Dog and horses incident. Help needed.

(57 Posts)
littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 09:53:58

My lab is 16 months old. I will start by saying her recall is NOT perfect but we are working hard on it.

This morning i took her as usual to the beach for her walk. On the beach she will meet and greet dogs politely play for a bit if welcome or come away if i call.

Today she bounded through the dunes on to the beach and there were four horses/riders and two horse trainers walking up towards us. She has never seen horses before and was unsure. She ran up to them barking and running round them (a bit like a dog rounding sheep).

Calling her didn't work so i ran up to the the group and said i was sorry, that she was a young dog who had never seen a horse before and if they could just stop for a moment i would get her and put her on her lead. I could then have treated her while being beside the horses to get her used to them. However they chose to ignore me and kept walking. They then started shouting to my dog to get away in a really aggressive way and brandishing their riding crops at her. This seemed to make my dog more excited. I think she actually thought they were trying to play with her.

The two trainers who were on foot then started yelling at her very aggressively and would not listen when i said to stop shouting and i would be able to get her. Eventually i just turned and walked off and my dog followed a few seconds later.

I really do not ever want to repeat this incident. What can i do in future given that horses are not something we come in contact with very much? I am completely aware that i need to be able to control my dog at all time and i am very careful where i walk her. The beach early in the morning is usually my failsafe place to walk as the few dogs/owners we meet are happy for my dog to play and it is great for doing recall training with her.

Floralnomad Tue 17-Sep-13 10:23:26

I'm sorry but if a dog was barking at and trying to 'round up' my horse I think I'd be shouting at it at waving whatever I was carrying ,infact you are lucky that they were obviously quite sensible horses as many would have gone berserk resulting in injuries to horses ,dog and riders. In an ideal world everyone will be lovely and let you use them as a training tool ,in the real world people are not . If your dog follows when you walk away then I would suggest that is the strategy you use in future or keep her on a longline until her recall is better. My dog has a dodgy recall but he has an 'absolute ' DOWN which works wonders in situations like you described as I then go and fetch him and in the interim he is not being a nuisance to anyone else .

Whoknowswhocares Tue 17-Sep-13 10:24:51

Well to be fair to them, it would be less safe for them AND your dog to stop and let your dog run circles around them. A moving horse is (slightly) less able to kick and possibly kill your dog. It also can't rear unless stationary, which is very, very dangerous for both horse and rider. As a trainer on foot and presumably in charge of the group, I too would probably have shouted and warned off your dog as its a far better outcome than letting the dog get kicked or a rider/horse get seriously injured.
I would firstly try to desensitise her. Take her to a bridleway or stables if you can find somewhere obliging on lead and let her get used to them. Praise her for sitting calmly and just looking.
Secondly, she needs to be on a long line whilst her recall is still a work in progress. As you have now found, anything can happen even in the quietest places. You have been very,very lucky. If the same were to happen again, I doubt you would be a second time.

kiriwawa Tue 17-Sep-13 10:27:00

You're quite lucky he wasn't hurt - I've known some horses that would absolutely lose it in that situation.

Can't you get one of those really long stretchy leads for him to do your recall training? I'm sorry but I think dogs need to be kept on a lead if they won't come when they're called

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 10:31:02

floralnomad i use a long line in the local park where i know she cannot be let off and we do training there. I would love her to have a no questions DOWN and we are working on this. But the beach is usually my failsafe quiet and able to let her off place.

As i said this came as a complete surprise to me to find horses and i do understand that the horse riders would want to protect their horses. In future i will scan the beach for horses before letting her off so we can't be in that situation again.

I think i didn't walk away and allow my dog to follow as i really had no idea how she was going to react to the horses and i was in a bit of a panic.

I really hate my dog doing the wrong thing and i try so, so hard to make sure she is not a nuisance.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 10:34:47

Also i have absolutely no knowledge regarding horses and i am actually a bit scared of them.

Thank you whoknowswhocares for that information about horses rearing. I would never have known that.

kiriwawa I won't ever use a stretchy lead for my dog. I think she is too strong for that kind of lead and i believe she could be more of a danger on it. I do have a long lead which i am prepared to use, although i prefer using that when i have someone else with me.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 17-Sep-13 10:37:01

Just a quick head up.
In the 25+ years I have owned and worked with horses, I have only known anyone take their horse to the beach for one thing........galloping!
Even if you scan the beach and let her off, they could very easily be out of sight when you do and right upon you very soon after.

