One of the benefits of owning a dog and a horse is the opportunity to bond with them both. A lot can happen at the first meeting between the two animals when you try to get them along, and it's impossible to know exactly what will happen until that point. Even though some dogs and horses have a fear or disdain for each other, in many cases they may learn to get along.
Can dogs and horses get along?
Yes! Even though they are two different animals, horses and dogs are surprisingly close pals. Dogs, like horses, are very social creatures who enjoy spending time with their canine companions. Both horses and dogs love the companionship of one another, as both are highly social creatures.
How to get your dogs and Horses to get along?
Getting your dogs to get along with horses is a gradual process. If you want your dog to be comfortable near horses, you must first expose him to the barn and the animals who live there. Horses and dogs should be introduced slowly, however. The first step is for your dog to get used to the sights, smells, and other animals in the area without becoming overstimulated. If you're just getting started, try taking your dog for a quick walk around the barn.
As soon as your dog is comfortable in its surroundings, you can begin socializing with the other animals. Now is a crucial time to work on fostering favorable associations between the two animals. Trying to get your puppy and adult dog to get along with horses demands different processes.
How to make Puppy Get along with horses
The peak socializing period for both horses and dogs is comparable, and new experiences are readily accepted during this time. Taking a puppy under 16 weeks old to meet a loving horse and letting it watch you around the barn from its kennel or from someone's lap will suffice as an introduction to the barn for this age bracket.
To minimize the risk to the puppy, it is best to utilize horses who have had pleasant encounters with dogs and also consider horse grooming. When it comes to puppies, some people suggest letting nature take its course, however, this can lead to a large vet cost or even the death of a puppy if it's kicked, stepped on, or otherwise injured. With puberty comes the testing of adult wings and stronger hormone levels, so you may have to step up your supervision as your puppy matures.
You may prevent your dog from engaging in any unpleasant habits by training him to sit, stay, and leash walk. Many of these start out innocently enough, but when the horse is startled, the bond can fall apart. These may involve jumping on the horse, grasping at the tail, barking at an angry horse, or even starting to chase the animal. By far, the most effective strategy is to avoid the problem at all costs. A trainer or behaviorist may be necessary for the event that your dog or horse develops a dangerous habit.
To make an adult dog get along with a horse
To make the introduction of an adult dog easier for both of you, make sure the dog has mastered a few basic instructions. These commands should include "come," "wait," or "remain," as well as "down," or "sit," so that you can avoid a chase or keep your dog quiet if a horse, yours or another's, takes offense to your dog's presence. Make sure your dog knows how to come and leave it as well as you can, even if you don't think it's necessary. In the event that your dog is stuck, these two should be enough to free him.
If one of the animals is wary of the other, try introducing them at a distance where they can still see each other and respond to treats and directions. Only work with one frightened animal at a time, if at all feasible. If your dog is apprehensive, pick a calm horse that can stand tied for long periods of time without becoming restless or worried.
What if your dog is 16 weeks old or older and you are taking it to meet your horse for the first time? Make sure your dog is on a leash and come at the horse from an angle. Stop approaching your dog and give him a treat as soon as he shows signs of interest. When in doubt, ask for a simple obedience instruction like sitting to make sure he is not entirely transfixed by the horse. Push yourself ahead and then take another breath. Give him a treat and praise him if he stays calm. The best method to calm him down is to simply walk away and spend some time with him.
Begin taking small steps forward, and teach your dog to understand simple instructions like ‘come here and ‘leave it. Maintain his self-assurance and curiosity by giving him short rest periods in between training sessions. For some dogs, a distance of 40 feet may be sufficient, while for others, a distance of 10 feet may be sufficient to pique their interest in the horse. Keeping the horse and dog calm and responsive requires a progressive approach.
If your dog is frightened by the horse's scent, keep the encounters as brief as possible. It's possible for the dog to react badly if the horse stomps on a fly or swats the dog with its tail. For both animals, a few seconds of smelling followed by "leave it" and a tasty reward is significantly less stressful.
It's well-known that horses enjoy spending time with other animals, such as dogs and cats. As long as the dog is well-trained and knows how to behave around horses, they should be alright. You can get up and personal with a horse without fear of attack. In order to ensure the safety of all parties, it is crucial that the pet's owner teaches their pet what is and isn't allowed in this new shared place.