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Training puppy to come out hacking
15

balancingfigure · 07/09/2017 13:57

So our new puppy is arriving next week and I'm wasting lots of time in the doghouse on Mumsnet absorbing all things dog but I thought this query might be best here!

When puppy is big enough we would like her to come out when DD and I go hacking. Now the things I've thought of so far are:

  • take the puppy to the stable early on so she is used to the horses (and my horse is used to her)
  • work on off lead training, heel, recall etc so that this can be transposed to me being on the horse
  • start with very short rides on the farm with no traffic around

    But I would be very grateful for any other tips to make this work. Also when she gets to going on the road she could do with some high viz but I've only seen quite heavy coats so far which she won't really need so any recommendations for light high viz collars/coats?
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RatherBeRiding · 08/09/2017 15:38

I really don't think it would be wise to have a dog on the road off the lead. Or on a bridlepath off the lead. Fine to do this on private land, but on the bridlepaths round us there are many dogs off lead that seem to be barely under control - suppose one of them went for your dog whilst you were riding.

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Floralnomad · 08/09/2017 15:40

I thought the 1988 road traffic act prohibited off lead dogs from being on a public highway , has that been changed ?

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RatherBeRiding · 08/09/2017 16:29

Floral - just Googled, and it was certainly the case just a few years ago that it is illegal to have a dog off a lead on a public highway.

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Floralnomad · 08/09/2017 16:34

Sounds ridiculously dangerous to me anyhow , for the dog and other road users . I know one of my horses would have absolutely freaked if a dog went near her and my dog goes crackers if he sees a horse . Fine on private farmland .

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SwishSwishBish · 08/09/2017 16:38

There's someone round my way who does this but she has her dog on a super long lead and harness. It's very well behaved, I presume she's done a lot of work to get it to where it is now and she always has it on her left so it's protected from the traffic.

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frostyfingers · 09/09/2017 14:53

I used to hack with two labs but mostly on private land and with only short bits on single track road. They had excellent recall and knew to sit on one long blast of the whistle, no matter how far away I was. I also taught them "come behind" and "wait" and they were absolutely fine.

It is certainly possible but I don't think I'd do it unless I was 99% sure that I wouldn't meet other horses/dogs - your dog may be well trained but what if others ones aren't, or if yours forgets everything and goes mad?

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balancingfigure · 09/09/2017 15:30

Gosh, never thought about it being illegal! There are quite a few illegal dogs around here as I see it relatively often!

We hack on very quite lanes. We meet vehicles occasionally. Because the lanes are so narrow the vehicles have to stop to pass. We see other riders sometimes and very occasionally other dog walkers. We don't have very many bridle paths unfortunately but the ones we do are very quite as well. We do have some fields we can ride on too but as DD is quite nervous she likes the lanes.

Definitely don't like the lead idea. I'm the sort of person who is quite likely to get the lead tangled around my own legs so would not consider leading from the horse!

Interestingly I often think we don't have very good hacking but based on your comments I should appreciate it more as at least it is quite quiet. We do use a slightly busier road as well where traffic can pass without stopping but I would only take the dog on this road if/when I was extremely confident in her behaviour.

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Wolfiefan · 09/09/2017 15:34

I really wouldn't do this.
Dog must be on lead by road.
Horses kick and bolt and dogs get startled and run off. What happens if you meet another dog and there's a fight?
If you're walking a dog you need to be focused on the dog. If you're riding a horse you need to be focused on your riding.
Plus puppies can't walk far.

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balancingfigure · 09/09/2017 15:41

Wolfie don't worry I realise puppy can't walk far but I was just looking for ideas to start training/get her used to the idea!

Don't know what you ride but honestly my horse doesn't need a huge amount of focussing on! She is old and quiet and chosen specially so there would be no drama while DD is learning to ride.

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Wolfiefan · 09/09/2017 15:54

Grew up around horses.
Squealing air brakes.
Sudden fireworks.
Ambulance speeding past with siren on
Are you honestly saying you know your horse wouldn't react to these (unlikely!) events.
And a dog would need bullet proof recall and even then would it be calm in the above situations?
Across a field? Possibly not a disaster.
On a road? Never.

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CornflakeHomunculus · 09/09/2017 16:09

"A person who causes or permits a dog to be on a designated road without the dog being held on a lead is guilty of an offence."

Taken from the Road Traffic Act 1988

I'm with Wolfiefan on the safety aspect as well. Even if your horse is absolutely 100% bombproof and your dog's recall is impeccable (neither of which can ever really be the case, they're animals with minds of their own and not robots) you can't control the behaviour of other road users or things in the environment (I'm thinking specifically wildlife which may interest the dog) which may cause problems.

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Wolfiefan · 09/09/2017 16:11

I forgot wildlife.
And crow scarers.
And car crashes.
And idiot motorists who get too close, overtake at speed whilst heckling you and send your horse bolting into the path of an HGV. True story. (Not me! Only the quick thinking of the HGV driver prevented death or serious injury!)

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Ylvamoon · 09/09/2017 23:48

Although I m firmly with all the don't do it posts.

But if you really want to try (with lead and otherwise...) why not have your dog run beside the bicycle first? This should give you a good inside into the control issues.

In addition, go for regular walks with horse and dog (your feed firmly on the ground!) to see if you can control both animals.

Lastly, I'd recommend obedience training for the dog to help with off lead commands.

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MirrorTable · 10/09/2017 00:10

Dog agility. I took my dog as soon as he was old enough and that worked wonders for his offlead work.

I don't do any roadwork with the dog whilst mounted, if i need to go on the road I get off and lead them both.

Despite being round horses all his life my dog doesn't really enjoy hacking, he worries about being near horses and to be honest it's much better to have a dog that's wary of horses and wants to stay away, than one that's fearless.

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RockinSushi · 10/09/2017 00:17

No. No. No. very foolish idea.

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