Well I got my 2 1/2 yo cob in august and have found out that he REALLY hates dogs. He almost killed our Lhasa Apso by pawing her and has kicked 2 other dogs. One of the dogs he kicked was the owners of the yard and im scared if he keeps it up we will be asked to leave. He hasn’t had a bad experience with…
W-e-l-l, if it was at all feasible I’d consider moving yards but that may not be a practical solution. You are going in the right direction by building up a good relationship with him. It sounds as though there is a nice boy in there somewhere and you are doing your best to bring out the best in him.
For whatever reason, it sounds as though your horse is afraid of dogs, very probably because of a bad experience. You would be appalled at the methods some people go to to “accustom” their horses to dogs! For the time being try to keep him away from dogs. Apart from the fact that there is no place on a livery or teaching yard for dogs running loose, dog owners should be politely warned that your horse is very afraid of dogs and may be aggressive to them.and would they please keep their dogs away from him. This will put the ball in their court and they will have no come-back if your horse injures their dog. If there are dogs running loose on the yard start a campaign to make the Yard Owner enforce the dogs on leads rule.
As I say, don’t get too involved with dealing with the dog issue for the time being. Get him to the stage where you’ve established good ground rules, he understands what is expected of him and he trusts you and then you can start addressing the dog problems. Chose a friend’s small dog which is well-behaved and sensible around horses and which you have regular access to. Put your horse in his stable or somewhere where he feels secure with a half door or gate between you and him. Bring the dog on the lead to the outside of the stable, etc., where the horse can see you and the dog, making sure the dog sits quietly. Talk to horse soothingly (doesn’t matter what you say, just witter) and let him see that you aren’t afraid of the dog. Do this as often as necessary until he can cope with this. Then, in the same circumstances, pick up the dog (this is why you need a small one!) and hold it in your arms while talking to your horse over the door. Repeat as necessary. What you are doing here is showing the horse that you are not afraid of the dog so he needn’t be because you will protect him. Always reward him with praise and pats when he gets it right.
When you are sure the horse is thoroughly happy with this situation you can bring him out into the big wide world and repeat the above series of events with him standing outside in the yard. Hold him on the lead rein in a safe area – don’t tie him up. Being tied up in a stressful situation can upset him and set the training back several stages – he knows he can’t escape and it’ll worry him at a time when you want him relaxed.
This won’t be a miracle overnight cure. You will have to repeat it with other quiet dogs and when he is happy with dogs he knows, make a habit of introducing him to other dogs you meet on a daily basis on the yard (with the dog owner’s co-operation). When you get to the stage of hacking out always keep an eye out for dogs and if you see one approaching talk to your horse soothingly using the words you did when you were training him to be brave around dogs.
Whatever you do don’t punish him for his reaction to dogs – it will frighten him more and fix the idea in his head that dogs are dangerous and need to be dealt with.
When I bought my gelding 10 years ago he was terrified of dogs to the point of shear panic when he saw one in the distance. He had been attacked and badly injured by a German Shepherd Dog and his previous owner had tried to cure his resultant fear of dogs by shutting him in his stable with her golden retriever. Total disaster! I used the above techniques and he gradually got to the stage where he could tolerate being with dogs he knew and, within about 6 months, those he met while hacking . We’re on a teaching yard where dogs have to be kept on a lead and I introduce him to any new dogs we meet there. He is still very afraid of GSDs but can cope when they are under control.
It also helps to associate dogs with something nice such as a Polo mint or a carrot or apple or some treat which he likes.
Hope this helps
Young horse needs to be doing something but cannot because of the weather so he will make his own mischief!
I have 17 horses and nearly as many dogs about this place and I will not tolerate any of the horses going for the dogs. If they do then they get a good telling off in the form of me frightening the heck out of them by arm waving and going into attack mode. If I say that the dogs are part of the herd and the horses are part of the pack then that is the way it is.
It is good for the horses to get use to the dogs, just a few weeks ago when the farrier was shoeing one of the TBs the dogs put up a rat and ran around and under the horse which never turned a hair.
I do have to tell the dogs off for going into the loose shed with the four yearlings at feed times because the poor horses cannot get into the feed bowls because there are a GSD, Border Collie, two Foxhound pups eating their feed!
Hmm, well, considering how I’ve seen some horses react to tractors chasing him with one wasn’t one of the best decisions on the barn owner’s part( I’m in America and I’m assuming that “yard” and “livery” are what we call the barn over here). Some horses just aren’t that comfortable with dogs running around them and barking. Try to slowly introduce him to some quiet dogs in a calm, safe environment. Also, it might help to contact a vet or behaviorist if you have any more questions, they could possibly give you some hands on instruction to solve the problem. I always found my instructor to be very helpful when a horse was misbehaving for me. Good luck!