CooEeeEldridge Tue 17-Sep-13 10:38:40

This sort of happened to me the other week, only I was on horse and it was a bullmastiff type!

Dog bounded over barking and snorting, owner was actually facing the other way as we approached, stopped to give owner a chance to recall / catch dog. Dog continued, owner could not catch stop him until he did as you describe- circling, jumping up and barking at us. Honestly did not know what to do for best, horse (for once) was v sensible and stood as owner lunged at dog, and dig lunged at us. The only thing that eventually stopped him was a bike going passed which he then chased after instead and owner grabbed him! I really had visions of him biting / chasing us- v scary! We have seen him since (on lead) and gone over but not in touching distance do he can see horse a bit more.

I also met a woman with a terrier pup last week, who shouted me to ask if she could bring dog over as he'd never seen before, which I hope helped him. Maybe try taking your dog for a walk on the lead where you know horses will be do he can get used to them?

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 10:39:48

Not on the beach i go to. Once on it you can see from one end to the other, even though it is very long. If i keep her on the lead until i am actually on instead of letting her bound through the dunes i will be able to check.

I don't think these horses were galloping. The horse prints would suggest they were walking.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 10:41:46

cooeeeEldridge If we see horses in the future i will ask if i can take her over to try and get her more used to them.

Well, tbh, we've all been caught out with a dodgy recall on a young dog. Usually, said annoying dog just annoys another person or dog, and no harm is done, so I'm not going to berate you. My dog has some fear aggression and isn't great with boisterous, big dogs. So I have to keep him on lead until I'm in an open area and can see who is there before I let him off. We train every single walk so that he can tolerate dogs at a distance, and even greet some now as long as they're calm. Now you know your dog is iffy around horses, you can work on it. I'd definitely keep him on lead until you can see a clear beach. Then, keep an eye out and if you see horses at a distance, do the whole CBeebies presenter recall schtick, preferably with something delicious as an extra lure. When your dog is on the lead, keep an eye on him as the horses pass at a distance. Try and keep him at whatever distance he needs not to react. Treat like crazy every time you see a horse. Personally, I would always lead my dogs in certain situations, and being near horses would be one of them. Horses are big, powerful and skittish ime, so I tend to give them a wide berth. You've had a bad experience, and it's shaken you up (which believe me, I understand <eyes bastard spaniel>), but now all you have to do is make sure it doesn't happen again.

CooEeeEldridge Tue 17-Sep-13 11:00:59

From a dog owners perspective, what is best for horse to do in that situation? (Assuming it doesn't just kick the dog and leg it!)

We tried walking on, standing, and facing the other direction. Nothing seemed to calm it. I considered trotting on but thought that might cause chase! I also attempted to reach down to pat dog, but that seemed to scare it.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 17-Sep-13 11:13:17

Tbh you are lucky that your dog wasnt kicked. I know its tough but unless recall is 100% your dog needs to be in a lead. I have 2 jrts one has reasonable recall so he is let off on the beach the other is a nightmare I used to let him off if no one around but people often appear from nowhere and I was getting too much hassle so he just doesn't get let off now. Id not let either off though if there was the chance of encountering horses. Ive been on spooking horses its bloody scary.

Floralnomad Tue 17-Sep-13 11:24:21

I do think its a little unrealistic to say unless recall is 100 % dogs should be on leads because with the best will in the world everybody is going to have a failed recall eventually . I used a longline for months before I let mine off and his recall didn't improve at all because he knew he was on a lead . I think the best you can do ( which the OP already does) is be selective about where you let them off whilst continuing to train and work out what works for you . It will also be worth saying that desensitising to something doesn't always work . Its taken 3 years for my dog to get used to our rabbit , he would still chase him given the opportunity but I can now pick the rabbit up without the dog jumping up to grab him .

arseholeamio Tue 17-Sep-13 11:26:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Helpful, arseholeamio. hmm

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 11:54:48

Thanks arseholeamio I see you live up to your name with your helpful comments.

