Getting a new dog, suggestions? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a new dog, suggestions?

We're looking into a second dog and companion atm, and I wondering if anyone has some suggestions. I love herding breeds (mostly Aussies and cattle dogs), but I'm worried they might scare Isabella (my horse) to death since she spooks a ton around dogs, she had a bad experience with one running up at her at a full sprint. If any of you have barn companions, what breed of dogs are they? I'm looking for a dog who is a bit of velcro dog/ companion, between the size of a cattle dog and a german shepherd, protective, minimum prey drive especially around horses, playful, could be left alone for about 7 hours or less (almost always less) each day, affectionate, and very active but not requireing more than an hour of human supervised exercise per day ( wee have a HUGE yard and a dog door), and gets along with other dogs since we currently have a Pyrenees mix. The dog may come on trail rides as well so one that could keep up. Breeds we are so far considering include labs, goldens, german shepherds and cattle dogs.

Looking for both/ either suggestions for us or types of dogs you guys own who do well around horses. I know a girl with an amazing golden who follows her everywhere around the barn, but can just sit outside the arena and watch her ride for hours. Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 06:51 PM
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I have a dog that I'm assuming is lab x german and he has a very strong prey drive, and I'm fairly sure that this is due to his GSD side. If something looks weak, he wants to test it. So maybe a GSD may not be the best idea for what you're wanting unless you have extensive experience with them. My guy is super loving, loyal, and protective towards me, but anyone outside of our little 'pack' is fair game for testing to see if they'll let him get away with acting out or pushing them around. He LOVES exercise and could probably do twice what he does now, but is currently being jogged for a mile every morning and he gets to play in the backyard as long as he wants in the evenings.

A good adult lab that was introduced to horses and socialized properly might be a good idea, or a herding dog who has been trained not to herd livestock If you tell it not to, but for ANY dog to meet most of your requirements, that means training, exercise, and careful nurturing of certain qualities.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 06:53 PM
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If your experienced with dogs it sounds like you need a Rottweiler!

My dog was like Velcro (i could walk him off leash anywhere), protective *if* he felt he needed to be, GREAT around the horses, very easy to train (once you figure them out!), just as happy to hang at home as we was to go to the barn... They are just all around intelligent, loyal and outgoing dogs!
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 06:55 PM
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my family has a really good heard dog. we aren't sure she is ether a lesser Newfoundland or a retriever.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 07:03 PM
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My advice would be research, research, research. The breeds you mentioned can be very different from each other so I would pick one that meets as many of your needs as possible.

I love Australian cattle dogs. They work very well on our farm, but it took a ton of training to get them that way. They're definite velcro dogs, incredibly intelligent, protective, energetic and affectionate towards family. But they can also be very "teeth on" as youngsters, cautious or aggressive towards strangers and feel the need to herd family around. My ACD required a ton of startup training hours, but is much better now because of the time invested.

Definitely be careful if your horse is spooky. My dogs run up to, past and around our horses at about the speed of lightening. If your horse is scared of them it could put you and the dog in a dangerous position.

Good luck on the dog search. Be sure to post pictures of the new fella!
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 09:08 PM
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I LOVE my boxer. She's been everything and more I have expected in a dog. When I bring her to the barn, she listens very well, doesn't chase the horses or anything. The breed also tends to not be vocal, so they aren't barkers. The only time my boxer barks is if someone new comes in the house that she doesn't know. She is also the most affectionate dog. She is literally attached to me at the hip, but when I leave, she is able to do her own thing. I might be slightly biased to the Boxer breed though

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-13-2013, 09:48 PM
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Depends on yor climate, but you might want to look at Bernese mountain dogs. I live in Maine, so my guy is perfectly happy because most of the year is winter. He defines Velcro! I ended up being home the most with him as a puppy, so he ended up being my dog, and if I am with him he got an eye on me. He sleeps in my room, and he positions himself between me and the door. He is sweet sweet sweet but has strong protective instincts, and needed good leash training because of it. He is happy to go on a long walk, play in the yard, or just hang out in the barn all day. No prey drive, just a lot of fur.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-24-2013, 06:53 PM
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I vote a Maltese. Easy to care for and train. They don't shed, and they have really fun personalities. They are incredibly playful and cuddly. They make great outside or inside dogs, and they keep guard.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-24-2013, 07:39 PM
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I have a Pyrenees mix as well, and Great Pyrenees are livestock protection dogs and were bred to be on their own for hours, protecting livestock (which is why they're so freakin' stubborn, they like to make their own decisions ). Maybe just jump on and see what comes up. It's a fantastic site that lists dogs available for adoption in shelters in your area. I found my dog on there. Please try to adopt if you can. and have tons of different breeds, sizes, etc. Good luck finding another furry friend!

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post #10 of 15 Old 07-24-2013, 07:50 PM
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I had a female Belgian Malinoise. Looks somewhat like a GS altho finer built. When she was sent to bring the horses in and if they ignored her, she'd run toward it while crouching at the same time and click her teeth by the horse's nostril. Horse's head would fly up and it would start walking. Once one was moving the other would as well. Then it was great to watch the dog in action. Once the horses were behind secure fence for the night, patting her was taboo. She'd done her job.
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