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In your opinion, what is the best breed of dog to have as a trail riding companion?

I see a lot of discussions on this site about dogs valued as trail riding buddies which made me wonder what the most popular choice would be among our members. Which breed do you think is the perfect k-nine as a trail riding companiion, that can keep up with a horse, won't stray away, and will sit around the campfire with you at the end of the day?

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I have had german sheperds mostly. My favorite though is my current, Roscoe, a belgian malinois. He is quite and calm, not overly protective. He will let anyone come up, but will gaurd on command. He wants to be with you, not the horses, as much. Not dog aggresive at all. They are short haired, minimal grooming, and have little health problems. I tend to stay away from heelers, just because I have seen so many that like to bite at the horses, and people. I know this is from lackof training. I have seen many good heelers too. But the malinois is my favorite hands down. I have never seen a smarter dog.
I guess I'm a little "non-traditional" because my Spitz (American Exkimo) is the absolute best dog I have ever had. She is smart, loyal, and is so reliable. She looks like a foo-foo dog because she has longer hair (and is white), but she is as rough & tumble as any breed out there. I can take her anywhere and she won't be more than a few yards from me. She will stay put when you tell her, regardless if you are gone a minute or several hours. She doesn't run the horses, but will try to help herd on command. Despite being longer haired, she doesn't shed - they "blow their coat" once a year, and doesn't smell - not even if she is wet, there is no "doggie" smell. She can get nasty and dirty and amazingly as soon as she dries, she is back as white as snow. I don't know what it is about their coats but they repel dirt, stains, and don't smell. She loves everyone she meets (and they love her) but is so loyal that if I move, she is right by my side. I also have a Doberman and he is turning out to be a very good dog with the horses and for trail riding. He is young still so I ca'nt take him for long rides, but he is quite impressive around the horses. Despite their "junkyard dog" reputation he is the friendliest, happiest dog. And even though he is still a puppy, he will lay quietly and sleep all night, not chew up things, and not bother much. It's not the typical puppy behavior. He absolutely loves children too, if he hears a child "squeal" in delight, he gets so excited.
Hello, WE have an Australian Shepherd that is ready to go at anytime!!(Dogs just happen to be My first love(Horses come in a close 2nd)(My wife Cindy has Horses first......... and thats about it!!!)Our dog "Walker"is not only people friendly but loves to be around Horses and go on trail rides!!I have always been a "Boxer" "bulldog" person,but the Ausi Shepherd is really a great family , animal friendly Dog!Hope to see ya on a trail somewhere, best of luck,and hope this helps. Best wishes, Rob
Just want to add that the "Belgian Nalinois" is a great dog!Looks somewhat like a small german shepherd,but smaller and more " high energy"!Great herd and guard dog!Later, and God bless
I just thought I'd let you know that I've always been a boxer person too. However, we just got an Aussie and just LOVE him. I think that I might have just switched my mind, as my kids say.
we have a border collie that is awesome. in our opinion they are the smartest just because they learn so easily and want to do good for their owners. she is an awesome working cattle dog and still plays with the kids as well. most dogs seem to work or play,we know of several people that use this breed for both. most of all with any breed the training is key for sure. good luck!!
I don't know that any particular breed is as important as what kind of dog. My best bud has a pack that runs with us when we ride. They are all smart enough not to run up under the horses, and most of them don't bark when we are out on the trails. I don't know that you can trust any of them to stay right by your side unless you want to do the harness and leash thing that the field trial folks do. I adopted a Golden Retriever mix from my friend. She's pretty good about staying close, but when she comes out of high grass or runs up behind us to catch up she has been known to spook my mare a bit. I really enjoy having a dog go with us though.
Belgian Malinois Roscoe and Taser
Finally, someone who has heard of the English shepherd! My in-laws (outlaws?) claim that they have had one that they loved very much. I have tried to see or find info on them in the past. I could not find info on the AKC website. Can you send me pictures or info on where you got yours? serpatton@bellsouth.net
Aussie, Border collie or Heeler...great dogs! I had an Aussie.
My personal opinion is a Heeler. I have 3 of them and they are wonderful....on the flip side, not properly trained they can tend to bite a horses heels (instinctivley). And I dont think my weiner dog can keep up lol.
Let me know which is the top dog.
Well, of course, my choice would be a Chesapeake Bay Retriever! They are trained to stay close unless told to retrieve, they are very patient and sit quietly when needed (for hours if necessary), they have no herding instincts lol, and love to be in the woods with their person! They love water and have plenty of stamina and strength to keep up with the horses. They are just the best dogs in my opinion, and I have owned lots of breeds and mixed breeds.


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