Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Honestly, this is probably not what you want to hear, but my feeling is that you might have too many animals in need of work.
I don't remember reading your previous posts, and I don't know what else you do in life, but since you are posting in the "New to Horses" section I am assuming that you are... well... at least somewhat new to horses. I am also assuming that you haven't had your first two horses for very long yet, and that at least your two newest (rescue) horses need work. Four horses is a big commitment for anyone, let alone someone inexperienced, let alone along with six big dogs.
Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to teaching the dogs to leave the horses alone, and I most definitely wouldn't be using a shock collar in this situation. I agree with Saskia - if your dogs do not have really good basic obedience already, work on that first (under increasing levels of distraction). At least you need a really solid recall and sit/down stay. Work on controlling them individually - e.g. recalling them individually from the group. Then work with each dog individually on impulse control. Start with low energy activities - e.g. put the dog in a down stay and just have someone walk the horse by at a distance. Go for walks together (dog on leash). Gradually work the horse closer to the dog and increase the activity level. It helps to do this with a very calm horse that does not react to dogs at all.
The basic rule is that none of these dogs should EVER have the chance of chasing the horses. Primarily, it is dangerous, and secondly, it is a self-rewarding behavior, so it will get harder and harder to control once the dogs have had a taste of it.
For the times you can't absolutely ensure that they will not go after the horses, management is your best option. I agree that building a separate run for the dogs is probably your best bet for the moment.
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Last edited by Regula; 02-15-2016 at 11:49 PM.