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Dogs and Horses Dog vs Horse Anatomy Equine Law: Dogs and Horses Who is Stronger - Dog or Horse? The Differences Between Horses and Dogs Is a horse more intelligent than a dog? Best Dog Breeds for Horses Best Dog for Herding & Hunt How to Introduce Dog to Horse How to Handle Service Dogs & Horses 10 Ways to Avoid a Chase Situation Dog & Horse Safe Relationships Which is faster a Horse or a Dog? Which is more Intelligent a Dog or a Horse? Why horses are better than Dogs? Can Dog ride a Horse? Do Dogs attack Horses? Are Horses and Dogs Related? Are Horses Smarter Then Dogs? Is a Horse Faster than a Greyhound? Training Working Dogs & Horses Dog vs Horse Race Costs Dog and Horse Parasites Miniature Guide Horses Dog & Horse Fine Art Dog & Horse Portraits How to Handle Horse Miniature Horse vs Dog Dog and Horse Best Friends Riding on Horses with Dogs Dog & Horse Field Trials Dogs & Horses Friendship Dog & Horse Photos & Videos Dog and Horse Play Together Making a Barn Dog Dog vs Horse Racing Dogs Lead Horses Horse Show Dogs Dogs Ride Horses Canine & Equine Equistrine Hound vs Horse Dog vs Pony Equestrian Mini-Horse Ivermectin
Horses Are Just Like Dogs! Your dog and you have a number of common interests. Horses are prey that hunters might like to eat, but they are herbivores and their social structure is quite different from dogs and humans. Although many people believe their horses are companion animals, they are not the same as dogs.
Best Dog Breeds for Horses: Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd Dalmatian Australian Cattle Dog Corgi
Yes, your canines and equines can learn to get along! Chances are if you are a horse person, you are also a dog person or at least have a collected a few of each over the years. For as long as horses have been filling our barns, plowing our fields, and carrying us from one place to another, there have been dogs to nip at their heels, lick them inappropriately, and drag them around by the lead rope.
Here are 10 reasons why this timeless, inter-species friendship will always work. In nature, dogs and horses would not be pals. It's through domestication and humans' sometimes unreasonable wishes that they are asked to coexist in today's barnyards. With effort from the human handler, a dog can learn that horses are not to be chased, stalked or barked at. It's that effort, though, that so many people struggle with. If you own equines and canines, and are coping with compatibility issues, here are some training tips to help everyone in the barn get along.
1. They like to do the same things. Rolling in dirt, getting treats, and chewing on everything but the actual toys you buy for them, these two never run out of things in common. And much much more!
2. Dogs have natural ability as riders. Incredible, four-legged balance and great feel, plus they nail their distances every time.
3. They won the West together. Guarding the homestead, pulling the wagons, kicking it around the campfire. And hey, those cattle were not going to wrangle themselves. You can not take this truth from the history.
4. Both agree there's no time like the present for a quick game of tug of war. Style points if the dog is still alive at the end.
5. They make great training partners. Double bonus style points if the dog is still alive at the end.
6. They share the same sense of style. Plaid is fierce on every body type.
7. Their love of blood sport goes way back. Historical evidences show that horses & dogs were always surviving together, and the human was just feeding them...
8. They help each other with those hard to reach spots. Because it is all about good hygiene.
9. They both know that sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.
You never know until you try, right?
DOG & HORSE: INTELLIGENCE: WHO IS SMARTER? This article is proudly presented by WWW.NPR.ORG and WWW.QUORA.COM and Barbara J. King and Daniel Walker
Dogs and horses have very different kinds of intelligence, and so how you rate it depends on how you rate those relative skills. Direct comparison of intelligence across species doesn't work well, because there is no single standard of what "smart" means across differently evolved animals. Asking if horses and dogs are equally smart, then, doesn't really make much sense. The horses used more visual and tactile signals with the uninformed than the informed caretaker. Horses possess some cognitive basis for this ability of understanding others' knowledge state in social communication with humans.
As a human dealing with horses, the first thing to recognise is that horses never make the same mistake that dogs do: they never think you are another horse. You must approach your relationship with a horse on the basis that you deal with this animal as something that:
Does not share their life, nor is something they wish to share their lives with
Will form only a tiny fraction of their waking moments, and will see you as primarily a problem, to be solved, rarther than another soul to be reasoned with.
In fact, the animal with as near a match, intelligence-wise, to the horse, is probably the elephant - for many of the same reasons. A herd of horses, or elephants, is visibly not like a herd of bison, for example: in the wild, both horses and elephants exist in fairly small, familial groups, of related individuals, consisting of leaders, and specialists, and both tend to move in irregular annual migratory patterns over wide territories, to follow seasonal supplies of water and vegetation. As such, like Elephants, horses display the kind of intelligence that focuses on memorising things. This allows certain members of the group to specialise in knowing where the water holes are, and crossing points of rivers, in a given region, say - and as such, herd hierarchies are amenable to quick, and temporary, delegation of leadership roles. The overall behaviour of the herd is highly influenced by its membership.
For most of the history of horse domestication, we have assumed that communications between humans and horses was unidirectional. Horses that have known where gates and pathways were, long before I did, for example, because they had taken that route, previously, by other riders. My own horse - who was moved away from his original home district for nearly eight years, to another part of the country, while I worked there was returned home, but to a new part of his original district, several miles from his former home, but displayed - on his first outing from his new yard - the point at which he knew he was going back to his new place, by quickening his step and striding out more firmly for the last five miles, or so.
He had mapped where the new yards was, within a landscape whose landmarks he already recognised. Such things are unremarkable to horses, because they have evolved to it. Like elephants, horses display an almost obsessive love of learning. This is why they are so amenable to human taming: we teach them what to do, and they love us for it. As far as the horse is concerned, by learning what to do, they gain the kind of control over their world that they can appreciate.
Horses aren't terribly interested in why. If a horse displays curiosity, it is usually because he or she wants to know what will happen, in a given situation, and learn what he or she should do about it. Horses watch each other all the time, and a horse can see another horse doing something to get a reward, and may almost instantly become ready to copy that action. In fact, horses express themselves so much through motion, that I personally suspect that one horse watching another one move, almost senses what it feels like, to move like that, as they watch it. It is an empathy that does not require reason - they convey their emotions to one another by moving in an emotive way, so that any horse seeing it, automatically experiences some of the same emotional state: a condition akin to the one in which humans respond to song.
