7 Tips to Bring Dogs and Horses Together

Having two species of animals together under the same roof may cause some concern, but the sky is the limit! A horse and a dog duo might create a troubling picture for the owners. So, never expect a smooth chit-chat in the first go.

It is a common question that pet owners ask animal experts if dogs and horses can get along. Well, there isn’t a single answer.

Some Science?

Dogs and horses may or may not get along given certain situations. Barbara Smats, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Michigan, says that fun is where these two species can find companionship.

Animals love to play, and this activity can bring a dog and horse to play around. Without prior knowledge, you can risk your dog’s safety and might end up looking for affordable pet euthanasia.

Another scientific study by Elizabetta Palagi from the University of Pisa showed that dogs and horses are good candidates for inter-specie sociability. The analysis demonstrated that these two species mimic each other’s facial expressions and roll around on their backs to show friendliness.

If you dream of making your dog and horse best friends, you are just a few taps away. Know that the first meeting between these pets can be unexpectedly messy or amazing. The following tips to bring your dog and horse together will help you kick-start a duo-pet journey.

Tips to Bring Dogs and Horses Together

1. Introduction Strategy

Introduction between two species of animals can be tricky, but a working strategy can help the two get off with a great start.

Ideally, it is advised that both dogs and horses should recognize the opposite specie at an early age. Having a puppy who has seen horses can make the first meeting much more effortless. The initial introduction should start from a distance. You can begin by unleashing your dog and observing their behaviors. If you see symptoms of aggression, then it is better to try another way.

Pro tip: If your dog does not bark and reacts calmly toward the horse, then give your dog his favorite treats! This reward strategy can help your dog initiate a friendship with the horse.

2. Go Easy

As mentioned before, the initial experience with your dog meeting your horse can be unexpected. Make your mind take things slow. Remember, dogs and horses must be taken as individuals with entirely variant behaviors and traits.

Your dog is a decedent of predatory specie having hunting traits, and the horse a prey for large carnivores, which makes it obvious. Although your pet dog cannot do such violence, that’s what nature says. So, getting to know their fight, flight and freeze behaviors is one way of taking it slowly.

3. Create a Peaceful Environment First

It is important to avoid other animals or pets nearby to help your dog and horse stay calm during the process. Give them space that is only for the dog and horse only. Also, excess energy during the meeting can cause an unwanted hustling environment. So, it is better to try to bring your dog and horse together when they are tired from exercise and any other physical activity.

If your dog sees other dogs being calm and normal around horses, it will help your pet be comfortable around your new horse. Such exposure helps your dog find the environment around your horse less alarming.

4. Work on Commands

If a horse owner adopts or acquires a dog, precaution and training are necessary. It will ensure that the dog learns to behave correctly among his equine family members. If the dog has a history of being territorial or chasing other animals, it can be challenging to teach it to behave around a horse.

A must-do before heading to the stables is to work on the basic commands for your dog. Your dog will likely feel a rush of energy by seeing a horse for the first time and may try to play, but your horse will not want the same. So, to keep the bonding process comfortable for both, it is important to control the emotional behavior of your dog through commands. The commands can include on-lead and off-lead orders.

5. Set a Game Time

Fun games can bring all of us together. The same is the case for animals. Game time is one of the best ways to get your dog and horse together. Playtime is the favorite of both horses and dogs.

When they sense something exciting is about to happen, their behaviors can positively turn toward each other. If you see your dog’s tail wagging and legs bending, it signals that you are most welcome to join in. When horses are having fun, they behave similarly to dogs.

Research shows that if animals of two different species are playing and having fun, they can quickly get along by developing a close connection. So, playtime can become your pet dog’s and horse’s love language.

6. If Things Do Not Go Well….

Dogs and horses can be unpredictable, so you have to be ready for all sorts of outcomes. If things go unpleasant during the initial meetings, then you must keep them distant. Enforcing the animals to get along can make things worse.

To help with the exposure part, make your dog aware of the presence of the horse but from a distance. Once both the animals constantly realize each other’s company, bringing them closer will be easier.

7. Make it a Routine

It is all about consistency!

Repetition of exposure is key to being your horse and dog together. Keeping the process slow but consistent will help reduce the feeling of fear and threat between the species. Day-to-day exposure for your dog can lower the sense of curiosity that hypes the behavior to intimidate horses.

In Conclusion

Science suggests that dogs and horses have shown welcoming behaviors to each other in specific settings. There is observable truth to that. But helping them get along will need some work on your part.

With gradual introduction sessions, bringing your dog and horse together will be easier. Forcing a friendship between your dog and horse is a bad idea. So, following some tips and tricks will help you arrange and implement ideal situations to make your dog and horse the best pals in town.

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