trail riding dog help. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 01-02-2014, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
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trail riding dog help.

I have rode with my 5 year old Labrador. I rode with her once but I want to ride farther with her but she does not have the energy. I have a year old lab golden mix. But She is afraid of the horse due to our old horse we used to have biting her. I can get her close to rusty when I have treats. I ride I want her to not run away and she won't come if I even if I have treats while I'm on him. Can I please get training advise. (Rusty in 1st pic) (Luna, my Labrador golden retriever mix in 3ed pic) (Bailey, my five year old lab in 2ed pic[being showed by my neese] )
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-02-2014, 08:58 PM
Green Broke
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This is not a situation that advice from online forum is going to help, IMO. There are a LOT of variables to this and I think finding a trainer local to you would be the safest course of action.

An out-of-control dog on a ride with horses is a potential disaster waiting to happen (for the dog, the horse, and/or anybody else around).
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post #3 of 36 Old 01-02-2014, 10:51 PM
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I've learned that it's best to leave the dog at home. They create more problems than it's worth.
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post #4 of 36 Old 01-02-2014, 11:39 PM
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Do you have friends with trail dogs? I'm not claiming to be an expert, but from what I've seen, new dogs pick up appropriate behavior from the pack. We seldom if ever ride with fewer than 3, and sometimes as many as 10 or so (for 2-4 humans). The oldest ones have been going for a decade or so, and 3 new ones joined us this year.
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post #5 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 12:12 AM
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Is there a leash law in your area? Riding on public or private land? Just things to think about outside of whether the dog is trained to follow your horse or not. Fines can be accrued if you are breaking any laws. Plus the liability should your dog cause an accident or damage to someone's person or property, even though your pup looks super sweet. Your dog off-leash even playfully running towards another person, dog or horse which causes them to get hurt, could legally be your responsibility.

Just food for thought, as I don't know where you ride, if you're pretty remote and ride by yourself only on private land.
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post #6 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 03:31 AM
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I took my dog only once and decided against it going forward. Here is the short version of the story.

He was fine (even happy) while we were walking.

At trot he became nervous as if he felt we could run away and leave him behind. As a result he decided that his best bet was to get behind my horse as close as possible - this of course got the horse irritated. I turned back to try to chase the dog away - he was literally centimetres away from the horse's hinds at this point - and the dog would not listen to me and allow any bigger distance.
At this point I knew what was going to happen, tried to stop the horse, but too late - just felt her back right extending and heard a thump. The dog was then whimpering loudly and standing on three, not moving anymore. Dismounted and checked on him - fortunately nothing was broken - pure, pure luck and a huge scare.

This was the abrupt end of my dreams of happy trail rides with my dog joyfully circling around us. (the incident was recorded on my gopro as a good reference for the future - just in case I forgot)

We were lucky.

Just something that might happen - there are dogs that are fine and have good "horse trail manners", but it is an animal and lots can take place unexpectedly.
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 08:10 PM
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I almost always ride with my dog, I started when she was a puppy just by letting her trail along in the arena when I was training my horse. It was a natural progression from the arena to the trail
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post #8 of 36 Old 01-03-2014, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Do you have friends with trail dogs? I'm not claiming to be an expert, but from what I've seen, new dogs pick up appropriate behavior from the pack. We seldom if ever ride with fewer than 3, and sometimes as many as 10 or so (for 2-4 humans). The oldest ones have been going for a decade or so, and 3 new ones joined us this year.
We ride with our dogs all the time, and we have 4 dogs plus we always take Dad's dog Pepper.

As jamesqf said, the dogs seems to learn from each other. Pepper spent years riding with Dad, and she showed our dogs how to run ahead of the horses and stay out of the way. My little Luna still will walk behind my horses, but that is not a problem.

For their part, our horses seem to appreciate our dogs breaking the trail for them. They tolerate the dogs quite well.

We have a little JRT named Whitey, who wouldn't ride with us and didn't like coming down to the barn for the 2 years we have had her. But this last week, she has come with us twice!

I don't have any pictures of horses and dogs together, but here are pictures of one of our many rides with dogs.

Our dogs Whitey, Raylen and Luna, in the truck, ready to go riding!

Dad's dog Pepper, resting after the long ride to camp:

Pepper on Trail.jpg

My dog Luna tired too...

Luna on Trail.jpg

Me and the horses

Tiff and horses 2012.jpg

Where we go...

lake 2012.jpg

Find a friend with a dog that knows the drill and watch it happen naturally!

Happy trails!
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post #9 of 36 Old 01-06-2014, 04:05 PM
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Does your dog completely panic while you're on your horse or is it more avoidance?

Is there any aggression toward the horse?

The best thing you can do in this situation is to consult a professional dog trainer, especially one who has livestock or has worked with dogs that are around them. I'm not a trainer myself but I have worked in the pet industry for 10 years now so I can help a little.

If your dog doesn't completely wig out or become aggressive, I would suggest starting with having someone she trusts put her on a leash while you ride and keep her at a distance that's not quite comfortable but not to the scary point either. Mark that spot and return to it until it becomes comfortable for her. After that, start closing the distance. Baby steps are best here, you don't want to rush her or you can make it worse. I'd love to say "do this for X amount of weeks and she's cured..." but it doesn't work that way. You'll just have to move at her pace since she's already had bad experiences with horses in the past. And in the end, she may never truly get over it. I have a dog that is terrified of chickens... I've been working for over a year with him and although he'll tolerate their presence, if they give him the eye he's running for his life screaming like a stuck pig.

As for your Lab, it wouldn't take much to get her physically fit to a point where she can go pretty far without tiring much. That's all about proper conditioning. Labs are designed to have a great deal of energy, all you have to do it learn how to tap into it. My brother runs with is Lab 3-8 miles per day and that dog still has enough energy left to run around the yard. Their pace is quite unforgiving as well, they don't slow down much. Start slow and you'll be able to build her energy in no time.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your fur babies! :)
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post #10 of 36 Old 01-18-2014, 11:00 PM
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My dogs only got kicked once each funny how they learn after that
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