I practice my dogs recall every single time she is off the lead no matter where we are and how quiet or busy it is. EVERY SINGLE TIME - call, treat, let go, call, treat, let go. She is probably 85-90% reliable. This was just a new scenario for us and i wanted some helpful sensible help, which, for the most part, i have got.

As my gran used to say: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

kiriwawa Tue 17-Sep-13 11:58:13

Sorry - I don't know much about dogs. I thought a long lead was the same thing as a stretchy lead. I meant one of those ones that you push the button and it sucks it back in.

arseholio - where's the OP supposed to go to practice recall? I think a beach in the early morning is (generally) a safe place.

Ehhn Tue 17-Sep-13 12:02:55

My friend always carries a dressage whip with her after an incident in which another person's horses had to be out down following a dog incident. I share a similar view. I ride highly strung competition horses and they will go mental if a dog worries them (they are fine with calm dogs as we have plenty of dogs around the yard). I would rather whip a dog away, possibly giving it a painful backside, than have it crushed by my horse rearing ans coming down on it, or one of my horses being scarred or injured.

To be honest, due to adrenaline and fear, I would then go bloody mental at the dog owner, regardless of how much at fault they were at or not. Not that that is a good reaction, but I have been in that situation once and the fear you have for your horse, the dog and the people around just finds an outlet.

Re your incident - if there were to trainers on the ground, it suggests they were with novice riders or young horses, so they would be extra angry/scared of possible incidents.

Also agree with earlier posters about socialising dogs with horses whenever you get a safe opportunity. Good for both animals.

froubylou Tue 17-Sep-13 12:12:08

Speaking as both a dog and horse owner I would be furious with the owner of the dog for placing both the dog, the horses and people in danger.

Your recall isn't good enough yet to let her run loose. If it took you that long to catch her then she needs to be on a lead in all public places.

My DD at 9yo rides out on our pony now and dog owners like you are one of the reasons she is kept on the leadline even though she and the pony are safe and competent.

At 16 months old if you have had her since a puppy, or even just recently got her I would get some help with her in the form of dog training lessons.

Until then she would stay on the lead. For her sake and everyone else's. She is a big powerful dog and you must have full control of her at all times.

ButThereAgain Tue 17-Sep-13 12:13:45

Don't feel terible. A young dog, some unanticipated circumstances and a mortally embarrassing but thankfully not harmful episode. That is a combination that lots and lots of us have experience of! I can understand the horse people being spooked and irritable, but you have learnt from the event and will move on. I second the advice to go to places where you are sure to meet horses and have your dog onlead so that she can be given plenty of treats for ignoring -- at a distance of course, unless you have asked the horse owners' permission to come closer.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 12:14:51

The thing is, if they were young horses and/or novice riders, why would they be on a beach which has loads of dogs being walked? I don't think they can assume all dogs they meet will be well behaved. The trainers did nothing at all except watch me have a meltdown trying to get my dog back. They only started yelling when my dog was actually coming away and it got her attention so she retuned to the horses.
To be honest i think it was one of those incidents which wasn't handled greatly by anyone and i fully accept my part in it. That is why i am asking for help. I don't want it to happen again. Ever.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 12:21:05

froubylou We have been to obedience classes and she has massively improved. She didn't take ages to come away. I suspect the whole thing was done and over in 2 minutes or less.

There is no way i am keeping her on a lead all the time as she needs time to run free. As i have said the beach is usually quiet and the dogs she meets she comes away from easily or just ignores. I would always keep her on a lead in parks or busy places.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 17-Sep-13 12:32:13

Have a check of the beach by laws. Often horses are only permitted at certain times and have to be clear after around 7am.
You could adjust your schedule a little and avoid them possibly?

froubylou Tue 17-Sep-13 12:38:49

Well if you won't keep her on the lead in any public places and won't take her for more training then you run the risk of her being seriously hurt. Or someone else.

The horse riders obviously had full control of their animals. Why shouldn't they use a public area?

And to be honest it is owners like you who get their dogs shot. Arseholio has a valid point I'm afraid. I've seen first hand the damage a loose uncontrollable dog can do to stock and it isn't nice. I've also been chased by dogs out riding and that isn't good either.

You need more help or she should stay on the lead. If you can only recall her 85% of the time that means she is out of control for 15% of the time.

Not acceptable imo. And I love dogs and have been a dog owner for many years.

