dogs on trail rides? - Page 6

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dogs on trail rides?

This is a discussion on dogs on trail rides? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Using an e-collar for dog training while trail riding
  • E collar for dog trail ride

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    05-26-2013, 08:06 AM
I didn't read the whole thread, but I have ponied my dogs from my horse successfully. I used to board somewhere with a lot of back roads to ride, and I would bring the dog along for exercise too, ponying alongside my horse with a horse lead rope. Of course, the dog has to be 100% obedient, calm, and not fearful. The horse has to be experienced at ponying other horses reliably and good with dogs running next to them and near their legs. My horse had foxhunted and trail rides with dogs off leash a lot, so she was fine.

Now I use an e collar (Dogtra with 1 mile range) and ride with my dog off leash. I do carry an extra leadrope in case I have to put a real leash on the dog at any point and pony. My current young heeler knows how to safely ride the horse too, if needed. (seriously- he can even jump up there himself, sits in front of the rider quietly, even on steep/technical terrain. I don't trust my horse 100% but hubby's ranch bred paint is so calm and does perfectly with the canine rider)
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    05-26-2013, 10:33 AM
New here, but wanted to comment on this topic. Locally, we have lost sections of privately owned trails due to dogs. Apparently a dog ran into a yard and started a fight with a landowners dog, so the land owner decided to no longer lease the land to the trail system.

While I have seen very well behaved dogs on rides, my honest opinion is this is horse time and dogs don't need to be there. They can go on their own walks at appropriate places or dog parks - it's a commitment we make when we have dogs, so we make time for all our animals to have their time.

There are a lot of horses who dislike dogs and will hurt/kill them. Mine wasn't one of those until a JRT jumped up and bit her nose when she was trying to be friendly. She's better now, but there for a long while, I was afraid she would seriously hurt one.

We as riders really need to start thinking outside of "ourselves" and realize when we are in public areas, it's not just about "me and my horse" or me and my group. Same with littering, drinking and noise level on trails. I can remember a huge group of riders who even packed in a "boom box" with all their beer and food and aside from blaring music when I really wanted to listen to the river I was riding beside left every bit of trash on the trail in a state park.

There's also the safety issue for our dogs. I just don't believe in bomb proof horses (even though most would say mine is) or 100% trustworthy/trained dogs. I had a dog that stayed at my side like glue and wouldn't go in a road without being on leash - she was killed by a car. It just isn't worth it to me. I get crap from a trainer I know about always having my dogs leashed when they're not in the fenced yard, but I'd rather a live leashed dog then dead free one, and you can't predict a dog's reaction to all stimuli. Well especially since I have Beagles - they aren't hunters, but that instinct is there.
    05-26-2013, 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by Dixiesmom    
While I have seen very well behaved dogs on rides, my honest opinion is this is horse time and dogs don't need to be there. They can go on their own walks at appropriate places or dog parks...
Dog parks?

It's apparent that we live in considerably different environments. Hereabouts, it's rare for us to even see another human when we're out riding.

