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Dogs and Horses-a question

November 24th, 2005, 09:54 AM
I am posting this question for my sister…..she has a 6 year old Jack Russell that she takes to the barn every day. My sister has just started riding her horse out in the woods, either by herself or with other riders, and her Jack comes with her-loose, no leash. Her problem is that her Jack Russell insists on walking right behind the horses back feet and she is concerned that she will be kicked one time.

Any suggestions as to a training method that would get the dog to walk beside or in front of the horses?

Please don’t suggest a leash…I have done that and she has told me “no way” I have also suggested that even though the dog loves to go for a good run, her safety is more important, and that possibly she should leave the dog at the barn when they go riding…that was a firm “No” from her also….so if anyone has a training method I could suggest to her, it would be greatly appreciated. I am worried about her little girl!

November 24th, 2005, 11:31 AM
I used to ride with my last dog; she was a GSD X and was pretty horse savvy so it was never a problem...I never had to train her, she naturally kept her distance.

I'm not really sure what to suggest - if she refuses to use a leash, how does she expect to train her where to walk? She can't control (or show her where to be) without it!?!

I would start by not riding the horse, but walking with the dog alongside while she leads her horse. Hopefully with praise and/or treats her dog will understand where she wants her to be.

November 25th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Given that she is not willing to entertain the first two ideas, all I can say is that dog will be trained the same way ours were trained to stay out of the donkey pen. They get kicked once and hopefully learn from it.

Following behind is a strong behaviour that can take a good amount of time and effort to adjust. It sounds more like she wants a 'quick fix' and I cannot suggest any. I trained one dog for two years, and she will still fall behind when asked to heel off leash.

.. I suppose she could try luring and baiting the dog to the side, but once the treats are withdrawn, it will likely fall behind again, if that is where it feels most comfortable.

Perhaps a better idea might be to suddenly back up the horse one or twice, and hopefully scare the dog into following a little furthur behind rather than tailgating...