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Dogs new to horses . . .. what are the common reactions?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Buster

1201864
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 1:15pm PST 
The first Buster met horses was a pretty high stimulus environment, 2 paso finos doing a demonstration at a country fair where there were gundog displays, a beagle pack and all kinds of people and dogs. He pretty much just ignored them which I was glad about but he was kept onlead obviously. I would think a herding breed would have more trouble though.

A dog that would do what this one did regardless of breed isn't safe.

Edited by author Sun Dec 16, '12 1:16pm PST

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 2:06pm PST 
This is the sort of thing that goes way up my butt. It is injurious to positive Pit promotion as to the general public perception, if THIS is ok, who is to possibly take them seriously? It really upends so much of the effort to gain the trust of the general public that those out there trying to positively promote Pit Bulls have a sound and grounded position. It discredits those trying to make a positive change.
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Dylan aka- Dilly

frisbee- s rule
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 2:26pm PST 
it is sad. I have pitties in my family. great dogs. wonder if it would have made the news if it were any other breed? its not really fair that to own a pit you have to go above and beyond what other dog owners do it try and dispel the bad press.

and this kind of owner sure doesnt help things.
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 5:05pm PST 
A dog charging, attacking and chasing to attack again for over a mile and a half--seriously injuring a police horse like this? I absolutely think it would make the news whether it was a lab, a German Shepherd, a Weimaraner, a whatever! I wonder if you would have the level of outcry from "defenders" of those breeds come out so strongly saying "our poor misunderstood Weims" though!

Correct me if I'm wrong here Tiller, but I think that's the disservice you meant to the cause of pit bulls? Not pointing out that it is a pit bull, but defending the dog no matter what the DEED is just because it is a pit bull (type) . . .. crying foul! in spite of happened. (Or did you mean "just" the owner's behavior?)


Another thing I'm wondering Tiller, . . .. do you quantify a difference in drive levels based on this action (like you might categorize bite levels)? In other words a breed that's all get out to chase a bunny and even catch it, might show quite a bit more caution in going hell bent to actually take down something 15 times it's own size?

I get the thrill of chasing what's running, in fact, it's a lot safer to chase something with it's back to you--that's probably just hunting 101. But not all dogs who chase all squirrels will chase people on a bicycle. For some a bicycle or a car flips a chase switch, for some a bunny does, but a bicycle doesn't.

Gus is on all cylinders for a bunny, but doesn't give a flip about birds . .. doesn't register them, doesn't stalk them, but when a winged one fell out of a tree right under her nose and fluttered in a panic, all hell broke loose to get THAT bird (she didn't).

I guess what I'm asking are there degrees to be expected, whatever ran . ... it's in my doggy DNA to chase, too powerful can't help it OR is it fair to expect that dogs have some innate discrimination, besides their own experience or even intellect (like "that critter's a waste of energy or fights back") or impulse training?

DO dogs have their own degrees of temperance and mitigation in their individual breeding or particular genes?

25 other dogs that day (not sure if they were right on that scene) did not give chase and maim, but this one did . . . What's "normal"? What is fair for the public to expect of a temperament?

Is there a point where this level of tenacity is too much or was this just a perfect storm of oblivious owner caught with his pants down, ill-prepared and not knowing how much dog he had?
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 5:28pm PST 
My perspective on it:

The dog and owner were most certainly at fault when it really comes down to it.

But looking at it again, for a police horse, does it really seem like the horse fit the bill for that line of work if it ran over a mile with the dog trailing it? Quite dangerous to have a horse that spooks at dogs in such an urban area. Not that I'm blaming the horse, but I'd think you'd need a pretty sound steed for that work.

While pit bulls are quite tenacious when they have their minds made up, this story really makes me think this horse didn't stand it's ground much and took to running pretty fast, which didn't help in terms of triggering the prey drive.

I don't think the pit bull in question is abnormal or dangerous. I think it's a dog being a dog. A dog not used to seeing a horse, running up to said object with unknown intent, but ultimately sticking to it when the horse did run, which most dogs with any decent prey drive in them would.