Above all else, they are passive thinkers, and love nothing more than a positive feedback loop, that can be reproduced, reliably, again and again, to produce the same good outcome. A good horseman or horsewoman, seeks to be the focus of just such a positive feedback loop. So, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but raw learning never stops, for horses, however old they get, and memories never vanish. Together with other recent research showing that horses can use symbols to communicate with humans, this new study tells us that horses think carefully about what's going on around them.
Some dogs have never seen a horse before, and if they are scared or nervous they may react by chasing the horse. This can cause problems for the horse, the rider, other members of the public and the dog. Blue Cross has teamed up with the British Horse Society and the National Police Chiefs' Council to offer advice on how to avoid this troublesome situation...
You are required by law to make sure your dog does not become dangerously out of control !
Why Dogs Chase? Domestic dogs are decended from a predatory species that hunts other animals for food.
Dogs were bred to do different things and will have instinctive behaviour traits, some stronger than others. Knowing about your dog's breed may help you to understand how they could react in certain situations, including being around a horse for the first time.
Today, most dogs are kept as pets, but their chasing and hunting instincts may still be present.
Some dogs will have never seen a horse before and they will react with a mixture of fear, curiosity or nervousness which could result in aggression or chasing.
Dogs may see the horse and want to play - the horse is unlikely to understand this!
DOG's POINT OF VIEW "I may be scared or nervous of seeing a horse and react by investigating or chasing."
Why Dogs Chase? Domestic dogs are decended from a predatory species that hunts other animals for food.
Dogs were bred to do different things and will have instinctive behaviour traits, some stronger than others. Knowing about your dog's breed may help you to understand how they could react in certain situations, including being around a horse for the first time.
Today, most dogs are kept as pets, but their chasing and hunting instincts may still be present.
Some dogs will have never seen a horse before and they will react with a mixture of fear, curiosity or nervousness which could result in aggression or chasing.
Dogs may see the horse and want to play - the horse is unlikely to understand this!
10 Ways to Avoid a Chase Situation Socialise and try to train your dog to be calm in the presence of horses from an early age so they are not a scary or exciting thing to come across.
Ensure you have your dog under close control and train a reliable recall.
If you do not have a sound recall, please keep them on a lead.
If you see a horse approaching, call your dog to you and keep as still as possible in a visible but safe place.
If you see a rider approaching quickly, make yourself visible so they can slow to a walk before they pass you.
Wear hi-viz or bright coloured top, it's the safe thing to do generally, and riders can see you and react at an earlier opportunity.
Encourage your dog not to bark at passing horses. Rewarding calm behaviour can help reinforce that staying still around horses is a good thing.
Once horses have passed you, keep your dog under close control.
If there is public access through a field of horses, only enter if your dog is walking calmly on a lead. Remember that inquisitive horses may approach you and your dog.
HORSE's POINT OF VIEW "If a dog runs towards me in play or aggression I may run away. This might cause problems for me, my rider, other members of the public or your dog."
Why do horses run? What are the potential consequences? The horse was a prey animal for many large carnivores, such as the wolf.
To survive, they run from any threat of attack. This is often referred to as "flight" instinct.
A horse's natural survival instinct is strong and a rider has little influence over this.
A bolting horse presents very real danger for other members of the public present and can also entice a dog into a chase situation.
If the area is not enclosed the horse may run onto a busy road and be hit by a car or other vehicle.
The dog may chase the horse onto the road and also be hit by a car.
The rider may fall off and injure themselves if the horse moves quickly sideways or kicks out.
The horse may kick out at the dog - as many horses have steel shoes on their hooves, these can do some serious damage to a dog.
A horse may not react any differently to an approach from a muzzled dog or even a friendly dog - they do not know they cannot be bitten.
10 Ways to Avoid a Chase Situation Socialise and try to train your horse with dogs so they do not react to their presence.
Keep your horse as calm as possible when passing dogs.
Always slow to a walk to pass dogs, and communicate with the dog owner at the earliest opportunity. They may not have seen you - particularly if you are approaching from behind.
Give dogs that appear nervous a wide berth so they do not feel threatened.
Wear hi-viz equipment so dog owners can see you as soon as possible and take control of their dog.
If riding in a group, go past in single file at a walk.
Always thank dog owners who keep control and allow you to pass them safely.
Do not shout or wave arms around.
If necessary, stop to allow an excited dog to be caught.
Stop and speak to each other.
You have more in common than you think!
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DOGS AND HORSES This article is proudly presented by WWW.POSITIVELY.COM and Victoria Stilwell
Horses are prey animals with a deep herding instinct. They are highly sensitive to their environment, hyper aware and ready to take flight if needed. Just like dogs, some horses are more confident than others, but just like dogs, all need a confident handler to teach them what to do. Some horses are highly reactive and can be spooked by the smallest things as are dogs, while others are more able to deal with change and novelty.
The fact that dogs are predators and horses are prey should not define how we treat them. For far too long, horses have been trained using harsh methods and unfortunately the trend still continues - as it does in the dog training world. These days, however, there are more and more people training horses with less punishment and producing more successful, confident and predictable animals as a result. There are horse people who believe you have to be leader of the herd and others who say you don't.
Sound familiar? How many dog trainers still spout outdated and flawed pack leader theory? Being a pack or herd leader seems to suggest that these animals view us as their own kind rather than some strange, confusing two legged species. I think both dogs and horses are much smarter than people give them credit. I do believe we have to be leaders but that means we should not place ourselves as part of their herds or packs but rather as humans that teach and guide these animals while they navigate the challenges they face living so closely alongside us.
Another distinction between horses and dogs that became clear to me once again was that while dogs have been domesticated, horses have been tamed. This is an important element to consider when comparing our relationships with each species, because the difference between domestication and taming is profound. As I wound my way up a steep and rocky path past rattlesnakes and prickly cacti, I had to work hard to convince my horse to keep moving at a decent pace and keep up with our guide.
As far as Uno the horse was concerned, there was nothing particularly beneficial for him to do what I was asking him to do - it was all for me. Coming from the dog world where we strive to make our dogs' lives better for their sake as well as our own through daily decisions both big and small, it was somewhat conflicting to realize that most of what I was asking the horse to do was mostly for my own benefit. Sure, the horses on the Tanque Verde ranch and countless others just like it love to run, they relish and need the exercise we gave them and they are far better off than their equine predecessors of just a generation or two ago. But if he had had his own choice, I am pretty sure Uno would have preferred to avoid the trails I was asking him to traverse.