As for the dogs, a normal-sized dog is unlikely to get sufficient exercise on a leash. Maybe if you are actively training for a marathon, but even then I doubt it. My older, bone-lazy dog is perfectly happy doing 10 mile mountain bike rides with me. The younger, more active one is constantly running up & down the mountainsides 'cause we're too slow for him.
    05-27-2013, 01:48 PM
I agree with Dixie. Dogs in public places need to be controlled. I hate being at a trail riding place and some dog comes snooping around my trailer or horses. Even when you go to places that say dogs need to be on leash some people think they doesn't mean their dogs. I have been known to yell out, Who's dog is this? Hoping to find the owner so I can remind them that the dog is supposed to be on a leash or report the owner to the camp ranger. I can be riding along on a remote trail and here comes someone around the corner with a couple of loose dogs. The noise they make going through the brush could spook some horses. Yeah I know wild animals make noise in the woods to but they are going away from you not coming closer. I have dogs and I keep them on a leash or at home. Sorry if I sound radical but it is a sore topic with me because so many people think they can just ignore rules because they want to let their dogs get a little exercise or join the family or go along on the ride.
    05-27-2013, 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by G8tdh0rse    
Sorry if I sound radical but it is a sore topic with me because so many people think they can just ignore rules...
What rules? As I said, different environments. There aren't any rules about dogs on trails hereabouts. It would be fairly unusual to meet anyone else out on any of the trails we ride, let alone people with horses. Odds are pretty good that anyone hiking or biking will have their dogs with them, too. It's just part of what you expect, just as it's perfectly possible to run across bears or mountain lions when we're out riding.
    05-27-2013, 06:19 PM
I can't stand a rude dog in a public area. I find that rude dogs come from owners who do not understand etiquette. It is rude to let your dog run up to other people and horses, sniffing around someone elses truck and trailer.
Many moons ago I in the bay area riding colts and take people on rides on the beach. It was an everyday occurrence to have someones dog run up and bark at the horses or even try to bite while the owner stood by laughing thinking it was "cute".
I have the upmost respect for someone who has taken the time to train their dogs and expect them to be respectful. I have no issues riding with dogs as I have dogs of my own that I ride with and one of them is a working dog for helping me gather cattle.
    05-27-2013, 06:55 PM
I liked having a dog on the trail here at home, We have forest land behind us (when it dries out so the trails aren't like clay ski slopes). But it's not full of hikers, bikers and other riders either. I always felt safe with Ruby dog. If my horse got goofy and wanted to turn, all I had to do was watch the dog. No alert = no problem and the big fat liar horse had to continue on. We have bear and couger in the area. I considered that dog my early warning system. I miss not having a trail dog.
But out on public trails I think there can be a problem for all the reasons probably mentioned. Our horse and dog might be fine but there are others who could have a problem. Best they say home or in camp.
    05-27-2013, 08:54 PM
Most state parks around here have signs saying dogs on 6 foot leash or no dogs. That's what I wish everyone would respect - follow the rules of where you are - PERIOD. Don't care if your dog is perfect - if it says on leash, have it on leash, if it says no dogs, then no dogs no exceptions.

If you're in a group, you have to take every person and horse into consideration and respect them. Group rides are probably not the best situations for dogs unless it is your family or a specific barn group where all the riders and horses are used to your dog. And again, the rules of where you ride over ride that as well.

On your own land or areas where there are no K9 regulations you can do as you please, but if you should happen to run into others you must be sure your dog stays right beside you without approaching other riders, bicycles, joggers, etc. I often run into people who will move off to the side of the trail, call their dog to sit beside their horses and let everyone pass before proceeding - that's good trail manners.
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    05-27-2013, 09:11 PM
It is the bad dogs (bad owners) that ruins it for everyone else.

Yesterday my wonderful trail dog accompanied me on a busy trail (holiday weekend). No less than 4 passing groups made comments about how well behaved he is, and they were so impressed. I think that should be the norm.

Whenever we pass another group, I move off the side of the trail and call my dog to sit stay on the far side of my horse. No problems. I do have the e-collar on, of course, so if for some reason he chose to be disobedient (though he never does), he would get a shock reminder. I consider that to be more than adequate restraint for a well trained dog with a mindful owner.

However, I have been harassed (almost attacked) by a loose pit bull when riding down the road. Scary! I can understand why some people don't like loose dogs on the trail. I wish they were all well trained and obedient, but of course, some aren't.
    05-28-2013, 04:59 AM
I might be the exception to the rules here because my dogs are medical dogs and they have to go with me everywhere. But I took a lot of extra time training them after I got them so it was safe to bring them around horses. They know to keep out of the way or at my sides when we're with other people/horses and to keep behind me so they don't startle other horses that might spook with such dogs on the trail. I've got a pit bull and an Irish wolfhound so they needed extensive training to not only do their job but be around horses without effecting them. If you're going to take a dog out on the trail I think they should all of through medical obedience training. They're trained not to run off, to ignore everything, and keep you safe at all costs. I take mine out everywhere and they're never on the leash. But then again it's illegal for someone to tell me I can't be there with my dogs unless it's trespassing for me to be there.

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