Man’s Best Friends: Caring for Horses & Dogs Under the Same Roof
89.7 million dogs and 7.6 million horses are owned all around the US, compared to the 850k horses in Great Britain according to Restedpaws.co.uk. This makes for much smaller population of horses than dogs and reduces the amount of horses there are per stable, making for a bit of a lonely situation. Simply put, horses need companions. While you make a rider, friend, or owner to them, they are used to living out in the wild and feel safer if they have their own kind to live with. If it isn’t possible to incorporate more horses into your stable, you can introduce another furry friend into your lives by having a dog as a companion.
Introducing Another Animal into the Group
Whether you have introduced your horse to another horse or other types of animals before or not, you probably have a good idea of how they will react based on their personality. When combining two animals under any roof, it is important to first assess their demeanor and attitude towards other people and animals and decide on the type of personality they would work best in. Once you have a solid understanding of what might work in a horse-dog relationship, try bringing a few dogs around to introduce them to the idea of a furry little playmate little by little.
Great Breeds of Dogs for Horse Companionship
While herding breeds of dogs are innately born to herd sheep and cattle, they actually don’t herd horses. They might need some training to ensure their instincts don’t take over, but if they are brought up around the horse as a puppy, they will likely learn their place quickly. Their high energy and at-home feeling on a farm also make them ideal for active homes, barns and even as a furry friend to your horse. Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians, Australian Shepherds, and Corgis are all great options for pairing with horses.
Creating Space for Both Animals
It is likely that you will need to train and care for your horse and dog in different ways. Aside from feeding them the correct food their bodies need and giving them the specific medical attention each animal requires, it is possible that you might want to ensure they can’t access each other’s personal areas. An expert on dog health and care, Breedsy (https://breedsy.com) notes that invisible underground fences are great for these types of situations as the collar you put on your dog will create boundaries specifically for them without fencing in your horse or any of your other animals.
The Perfect Match
By taking things slowly and ensuring each animal is the right personality fit for the other, you can create a harmonious relationship and lasting friendship between your hose and a dog. Allow them to become comfortable with each other and ensure each is trained on how to properly behave and react. Make the space comfortable for each of their needs and provide them with a loving home and you will watch their friendship flourish into something truly beautiful.