Compare this to a similarly common dog activity: the daily walk. There are plenty of similarities - giving mental and physical stimulation, but there is also an element of relationship-based bonding that goes on during a good walk with your dog where it's time equally well-spent for both parties. We get a lot out of it, but we also want the dog to have the ability to make her own ideally correct choices. In general, horses have less of a say in what they want to do and must follow our wishes pretty closely, while more of the choices we make with our dogs seem to be based on what's best for them.
Obviously we still develop relationships with our horses and develop deep understandings of one another despite our differences as species, but I think it's fair to say that on average, dog owners have "closer relationships" with their dogs than horse owners might with their horses. I am not saying either of these approaches is better than the other. Indeed, when you consider the difference between domesticating dogs as our companions and that the species slowly continues to move away from its original intention as working animals, and taming horses so that they can help us work and play, we are probably more or less on target with what should be expected.
Like dogs, each horse is unique - an individual with its own personality. Each horse needs a confident and fair handler, one that can be assertive without being overly harsh and can guide and direct the horse into doing what is needed of it. Like dogs, horses have had a profound influence on humankind, and without the horse, the struggle for human survival would have been a lot harder. It's interesting to me that man owes much of his success to both species.
Without horses, plowing our fields, traveling from place to place, conquering new lands and fighting our wars would have been much harder. Without dogs, protecting our homes, livestock and our fields would have been impossible. Both species have influenced our culture more than any other species on the planet and both, regardless of what humans believe, deserve the utmost respect for surviving alongside humans, the most dangerous, complex and inconsistent species on earth.
DOG & EQUESTRIAN SAFE RELATIONSHIPS This article is proudly presented by WWW.ANIMALBEHAVIOR COLLEGE.COM and WWW.HORSE ANDHUSKY.COM and WWW.THEDOGS NETWORK.COM and WWW.BLUECROSS ORG.UK and Audrey Pavia
Like dogs, horses need socialization with each other. They spend time together, form friendships, walk together, play together and even kiss each other at times. In seasons when there are a lot a flies, horses will stand side-by-side, face to rear-end, with the aim of shooing flies off one another's faces with their tails! How cute is that?!
Other friends horses have are sheep and donkeys. Typically a horse stays for long times of the day in their boxes at the stable. A sheep or a donkey will keep them company, as they are quiet like them. This helps them not feel lonely. And they do get along really well. Horse riders who have dogs will probably relate to this. When a rider takes their horse for a ride in the desert, say in the area of the Pyramids or Sakara, there is a very high probability of meeting a pack of dogs.
According to Corinne Reuse, riding instructor at Sunset Stable, a rider in the desert could bump into 20 dogs sometimes! Stray dogs being a bit territorial, will bark loudly, and this can sometimes scare the horse. When a horse gets scared or uncomfortable, that's where danger can start, as they can kick, they can bite, and they will be extremely unpredictable. Interesting fact, your dog will be capable of giving your horse assurance and protection in this case!
If a rider goes on a horse ride, and their dog comes along, given that the horse and the dog are already familiar with each other, the dog will actually take responsibility to act as the protector of the rider and the horse. Their instinct will tell them to take the lead and walk in front of the horse, protecting them and guarding them as they walk. The horse will understand that and will actually appreciate their furry buddy looking out for them! It's difficult to find a horse owner who doesn't also live with at least one dog. Horses and dogs are a natural combination. If you love horses, chances are you love dogs, too. Although dogs and horses can often become great friends, danger is inherent whenever these two species come together. The sheer size of a horse, combined with its nature as a prey animal, can mean trouble for even the mellowest dog.
Likewise, dogs can pose a great danger to horses as well. In order to keep your dog safe around horses, it's important to remember that horses are often afraid of dogs, and will kick, bite or strike to defend themselves. A well-placed kick from a horse can cause severe injury or death. Conversely, a dog can cause damage to a horse by biting it, chasing it or scaring it to the point where the horse injures itself trying to escape. Before allowing your dog to be around horses, follow these precautions:
Train your dog. Provide your dog with basic training so he will respect your authority when in the presence of a horse. Teach him that horses are not to be chased or barked at. This is especially important if the horse is being ridden.
Use a leash. When your dog first meets a horse, keep him on leash so you can control his reaction. Do not allow him off leash until you are certain he will not harass the horse.
Teach respect. If your dog has no fear of horses, teach him to stay away from the horse's legs. Some dogs are so comfortable around horses, they can get underfoot and be stepped on. A healthy fear of horses is a good thing for a dog.
Gauge the horse. Before allowing your dog to approach a horse, get a sense of the horse's reaction to your dog. Determine if the horse seems undisturbed head and neck are level with the rest of the body, the eye is calm, muscles relaxed - before allowing your dog anywhere near the horse. If the horse is tense, with his head raised and nostrils flaring, or is being ridden, keep your dog away.
Watch for pack mentality. Your dog may ignore horses when he's alone, but could become harassing when in the company of a more aggressive dog. If another dog is present, determine whether this dog might be a bad influence on your normally well-behaved canine.
Discourage play. Horses and dogs sometimes like to play together, but this should be discouraged. Horses may find it fun to have a dog run alongside them when they are galloping through a field, but a playful kick from the horse can prove fatal to the dog. This behavior also encourages aggression on the part of the dog, and should not be permitted.
Supervise your dog. Never take for granted that your dog is safe around horses. Always keep a close watch on him whenever a horse is nearby.
Miniature horses have become increasingly popular in recent years, from horse enthusiasts and pet owners to people with disabilities in need of a guide animal. Their friendly, calm personalities, long lifespans, and of course their tiny size make them excellent companion animals. Any horse that is shorter than 14.2 hands, or 58 inches tall at the withers, is considered a pony.
Miniature horses are usually 34-38 inches tall, which puts them squarely in the pony category. However, miniature horses are considered by many enthusiasts to be a distinct breed of horse - like the Falabella, for instance and one that keeps more of the horse body type and proportions. A guide horse is an experimental mobility option for blind people who do not wish to or cannot use a guide dog.
