Unless your dog is training to work around livestock and/or horses, the best advice is to keep them well apart. Animals can be unpredictable, no matter how well trained or how well you think you know them and, especially where horses are involved, it’s nearly always your dog that will come off worse. However, there are times when bringing the mix of species together is unavoidable, particularly if you live on a farm or need your dogs to accompany you when at the stables. Let’s look at what you need to consider before you even step out with your dog.
Before introducing your dog to livestock or horses, they must have good, basic obedience; especially recall.
The biggest thing that will determine how you approach this task is the temperament of both parties involved. For example, if you have a flighty herd of cattle that are likely to up and run at the first sight of a dog, you need to be aware that this can prompt even the most placid dog’s instinct to chase.
You do not want your dog and the livestock/horse to be ‘friends’, you want them to be indifferent to each other’s existence.
Just because you need to introduce ‘dog A’ to ‘horse A’, it does not necessarily mean that you should start with those two animals; particularly if neither has met a creature of the other species before. If you have an excitable or nervous dog, you’d be best off first introducing ‘horse B’, a steady, laidback horse that is used to dogs and unlikely to pay him any attention. Equally, if you have a skittish horse, you are best off bringing in ‘dog B’, a mature dog that isn’t going to bat an eyelid at the horse.
If you’re sure that this training is necessary and you feel the two parties are ready to meet, continue on to the relevant article by clicking below: