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A friend mentioned to me that her obedience instructor was considering getting a Border Collie or Aussie, but worried that "Border Collies are not afraid of horses which can be very dangerous whereas Aussies don't have issues with wanting to challenge/herd a horse." I don't know Aussies but I never thought of chasing horses as limited to only one or two breeds. Anyway, I said I knew a number of people on these boards lived with both horses and Border Collies and would check to see what your thoughts were on the matter. It seems to me that I've read posts from people who have successfully taught their Border Collies not to bother horses or other livestock.

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A friend mentioned to me that her obedience instructor was considering getting a Border Collie or Aussie, but worried that "Border Collies are not afraid of horses which can be very dangerous whereas Aussies don't have issues with wanting to challenge/herd a horse." I don't know Aussies but I never thought of chasing horses as limited to only one or two breeds. Anyway, I said I knew a number of people on these boards lived with both horses and Border Collies and would check to see what your thoughts were on the matter. It seems to me that I've read posts from people who have successfully taught their Border Collies not to bother horses or other livestock.

 

I live with both and just keep them separated. Violet will attempt to work horses - she did this at her last home and a sassy paint gelding broke her foot in the process of teaching her that horses don't play that. Since I also have a sassy paint gelding, I have good fences and am fanatic about closing gates.

 

But Violet's ACD former housemates chased horses as well. In fact, it was much easier to call Violet off the horses than it was to get the ACDs' attention once they committed to the chase. It's not just BC - in my part of the country, where free-range canines are the norm, most dogs try harassing horses if you ride them past the dog's home. At least once, anyway. :rolleyes:

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All my dogs learn as young pups to leave horses alone. They are allowed to be near horses all the time, as the dogs go along on trial rides, and are also taught to work cattle with me mounted. They are just taught to not mess with them.

 

A

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I have bc's and an aussie I also use to manage a hunter jumper barn. Dogs were taugh that horses were of limits unless you were specifically invited to do so. Herding dogs and horses unless monitored closely and trained well can be an accident waiting to happen

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I was bringing Gypsy to the barn with me occasionally, she absolutely loves it. She's not interested in the horses so much as she is in eating what comes out of them :rolleyes: To be honest she's more intimidated by the resident crabby old nanny goat (and she calls herself a border collie!). But her ignorance of the horses does not turn out well either, as many of them are young and not quite used to dogs... She doesn't understand to stay away from the back end of horses, and she's gotten kicked in the head twice. I'm not taking her there anymore in case she's not so lucky the third time. My filly's hooves are small but she's got a lot of power behind them, and I'm not goning to risk a fractured skull (or worse) just so Gypsy can eat some horse poop. :D

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My 7 dogs all go out around the horses with me when I'm doing chores but never have access to the horses when I'm not there with them, they're either in the house or backyard. The horses are out 24/7 and the horses and dogs mingle while I'm feeding. A couple of the BC's tend to want to circle the horses, round and round and round, but wide enough that they aren't in any danger. They were taught from a young age not to chase. The hardest one to teach was Flash, my ACD mix? (not sure, he's a rescue but certainly has ACD in him)

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River was raised with horses and taught to leave them alone, no prob - but she also won't chase anything since I taught her not to. Diesel was 15mos when i got him and is very movement reactive. He will chase a moving horse. But he learned to 'leave them' when he starts staring too much at them (which is all he can do now since I no longer have horses, but neighbors on 2 fence lines do).

 

Depends on your dog.

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My dog has only the mildest interest in horses, will happily do a "lie down" when they come by us on a walk, and won't pass one from behind if we're moving faster than it on a path. He seems to "get" that it's a really big animal that could stomp him. This is how he came home from the shelter - doesn't seem to be much natural instinct to chase. FWIW.

 

Mary

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My biggest problem with the horse and dog is sibling rivalry. I stopped taking Buster to the barn for his own safety. The horse doesn't like dogs, we had one bad moment when the BC went to bite the horse in the nose, only to discover the horse had a similar plan.