They are provided by The Guide Horse Foundation, founded in 1999 to provide miniature horses as assistance animals to blind users living in rural environments. There are several perceived advantages to using a horse rather than a dog. Miniature horses, with an average lifespan of thirty years, live much longer than dogs, and for those allergic to or frightened of dogs, a horse could make a good alternative. However, while a dog can adapt to many different home situations, a horse must live outdoors, requiring a shelter and room to move about when not on duty. Guide horse users may also find difficulty in transporting a miniature horse on limited-spaced public transportation, such as on buses or taxis. Some individuals also are concerned that a horse's powerful fight-or-flight instinct may lead it to have less predictable behavior than that of a guide dog.
Horses normally live to be 25 - 35 years old. On average, miniature horses may live one-third longer than large horses. Miniature horses chosen for guide horse training weigh approximately 55-100 pounds. Their sight is very important, because they act as their visually impaired handler's eyes. Horses generally possess excellent vision. With eyes placed on the sides of their heads, they possess nearly 350 degree vision, are sensitive to motion in their field of vision, and often detect a potential hazard before their sighted trainers. Horses also have excellent night vision and can see clearly in almost total darkness.
The Purpose The Guide Horse Foundation has had exceptional interest from the following types of people:
Horse lovers - Blind people who have grown up with horses and understand equine behavior and care are ideal candidates.
Allergenic people - Many people who are severely allergic to traditional guide animals and find horses a non-allergenic alternative for mobility.
Mature Individuals - Many people report difficulty dealing with the grief of losing their animals, and horses tend to live far longer than traditional guides.
Physically Disabled folks - Because of their docile nature, Guide Horses are easier to handle for individuals with physical disabilities. They are also strong enough to provide support, helping the handler to rise from their chair.
Dog Phobia - Individuals who fear dogs are often comfortable working with a tiny horse.
Outdoor Animal - Many individuals prefer a guide animal that does not have to live in the house when off duty.
History In 1998, while on a horseback ride in New York City, Janet and Don Burleson of Kittrell, North Carolina, noticed how their horses were able to sense on their own when to cross the street. Janet recalled watching a blind rider compete in horse shows where "the woman gave the horse directions, and it took her around the obstacles and the other horses in the class. It was serving as her guide and that was something I'd never forgotten." She wondered if a miniature horse could be trained as a guide animal for the blind. Janet had trained Arabian show horses for 30 years and was familiar with equine behavior. But her urban experience changed her view of the behavior exhibited by one of their pet miniature horses, "Twinkie," on their farm back home. The animal often followed the Burlesons around like a dog, and rode in the back of their minivan. From these experiences, they began training miniature horses to be seeing eye horses. Their first trainee was Twinkie.
From that start, the Burlesons developed a rigorous training program for miniature horses that was similar to a guide dog's, adding systematic desensitization training, similar to that given horses used for riot control. There were setbacks - the first time they took a miniature horse to the grocery store, it grabbed a Snickers bar off the shelf. The goal was to train these small horses to meet all requirements to become a guide animal for the blind. One of the first people to use a guide horse was Dan Shaw. At age 17, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable eye disease that deteriorates vision over time. In 1998 he attended a school for the blind to learn basic skills, such as how to read Braille. On March 6, 2002, he flew to Raleigh, North Carolina, and met Cuddles for the first time. After some introductory work, Janet Burleson sent Shaw and Cuddles into a crowded store where the aisles were jammed with merchandise, and they successfully navigated the store.
Guide Horse Training The process of training a guide horse is rigorous and takes about eight months for each horse. Initially, the horse is trained in basic lead work, in which the horse is taught to move at the speed that the handler commands and to navigate common obstacles. Next, the horse is trained in voice command recognition, and taught to respond to 23 voice commands. The horse is then taught to maneuver around both stationary and moving obstacles. After this, the horse is trained to signal to the handler when there is a step or ramp. Finally, the horse is housebroken, generally an easy process because of horses' natural aversion to depositing fecal waste indoors. Intelligent disobedience is a crucial part of the training of the guide horse, as the horse must be able to disregard any commands that would be unsafe to the horse and the handler.
THE REASONS There are many compelling reasons to use miniature horses as guide animals. Horses are natural guide animals and have been guiding humans for centuries. In nature, horses have been shown to possess a natural guide instinct. When another horse goes blind in a herd, a sighted horse accepts responsibility for the welfare of the blind horse and guides it with the herd. With humans, many blind people ride horses in equestrian competitions. Some blind people ride alone on trails for many miles, completely relying on the horse to guide them safely to their destination. Through history, Cavalry horses have been known to guide their injured rider to safety. The Guide Horse Foundation finds several characteristics of horses that make them suitable to guide the blind:
Long Lifespan - Miniature Horses can live to be more than 50 years old, with the average lifespan being 30-40 years. According to guide dog trainers, guide dogs have a useful life between 8-12 years.
Cost Effective - Training a guide dog can cost up to $60,000, according to the Guide Dog Users national advocacy group. According to Lighthouse International, there are more than 1.3 million legally blind people in the USA, yet only 7,000 guide animal users. Hence, a Guide Horse could be more cost-effective and ensure that more blind people receive a guide animal.
Better acceptance - Many guide dog users report problems getting access to public places because their dog is perceived as a pet. Most people do not associate a horse as a pet, and Guide Horse users report that they are immediately recognized as a working service animal.
Calm Nature - Trained horses are extremely calm in chaotic situations. Cavalry horses have proven that horses can remain calm even in the extreme heat of battle. Police horses are an excellent example of well trained horses that deal with stressful situations. Guide Horses undergo the same systematic desensitization training that is given to riot-control horses.
Great Memory - Horses possess phenomenal memories. A horse will naturally remember a dangerous situation decades after the occurrence.
Excellent Vision - Because horses have eyes on the sides of their heads, they have a very wide range of vision, with a range of nearly 350 degrees. Horses are the only guide animals capable of independent eye movement and they can track potential danger with each eye. Horses can see clearly in almost total darkness.
Focused Demeanor - Trained horses are very focused on their work and are not easily distracted. Horses are not addicted to human attention and normally do not get excited when petted or groomed.
Safety Conscious - Naturally safety oriented, horses are constantly on the lookout for danger. All horses have a natural propensity to guide their master along the safest most efficient route, and demonstrate excellent judgment in obstacle avoidance training.
