dogs on trail rides?
question for all you trailriders, and i apologize because i am not sure really how to ask.
i have been taken my puppy on trail rides around the farms of leash and she is doing great, but she is still not a 100% obedience trained.(we are getting there but just not there yet)
anywho, i want to start hitting the main trail system which is public, and was wondering how much of a bad idea is it to have my dog on a leash while i ride my horse??
pros i thought this would teach puppy to follow more closely when we are going hacking and would follow the leash laws.
but a major con is i dont want the leash/rope that connects puppy to me to get tangled around my horses feet. (however puppy stays a good 4 feet either in front of or directly behind my horse)
now i would like the more experienced trail riders with dogs to shed light on possible training techinques to work both horse and dog while following the leash law. also note horse is very desentized to ropes around his feet, legs, hind, shoulder, etc and is calm when restricted by hobbles.
if this is impossible just tell me... i am trying to find one workout that will suffice for me, horse and puppy all in one shot :)
thanks in advance
wow that seems pretty complicated. I have tried doing that on a bike, Maybe start that way and you will probably wont want to try it. I guess if you can pony a horse you could pony a dog. Maybe try it in an areana first ?
Kait have you taken her with you on foot? Does she spaz at other dogs?
How big is she, can you haul her up with you if there is danger?
I'd wait until she's SOLID on her commands and been there done that on foot.
I wouldn't do it now and especially since she's a puppy in case she gets scared or attacked by other dogs not on leash. Then you'd have to worry about the other dogs, yours, and your horse.
Do you have her on a retractable leash? I'd keep her by your side instead of on a longer line in front. If she bolts she could get you tangled with the longer line, no matter the horse just add in barking dogs, yelling owners and you gotta problem. It's always the other people I'm worried about!!
I'd also work on getting her used to watching your hand cues. I hardly talk to mine, they have been taught to watch me and my hands. I'd work on her listening to you in a very quiet voice, gasp train her too. That way she learns to listen to your breathing and becomes more focused on smaller cues. Before you take her out make sure she stays at your side only, never in front. Gotta be their boss. When we hike with ours they walk just BEHIND us or just to the side.
Of course I'd like to hear what others have to say. Mine all get to come off leash around the farm, they are all verbal trained, only see a leash when we go to the vet. The only dog I take out with me is my Coydog, but she's obviously different. Hides when people are around and could care less about other dogs.
It seems like an awful lot to manage during a ride with the potential for turning into a mess.
I don't think this is comparable to ponying another horse. Just the height difference between the horse and the dog means you'll be fighting all kinds of entanglement problems with the leash.
I keep my dog on a leash to walk her across the road, but then let her off.
It's really hard to ride with a dog on a leash. I wouldn't recommend it. Even on a leash I wouldn't take your dog out with your horse unless he knows all the basic commands. If you have a friend with an older trail dog go out with them and their dog. That is how we taught our puppies to follow along on the trail.
I'll tell you my own experience with doing the above.... and why I would never do it again.
My puppy was doing well on the ground with commands, but like you I wasn't sure if she was ready to listen when I was up on a horse and wanted to be 100% sure. I tested to rope with and all around my horse, I practiced tossing the rope over his head/rump if the puppy decided to change sides and he wasn't fazed at all.
We went on the trail ride and it went great... The puppy was staying with us, the horse was tolerating the rope and I kept it tight enough the puppy couldn't get herself too mixed up without hitting his feet.
When we got back to the barn however... we were walking the long road to the barn when two barn dogs came running up to play with my puppy. My dog was a little timid around other dogs and two full grown dogs running scared her, so she ran away and they chased. It happened before I could drop the lead rope, but she wrapped herself around all four legs of my horse so tight she was RIGHT next to all of his hooves. The poor horse had all his legs tied together and wasn't even acting worried, but because of the rope pulling he took one step and she was so close to his hooves he landed on her paw.
It was the worst moment ever, she cried SO loudly I thought her leg was broken! (I still give props to that horse, who even being tied up, having me hop off and abandon him for the screaming puppy while two dogs ran amok he just sat and watched) Luckily since she was a puppy her bones were 'flexible' and the vet said she only had a fracture at most, but it was still a terrifying experience for all involved (my puppy took the pain and related it to the dogs, not the horse and was very skittish around dogs for a while after that)
If I were to do it again... I wouldn't. I ended up buying a vibrating e-collar that I trained her with on the ground, and then transferred to the horse so she wouldn't learn to 'get away' with things when I was unable to actually get her.
thanks fly gap.
she is tiny alittle bigger than a beagle but has the mindset of a border collie already. she is timid with people and will not go up to them nor dogs which is what leads me to want to keep her off leash. however i am more concerned about other dogs and humans as you say which will scare her under my horse.
she is already used to walking in front and behind me while riding and constantly looking at me for the ok to keep going. she will not venture far from me at all..maybe tops 10 yards which if other off leash dogs are out could be problematic.
she has ridden in the saddle with me when she is out to long as she is still young.. an trying to fix her harness so that i can kinda pull her up to the saddle without getting off to put her on the saddle lol
but her being not 100% obedient trained is what scares me alot in this scenario and has me very hesitant to take her off the property.
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