trail riding dog help. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 36 Old 01-18-2014, 11:28 PM
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I guess I did it a bit unconventionally, but then again, I didn't have any other dogs around to "instruct" the dog I wanted to bring on rides.
I already knew my mare ponied well, so I attached a long lead rope to the dog [who was initially terrified of my horse - for him, the fact that he was close to my mare..but she was ignoring him, was enough for him to get over his fear since he was a "ignore me and I'll be fine"-type. Once he realized she could run faster than him and they could "race"..oh boy, he was sollllld] +held it like I would if I were ponying a horse, and off we went. We stuck to a walk, maybe a few steps of slow trot, for that first ride and on the way home, since the dog was tired [and therefore more likely to stay close], I let the dog go off leash.
After that, I just shortened the amount of time the dog was initially being "ponied" and extended the amount of time he was off-leash.
It did take him a while to realize that "come"/"sit"/etc still meant "come"/etc whether I was on a horse or on the ground. That, however, was easily remedied by a single ride where I carried treats in my pocket and tossed treats off my horse to him when he responded correctly [of course, it helped that he was utterly under control when I was off the horse].

Anyway, that dog unfortunately died of old age a couple of years ago, but, by his death, he was a fabulous riding companion. My mare even grew attached to him [or, at least, she seemed to enjoy having him crashing through the woods around us on rides]. I have fond memories of cantering along, looking back to make sure he was keeping up, and seeing him galloping at top speed behind us with a HUGE doggy smile on his face. :)
I was even able to train him to use the stirrup to hold himself up so I could attach his leash, when the need arose [other people on the trail, etc], without dismounting.
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Last edited by Wallaby; 01-18-2014 at 11:31 PM.
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post #12 of 36 Old 01-19-2014, 03:08 AM
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I'd find a local trainer or someone who had trained 'trail dogs' before. I've done it with a few dogs before and all of my dogs ride with me but mine are trained with medical training and don't think twice about being around horses or really anything as they're exposed to it all right from the start. And if you can't then you're just going to have to leave the dog at home. No sense in ruining either relationship with horse or dog by forcing something that just won't happen.

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post #13 of 36 Old 01-25-2014, 11:42 PM
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My dog is my trail buddy. I hate going riding without him. He has proven to be the perfect horse dog. He's not afraid of them, in fact, I wish he were a little more cautious around them, however, on the trail he's perfect. Best I've ever had. I can ride with him in neighborhoods, near roads, crossing roads, etc. When we come to a road I call him and he comes to me. I tell him to sit and he sits calmly until I give the signal to go, then he crosses the road with the horse. If we are moving along next to a road and he starts for the road, I just call him and he comes back and trails along with the horse.

When I was a boy, I had a dog get killed by a car while he was out with me on the horse. Since then, I have made sure my dogs will respond to commands from me on horseback.

I've had a dog or two that were unsure about horses, but once they realized they were going to have to get used to the horse if they wanted to be with me, they got over it. Others were a bit too unafraid and it took a kick or getting stepped on for them to develop the proper caution. That's something they have to learn on their own, though. You can't train them to be cautious.

Good luck.
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post #14 of 36 Old 01-27-2014, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thenrie View Post
My dog is my trail buddy. I hate going riding without him. He has proven to be the perfect horse dog. He's not afraid of them, in fact, I wish he were a little more cautious around them, however, on the trail he's perfect. Best I've ever had. I can ride with him in neighborhoods, near roads, crossing roads, etc. When we come to a road I call him and he comes to me. I tell him to sit and he sits calmly until I give the signal to go, then he crosses the road with the horse. If we are moving along next to a road and he starts for the road, I just call him and he comes back and trails along with the horse.

When I was a boy, I had a dog get killed by a car while he was out with me on the horse. Since then, I have made sure my dogs will respond to commands from me on horseback.

I've had a dog or two that were unsure about horses, but once they realized they were going to have to get used to the horse if they wanted to be with me, they got over it. Others were a bit too unafraid and it took a kick or getting stepped on for them to develop the proper caution. That's something they have to learn on their own, though. You can't train them to be cautious.

Good luck.
thenrie, your dog looks like my MIL's dog Pepper! Great dog, and good comments. My little brown dog, Luna, is like you describe. She can ride with me on roads and trails, and follows my commands nicely (except at the whippets house, she loves to run up and bark at them!).

I agree that my dogs are my true trail buddies. They love to go, no matter the weather. They will go anywhere for however long I want, and come back for more!
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post #15 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 01:04 PM
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I don't think dogs belong on the trail, unless they stick right by your horse. I don't know how many times my horse has spooked because some fool's dog comes bursting from the brush with no person in sight. I've been thrown cause of this.

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post #16 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 01:48 PM
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I don't think dogs belong on the trail, unless they stick right by your horse. I don't know how many times my horse has spooked because some fool's dog comes bursting from the brush with no person in sight. I've been thrown cause of this.
Not so sure this is a problem of " some fool's dog". I think some horses and riders don't belong on the trails, myself.
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post #17 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 01:55 PM
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So it's ok for the dog to go running all over the place? I don't have a problem with people riding with their dogs as long as they can control them. Where I ride its an issue, I've had a dog ATTACK my horse. And I agree with you, some horses and people don't belong on the trail.
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post #18 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 03:00 PM
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So it's ok for the dog to go running all over the place?
I'd say it depends on where you ride. Where I ride, it's unusual to even see a person other than the ones in our group, and almost all of the ones we do see are on quads/ dirt bikes (and thus more likely to spook our horses), or occasionally hiking/biking.

Question: if your horse is going to be spooked by a dog, what about deer, bears, mountain lions, free-range cattle, and all the other critters you might meet? To say nothing of the quads & dirt bikes, low-flying aircraft, people doing target shooting on the other side of the meadow, freight trains passing by...

Every one of those is something that I have encountered while trail riding. I won't say I was exactly happy about a lot of them, but I never thought that they should round up all the bears, or that the Air Force should stop flying its transports at treetop level just to suit my convenience.
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post #19 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 03:06 PM
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thenrie, I'm with you. I enjoy having my dog along and I'm convinced that the horses like her along too. Especially out in front to protect them from scary stumps and such. The trails that my wife and I ride are "public use" trails and we have to share them with hikers, mountain bikers, hunters complete with guns and bows, and fellow horse folks that might have dogs too. There are some trails that are restrictive and no dogs are allowed. One more thing - The term "some fools dog" speaks volumes to me.
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post #20 of 36 Old 02-01-2014, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Faustinblack View Post
So it's ok for the dog to go running all over the place? I don't have a problem with people riding with their dogs as long as they can control them. Where I ride its an issue, I've had a dog ATTACK my horse. And I agree with you, some horses and people don't belong on the trail.
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If someone has a dog that attacks horses/people on the trail that is their fault, for everything else it's just a dog being a dog. If you and your horse can't take unexpected surprises then the two of you shouldn't be outside of a controlled environment like an arena. It's not some strangers responsibility to look out for your riding safety.
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