High Stamina - Hearty and robust, a properly conditioned Guide Horse can easily travel many miles in a single outing.
Good Manners - Guide Horses are very clean and can be housebroken. Horses do not get fleas and only shed twice per year. Horses are not addicted to human affection and will stand quietly when on duty.
HOW TO CHOOSE A BEST DOG FOR HORSE This article is proudly presented by WWW.MASSEY.AC.NZ and Lisa Munniksma and Kim Campbell Thornton
Horse people want dogs for different reasons: companionship, protection and sporting competition are just a few. Because of this, it's difficult to generalize what breed or what dog characteristics are the right match for horse owners.
American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson Lisa Peterson offers a few suggestions for equine-compatible large dog breeds and small dog breeds:
Labrador Retriever, the AKC's No. 1 breed for the past 16 years.
Dogs that were originally bred to work with horses, such as the American Fox Hound and English Fox Hound.
Small hunting dog, such as the Beagle.
Schipperke, popular in the 1970s among the hunter and jumper crowds.
Herding dogs: Border Collie, Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Corgi.
German Shepherds, which are intelligent, easily trained and loyal.
Terriers: Parson Russell Terrier, formerly known as the Jack Russell, Norwich Terrier, Cairn Terrier and Fox Terrier.
DESIRABLE DOG CHARACTERISTICS If the breed is less important than the dog's individual characteristics, a few desirable traits include:
Small dogs tend to make better buddies with horses. These dogs don't seem to be quite the threat as a Labrador or a German Shepherd. It depends on the individual animal.
You want a dog that is a naturally active breed.
In the area of grooming, you want a dog that doesn't have a lot of long, flowing hair, in which shavings and hay can get tangled.
Some dogs have higher prey instincts than others. A lower prey drive is better for dogs that will be around horses. Hunting and herding dogs like the Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, German Shepherd and Australian Shepherd are examples of breeds with high prey drive, but these are really common "horse" dogs, which goes to prove that even a dog with high prey drive can be managed and his attention redirected.
BEST DOG BREED GROUPS FOR HORSES
The Herding Breeds are smart and easy to train, and being around large animals is part of their heritage. The important thing is to make sure they don't try to herd the horses, unless that is what you ask. For instance, some horse owners use dogs to herd horses into trailers.
Sporting Breeds such as retrievers and pointers are often used for hunting on horseback. They too are intelligent and easily trained and make excellent riding companions.
Hounds are more independent and may range out on their own, but they have a lot of stamina. They generally have a laid-back temperament that makes them good around horses. A sight hound will enjoy the opportunity to stretch his legs and gallop along with the horse - at least for a while.
Working Dogs - like the herding and sporting dogs, working breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Standard or Giant Schnauzers take well to training and have the temperament to get along with horses.
Among the Non-Sporting Dogs are Dalmatians, the gold standard horse dog. The Dalmatian's history as a coach and firehouse dog give him a longstanding affiliation with horses, and the Dalmatian Club of America even offers road work titles that test the dog's ability to trot alongside horses for long distances. Other non-sporting breeds that might do well around horses are Miniature and Standard Poodles.
Terriers are high-energy dogs and aren't the easiest to train. Nonetheless, Fox Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers are frequently found in the company of horses and can make good riding companions.
Even Toy Dog Breeds have been known to fare well around horses. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are often associated with horses, and one rider reports that her Pekingese often goes trail riding with her. If the dog get tired, it rides in her lap.
HOW TO INTRODUCE A DOG TO A HORSE This article is proudly presented by Karin Apfel and Lisa Munniksma
The best approach is to introduce a horse and a dog gradually. You also, as the owner of both, must already have established a trusting relationship with both of them. In other words, your dog and your horse, each should already have a strong bond with you and trust you. It's better to introduce your horse to a trained dog, who can be controlled with basic obedience commands such as Come, Down, Sit, Stay, etc. This will make it easier to calm your nervous horse, and keep your dog under control.
A Dog's First Encounter When introducing a "green" dog to horses, experts say you need to begin, well, at the beginning. The first between species meeting is going to set the tone for the relationship. Pick a horse that's dog savvy for the first meeting. Use horses that won't react to a dog's barking or behaving nervously.
The idea is similar to pairing a green rider with a seasoned horse at least one of them knows the drill. If you can do this exercise while the dog is still a puppy, the introduction will probably go much smoother because a puppy has fewer negative behaviors to unteach. Introductions of any kind should start with the dog on a leash.
Using the head collar will can control the dog very easily and very gently. The last thing you want is for your dog to get hurt or feel pain by means of inhumane restraint. He will associate that pain with meeting the horse, and this will become a negative experience. Having the dog under your control is essential because horses are obviously flight animals, unlike a dog that's a social animal.
You are going to have a dog coming up to a horse faster than a horse will approach the dog. You don't want the dog approaching too quickly and spooking the horse, as the dog can feed off that energy and kick into predatory mode, so start from a distance first. "Lots of treats, lots of play, lots of petting to pair good associations with the horse.
As the dog shows you signs that he's OK with a horse 30 feet away, slowly get closer. When the dog and horse are finally face to face, let them sniff each other. Dogs base much of their judgment on smell, so they need time to know what to make of this large, looming animal. Don't let the dog spend too much time sniffing at first. Dogs will often get scared of something they are not sure of and start barking or get aggressive.
So, let him sniff the horse, then call the dog away, give more treats, praise and play, and go back for another short meeting. If you keep the dog busy, you won't give him time to get scared. If there is the slightest sign of fear or aggression from the dog, increase your distance, keep up the positive association, and try again. If the dog does react negatively, it's important not to punish him. Yelling and punishment can be confusing to a dog, and he will only associate that with the overall experience. Instead, find opportunities to use positive reinforcement and try to pay close attention to your dog's attitude so you can stop a negative reaction before it starts.
The Individuality Do you have both a horse and a dog? Wouldn't it be wonderful if they got along well so you could bring your dog to the barn if allowed and hit the trails with both your furry companions? It can be done, but given that horses and dogs are naturally antagonistic species - one is prey and one is predator - you may need to put in some time to make it all work. Luckily, both species are social and can extend their relationships outside their own species, most notably to human beings. Horses have a good reputation for developing buddy relationships with a variety of species other than their own. And so dogs. Everything depends on the individual personality.
