if her dog gets within 10 feet of me/my horse I'm going to spray it in the face with WrapLast. And then do it. I cannot stand people with dogs who feel they can let them run whenever/where ever they want. And I'm a dog owner.


                              Originally posted by bathsheba8542 View Post
                              Probably makes me a mean/horrible person, but I'd give the person a verbal warning that if her dog gets within 10 feet of me/my horse I'm going to spray it in the face with WrapLast. And then do it. I cannot stand people with dogs who feel they can let them run whenever/where ever they want. And I'm a dog owner.
                              I am so with you. But, I think the owner needs the spray.


                                Originally posted by Amy3996 View Post
                                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.
                                Not a double standard. My barn, my rules. If that means I can have my dog at the barn but others can't, so be it.

                                I had just gotten back into horses after a multi-decade 'growing up' hiatus. I was not a strong, brave person or rider. I was on my new horse (really, wrong horse for me but that's a different issue). I was riding her in the outdoor area and the BO's border collie did what border collies do and started chasing/herding my more from outside the fence. My mare finally had enough and took a giant (to me) leap and buck and I came off. Ever since then, I was afraid of any dogs running loose at any place I was riding.

                                If I was thinking of boarding at a place where even the BO's "well trained" dog was allowed to run loose, I'm not sure I'd choose to board there.

                                NB, my friend's dog was an agility dog so by your definition, her dog was 'highly trained'. I watched a few agility competitions where her dog decided she wanted to leave the ring so she did . Agility does not necessarily equal 'well trained' IMO.
                                Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                                  I'll loan you my mare. She has a large personal space bubble and feels strongly about dogs.


                                    Originally posted by 16 Hands View Post
                                    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.
                                    Really, this is all it takes. A good dog adds so much to a barn. Can't imagine a barn without at least one.

                                    I'll never forget when my filly was about 2 months old and had just finished nursing. She walked over to the fence to check out trainer's super gentle Great Dane who gratefully licked off her milk moustache.


                                      I have a “no dogs without approval” policy. Our in-house trainer has a Rottie and I have a beagle who can be free, but all other dogs are leash only (though if the indoor is free and the owner wants to turn the dog loose to play, that is fine, especially during bad weather!). Horses get priority of course.

                                      The dog interrupting the vet and farrier is just crazy. Even my puppy has always known to stay out of the crosstie area, and she was pretty hard to train. I would expect the dog owner to pay any extra charges, as a BO. That is unacceptable.

                                      I love dogs but not ill-mannered ones.


                                        Every now and again I take my dogs over to a friend's barn and we train the dogs in the hay fields. I can let my dogs run off lead after we finish training but they aren't allowed near the horses. I rode for years and I totally understand that rule. I was also warned that one of the mares is a dog killer. Training, it's a wonderful thing for horses, dogs and children.


                                          Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post
                                          I would think the farrier and vet should tie up the dog and let fly at her when she gets uppity.
                                          No way. The person handling the horse for the professional is responsible for the professional's safety. That person needs to be the one to tie the dog or shut it in a stall out of the way. The professional shouldn't even have to say anything about the dog, but a "can you confine/tie that dog out of the way?" should be prompting swift action and apologies from the horse handler.

                                          I would tie/confine the dog whenever it came around without the owner and point out that the owner has 100% control over whether I can do so. If they don't like it all they have to do is keep the dog away. Their choice.