Froubylou - if littlewhitebag is to have her dog on the lead at pretty much all times, how is she supposed to practice the dog's recall?

anchovies Tue 17-Sep-13 12:47:59

Personally I wouldn't beat yourself up about it, just learn from the experience. Are there any horses in fields near where you live? I just took mine to "see" them a few times and then kept on a lead a few times while they walk past. Does she know the "look" command, that's useful for keeping the focus on you. Now they both just ignore horses so I don't need to worry. Just keep working on the recall (and down if you think it will work better). Does she like a squeaky ball? I always used to keep a squeaky kong tennis ball that they loved in my pocket for emergencies. Or a long line that you can quickly tread on might be useful although I always found it a bit of liability!

Whoknowswhocares Tue 17-Sep-13 12:57:16

I find it a little at odds for you to say you 'do not ever want to repeat this episode' and then say you are not prepared to keep her on a long line on the beach. The only way to ensure it doesn't happen is a long line!
I know how frustrating it is for you, but you owe it to your dog and the horses/riders to make safety the priority.
Your dog is far more likely to cause an accident which will severely injure or kill either herself or those she chases in this scenario than any which you might meet at the park, so I don't understand why you take precautions at the park but won't consider it at the beach.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 13:07:41

I won't consider the long line at the beach as i have been walking her there almost daily for around a year and i we have never come across horses before. I have already said that once i am on the beach i can see all the way up and down it and i will now keep her on her lead until we are both on and i can check if there are horses there.

Parking is on an expanse of grass so if i saw horses unloading i would be aware also. I didn't see any horse boxes today but i probably just wasn't looking out for them. I now have an awareness of this and will take what steps i think are necessary to keep everyone safe. I know the beach and the area around and i know what i am looking out for.

I take precautions at the park because it is usually busy and because of small children/boating pond/swans/little train going round etc. None of that at the beach. Just seagulls and endless sand.

GladbagsGold Tue 17-Sep-13 13:10:47

This might be a silly idea but can you ring a local stables and see if they will let your dog visit to meet a horse?

cansleepanywhere Tue 17-Sep-13 14:49:39

I'm with littlewhitebag on this. There's no way you can exercise a big dog without letting it off lead and no-one can say their dog is 100% with recall just as no-one can plan for every eventuality. Sounds like she's learnt from the mistake. At least she's realised what went wrong and how she might fix it. There are many owners who wouldn't bother.
Whenever I let my dog off I make sure it's somewhere I can see absolutely everything. I'm constantly scanning all around me so I know what's what. I've got a young dog and I don't want to be caught out. If I can't see everything i.e. when we're going up a hill then she goes back on the lead. It's a lot of stop starting but the amount of times I've walked over the crest of a hill only to find something interesting for a pup on the other side is amazing.
I'm lucky that my dog training classes are on a farm and the stable owners are happy for pups to greet the horses.
Good luck littlewhitebag :-)

Ginnytonic82 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:17:15

As others have suggested it might be a good idea to let your dog get used to horses by taking her on a walk near to some stables/farms where she would be able to see them and get used to the size and how they move. We have a lab and I think sometimes their amiable nature is their curse - they want to be friends with everyone and everything, even if the feeling isn't mutual! In the meantime just keep practicing recall and keep your eye out for horses on the beach, hopefully you can pop her quickly onto her lead when you see them.

Whogivesashit Tue 17-Sep-13 15:17:50

Littlewhitebag; have you thought about using a whistle for your recall training?

froubylou Tue 17-Sep-13 16:25:47

Did you know that under the dangerous dogs act you can now be prosecuted for having a dog out of control in a public place?

It is not acceptable to let a dog run loose who the owner can't control. That isn't opinion that is the law.

You practice recall on the end of a long line and at obedience classes.

I cannot believe that a person who knows that they can't always recall their dog is still adamant that it will be off the lead in a public place. Do you have any idea just how dangerous to human life it can be when a dog behaves that way around horses?

And we trained greyhounds when I was younger. The majority of their exercise and fittening work was road work. On the lead. It's quite acceptable to exercise any dog on the lead. You just have to walk further.

lljkk Tue 17-Sep-13 16:33:38

Was that really "out of control"? All the dog did was bark at them & run around a bit. Dog could have been doing that on a lead just as vigorously. If horses can't cope with random barking dog then they should't be out & about either (bit of give & take, no?).

