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Retraining the dog stomping horse?

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  • Retraining the dog stomping horse?

    I have a 6 year old TWH gelding that is dog aggressive. Last night he stomped my deaf 13 year old dog as she passed through his pen. She's a pretty horse savvy dog since she's been around them her whole life but we've never had a horse run across a pen, rear and strike at a dog and it was the last thing she was expecting. He's been bad about the dogs since we got him a year ago and we were hoping he would settle down about them but he's not. Last night he was impatient for his dinner and took it out on the dog. I have that old dog, a slightly younger dog with a bad leg, and a chihuahua. Everyone lives here at home and there's no way to keep dogs away from horses. We hang out at the barn a lot and the dogs are always with us; that's not going to change. I put the horse in a pen further from the barn so the dogs have no reason to be over there.

    Never had to deal with this before and frankly I don't want to. I'm more attached to my dogs than I am the horse but I'm curious about retraining or if it's worth the effort. It fits his personality profile and I don't know if I would ever trust him.
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

  • #2
    I tend to see horses as wanting to protect themselves from predators as not being a bad thing, and would figure out a way to control the dogs....
    If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
    -meupatdoes

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      That is absolutely not the way I look at it and I tried to make that clear in the first post.

      He wasn't remotely protecting himself from my deaf gimpy old dog when he ran across the pen and struck at her.
      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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      • #4
        My late MFT was OK with dogs until she got bit by one. From that point on it was a 'get it before it gets me' attitude and she would leave what she was doing and go after any dog that entered her area. Not being human, she was unable to judge between 'mean young dog, deserves stomping' and 'oh, that one is old and deaf, I should be nicer to it'. She went after them all. Coyotes too.

        I kept the dogs away from her. If I was unable to do that, I would have had to pick one species to keep. In my case I would have re-homed the dogs, you probably need to re-home the horse.

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        • #5
          He has obviously had trauma with dogs before, and it's not likely to be trained out of him--at least I don't think it could be. Perhaps, since you don't have much attachment to him, find him a new situation and remove the chance of your dogs getting seriously hurt or killed.
          I LOVE my Chickens!

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Yeah I can't see it working out. We're a family outfit-the kids and dogs and other critters are all part of it. We have a calf right now that he's been a little aggressive toward also and I just can't have that. We've had too many other horses that were perfectly fine with the dogs and that's what we need here.

            It occurred to me that my title is dumb-he needs trained not to attack (if at all) not retrained. He's naturally a bit of a pushy little horse and I think it's just part of his personality and it just can't be here.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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            • #7
              I do not think you can change this about a horse. My horse does not like dogs or cats. He doesn't like dogs because he was terrorized by a pit bull as a three year old. I'm not sure why he doesn't like cats, but it could just be a problem with "small animals."

              Personally, I believe that in a horse barn, the horses come first. While I like dogs just fine, they do NOT belong in paddocks with the horses willy nilly. I would not feel bad if my horse chased off a dog out of his paddock. The dog does not belong there. My horse will also chase cats out of his paddock. That is between him and the cats. The cats should be smart enough to figure out that they should not go in there.

              When my horse is with ME and under my control, I do reprimand him for going after small animals if it happens (it usually doesn't because I am pretty vigilant about keeping small animals away from him). Sometimes he is fine with dogs and cats, but sometimes he isn't. I try not to take risks with him, and warn dog owners about his feelings towards dogs. Many dog owners will tell me "Oh, don't worry, my dog is good with horses." I always respond, "Well, that's great, but he is not good with dogs! I don't want your dog to get hurt, so please call it back to you now."

              Anyway, if your horse is dog aggressive, you need to do whatever you can to keep the two away from each other. I personally suggest training your dogs to stay out of the horse paddocks, but if you want your dogs to have free run of the farm despite the risks, well, I guess I would sell this particular horse to someone who is willing to train their dogs to stay away from him.

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              • #8
                My Mustang will attack and stomp dogs that get to close to him or his two companions.


                I keep dogs away from him if he's not securely in hand.


                Having had goats viciously attacked and killed by dogs, it's not a behavior I'm going to discourage when he's on his own time.
                K-N-S Farm
                Daily Goat Videos & Pictures
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I can see the other side of it but I have a Great Pyrenees that does a fine job of protecting our place, I know the horse's entire life history and he was never traumatized by dogs (or coyotes), and with five dogs and seven horses on 17 acres I'm not about to start retraining my 13 year old dog and guard dog in order to accommodate the one horse out of the twenty-some horses that we've had over the last twenty years that wants to stomp dogs. This horse is easily replaced by one that is more dog friendly.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, my gut says horse has to go or put off somewhere where dog can't toddle through pen.

                    My Sammy was good with dogs till last year when the neighbor's PB's and Great Dane (I think that it was) chased him and my other horse. Now Sammy has the tolerance of a gnat for dogs. The other day, the only reason he didn't get my 7 year old mini-Dachsie, she was too low to the ground and his hoof missed her by inches when he struck at her. BUT, now get this! My puppy mini-Dachsie, Sammy and she are buds from the get-go. Millie will circle around his hooves and follow him, nothing happens. My heart went in my throat, I could see in my minds eye, her flying over the fence from a kick!! Nope, he tolerates her. Not the other two.

