'Dogs are more useful than horses' - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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'Dogs are more useful than horses'

A conversation I had with my dog-loving younger sister: whether horses or dogs are more useful. I contended that horses are more useful and she dogs.

Despite my older, wiser voice of reason () she refused to relent. My main point was how you could RIDE horses, use them in farming, travel, and the police force, their intimate history with human civilisation, and so on. She maintained dogs were also necessary in farming (herding animals), used in the police more than horses, and could be used for travel (although nobody really uses the husky sleighs she was talking about...) In the police part, I suppose she has a point, but I can't merit that they are any more useful in farming or that they are even at all useful in travel. She also said they could be trained to do more (this, IMO, is clearly false as we teach out horses riding with some quite subtle and complicated aids and we need them to learn respect, stand still, pick up hooves, tie nicely, ground manners, longing...)

So, are horses more useful? Or are dogs? Personally it's horses all the way, but who do you agree with and why?
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 08:11 AM
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I think they are both useful just in different ways. Why argue about which is better or more useful. Why not appreciate both for their use in different ways?
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post #3 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 08:50 AM
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In today's society, for the majority of people, neither one is really "useful" in the traditional sense. Who cares? I love my horses and my dogs....I'd hate to have to choose one over the other. However, as a money pit...horses win hands (hooves?) down!
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post #4 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Inga View Post
I think they are both useful just in different ways. Why argue about which is better or more useful. Why not appreciate both for their use in different ways?
I have both, and I agree. They really arent a comparable animal, in my opinion. I appreciate them both for what they do.
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 08:56 AM
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And a pickup truck is more useful than a locomotive....depending on what your goal is. It could easily be the other way around. As suggested above, both useful, but in different ways.

Both have their purposes. MOST people would find a dog more useful than a horse because they have no purpose for a horse, but those who appreciate what a horse can do (especially those who use them as part of their job) would quickly disagree.

And that's when the argument goes full circle.
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 09:37 AM
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Apples and oranges.
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post #7 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 11:31 AM
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My dogs are pets, but they also are a great alarm system. They don't bark unless there is something I need to go check. One got me out of bed some years back at 2AM...turned out a neighbor's house was on fire. I called the Fire Department. The neighbor wasn't home, so no one was hurt. The house was a total loss.

Another time, there was a rattlesnake in our house...at midnight! No idea how it got in, and it wasn't very big. My dog just looked at me as if to say, "I found him, now YOU do something!" In the end, I opened the door and used a long broom to slide it across our tile floor and back into the desert.

2 years ago, my 79 year old aunt had someone come to her door during an Indiana winter night supposedly selling cosmetics. She turned the girl away. A minute later, her little 8 lb dog went nuts. My aunt grabbed a revolver in time to confront a guy in a mask trying to force open the door. The guy ran. Without her little dog's warning, there wouldn't have been time for her to react.

So in that sense, I think a lot of dogs earn their keep. My horses are for fun. I enjoy them, but they don't do anything useful for me apart from fun. My dogs, however, continue to be a much better alarm system than ADT.

BTW - I understand that many horses DO earn their keep. But I don't own a ranch, while I do own a car. And a truck, which I own so I can haul hay for my horses...who is supporting whom?

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 11:46 AM
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in todays world, dogs do win. My dogs are an alarm system, they guard my house, they protect me(5' 4" blond that seems to attract trouble), my car, and my horses when I'm out riding. Multiple times I've been approached by suspicious looking guys only to have my dogs(one of which is a big black pit mix) go uncharacteristically aggressive and 'encourage' the guy to back off. They are also my companions, and a source of entertainment.

also in modern times they are used for police work extensively, bomb sniffing, drug detecting, finding cancer, helping people with blindness, epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder(to name a few), comforting the sick, they excel at guarding, tracking things(both in a police scenario and hunting) they have aided hunters in many ways for thousands of years and still do, as well as being irreplaceable as livestock herders and guardians. In the past they were used frequently as pack animals, or to tow wagons.

horses come in second to me because they are far more expensive feed and maintain, limiting the people who can own them, they are also larger, so cant practically be housed or transported like a dog. My horses are my exercise, recreation and therapy. I have packed and pulled things with them, and I'm sure if the technological world ended they would be irreplaceable for transporting people and goods, pulling a wagon and plowing fields for farming and herding livestock, but at present my dogs are more practical.
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 01:13 PM
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Lots of good things have been said about both. The dogs ability to help people with various handicaps to travel, work, and live independently is huge. Alerting people with seizures before they happen is unbelievable. Horse save lives also, and add to the quality of life to. I just don't see the need to say one is greater at the expense of the other.
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-03-2014, 01:51 PM
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Well, I would go for the horses definitely!
But until I actually get enough money to own horses for a while I wil just stick with maybe a dog. WIth dogs they eat whatever you eat - at least the one we have now does. She is healthy and hasn't touched dog food at all. Dog food is as it sounds - dog food. Not good for dogs. So, our dogs just eat chicken and meat and yes, veggies with us.

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