My horse hates dogs too. I know I’ll get thumbs down for this but this is the way I see it:
The horse pawed, chased, and/or kicked the dog. That should have been a warning to it. If it’s dumb enough to get around it again, it needs to be kicked. That’s just my view on it and that’s how I do things with my dogs. My 9 year old Chihuahua kept running under my horse one day when I was lungin him. I kept yelling and yelling at her to get away (she’s usually a good listener) but she wouldn’t stop. Well, I had my horse going at a nice rack on the line when the dog ran under him, his front leg missed her but his back leg caught her head. She never got in his way again. Same happened with my 9 month old Chihuahua (though she has yet to learn her lesson) She was stepped on and kicked in the same moment because she ran in front of the horse. Now she’s constantly barking at him and biting his back legs and in my opinion deserves whatever she’s going to get from him. He has yet to purposely hurt her though so I guess that’s good on the dog’s part. The most he does now really is lay his ears back.
You have two separate issues here. One is that this horse does not yet have ground manners or respect for people. The other is that he is in defensive mode around other animals, which is just pure survival, not necessarily meanness. His fear of people, of dogs, is justifiable. It doesn’t mean he has been frightened by them particularly or traumatized. He just knows he needs to survive. He is not being bad; he just is a horse. This is easy to identify when you take in mustangs, range colts, or deal with horses that no one has handled.
The ground manners require that you fix that right away, not wait until spring. Lunging is not your answer. He needs to understand how to halter, stay out of your space, move his feet on command, disengage his hips, get his shoulders over, direct and drive and back up. You only need a small non iced place to teach this. We only use a rope halter and a 14 ft lead. I suggest you search out some DVDs that show you how to do it. There are several good clinicians out there, but I think that Chris Cox does it the most efficiently.
Now about wanting to stomp dogs and cats…
When we bring in a mustang whose whole survival has been based upon using the feet to defend itself, we are cautious with our dogs. Donkeys are the same way. We allow one mature dog who understands how to stay its distance (not a herd dog that would be trying to work it) and takes orders from us to “out” (leave the area pronto) to hang out with the new equine. This needs to be a dog with good instincts and one that reads equine body language well. After this dog hangs around with the new equine, but not in kicking distance, the equine’s defenses relax a little. Then you call the dog in closer every few days and soon it is right at your heels while you work with this horse.
Within a few weeks, the dog is cutting behind the horse and in front of the horse with no issue. Several of our equines would rather have stomped a dog than eaten dinner when they got here. We are cautious about which dog (the good working farm dog) can get near them for awhile. Then we introduce the not so bright dogs. Soon, any dog they know can cut through and the cats are sleeping next to their feed pans.
But the donkeys, especially, do not tolerate neighbors dogs or coyotes, which is ok with me.
Now, there will be an occasional horse that just hates dogs despite your best efforts. Then it is your job to keep your dog away from it and advise others to do the same. Generally, the more the horse is exposed to a quiet working dog, the less they fear dogs.
As far as him being rough on the other horses, that is natural. He is trying to establish his position in the herd. They will work it out when some tough old mare puts him in his place.
I don’t experiences in horses but i do know that it’s better to keep dogs away from your horse. He must’ve had bad experiences with dogs in his past that you may not know about. Secondly, you say the owner is a bully to horses, maybe you should report him to a higher authority who deals with animals like RSPCA (that’s in London, UK), abroadwise….you need to look it up at the library, ask around or use the internet as I do not know which state you’re in.
About dogs once again…maybe you could bring one of your gentle dogs and kind of encourage the bond between the horse and the dog little by little. Give it time.
He still sounds a very young horse, meaning that he will be very adaptable. Ignore the people at the yard do things how you like this is your horse not theirs. If you keep doing what you are your horse will begin to trust you entirely.After that gently start to socialise with dogs, it sounds almost like he is unsure of them. Horses have two answers to being unsure “fight or flight” he is fighting. Tell the others in the yard to keep their dogs under control or away from him when he is being handled. At least then you have warned them. He just needs to handle one thing at a time. Hope this helps 🙂 xx
horses have a natural fear of dogs and if he hasn’t been around them and has been chased and not handled then what do you expect if he chases them, he has had to defend for himself and its his natural instinct to kick and bite. Maybe take the dog out on a leash and reassure him that the dog will not hurt him. My Miniature Horses didn’t like dogs either because they have never seen them and when I went to the paddock I took my smaller dog and holding her so the horse could smell her now the horses don’t care
It’s not acceptable to be chasing horses around with tractors, especially if the horse wasn’t hers in the first place. You need to report this person. Just because they don’t like your horse doesn’t mean they are allowed to abuse him.
For the dog thing, I suggest asking the owner to keep their dog away. You are a paying customer. You need to keep your dogs away too. Alot of horses hate dogs, mainly because dogs are considered predators. Your horse is young and probably is reverting to his natural instincts.
your yard owner sounds horrible. i wouldnt trust her with my horse at all. theres not much you can do without putting any dogs at danger. our little pony used to be terrified of dogs and would rear but we have lots of dogs at our yard and one day she was in the school while i was mucking out and one of the dogs went in there and she reared up and it ran away so she stopped being scared but now if they come running up to here she charges at them, she would never hurt them she just chases them :L
does your horse live in a stable? you could try tying a dog outside the stable maybe? not so that the horse can reach it though but so that he can see it. i dont know. good luck with it.
also i would think of moving yards.