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?
I want to add that we take our dogs when we ride alone or w/ friends that agree that its ok and their horses aren't spooked by dogs. Otherwise I agree that DOGS DO NOT BELONG ON public trails, just in our little corner of the world.
Dogs on the trail are dangerous & subject to getting hurt. I've seen it too many times. And, horses who are uncomfortable w/dogs on the trails (ours are) may kick out at them. Not a good idea. Leave the dogs at your campsite where it is safe UNLESS you are riding ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY.
This certainly is a "hot issue". We love our dog, a catahoula, but we don't take him on the trail. He will ride with us around our property but when we go to a public riding place we leave him at home or at camp. For me the main issue is worrying about the dog, keeping up with him and making sure he doesn't get hurt or into a fight with another dog. I don't care how well behaved an animal is there are some things in their nature that you can't always predict. Our dog is very protective of us, and while he is social, if a strange dog were to come toward us especially in an agressive manner ours would take a defensive posture.
Would it really be the dogs fault? "When your dog causes someone to get hurt"... wouldn't that be the horse that would cause someone to get hurt?
And dogs being in camp are fine? I was riding my app mare last year, and coming into camp, a little terrier dog came running under the trailer he was camped at yapping his head off, spooked my mare and I ended up near on her neck! It was my horse's fault she wasn't better trained. But that's part of the process. Just like the time she spooked at a hiker.
Oh, not to mention, I would be happy if my dog defended me if a strange dog attacked.
i think any dog would be great for it depending on his/her personality. my two dogs are the most off the wall breeds, im sure no one would ever think of them as horse riding companions. one is my coming 4 year old timberwolf hybrid "Sheba" she will stay by my side through anything she is completely loyal. my other is a 3 month old boxer "Daisy Mae".
I would have to completely agree with Juli and Katy on this issue. If someone's horse is that jumpy and can not handle a dog in the area without injuring its rider- it has NO place on the trail. How some of the posters here can blame an untrained, desensitized and unruly horse bad behavior on a dog that is running around mystifies me…
I would NEVER think to bring an unfinished and desensitized horse on a trail and then expect someone else to NOT bring their dog so that I could ride my horse that had a problem with their dog.
Should we also ban deer, bear, fox, armadillos and rabbits from the trails? We all know they jump out and run across the trails also…
If a horse is that dangerous that it can not handle a dog running along the trail- it has NO business being there and the rider of that horse has made the irresponsible choice to bring an unfinished horse with them. How many thoroughbred owners bring their horses to the track before they are used to crowds and all of the other noises, lights, etc???
I think it is quite brazen for someone to suggest I can not bring my dog on a PUBLIC TRAIL because their horse is not trained properly. Have we forgotten that these are public trails for use by all??? Are hikers also not allowed to bring dogs for fear of an untrained horse injuring its rider??? Maybe we should demand hikers not bring hiking sticks because God knows many horses are scarred of sticks in people’s hands…
Lets remember public trails (unless specifically marked) are for use by all and not just horse riders and their horses. This “entitlement attitude” that trails are for me and my horse only is what builds such resentment in the general public towards horse riders.
Sadly enough this attitude of lack of responsibility and shifting the blame on others is all too common in society. I just can NOT imagine riding an untrained and unruly horse on a trail and then blaming a dog when that horse acts up….
By the way, I have thanked my German Shepherd 1000x’s for chasing a black bear away that was running towards at my wife and I on a trail in NW Virginia. Who knows how that could have ended…
joel,you are excatly correct.. everytime any of us mount our horses we are taking a chance of getting hurt.it is up to each of us to ride a horse that is suitable for its rider.horses have their own brains and every once in awhile the best trained horse will spook, dog or not. if the riding group you are with, or the area you are riding is ok for dogs, i think you should be prepared for a dog....?