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Greater Swiss Mountion dog spooking my horse, training ideas?

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    Greater Swiss Mountion dog spooking my horse, training ideas?

    I have a swissy that lives with me half of the year, but has a shaky past with horses. Martha is now four years old and whenever I try to ride or approach a horse she starts barking and spooks my horse which, just recently resulted in my horse falling down! I really want to be able to ride with Martha on the trails surrounding my house. Yaz is good around other animals and my other retriever, and usually just ignores Martha. Any training suggestions for Martha would be appreciated, leaving her in the house is not always an option. Also, are there ant other topic in the forum where I could post this? I`m not sure that I`m in the right topic.

    How is Martha's general basic obedience skills? Usually the best way to stop a behavior is to teach the dog to listen to you at all times that she's around you. Sounds like Martha has poor impulse control so you need to help her learn to
    stifle that.
    Start working on basic obedience skills. Sit, Down, Come, Leave It. and NO.
    Also teach her what you want from her by praising her when she does good. Small things that she does right- GOOD GIRL!
    Once you can get her polished in her SIT or LIE DOWN and NO, then do the practice around the horse over the fence, not in w/ the horse. When she's reliable then go inside fence (on leash) and continue practice. Sit, lie down, No etc.

    You're conditioning her gradually to- not needing to resource guard (YOU), not acting aggressive or fearful w/ horse,
    and very gradually getting her conditioned to calmly being around the horse.

    It's all baby steps. But do teach the basic obedience first otherwise you've skipped many steps.
    "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


      Original Poster

      She has all of her basic obedience training done, but it is hard to find food that grabs her attention. Today I gave her some peanut butter smeared on the inside of a dog bowl, at the same time I fed Yaz, so that they could both stand still and be focused on something else. She has a hard time laying down on command as it is a long way down and sometimes ends up just flopping down the last 6-8" .


        Take someone with you, go for a walk, one leads the horse, one the dog. Both have solid equipment. You walk ... until it gets normal or even boring. Horse shall be a neutral companion, no need to pay much attention to it. (If necessary make sure the dog had a good run previously to avoid too much excitement). Teach the dog to keep some distance. Of course some basic obedience is required.

        If Martha is a bit scared of the horses keep your distance, praise her, distract her, work with her and reduce the distance step by step. Also just sitting in the grass and dreaming a bit until she relaxes may work.

        Reduce her meal and she will be more interested in the goodies you offer ;-).


          For training treats, try tiny bits of cheese, cooked meat or freeze dried liver bits like those sold on Amazon. The ones I like
          are "Stewart Pro Treat 100% Pure Beef Liver Training Treat".

          I had this same problem w/ my rescue dog and horse. What works for her is to engage her into a command.... first COME then SIT and make sure she complies and then STAY. She is immediately stopped from the aggressive barking and pretend charging.
          When I first started it she was stubborn and confused. But she gradually knew the command SIT was coming and she watched me waiting for it. Always GOOD GIRL when she performs properly.

          Do not ever allow the behavior of barking aggressively at horse. Extinguish it by catching it immediately and correct the dog by Come, Sit, Stay. And nO, if dog barks.
          you will need consistancy. Til Martha learns this.

          Work on Martha's basic obedience several times per day, even for just a few minutes. In your case you can just use SIT and STAY if it's easier for you and your dog. The object is to interrupt her behavior toward the horse, focus on you, and
          wait until you release her (OK) to go back to hanging out with you.

          Teaching this and changing her behavior is a process, some dogs are more stubborn, some get it quickly. A lot depends on how much regular training the dog gets and goes into compliance mode.
          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin