Keeping Dogs and Horses Safe When Together


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It’s so tempting to bring your dog to the stables with you. Maybe you feel bad about leaving him home alone while you spend time with your horse, and maybe you want your dog to be able to go along on trail rides with you. But if you do bring your dog to the stables, it’s important to keep both your dog and your horse safe. These tips will help you do just that.

Know Your Horse’s History with Dogs

When you look at horses for sale, ask about how the horse does around dogs. Find out if the horse has frequently been around dogs, and in what way – are dogs a frequent presence at the stables? Has the horse participated in foxhunting, following behind hounds? Has a dog accompanied the horse and rider out on a trail ride? Knowing how comfortable a horse is around dogs can give you a better idea of how the horse may react to your dog.

Understand Your Dog’s Temperament

Before you introduce your dog to your horse, make sure that you have a thorough understanding of your dog’s temperament. Dogs who are easily excitable or territorial will be difficult to safely introduce to a barn environment. On the other hand, dogs who are alert but confident and relaxed can potentially be introduced to horses in a safe and controlled manner.

Establish Good Dog Obedience

Regardless of how experienced your horse is with dogs, you still need to make sure that your dog is highly obedient before you bring him to the stables. Your dog should know how to sit, stay, and come, and should follow those commands reliably, no matter what distractions are around at the time.

Control the Situation

When you bring a dog into the stables, you want to make sure that you can maintain control to keep both the dog and your horse safe. Make sure that your dog is leashed, and consider leaving him in a closed stall or in a crate to keep him safe while giving him time to adjust.

When you introduce your dog to horses, do so with a fence between them, and have a leash on your dog.

It is best to have a friend available to help with the introduction. Remember, both your dog and your horse will need time to get used to each other. Repetition is important, and monitor both your dog and horse for signs of stress.

Keeping dogs and horses safe when together can be done, but it takes some work on your part.

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