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River was raised with horses and taught to leave them alone, no prob - but she also won't chase anything since I taught her not to. Diesel was 15mos when i got him and is very movement reactive. He will chase a moving horse. But he learned to 'leave them' when he starts staring too much at them (which is all he can do now since I no longer have horses, but neighbors on 2 fence lines do).

 

Depends on your dog.

 

So how do you initiate training a dog like these ot to chase something? I'm still struggling with the cars and ducks chase desire in my 7 mo. old.

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So how do you initiate training a dog like these ot to chase something?

 

My dogs are trained to work stock, and so have a "that'll do" command, meaning stop whatever it is you're doing. Even the young pup I am currently working with who just turned 16 weeks old today is learning that; so if the stock are, say, 40 yards away, and she's looking like she wants to go after them, I give her a "that'll do," then call her to me. She generally complies because since day 1, it has been expected of her to do as asked, and she also sees the older dogs behave. But, for a really young one who is looking like s/he wants to go after the horse (or anything else that is potentially dangerous for the pup), I just come unglued the first time I see it--which basically means over the top yelling and acting really mean and scary. That makes the pup quit thinking about chasing the horse. As soon as I see that the pup is no longer interested in doing so, I turn back into a nice person. It usually only takes that one time.

 

A

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Our last foster BC was adopted by someone with horses, and he goes with her to the barn almost every day. We were unsure how he would act around them, because he had a habit of chasing things (cats, rabbits, etc.). She just had to keep him on leash for the first week or so so that he wouldn't self-reward or get himself killed by chasing the horses. After that she said that she just enforced his boundaries and picked it up pretty quickly.

Don't know how well my boy would be around horses now, but he was fine with them when he was a puppy.

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Any breed of dog can chase horses and other animals, its not just one breed in particular. It all comes down to how the dog has been trained and what things the owner has let them get away with.

I have two horses, and from pup on I have taught mine to leave the horses alone, this also applies to cats, squirrels, chickens etc. I lucked out with all my bc's they have alway been afraid of the horses, and give them lots of room if I go out for a ride. For other attractive things to chase when they were pups, if they looked interested I would say hey, or ah to get their attention, if that didn't work and they started moving towards that animal I would raise holy heck, (pretty much like what stockdog ranch mentioned). Then went back to being the normal quiet person I am.

 

Samantha

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So how do you initiate training a dog like these ot to chase something? I'm still struggling with the cars and ducks chase desire in my 7 mo. old.

 

Training, training, training. I don't think I could call Diesel off a squirrel perhaps, but I KNOW I can call him off the cats and horses - IF I see him start running, if he's too far away for I totally miss the whole thing, he's GONE. But he knows leave it and it also applies to animals - and he has a really good recall which I trained heavily.

 

Use a long line and lots and lots of training - it will pay off.

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My dogs are trained to work stock, and so have a "that'll do" command, meaning stop whatever it is you're doing. Even the young pup I am currently working with who just turned 16 weeks old today is learning that; so if the stock are, say, 40 yards away, and she's looking like she wants to go after them, I give her a "that'll do," then call her to me. She generally complies because since day 1, it has been expected of her to do as asked, and she also sees the older dogs behave. But, for a really young one who is looking like s/he wants to go after the horse (or anything else that is potentially dangerous for the pup), I just come unglued the first time I see it--which basically means over the top yelling and acting really mean and scary. That makes the pup quit thinking about chasing the horse. As soon as I see that the pup is no longer interested in doing so, I turn back into a nice person. It usually only takes that one time.

 

A

 

I just wanted to (perhaps pointlessly) reiterate the importance of a "that'll do" or "leave it" command. Soda has a "that'll do" and it's magic. She'll stop whatever when she hears "that'll do" (or getoutofthat). I trained it by making it a non-option to not comply. If she didn't leave stop the first time, I MADE her stop. Nicely first (since it was when she was first exposed to sheep) but when she knew it and didn't comply, I wasn't quite as nice. It has translated quite nicely from sheep to everyday life.

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Thanks for all the examples! I'll pass them on to my friend who can share the info with the trainer. I really was surprised when I heard about her concerns because she was a professional obedience trainer and the issue didn't seem like it would be insurmountable -- at least not for the vast majority of dogs --- if you, well, trained them. :rolleyes:

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