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Old 06-05-2007, 07:20 PM
fomorii56 fomorii56 is offline
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Default Dogs and Horses

I am looking to get a new dog. I have done a lot of research on different breeds but was hoping someone might have first hand advice on my situation. I live in South Carolina and have a horse. We have over 60 acres so there are a lot of trails in the woods and large feilds. I am looking for a dog with the stamina, intelligence and ability to be trained to run with my horse. Most trail riding is done at a trot so great speed is not needed. While I know the sighthounds have the physical ability, I need something that will not run away after game or go sniffing around in the woods spooking the horse. I was thinking about an Italian Spinone, Airedale Terrier or German Pointer. Anyone have experience with a similar situation or know someone who does? Any suggestions on breeds? I also live alone, so a somewhat protective breed would be a plus. Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:34 PM
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Border Collie...hands down My ferrier has a few of them that he brings EVERYWHERE with him. They are VERY smart, physically able, loyal/protective, bred to be around animals, and energetic. They can be a bit unruly if you try to keep them cooped up or when they are un-trained, but a trained border-collie could arguably be the smartest dog around. They are sensative to commands and having land is a definate plus. How much time would you be able to put forward for training?
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:51 PM
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Hmm, all the breeds you listed typically hunt both fur and feathered game. Are you looking to get an adult or puppy?
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:59 PM
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How do your horses react to dogs? That may matter quite a bit. Our farm's BC is tough to have around horses who are moving, because he feels the need to get behind them and try to control the movement. While he is fairly well trained, and you can certainly call him off, it does require pretty constant monitoring.

I would wonder about some of the hunting breeds, as hinted at above. Many of the pointers I've known would be leaping in and out of bushes the whole time going after birds and game. Of the three Airdales I've known, none could be offleash, although that may have a lot to do with their training. Again though, high drive terriers are going to be busy in the bushes hunting.

Are you set on a puppy? If not, you may want to looking into some rescues that do "foster to own". That is how I ended up with Meg. I needed some pretty specific traits, similar to you. I run a horse farm, so I needed a dog who was good off-leash, wouldn't wander, wouldn't chase the horses and could keep up with me all day. I fostered her for a couple weeks before commiting.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:04 PM
fomorii56 fomorii56 is offline
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I'm looking to get a puppy. I'm also willing to put in as much training/training classes as I need to, find local agility courses, really whatever it would take.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:09 PM
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I agree...border collies often herd (for obvious reasons ) but if brought up with certain rules I think they would make a great horse dog. Other than Collies...just your average lab would probably make a great companion for your needs.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:09 PM
fomorii56 fomorii56 is offline
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The horse is young as well, just turned 4 a month ago, and we currently have 4 dogs on the property and he has no problems with them, even when they come running up behind him. I was hoping to get a puppy because the dog I have now does not have an easy time welcoming new, adult dogs into the family. He is fine when they are brought in as puppies and then grow up around him. I was also thinking it would be easier to acclimate a puppy to horses as I know a lot of adult dogs dont know how to act around them if they werent raised with them. I guess I'd kind of like a puppy to grow up with the horse.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:21 PM
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Have you considered a Dalmation at all? A well-bred one (on that is bred for work) is hard to find these days but if you can locate one and train it properly they are fantastic trail buddies since they were bred to run beside carriages.

Another breed that would fit what you are looking for is simply, an all around mutt. Try finding a rescue centre that will allow you to test their dogs' reactiveness to horses and then look for the one that seems to be the most trainable for offleash. My best hacking buddies have been mutts.

I have met a few American Bulldogs that were raised as puppies on a horse farm and fit the bill precisely. Boxers too. Many stables I have visited also seem to have Dobermans as their trail buddies and then a couple of terriers as ratters. Retrievers are good too along with Rotties. A friend of mine though swears that the best type of dog for the stables whether it be just following you around during chorse, accompanying trail rides, or just chilling on the deck is Schnauzers and Giant Schnauzers.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:24 PM
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Don'[t have an answer but am interested as well. Will follow.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:25 PM
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My aunt, who has horses, has always had a German Shepherd running along side her.
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