The Sociality How social are they? - The more "social" each animal is, the more likely they are to successfully acclimate to one another. It depends on genetic potential as well as early experiences. Genetically, some dogs are more inclined to chasing or herding livestock, while others may be more placid. Herding dogs in particular - border collies, Australian cattle dogs, are born with an innate desire to control moving things.
For these breeds, you may need to use a leash to control access to your horse for a longer period than you would with, say, a Bernese mountain dog. Small dogs such as pugs and hunting breeds such as retrievers are often naturally uninterested in livestock, so less inclined to chase or nip. Horses and dogs share similar peak socialization periods during which novel experiences are most easily accepted.
This is about three to 16 weeks of age in dogs and four to 12 weeks for horses. Exposure to other species during this socialization period can be extremely beneficial for increasing the animal's acceptance of alternate species as companions. All these factors can play into the length of time it takes for interactions to become relaxed and friendly.
Puppy in The House If you are starting with a new puppy, just carrying him up to a friendly horse and letting them sniff one another is a great start. Take your pup with you to the barn and let him watch you interact with your horse from the safety of a kennel or someone's lap, or have a friend hold the leash while offering the pup treats for good behavior. This will not only make introductions less dramatic, but will reduce the chances of the dog developing a desire to chase the horse.
It also reduces the likelihood of injury to the pup as he bumbles about between the horse's feet. The latter could result not only in a hefty vet bill, but also a traumatized puppy that will forever mistrust horses and may act out fearfully or aggressively in self defence. It can also be extremely unnerving for the horse. Similarly, horses that became familiar with dogs at a young age will be much more tolerant of new dogs.
Even the presence of barn cats can help horses perceive other predatory animals as non-threatening. The more they have been exposed in a positive way to novel stimuli, the more likely they are to maximize their genetic potential to be accepting of new experiences, particularly those related to those experiences.
A Dog with a Past Not everyone brings a dog home as a puppy. If you are considering getting an adult dog from a shelter, his past is probably a mystery. If horses are an important part of your life, the dog you bring home needs to be compatible with them. Before bringing a dog home permanently, We'd want to make sure that dog was good with horses and also it would be like if you have kids and you get a shelter dog, you are not going to get one that's not good with kids. Many shelters will let you take the dog for a trial period. That's a good time to try the introduction exercise with him. Get to know the signs and the expressions of your dog and your horse. If you see a problem, stop right then and try to introduce them slowly. If you are unsure about fear or aggression signs that you need to watch for, ask for assistance from a trainer, veterinarian or behaviorist.
Working with Problem Horses Sometimes it's not the dog that needs to be slowly introduced to the horse. If there's a bad canine experience ingrained in a horse's brain, he will need a careful reintroduction to dogs. The process is similar to the dog's first meeting with a horse. You want to be sure the dog you choose for the reintroduction is not going to react to the horse's nervousness. Start again with the dog on the leash some distance from the horse. Have someone else working with the horse, by feeding treats, grooming, or doing something else that the horse enjoys. This is called operant conditioning.
You cannot use food exclusively as a reward past the first 15-20 minutes of training because they become pushy around food. The dog should only approach as the horse remains relaxed. When they are face to face, it's as important for the horse to sniff the dog and vice-versa. Keep the dog away from the horse's back legs, and keep an eye on both animals' body language to gauge whether the situation is about to turn bad. The dog's temperament is critical! At this point, if the horse spooks or has a negative reaction, and then the dog reacts negatively, you have to start all over.
Controlling the Environment So, You have brought home a dog that turns out to not be OK with horses. Or maybe you got a dog as a puppy but did everything wrong, so now you can't trust the dog around the barn. These things happen. You don't have to get rid of the dog, you just have to control his environment. Dogs are naturally inquisitive and will often chase something that runs, including horses. This might be a predatory behavior, or the dog just might be having fun. Either way, you can use certain types of pasture fence to keep out roaming dogs. If your dog is only a problem during feeding time, feed the horses in the barn with the doors closed so the dog can't enter. If the dog nips at a horse's heels as you are leading, keep the dog in the house, in a kennel or on a tie-out line while you are turning out. Herding "is a behavior that's instinctively bred into some dogs, but you can train a dog not to herd the horses through behavior modification, long-time horse person and American Kennel Club (AKC) spokesperson. Give the dog another job at the barn.
Make sure the dog has enough activity so that he doesn't invent behaviors on his own. If you board your horses make sure that when you bring your dog to the barn, you are following barn rules. Just because your horse is OK with dogs, you shouldn't assume that other people's horses are, too. A lot of people love to go to the barn and let their dogs run loose. You really need to supervise the dog to make sure he doesn't roam, get into a fight with neighboring dogs, or frighten a young horse. A little bit of effort on your part can go a long way toward having peace in the barnyard between your horses and dogs.
Training is the Key! If you are introducing adult animals, both will require some basic but reliable skills so you can manage them effectively and prevent problems from arising. This is even more crucial if you are performing the introductions by yourself. Your horse should be able to stand quietly, back up on command and be responsive to lead pressure. Your dog should be able to sit and hold that position for several moments, and have a solid come-when-called. Ideally, you will have also taught him a "leave it" cue so that the dog happily ignores things - horses, barn cats, feed, etc., when asked.
Fido should also be able to walk on a leash without frantically pulling. In the beginning, you will have your dog on leash most of the time, but a tight leash is not only frustrating for the dog, but the added excitement it creates can be disturbing to the horse. These skills should be fluent in more places than just your living room or backyard before you take your dog to the barn. The smallest and oldest dogs are not ever allowed loose with the horses. "It's just too easy for them to get hurt."
Leash manners are important too. Keep him at a distance and "under threshold" - the spot where he is aware of the horse but is calm and not overly interested. You can move closer if you see that both animals are neither nervous nor overly excited. Feeding small treats to either animal, can add positive associations.
If you have any concerns that your dog or horse will be frightened and act out, make sure you have a helper to assist in the introductions. Take things slowly and watch for signs of anxiety or over-arousal in either animal. It is far better to err on the side of caution and end up with a peaceful relationship than to problem-solve after a negative experience.
There's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse...
Are training dogs and horses the same? NO! Horses and dogs have different mental systems of learning process. Neither are better than the other. Dogs like commands and authority. Horses like to be met equally and to have a dialogue. Dogs are often under disciplined, while horses are often over disciplined. Dogs are extremely expressive, which makes them very relatable and easy to train. Horses are less expressive, but are extremely sensitive and precise.