I'm not excusing the behavior. Most certainly this dog shouldn't be let off leash any time soon. But I really don't think it all that serious in terms of the dog being dangerous to society or abnormal. They did stop the dog without killing it. And I've seen pit bulls fight horse size animals till their (the dogs) death. So, when it comes to the dog being super dangerous....I don't know, all the pieces just don't quite fit.

I think it was an unfortunate accident too. Unless you expose your dog to everything, you will never know how they will react. Even if he saw the horse to begin with, he may have not thought to leash his dog up because he more than likely never dreamed of his dog doing such a thing. So, I really can't fault him too heavily. It's a first offense after all.

But, like I said, when you have to point the finger, yeah, the main problem is the dog and owner combo. This most certainly is a time for learning, not for ultimate punishment. Keeping the dog on leash will take away any problems. Why they choose death for such a case is just beyond me. If this was a repeat offense, I could see where they're coming from. If the dog broke its collar or leash, I could see where they're coming from. But as it is, their choice just doesn't make sense. It seems rather like a rushed decision based on feelings than an informed and well thought out case. Really, quite sad all around.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 5:28pm PST 
My perspective on it:

The dog and owner were most certainly at fault when it really comes down to it.

But looking at it again, for a police horse, does it really seem like the horse fit the bill for that line of work if it ran over a mile with the dog trailing it? Quite dangerous to have a horse that spooks at dogs in such an urban area. Not that I'm blaming the horse, but I'd think you'd need a pretty sound steed for that work.

While pit bulls are quite tenacious when they have their minds made up, this story really makes me think this horse didn't stand it's ground much and took to running pretty fast, which didn't help in terms of triggering the prey drive.

I don't think the pit bull in question is abnormal or dangerous. I think it's a dog being a dog. A dog not used to seeing a horse, running up to said object with unknown intent, but ultimately sticking to it when the horse did run, which most dogs with any decent prey drive in them would.

I'm not excusing the behavior. Most certainly this dog shouldn't be let off leash any time soon. But I really don't think it all that serious in terms of the dog being dangerous to society or abnormal. They did stop the dog without killing it. And I've seen pit bulls fight horse size animals till their (the dogs) death. So, when it comes to the dog being super dangerous....I don't know, all the pieces just don't quite fit.

I think it was an unfortunate accident too. Unless you expose your dog to everything, you will never know how they will react. Even if he saw the horse to begin with, he may have not thought to leash his dog up because he more than likely never dreamed of his dog doing such a thing. So, I really can't fault him too heavily. It's a first offense after all.

But, like I said, when you have to point the finger, yeah, the main problem is the dog and owner combo. This most certainly is a time for learning, not for ultimate punishment. Keeping the dog on leash will take away any problems. Why they choose death for such a case is just beyond me. If this was a repeat offense, I could see where they're coming from. If the dog broke its collar or leash, I could see where they're coming from. But as it is, their choice just doesn't make sense. It seems rather like a rushed decision based on feelings than an informed and well thought out case. Really, quite sad all around.
[notify]
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 5:28pm PST 
My perspective on it:

The dog and owner were most certainly at fault when it really comes down to it.

But looking at it again, for a police horse, does it really seem like the horse fit the bill for that line of work if it ran over a mile with the dog trailing it? Quite dangerous to have a horse that spooks at dogs in such an urban area. Not that I'm blaming the horse, but I'd think you'd need a pretty sound steed for that work.

While pit bulls are quite tenacious when they have their minds made up, this story really makes me think this horse didn't stand it's ground much and took to running pretty fast, which didn't help in terms of triggering the prey drive.

I don't think the pit bull in question is abnormal or dangerous. I think it's a dog being a dog. A dog not used to seeing a horse, running up to said object with unknown intent, but ultimately sticking to it when the horse did run, which most dogs with any decent prey drive in them would.

