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our boy kicked by a horse

(20 Posts)
lisad123 Fri 02-Sep-11 18:24:53

Thornton, has been used to horses and comes up to the stables with us every weekend with the girls. He has always been terified of horses, and one move and he runs a mile.
Walking in new forest this weekend, on a long lead and he spies 2 horses, and instead chases them. Horses are going nuts, dh and girls take safe place away, but 2 speeding horse, our boy got kicked in the head. Lucky for him, all he came back with is a bruised ego and a few staples to the head sad (lovely local vet but cost me £££)
I just dont get him, he was attacked a few weeks back too, but doesnt stop him chasing every dog we see when his off lead.
His recall is 100% if we are walking with friends dogs, and when on long lead.
Does it get better with age?
I dont walk to always walk him on lead but his unsafe behaviour is concerning.

misdee Sat 03-Sep-11 11:19:36

ralph doesnt go off-lead. because he is still a loose cannon.

kid Sat 03-Sep-11 12:48:43

Glad Thornton is okay, must have been scary.
Not sure if they get better with age but my dog is 15months old and I let him off lead in parks but am constantly on edge until he is safely back on lead as his recall isn't quite 100%.

MotherJack Sat 03-Sep-11 20:50:45

They get better with training, rather than age. No dog knows what is expected of him as he gets older, unless he is taught. I know exactly what you mean, but can't advise as different dogs have different buttons you can push to make them recall. Sounds like yours will take a bit of understanding what he responds to best if you want to let him off lead tbh.

lisad123 Sun 04-Sep-11 13:09:33

he will come back for a treat or a cuddle 100% of the time, unless there is another dog (or a horse!!) to chase, and i have yet to find the thing he loves more than playing shock, I guess he will not want as much fun as he gets older and more food.
I guess its back t long lead only sad

MotherJack Mon 05-Sep-11 11:00:12

He will still want fun as he gets older! My old girl is probably between 10 and 12 and that is at the end of most Stafford's lives and I had to find a way to rein her in off lead as she was mental when I got her nearly a year ago! She has a massively high prey drive and if I don't engage her in fun and games, I don't see her. So you have my sympathy as it took me a bit to figure her out.

It sounds as though he is off playing by himself (or with friend's dogs) and comes back when called because he knows you have something good for him in the interim and then he can go off to sniffing and playing. You said that he will come back for a treat or cuddle if there is not another dog or horse to chase after... so basically he will not come back if there is something far more interesting than you.

If this is the case, then you need to be the one who is playing with him and engage him in the best fun and games a dog can have. Cuddling is not fun for him. You have to be as fun as humanly possible and when you call him, have the best game of retrieve/tug or whatever he likes doing best. Retrieve is apparently one of THE best games you can teach them. Does he retrieve?

Booboostoo Mon 05-Sep-11 11:34:58

Age has nothing to do with it, training is the key but until he is 100% reliable in all situations you MUST keep him on a lead. What you describe sounds extremely dangerous both for the dog and for everyone else involved; spooked horses can run straight through other walkers, not to mention that next time he may chase a horse with a rider on it.

Try motivating his recall with the best treats you can find or a squeeky toy but at the end of the day it's a matter of endless repetition and not letting him run off.

lisad123 Mon 05-Sep-11 14:50:56

we arent normally walking with horses about and when we are at the stables either he is on lead or they are in stables.

He loves retrieving balls and tbh if he has said hello to another dog he is happy to come straight back and play ball and leave the dog too it (this has only been over last 2 months or so though).

Thing is booboo, how do you get it to 100% without beinf off lead?? On a long lead his recall is 100%, even if I drop the long lead, its 99%, but as soon as his unclipped its not.

Booboostoo Mon 05-Sep-11 20:00:58

You use a long line (not a long lead). This is a very light weight line (so that the dog forgets it's there), you let the line trail behind the dog, you recall and if the dog ignores you, you step on the line so the dog can't go further. Then you walk up to the dog stepping on the line all the way, when you get to the dog you put two fingers under the collar and reverse all the way back to where you were when you called him. When you get there praise and release. Repeat ad nauseum. You will need to keep it up for a few months but it does eventually work as it teaches the dog that you are always in control. Be very careful using the long line around obstacles, people, horses, etc as you don't want it to get tangled on anything/one and cause an accident.

Booboostoo Mon 05-Sep-11 20:01:47

P.S. by 'praise' I mean feed the nicest bits of food you can find, e.g cheese, sausage, etc. Something smelly and wonderful that you reserve just for recalls.

lisad123 Mon 05-Sep-11 20:12:30

I say long lead but I'm not sure what u mean by long line?
Sounds pretty much like what we have been doing, I guess it's just keep trying with added distraction.

misdee Mon 05-Sep-11 20:24:10

lisa you have a long line smile

jade80 Mon 05-Sep-11 20:26:59

How did he manage to chase them if he was on a long lead?

Marne Mon 05-Sep-11 20:36:12

Poor dog sad hope he's ok. We keep ours on a retractable lead, most farmers/horse owners will go nuts here if they see a dog off a lead and it has been known that farmers have shot at dogs near their livestock, a few months ago a horse was chased by a dog and it (the horse) got tanggled in bard wire, the stress killed it and of course the owner of the horse was very angry (was in local paper). There was also a man trapled by cows a while ago as he tried to rescue his dog sad. I used to walk my dog off the lead in the field behind our house, she loves being off the lead and is scared stiff by any other animal (other than dogs), one day i took her for a walk and the farmer had left a rather nasty note telling me to keep my dog on the lead (stuck it to a post on the entrance to the field), there was hardly ever livestock in the field and when there was we didn't go in (as i am scared of getting trampled by cows) so sinse then i have kept her on a long lead, such a shame though as it takes a lot longet to tire them out when they are on a lead.

lisad123 Mon 05-Sep-11 21:05:40

Because if his long line, trailing behide him his recall is normally 100%, even with other dogs about.
I get I'm a terrible owner, clearly sad

Marne Mon 05-Sep-11 21:25:40

Not a terrible owner at all, lots of people walk their dogs off the lead.

Booboostoo Tue 06-Sep-11 11:43:25

Sorry I thought you meant retractable lead by long lead. For the long line training to work you need to keep it up for months and at any sign of regression go straight back to it. From what you describe he needs to stay on the long line for the time being - just make sure it's light weight enough that he forgets it's there.

lisad123 Tue 06-Sep-11 11:48:21

thanks, i hate retractable leads, too much of a pain wink
thanks, had his staples out today, and will be staying online for a while now

PurpleFrog Tue 06-Sep-11 12:17:28

"thanks, had his staples out today, and will be staying online for a while now"

I find it bad enough sharing the computer with dd, without having to share it with the dog as well! grin

Cheria Tue 06-Sep-11 17:39:16

Not judging you at all but you really have to be careful with dogs around horses - I was once riding and had a potentially horrific accident due to a dog running up and barking at the horse. The dog got kicked in the head, which is bad enough, but unfortunately I also got mightily kicked as I was thrown off.

The dog's owner threatened to sue the stables for damage to the dog hmm (it was pretty badly hurt). Bad day all round. Would have been avoided if the dog had been on a lead.

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