Introducing new puppy to horses? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Introducing new puppy to horses?

Hi there, just joined because I'm looking for some advice! (Came from the dogforum). I have two horses, and recently brought home a sheltie pup. He's 10 weeks, and I'd like to get him acclimated to horses/barns/shows as soon as possible. I will bring someone along with me to the barn when I can, so they can hold him while I'm grooming, riding, etc, but when it's just me and my puppy, what's the best way in your experience to contain him? Crate, xpen, stall, tied? Do you keep them in the arena, barn? I would appreciate any and all advice pertaining to puppies/dogs and horses! I would love to end up with a barn buddy dog who is calm and quiet around horses, and maybe come trail riding with me eventually.
Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 10:36 PM
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In my opinion just general obedience training would help. Shelties are high energy dogs so if you do not want him jumping and barking lots of exersize and general obedience training would make a huge difference. I take all 5 of my dogs when I go riding and its a lot of fun but they have to learn to come IMMEDIATLY when called, in case of snakes especially, I like them to heal off leash and stay when I ask. Practice obedience around the horses and always make sure he is calm and reward him when he is calm try not to get him excited.

If your horse thinks your the greatest person in the world dont seek a second opinion.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Animallover707 View Post
In my opinion just general obedience training would help. Shelties are high energy dogs so if you do not want him jumping and barking lots of exersize and general obedience training would make a huge difference. I take all 5 of my dogs when I go riding and its a lot of fun but they have to learn to come IMMEDIATLY when called, in case of snakes especially, I like them to heal off leash and stay when I ask. Practice obedience around the horses and always make sure he is calm and reward him when he is calm try not to get him excited.
Thanks He starts puppy class next week, and will be in at least an obedience class or two after that, along with agility. He should hopefully grow up to be a well behaved, trained dog, but I'm really looking for some more specific advice about getting him used to the horses, and the best way to contain him when he comes with me to the barn. I will keep in mind to reinforce calm behavior around the horses, that is a good start!
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 03:28 PM
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Are you boarding your horses? If so, you might want to give BO and other boarders a heads up about the pup.

I have a border collie, and when he was a pup he was constantly trying to heel the horses (he herds cattle). So a leash is a good idea!

Does he like his crate? If so, that would be a good way to contain him. He'll feel safe, but he'll have a chance to get used to the smells and sounds of the horses. Maybe trying introducing the pup to the horse smell beforehand by putting something with the horse's scent in his crate at home.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs find it threatening when horses lower their heads to sniff the dogs. Cattle do the same thing before charging the dogs. So I wouldn't let the horses sniff the dog, at least at first. It might scare the pup or result in a bite for the horse (once again speaking from experience here).
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LisaG View Post
Are you boarding your horses? If so, you might want to give BO and other boarders a heads up about the pup.

I have a border collie, and when he was a pup he was constantly trying to heel the horses (he herds cattle). So a leash is a good idea!

Does he like his crate? If so, that would be a good way to contain him. He'll feel safe, but he'll have a chance to get used to the smells and sounds of the horses. Maybe trying introducing the pup to the horse smell beforehand by putting something with the horse's scent in his crate at home.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs find it threatening when horses lower their heads to sniff the dogs. Cattle do the same thing before charging the dogs. So I wouldn't let the horses sniff the dog, at least at first. It might scare the pup or result in a bite for the horse (once again speaking from experience here).
We are currently looking for a boarding stable, and once we find one we will definitely make sure they are aware of/okay with my puppy being at the barn. He is great in his crate at home, but not great in it when in the car. So I'm not sure if he would be good or not, but worth a shot. At least when there isn't someone with me to hold him on leash. And thank you, GREAT idea about giving him something with the horses scent! I never would have thought of that. I'll try putting it next to or on his crate because he will probably chew my stuff up otherwise :)
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 04:53 PM
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How are your horses with dogs? Not only do you have to consider the dog but consider how the horses will react to a dog especially a puppy. What if puppy barks or whines? Will the horses spook if its unexpected? Or if puppy is running around wildly/playing. Puppies are very unpredictable and balls of energy and destruction LoL Gotta love their cute faces :) but ya I just wanted to point out the other perspective. Your not just training your puppy. Your training all 3 of your pets.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 05:39 PM
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My new puppy arrives at the end of the month and I have the same goal. My older kelpie comes out trail riding and I would like my new puppy (koolie) to eventually do the same. Unfortunately my older dog isn't here with me to teach the pup, and not all te horses here are rest with dogs.

To begin with I will just be bringing him with me to the horses as much as possible. I think I will bring his bed and a chew toy and tie him up, and reward him when he is sitting calmly watching what's going on. I won't have him off leash around the horses until he is a fair bit older and has a good recall and sit.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-11-2013, 08:27 PM
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Countrylove is right, too. I'd be especially wary of letting the pup off-leash if the horses are at all kicky. It's tricky to teach the dog not to hang out behind the horses, and it's hard to keep an eye on them constantly.
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