Good luck to OP, I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Patchouli Tue 17-Sep-13 16:38:34

"In future i will scan the beach for horses before letting her off so we can't be in that situation again"

That's your answer.
You do need to have a look around an area before you let your dog go. It's not much good the dog running onto the beach without you, incase of allsorts of things: dogs on leads, children etc

punter Tue 17-Sep-13 16:46:00

This happened to me in the wood with my 1 year old lab. Out of nowhere appeared a horse and rider, I was not aware it was a bridleway (not sure it is). Lab did the circling and barking bit, I could not get him at first until I produced cheese. So embarrassing, I had no idea he would react that way on his first sight of a horse. Horse and rider stood still and she was lovely and did not criticise me/dog at all so thank you to her. I now know I need to desensitise him to horses which I will do. Don't worry OP we all learn from our mistakes and I think some replies have been a bit harsh although I am obviously biased.

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 17:00:27

whogivesashit I am doing whistle recall training with the aid of the Pippa Mattison book. We are having a lot of success with it and hopefully we will have her proofed soon. As i understand it the whole gist of the training is not allow it to fail and i think had i blown my whistle in this circumstance she would not have responded. We do long lead training with the whistle.

patchouli I will definitely be scanning the area more thoroughly before letting her off.

froubylou I have got the point about my dog being not in control around the horses. I have said in my original post that i need to be able to control her and i want to ensure this does not happen again. I am not irresponsible and i try to ensure i walk her off lead where i can control her. This scenario came upon me unexpectedly and in future i will be less complacent about allowing her to run onto the beach before i have checked what is there. I suspect we will not ever see eye to eye regarding this.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 17-Sep-13 17:53:58

Do you have a contingency plan for the scenario where the beach is clear when you arrive and the horses turn up 5 minutes later, once your dog is offlead?

littlewhitebag Tue 17-Sep-13 19:14:50

whoknowswhocares It is hard if you don't know the beach but there are only two places horses could come on and one of those is very far away from where i walk. The second is easily visible if you are actually on the beach. To ride horses on the beach they would have to be transported. They could not be ridden there from a stable.

Today i obviously did not see the horse boxes, probably because there is a lot of large lorries parked around due to a big sporting activity which is happening near by in a few weeks.

toboldlygo Tue 17-Sep-13 19:58:19

Not two weeks ago I read a post on a horse forum from a very upset lady whose horse had been chased by a dog on the beach. The horse kicked out at the dog as it circled and barked at them. Unfortunately it caught the dog square in the head, it fitted briefly and then died. Horse rider and dog owner both absolutely devastated.

As above the Dangerous Dogs Act can be brought to play in situations like this:

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

injures someone
makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

it injures someone’s animal
the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

"There's no way you can exercise a big dog without letting it off lead"

Of course you can - you seek out fenced-in spaces (possibly paying for the privilege), use a long line, take up a dog sport like canicross or bikejor, walk in places where it's suitable to use a long line or flexi lead.

34DD Wed 18-Sep-13 09:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlewhitebag Wed 18-Sep-13 15:59:07

34DD I take my hat off to you having 7 big dogs in the city. How far do you need to lead walk them to tire them out in relation to letting them off? I agree that lead walking is much better for teaching them manners and obedience. I do lead walk my dog too. I also control when the off lead portion of a walk is finished and i always do part of the walk on lead no matter where i am.

Thank you to all who helped me with this yesterday. I took my dog to the beach this morning. I kept her on the lead initially as there was a man with one of those wheelie parachute things. She was going to run back to him when i let her off but i recalled her and she came back pretty immediately. Apart from him there was not another soul on the beach so it was a good walk. My DD is taking her on a lead walk through the park this afternoon as she is not confident with letting her off.

34DD Wed 18-Sep-13 19:45:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hibou7688 Wed 18-Sep-13 20:45:47

My dog is unpredictable around horses and would never have her off the lead near them. I know sometimes things come round the corner and catch you by surprise but tbh.. After having accidents in the past (not horse related.. But she has caught cats too that sit in the field - greyhounds..hmm. When we first got her and were walking in northumberland we went over a hill and she spotted sheep.. didn't do amy damage, the sheep headbutted her!!

