Dogs And Horses

Owners of dogs and horses often require that these two species work and live together, but can they become friends? What can you do to help them get along?

Horse facilities usually forbid dogs on the premises, and for good reason. A frisky dog frolicking innocently through a corral or paddock can cause a lot of commotion, and even injury to a horse or to himself. The dog can become injured when a frightened or upset horse kicks out with its powerful legs.

Numerous court cases involve horse owners suing dog owners for injury or the death of a horse caused by a dog. Whether you”re the dog owner or the horse owner, you may be held liable for any harm caused to the other animal.

Dogs and horses can live together in harmony. You must take precautions if you have both a horse and a dog and know that they will interact. As with any relationship, the introduction period is the most important, as it will set the pattern for their long-term relationship. A good introduction, especially when both are young, can help ensure a peaceful co-existence.

The Introduction of Dogs and Horses

Introduce the pets to one another in a controlled environment where you can monitor their behaviors. The dog must be on a short leash. At first, simply allow the animals to see each other and save the up-close and personal meeting for another time. Keep distance or a barrier of some sort (such as a fence) between the two.

If you want your dog and horse to be friends, make sure your dog is completely under your control. For information on dog obedience and dog training, a well-written book or video on the subject is a great investment.

The key is to teach them mutual respect; otherwise both of your animals could be seriously injured. They learn respect by not being allowed to abuse or harass one another.


  • let your dog tease a horse. Barking, chasing and biting are all teasing behaviors that should be stopped immediately.
  • permit your dog to run up behind a horse.
  • allow your dog to chase a horse.
  • let your dog bark in close proximity to a horse.


  • monitor the relationship. Some dogs may never learn how to respect a horse, and some horses may never accept a dog.
  • remember that even if your horse accepts dogs, other people”s horses may not.
  • be aware that your dog may respect your horse, but he/she may not respect other horses.

Owning both a horse and a dog can be a rewarding experience. Dogs and horses often work together in hunting, trail rides and herding cattle. If you take the proper precautions, they could become good friends.