1) Horses are huge.
2) Muscle is worthless.
3) Your head will spin.
THE DOGS Dogs work off a command system of positive and negative, reinforcement. Give a dog a command and reward them if they do it correctly. Of course, these commands can be complex, but essentially, it's a command and response. Dogs are very fast thinkers, and are very expressive, which makes it easier to see when and how they respond. This is why people relate to dogs so easily, and what makes them relatively easy to train. Disciplining a dog is rather easy. It's a simple "No!" or other negative signal. Just one act, whatever that may be, and then you move on. A lot of dogs, though, are not disciplined enough. That may sound harsh, but I see many dogs that are wanting more authority, and simply need to be shown clear boundaries.
Dogs are also sensitive to voice. You talk to a dog in a angry voice, and they will respond to that in a different way than a nice voice. You also give your commands to a dog through your voice. Dogs also are extremely loyal, and form a strong bond with their primary trainer or owner. This is why we love dogs. They are friendly and loving. They are more fearless than horses because they are hunting animals, rather than prey. Dogs love authority. A nervous dog is one who feels like it has to protect the family because it has not been given it's place in the "family pack". Dogs don't like feeling like they have to be the alpha in the family pack, so it comforts them if their owners take that dominant position.
The dog can then relax, knowing that the alpha of the family pack will protect and provide for the pack. This is a key role in dog safety, as well. A dog that feels like it has to defend it's "pack" is a dog that is more inclined to bite or show aggression. Dogs do have deep memories, and will show aggression if abused in the past, of course, but proper training will make any dog 100% more safe. A dog wants you to be their alpha in the pack. All authority comes from you so that your dog can be a dog, and not a protector and decision maker.
...AND THE HORSES Horses, on the other hand, work off of a dialogue of pressure or "feel" rather than a string of commands. Basically, it's how much "energy" you are putting out to the horse. This is why people say that horses know when you are scared. The horse doesn't actually comprehend the idea of you being nervous, but they can feel, and respond to, the tension in your body that even you don't know is there.
How this works is this: horses are extremely sensitive to touch. If they can feel a fly on their hair, that's all the more pressure you need to use to get them to do something. They can feel and see you breath when you are in or out the saddle, and know when you turn your head in the slightest. Understanding and seeing that work, and then seeing people kick the shit out of their horses is really unnerving to me.
There should be a constant stream of fast-acting and quiet communication between you and the horse. Horses constantly look for this dialogue, and when they can't find it, they simply guess about what you want them to do. Often they get reprimanded for it because it's interpreted by the rider as bad behavior. It's more like a kid misunderstanding the question of "2+2". He thought you said "4+7" so he answered 11.
That kid then gets a failing grade for giving the wrong answer. A horse that bucks, bites and kicks is a horse that is so incredibly frustrated and confused that he sees no other way of expressing it or he's in incredible pain. Horses are astoundingly patient animals, but they can reach their limits, or be worn down by years of misuse - even by kind and well-meaning people.
Horses are extremely fast thinkers - faster than dogs even, but are very quiet about it. They are not very expressive in the way we see expressiveness. When you present something to a horse, the average rider probably won't see their response until an actual movement of feet or the head. The reality is that the horse already responded a long time ago. Learning how to see those nearly invisible responses takes time and disciplined dedication. The fact that the average person can't see these responses leads folks to think that horses are sort of dopey, and just need a strong hand to get them to obey. This is not true..
Like dogs, horses like to have authority over them, but in a different way. Horses want to be met equally by their rider - they want to know that you are there to support them. In essence they think, "Do you support my idea?" When there isn't a good connection of feel between the horse and rider, the horse thinks, "No? Well, I guess I better try something different. Maybe it will work this time." And then when the horse get's disciplined for doing something wrong they are all like, "Well what the hoo ha!? I am trying my best here! What do you want??" When a dose horse decide to disobey - even when they know what you want, it becomes more like an argument, instead of a singular signal.
This "arguing" can take minutes of time, and you have to know how to dialogue back and forth. In many cases, though, horses have become desensitized to feel due to people disciplining them in the wrong way, and become stubborn and hard-minded. These horses are the ones that you do have to kick and pull on. They simply have never had a person tell them, "Hey, I know you are smart, and I want to meet you at your level." But man, oh man. When you do get that connection of feel, and you meet your horse equally, the amount of precision you can achieve is astounding.
The Dog and Horse: Training Connection Horses and dogs have always been a must in my life, and it's clear that the many members of the equine community feel the same. Horse people are quite often also dog people. One of the biggest similarities between dogs and horses is the importance of nonverbal communication and patience. With horses, you know you can't force a 1,000-pound animal to willingly walk through a gate. You have to make it the desirable option. While all dogs weigh considerably less than a horse, you can still teach them to do things without sheer strength. It's about patience and choices. It's all about how you ask them to do things. Remember the importance of body language and eye contact.
If you are looking at the ground while on your horse, he is not going to willingly move forward. Look up, and your horse will become willing. It's the same with your dog. If you are staring at the ground and you want him to chase after a ball - look at the ball! Not all aspects of training dogs and horses are the same. For one thing, my biggest aids on my horse are my hands, seat, legs and voice. My voice is an aid for my dog, but my hands, seat and legs are not. You are not sitting on my dog when I ask him to turn left. You are not using outside leg pressure to ask him to come around the table and sit at your feet.
The reward program is also slightly different. When working with dogs, you need to decide what motivates them. Is it treats? Toys? Praise? With horses, you might teach small tricks with treats, but praise is the most common reward for doing things right, along with a release of pressure. No matter what you are training for, make sure it is an attainable goal and that you set up the situation for success. For both dogs and horses, you need to take things one step at a time.
For example, when you start a horse over fences, you start with ground poles in a safe, controlled environment. When you start teaching a dog how to stay, you do it in a contained, safe space where there are not too many distractions. As your horse gets more confident with a ground pole, you can move to a small crossrail, and as your dog gets better at the stay command, you can increase the distance between you two and increase the amount of time you ask him to wait. But, remember - Dog isn't a Horse. Soft body language and patience have powers in all animals. Celebrate small victories and don't rush the training process. Animal training is a rewarding experience. He can run a pretty fast agility course, too.