She is always on her lead unless we can see far enough to know there is nothing that's gonna cause a problem. Other dogs are fine and her recall is fine.. But livestock is always gonna be a no no. Because of their instincts some dogs can't have it trained out of them.

But the horse owners should probably have stood still to help the situation!!

Booboostoo Thu 19-Sep-13 07:10:07

It sounds like you are struggling with the recall problem on your own. Are you getting any help from a trainer and/or going to classes which often include learning in real life environments?

Things to do to improve recall:
- keep your best food rewards only for recall, e.g. cheese,, chicken, etc.
- play the recall game often in an enclosed space
- long line at every other place (not a retractable lead but the long line exercise). Every single time your dog does not respond immediately to the recall command you are setting your training back. The long line exercise will eliminate mistakes whether they are horse related or anything else and will make it more likely that you will have a good recall in the end.

The riders will probably have walked as it was the safest thing to do. Standing still winds some horses up and makes them more likely to kick out or stomp on the dog with their front feet, both very very dangerous for the dog.

wingardiumoffthesofa Thu 19-Sep-13 11:46:20

This 100% thing that always gets quoted on the doghouse is hugely unhelpful to someone with a real life problem I think. It's a bit like saying you can only let your kids travel to school on their own if you are 100% sure they will be safe.

Life isn't full of 100% certainties, it's full of probabilities and risk assessments. Sometimes something will go wrong and you get caught out but you learn from it.

I also don't think a long line is the universal solution that is always suggested. Yes of course it's great for giving the dog freedom whilst on a lead and it's great for training largely unchallenging recall. But it can't replicate how an offlead dog will react if it sees a squirrel or disappears down a fox run or suddenly decides ducks are smelling particularly wonderful and jumps in a river. And if you have missed that puppy window of opportunity to train an unquestioned recall command because you have a rescue dog as so many of us do, then that dog will have ideas of its own. I don't believe you will learn all that dog's triggers if its permanently tethered to you. So should that mean the dog is only ever going to be on a lead? I don't think that's very fair on the dog or what the rescue centres have in mind when you take them home.

I've had my rescue dog 2 years now. He is off lead most of the time but I have learned that I cannot rely on his recall round food or livestock as much as I would like and so we adapt our walks accordingly. It has been a long process of learning and trial and error which has included lengthy periods (months) on a long lead, but also some considered risk taking.

It's a doghouse catch 22 that has always wound me up - you can't be anything close to 100% sure if your dog is permanently on a lead, yet you can't let it off unless you are 100% sure! Very unhelpful

The OP sounds extremely sensible and responsible to me

Booboostoo Thu 19-Sep-13 13:08:30

wingar it doesn't seem like you understand what long line training is and while saying that something you are familiar with doesn't work is a valid perspective, saying that something you don't know how to apply doesn't work is a bizarre claim!

A long line is not a long lead. A long line is a very light weight, long line attached to the dog's collar and allowed to trail behind without being held onto by the owner. It should be so light weight that the dog forgets it is there (obviously only suitable for training in areas where the line won't get tangled up and pull up the dog!). The dog is let loose, i.e. off its normal lead and with long line trailing. When you recall the dog either she comes back, in which case you reward and release, or she does not, in which case the handler now steps on the long line preventing the dog from making any more progress with running away, then walks on the line all the way to the dog, gently takes the dog by the collar, reverses all the way back to the original point where the dog was first recalled, rewards and releases. The long line allows the handler to stop the dog even when she thinks she is completely free, teaching the dog that she does not have an option about recall, i.e. she either recalls or is caught and recalled by the handler.

It is exactly the tool which you should use if you can't guarantee your dog won't chance a squirrel or a duck or jump in a river.