I'm not excusing the behavior. Most certainly this dog shouldn't be let off leash any time soon. But I really don't think it all that serious in terms of the dog being dangerous to society or abnormal. They did stop the dog without killing it. And I've seen pit bulls fight horse size animals till their (the dogs) death. So, when it comes to the dog being super dangerous....I don't know, all the pieces just don't quite fit.

I think it was an unfortunate accident too. Unless you expose your dog to everything, you will never know how they will react. Even if he saw the horse to begin with, he may have not thought to leash his dog up because he more than likely never dreamed of his dog doing such a thing. So, I really can't fault him too heavily. It's a first offense after all.

But, like I said, when you have to point the finger, yeah, the main problem is the dog and owner combo. This most certainly is a time for learning, not for ultimate punishment. Keeping the dog on leash will take away any problems. Why they choose death for such a case is just beyond me. If this was a repeat offense, I could see where they're coming from. If the dog broke its collar or leash, I could see where they're coming from. But as it is, their choice just doesn't make sense. It seems rather like a rushed decision based on feelings than an informed and well thought out case. Really, quite sad all around.
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 5:58pm PST 
Sanka, I think the accuracy of the order of events makes a HUGE difference as to the character of the horse . . . . If you read the link Cobain provided as to that dog behaviorist's gathering of events from the court findings and multiple news sources . . .

What he says there regarding the horse adds up to a steady horse NOT losing it, but standing his ground in the face of a barking, menacing dog.

If in fact, the dog started at 200 feet away when the officer asked the owner to restrain . . .and the owner failing, it then was able to close that distance, bite the officer's boot and then bite the horse's leg and FELL the horse, losing the rider in the fall . . . . ..

IF that account is accurate, THEN I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the horse must have stood his ground.

(eta: fwiw, horses that "spook" --startle and do a 180 for the barn is a maneuver that could unseat a newbie, but rarely would unseat an experienced rider--another reason this "spooking and dumping" story sounds dubious to me--not impossible, but highly dubious.)

To run back to the barn after being felled with an unconscious rider down, does not strike me as a character or training flaw on the part of the horse.

Now there might be some horses at that point, that would stand and guard their fallen master and seriously attempt to stay and fight the dog, but that's the stuff of Hollywood. The horse doesn't lose points with me for high-tailing back to the barn AFTER being savaged the first time.

(And who knows? With a dog who's already demonstrated that standing calmly doesn't work, maybe he was drawing the danger away from his fallen master and going to the next best place he knew where he could get help as fast as he could, the barn---where, as a matter of fact, he did get help. . .)

Edited by author Sun Dec 16, '12 6:12pm PST

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Noah

Herpaderp-apotam- us
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 16, '12 10:30pm PST 
I've introduced a few of my dogs to horses and here have been their reactions:

~ Adult female great dane: bark menacingly from a distance, never try and approach
~ Adult female boxer: bite the foal on the nose, receive kick from the mare, never try and approach horses, paddock or barn again (shame on me for not having a better hold on her, but I really was not expecting such a reaction)
~ Adult male aussie: perfectly fine running along with us in the field one day, but the next day he did not want to go near them. I don't know if something happened when I wasn't looking or what, but after that first awesome, fun filled day, he has not wanted to be near them. He seems to get really concerned when he sees my wife or I up on a horse, I think he can't understand what we're doing or why he can't reach us, I don't know?

My wife says that none of her dogs have ever had issues with horses, but they were raised from puppies around them. The general consensus of her dogs (mostly dopey lab type dogs, male and female) was "Big scary thing! Keep away!" They kept a respectful (not necessarily fearful) distance.
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Quincy

We don't doodle!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 4:31am PST 
"The general consensus of her dogs (mostly dopey lab type dogs, male and female) was "Big scary thing! Keep away!" They kept a respectful (not necessarily fearful) distance."
Noah, nit picking here, BUT, if those labs are so dopey, then why do they keep a respectful distance instead of heading into the fray???? They sound pretty intelligent to me, not dopey at all!!!!
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