06-14-2011, 03:36 AM
| || |
Myhorsesonador has it mostly right. It does depend on a dog's upbringing, but breed does play a big role in it.
Example: My australian shepherd/st bernard had been a city dog for the first two years of his life. He saw small dogs and cats, but was never around anything he saw as prey. Fast forward ten months after I got him (he was 10 months old when I got him)...we moved back to my hometown, which is extremely rural. Turned him loose on my parents' five acres and I found out how high of a prey drive he has. He can catch a jack rabbit at a dead run. I've had to force him to follow my truck before (long story, don't ask) and he kept up with me at an easy lope while I was doing close to 20MPH (back roads, no traffic at all). You would never had known it if you'd met him when we lived in the city.
What does that illustrate? That unless you get your dog extremely well-socialized as a puppy and raise it around horses daily, correcting any unwanted behaviors, you won't have a horse-safe dog on your hands. I've introduced my Cash to horses last year when I had my 8yo arab/saddlebred gelding. Dakota (the gelding) was dog-friendly. Cash was untried. Cash tried to nip Dakota's nose when they met. Because Dakota was a no-nonsense horse, he nipped back. Cured Cash of his desire to nip a horse...at least in the face. He still thinks that ANYTHING that runs (regardless of its size) actually wants to be chased. That's his high prey drive/herding instincts (which are a modified prey drive) coming out. By contrast, my cairn terrier was raised around horses and knows to respect them...mainly because even a shetland could step on her and hurt her badly 'cuz she's so small at the moment (less than 10lbs, but she's still a baby).
Bull terriers are great dogs, but as MajesticSpirit pointed out, they aren't for everyone. The bully breeds were bred for one purpose: baiting bulls. Because of this, they are strong-willed, intelligent and high energy. If you don't exercise them, mind and body, you will have a bored, extremely destructive dog on your hands. Generally speaking, bully breeds need as much exercise (physically) as an australian shepherd or border collie (what everyone thinks of as "hyper" dogs that require a TON of exercise) in order to stay sane. Keep that in mind when deciding on a breed. If you don't have the time to commit to keeping the dog engaged and exercised, it's probably not a good idea to get it. The dog in that video more than likely had been exercised VERY well before being taken to the barn.
If you know all this, great. I just repeat it because I've worked at shelters in the past and it kills me when people give up a dog (or even rehome it on Craigslist) because it is destructive, or they don't have enough time to exercise it so it sits in the yard. I love Cesar Milan's philosophy that an exercised, stimulated dog is a happy dog because it is SO true. I never fully realized this until I owned a high energy breed. Cash destroyed an $800 couch the first day I had him because he was bored while I was at work.