It does take a few months for a long lining training regime to work and you may well have to go back to it in the future but training dogs can be quite challenging and sometimes there is no way round the hard slog (said as someone who has spent ages long lining a JRT with a strong chase drive).

redcaryellowcar Thu 19-Sep-13 13:25:01

I think it depends how well you know your horse, the last one I used to regularly ride, pre ds would have and did happily stand whilst yappy dogs got reclaimed by owners and I imagine easier for owner to fetch the dog. if trainers with horses I imagine perhaps horses younger and therefore not as predictable, might be worth looking for local horse owner to help with dog / horse familirisation (sp) you could pop a mini advert in local tack shop? if not happening perhaps begin taking dog for walks on the lead on more popular bridleways where she gets to see a lot of horses?

wingardiumoffthesofa Thu 19-Sep-13 13:27:51

Hi booboo, yes I do understand the long line thing, I was shown it in great detail by a behaviourist. I've always used a very light nylon line as you describe. I let it trail on the ground always so effectively my dog is 'loose' as you describe. However, I do generally have it looped round a finger the other end as firstly my dog can dart and I am not quick enough or mobile enough to ensure I tread on the lead reliably - particularly in the wet or mud - and secondly I was very uncomfortable with the horrible jarring on the neck that the foot technique seems to lead to (imo and ime at least).

I think the biggest thing my dog learned on the long line was the length of it! He became very adept at not exceeding it. He was mainly on it over the winter months and light though it was, once it was wet and muddy, he still knew it was there

Booboostoo Thu 19-Sep-13 13:40:26

I don't see how holding onto the long line or using it at a time when it is likely to get heavy and therefore obvious to the dog is using the technique correctly.

I can't comment on the jarring, perhaps this is an issue for your dog, but presumably an out of control dog puts itself in danger and you need to weigh the two risks against each other. Beware of the line around your finger because if your dog can jar his neck from being stopped he can certainly dislocate your finger by pulling on it suddenly!

If your dog has sussed the length of the line you need a longer long line!

In any case if a good technique does not work in exceptional circumstances (a dog with a delicate neck and a very muddy ground) it doesn't mean it's not a good technique nor that it does not work in the exact circumstances it was designed to help with.

froubylou Thu 19-Sep-13 13:49:27

I tried to stop and wait for a woman to catch her dog yesterday whilst walking my own dog.

Her dog ran across a school field to get to mine. As we were approaching the road when I noticed him I recalled my dog and put her lead on. Then stopped and waited for his owner to catch him.

Last time I do anything like that. My dog nearly got bitten and I ended up picking her up and nearly got bitten myself as the dog jumped up and snapped at her in my arms. At 27 weeks pg I'm not balanced enough to kick out at something moving whilst holding a petrified whippet in my arms.

Thought of this thread as the woman told me he usually comes back. This was on a field we also ride across.

Any horse or pony no matter how well trained isn't going to stand still and have a dog snap around its legs. They are flight animals so more likely to bolt than standand fight.

Lilcamper Thu 19-Sep-13 14:30:42

Long lines should always be attached to a harness so there is no risk of breaking your dog's neck if you need to step on the line in an emergency. Also knots tied into them at intervals stops it from running underneath your foot.

mrslaughan Sat 21-Sep-13 23:04:41

My dog is around horses 3-4 days a week, and is perfectly behaved, however I would not trust him on a bridal trail, so have him in leAd. But actually avoid walking him on bridal trails.
In my limited experience, they learn how to behave in one situation (like at the yard), but that does not necessarily mean they translate to a different situation.

I can understand about not using long lead. My dog is young, but a giant breed, I would have no control if him on a long lead.
His recall is not 100%, so there are only certain places he is allowed off lead and I am on high alert when he is.
I did use a long lead - one he could pull me around, and he seriously had the attitude - "I'm attached to you, why so I need to come back, you fool"

It was a very unfortunate incident, but it seems that you have a strategy to prevent it from happening again.

Chibbs Sat 21-Sep-13 23:17:33

you live and lean op!

my dog will chase horses if he sees them in a field - yet i have my own horse that he is so scared of he wont even look at her!

you know now, just just need to keep an eye out.

bellasuewow Sun 29-Sep-13 16:53:47

You could have caused a serious accident horses are flight animals funny that after you let your dog do that you started giving them orders about what to do best to train your dog properly I hope they told you where to go

littlewhitebag Sun 29-Sep-13 20:39:56

woah bellasuewow Who said anything about giving them orders? hmm. I was trying in a moment of panic to let them know that my dog had never seen a horse before. I am now more educated in how horses might react.
Also i didn't 'let' my dog do anything. We were upon the horses before i even knew they were there. If i had known they were there i would have kept her on a lead. I know now to check the beach first.

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