                    I babysat a PB over the weekend for my hubby's friend, she has chased one of my horses, not Sammy, and friend and I went toe to toe on that one. However, this dog didn't even WANT to get close to my Sam. Once she got too close and Sam backed his ears (while my Millie was right there, almost under his hoofies) and the PB ducked her head and changed course.

                    I mean, go figure. But, in your case, CM, I think the horse may not work out for you, the way it sounds overall.
                    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

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                    • #11
                      We make it work with our horses b/c the (now) older dog was quicker when Toppy came to town and Soap knows to watch him. Since Gyps can't hear, she can't defend herself and skedaddle.

                      I think the 6 YO either has to go, or has to live in a pen with no climb around it.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        The no-climb is a thought and something we might have to do for a while. He certainly made an impression on Gypsy; the pup saw it and it scared her too. Which is good, now they know, but Gypsy is limping on her front shoulder still today. He struck HARD too-DH saw it but I heard it from inside the barn, two hard strikes and then a dog yelp. Tom said he reared and struck at her. He yelled at Gypsy but of course that didn't do much good... poor old dog.
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                        • #13
                          Personally I consider a dog-stomper an asset. I've seen far too many a horse chased to their death by dogs.

                          Ask yourself, does the dog HAVE to be in the paddock with the horse? If the dog cannot live without going in the paddock, you'll have to choose what species to keep.

                          I'd try to rig one of those invisible doggie fences to keep your dog out, if that's logistically possible for your setup.

                          "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                            The no-climb is a thought and something we might have to do for a while. He certainly made an impression on Gypsy; the pup saw it and it scared her too. Which is good, now they know, but Gypsy is limping on her front shoulder still today. He struck HARD too-DH saw it but I heard it from inside the barn, two hard strikes and then a dog yelp. Tom said he reared and struck at her. He yelled at Gypsy but of course that didn't do much good... poor old dog.

                            You know, Chip will chase a dog, playfully. He quite literally jumped over the Soap dog one afternoon. Soap was too late to move and Chip said Oh $$$$ and leapt over the dog. Good horse. Toppy and Scout will go after them, too. Not like your horse did, but Toppy esp wants them driven OUT. So they have learned to stay out of the barnyard until they are stalled and then how to navigate turnout, too.

                            If he's good enough to keep and just fence the dogs out, that's what I'd do. He's a good horse that doesn't like dogs. That's ok in my book, though I totally and 100% understand the desire to slap his butt on an UPS truck after what happened.

                            So long as they act like stuffed animals when I'm physically holding them, I will find ways to work with horses that don't like a dog. If the horse is worth it. big if.

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                            • #15
                              Nearly all of my horses have been dog stompers much like donkey's. However I have always had savvy herding dogs with exception of our little bichonX, we watch her like hawk! They will kill a dog if given the chance. They are fairly tolerant of MY dogs. Strange dogs, coyotes, wolves, deer etc. will get the run put on them if they are so much as inside the pasture and my pastures are big.

                              The dogs are way easier to train than the horses even the herders. The horses are doing what comes naturally. None of that behavior is tolerated when I'm in control of the horse.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I have one (Wizard) that will pin and chase a dog but at the last minute he would fall down instead of stomp one.

                                Yesterday this TWH was mad b/c my son hadn't fed him his morning grain and when we went up to the barn he was ticked off, running, bucking and snaking his head and shoving into his stall front. I was getting his feed while DH waited and Gypsy just wandered through.

                                The dogs are easily trained but they are always around and that won't change. They come with the kids to do chores, they come with us on rides, they hang out with us at the barn, they're part of the whole deal. I have small pens at the barn but the majority of our land is horse pasture and no problem for the dogs to be there. Plus I have Galoot the guard dog that patrols through the horse pasture-NO dogs ever chase our horses, ever. It doesn't happen here, my dogs don't chase and Galoot makes sure no other dog is on our place. He keeps the wolves and coyotes away too. This dog stomping thing just sticks out like a sore thumb among our group of animals that all know and trust and get along with each other.
                                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                • #17
                                  The horse needs a new home, and right away. If something happens to one of the dogs from wandering in or near his pen, then you'll never forgive yourself.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    EXACTLY, JanM.

                                    He does have other very very good places to go and it would not be the end of the world for anyone. I would be upset beyond all reasonableness if he hurt one of the dogs as badly as he wanted to yesterday.
                                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                                    • #19
                                      Just put no climb fencing around paddock that the dog killing horse is in. And train your dogs to stay out of paddocks.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                        I can see the other side of it but I have a Great Pyrenees that does a fine job of protecting our place, I know the horse's entire life history and he was never traumatized by dogs (or coyotes), and with five dogs and seven horses on 17 acres I'm not about to start retraining my 13 year old dog and guard dog in order to accommodate the one horse out of the twenty-some horses that we've had over the last twenty years that wants to stomp dogs. This horse is easily replaced by one that is more dog friendly.
                                        I'm with you here!! We have rules on our farm...dogs don't chase horses, donkeys or cats...horses don't chase/attack my dogs or cats!! I have a nice big gelding right now who - for NO reason will attack my donkeys and dogs. He is For SALE!! Not just because of the dog thing, but it is an entire attitude thing!! If you can't secure the horse's pasture to keep the dogs out...I'd get rid of the horse. There are many horses - as you state - that don't try to kill dogs!! On a side note...a dog shock collar - set on the lowest charge setting and positioned like a cribbing strap - works just like it does for a dog to discourage certain behavior from a very remote position!!
                                        www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                                        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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