Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Dogs bark at people, they bark at horses, they might even come close to them and its not great but I don't think its a reason to shoot them. I don't know how many dogs I have had run up to me and then proceed to lick me. I would go to lengthy means to protect myself and my horse from a vicious dog, but I think many of them aren't. And the way so many people talk on this thread it sounds like they are willing to shoot a dog willy-nilly, just because it happens to be there, or to teach an owner a lesson or because there is some vague possibility that its a threat. And I think that is terrible.
Yes, they shouldn't be off the lead, or they should be better trained, or both. And perhaps the owners should be more responsible. But it is so terrible to kill a dog just because its there, especially when you don't know the circumstances. Perhaps it escaped its yard, or slipped its leash, or is just having a terrible day. Maybe it's eight year old owner accidentally let it go. People love their dogs. They love them so much, they are their companions, and to many people are closer than family. To just shoot one when it wasn't necessary is an awful thing to do. To deliberately cause a person so much pain and suffering when maybe, yes, they made a mistake.
I know so many more people who are scared of horses, and if your horse was loose and, chasing a dog maybe, and someone shot it, how would you feel? I know if a horse cantered up to some friends of mine, loose, they would be terrified, probably much more scared than a dog because many people are terrified of horses. And if everyone had the attitude that people in this thread have, they'd shoot the horse. When maybe the fence came down in a storm, or someone fell off. Has it got to do with training and control? Not all the time.
Yes, protect yourself and your horse, but please consider before you make such a callous decision. On a side not, I wouldn't be taking a horse out to a public area if he'd throw a rider and bolt because of a dog. To me that is not a well trained horse, and could do traffic damage, or injure people. Until a dog made physical contact with the horses I have ridden out, they probably would have been fine.