Horse chasing dog - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-16-2012, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Helensburgh NSW
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Horse chasing dog

Hi guys,

I have a beautiful andy/x mare who I is has developed a suspicion of dogs. I have had her for approximately year and came from a home with dogs and when I started her at the beginning of the year the property she was on had a boarding kennels and with them. So until recently she had never been to fussed by them until a few months ago when 2 dogs began sneaking down to the farm through the bush and eventually brought down a kangaroo where she would stand and watch them but never chase. Anyway a few more months have passed since that incident and she has begun chasing kangaroos and the cows and now my dog!! she has beautiful ground manners, any tips to help her passed the dog issue would be greatly appreciated, especially since I don't want my own dog squashed!
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-16-2012, 11:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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If she's taking in after the dog while you are handling her, then you should correct the issue the same way you would any other ground training problem, by refocusing her attention on you and making her work until she forgot the dog was there. But just from reading, I suspect you are asking how to keep her from going after the dog if it happens to get into her paddock, correct?

If that's the case, then the only real option is to prevent the dog from getting into her paddock. A horse's natural instinct is to flee something they deem a predator. A dog is a predator. If they are in a position where fleeing will not be possible, then they will fight. Many horses that have had some bad experience with a dog will begin to skip the "flight" part of their nature and go right to attacking. If this is happening while they are turned out and on their own in their pen/paddock, then there is no way to stop it and I wouldn't want to stop it even if there was a way.

Her having come from a place where there were kennels means that it is pretty likely she has had a bad experience with a dog at some point, either being bitten or chased. When she is loose in her paddock, that instinct is the only protection she has from any animal that may choose to attack her. If you tried to train that instinct out of her, then you would open her up to be attacked.

Personally, when my horses are turned loose in their paddocks/pastures, I prefer that they are a bit wary and aggressive toward dogs. At least that way, I know that some strange dog that wanders over in the middle of the night won't be able to tear one of them apart and walk away unscathed. I don't know about Australia, but around here, dog attacks on horses aren't exactly an uncommon thing.

The way I handle it is I leave my horses to their nature and train my dogs to stay away from them.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-16-2012, 11:42 PM
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Keep your dog away from her. I had a horse who would stomp a dog flat in a minute and I encouraged it. Out on trail coyotes or dogs can be very dangerous. I wouldn't want to train that out of her.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-17-2012, 07:57 PM
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Hard to train that one out of a horse. It's not always a defensive act, especially with horses who have grown up around dogs. It is most likely a herding thing and a dominance thing. She wants those dogs out of her territory and she will darn well do what she has to to get the message across, and to a horse that means charging, kicking and biting. The same thing she would do to another horse, only she might not understand that these actions could kill a dog. either way she would not care.
I know many horses who are perfectly fine around dogs, as long as they are on a lead rope because they respect their handler enough to pay attention to them and ignore the dog. Turn them loose and everything changes because they are at liberty to do what they please.
Your best bet is to train your dogs to stay away from the horse. It will be easier than trying it the other way around ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-17-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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hey lilruffian,

I suspect that you are correct :)

She really doesn't appear to be fearful of the dogs, she'll run up and sniff the dog before going racing for it. She also spends a lot of time herding the roos and cattle! The dogs don't usually come down with me however she is agisted and they own dogs so I can't control where their dogs go.. Thanks for your replies!
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-17-2012, 11:15 PM
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Dogs are much easier to train than horses. My suggestion is to teach her "GET!" which means run away fast. Very useful is she is far away from you. "Heel" which means stay near me, where she can be easily protected. And of course she should come quickly with "Come".
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