A Horse Walks into a Bar... Contrary to what you might expect, when a service miniature horse walks into your restaurant, he belongs there. Miniature horses have been service animals for almost 20 years, by the estimations of the Guide Horse Foundation. Some disabled individuals are allergic to the dander in dogs' hair, and they have turned to another four-legged animal who is smart and easy to train. Since miniature horses require a great deal of maintenance - they need to eat and be outside more often, there are few of them. Yet they do live for 30 years, and so in that way they are perceived as more cost-effective. They are also stronger than most dogs, allowing them to pull a wheelchair when needed.
How to Handle a Service Miniature Horse in a Restaurant Like service dogs, horses must be housebroken and behaving properly. They must also be miniature, with a height ranging from 24 to 34 inches and a weight between 70 and 100 pounds. A mini-horse might stir up attention in your restaurant, so keep cool in such moments and do not pet the horse. The animal's owner must remain your top priority.
RIDING WITH DOGS This article is proudly presented by Kim Campbell Thornton
Growing up, I spent most of my summer days riding in our pasture, often accompanied by Sugar and Ranger, our two German Shepherds. Sometimes the boy next door would join us, and on one such occasion we came across some of his family's cattle that had strayed through a break in the fence. We rode toward them to herd them back home. Sugar and Ranger's herding instincts kicked in, and they helped round them up.
From cowdogs to coach dogs, the canine species has a long history of interacting with horses and people. Dogs of all kinds take part in activities such as fox hunting, herding, road trials and trail rides, all of which bring them in contact with horses. Certain breeds - Corgis, Dalmatians, Fox Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers seem to have a special affinity for horses, but just about any dog can learn to safely accompany horses, and most horses can become accustomed to the presence of dogs.
Ride-along Requirements The qualities a dog needs are physical and mental soundness, a calm and quiet demeanor around livestock, and the ability to respond to commands from an owner on horseback. Also take into account the dog's personality. Some dogs are more dependent than others on being with people. They never run ahead to follow a scent or chase a rabbit. This type of dog is easy to ride with, although that's not to say you can't train a more independent minded dog to be your trail companion. A horse should be calm enough not to spook at the sight of a dog appearing out of brush or tall grass and shouldn't be a kicker, for the safety of a dog following along behind it. Consider your horse's experience level as well as your relationship with him. Does he have a sensible attitude? Is he easily controlled? Has he encountered a variety of different situations and reacted with little or no spooking? Are the two of you in tune with each other? Before horse and dog encounter each other, your dog should readily respond to the commands sit, down, stay and come. Voice control is a must - you shouldn't have to repeat commands before the dog obeys, and he should be trustworthy off leash. Take him to an obedience class and work with him frequently at home until he's letter-perfect. Then he is ready to accompany you to the barn while you sre doing chores.
Good Dogs Remind your dog not to get too close and to stay out from underfoot yours and the horse's. The time together also allows your horse to get used to the dog. This is a good time to start teaching the command get out used in herding, which tells the dog to move out farther and wider. This command will come in handy on rides when the dog gets too close. Another useful command is down, which your dog should be willing to perform even at a distance. You may need to use it if the dog is heading toward something dangerous or if you simply want him to wait until you catch up. Work with a dog trainer or herding expert to teach these commands. The next step is to practice obedience exercises in a pasture or other safe area. The practice sessions will help your dog feel comfortable being so close to the horse and will accustom the horse to watching out for the dog so he doesn't step on him. Teach the dog to sit on leash while you mount and not to cross in front of the horse when he's moving. If you live or ride in an area where it's not safe to let the dog off leash, use a long lead or a longe line and teach the dog to stay on your left.
Safety is Serious Take some precautions to ensure the well-being of both of your animals. These safety measures include making sure the line is long enough so the horse doesn't step on the dog, and anticipating situations that could spook or excite the animals and cause dog and horse to become entangled. Encounters with livestock - especially if you are riding with a herding dog, other dogs or wildlife are all potentially spooky situations. Naturally, you can't predict when such things will occur, but you should have a plan in mind so you can react quickly. Practice telling your dog to sit or down unexpectedly, so that he learns to respond instantly. Ranchers may have no compunction about shooting dogs that harass livestock, so your dog's willingness to follow orders can mean the difference between life and death.
Even if you are comfortable letting your dog accompany you off leash, preferably in an off-road area, you will still want to be able to keep track of him, especially if you are riding in high grass or if your dog likes to explore on his own. Attach a small cowbell to the dog's collar, and you will be able to hear him from a distance. Call him back regularly so you know he is all right. Returning to your signal is good practice for him, and it is just good sense to have a dog that comes when you call, no matter what.
Under most circumstances, dogs can accompany horse and rider without any problems. Injuries or even the dog's death can occur, though, if the situation gets out of hand. Dogs can die or suffer fractured skulls, broken ribs or legs after a kick from a horse. Almost always this is a dog "worrying" the horse. So what's the advice? - Don't let your dog around horses except in controlled situations. Even a trained dog can make mistakes and may not recognize an unfriendly horse or an unsafe situation. This is especially important around busy boarding and riding facilities, for the safety of your dog as well as other horses and riders. Always know where your dog is and don't allow him to become a danger to himself and others. Nonetheless, the pleasures of riding with a dog far outweigh the risks. And nevertheless.. being out in nature with man's two best friends is the best thing to do.
The speed, the race, the heat, and all of a sudden, it's all over. Horse and dog racing are both cruel practices. While it is easy to state that dog racing is a far more cruel practice than horse racing, nothing is absolute. Many horses have suffered, just as thousands of dogs have. Humans gamble money on animals that would rather be in the wild running free. While the animal racing industry maintains a sagely face upfront, the reality is very concerning. To compare the two, let's divide the participants' lives into stages. A close examination of each will reveal the unseen truth:
THE BIRTH Even as those newborns breathe their first, they are pushed into the world of racing. Training begins soon after and there you have it - they are bereft of choice. We aren't saying that dogs would aspire to become doctors or that horses are dreaming about manning a space mission, but racing clearly wasn't on their bucket list.
Horses' Story: All of this is a minor issue as compared to the rigors of their training. With the hope to be the best, each will undergo plenty of practice and long hours of training. However, due to the close bond between the trainer and the horse, these fantastic animals are more likely to be treated with love and respect as opposed to the dogs.
The Hound's Side: On the other hand, dog racing is widely unregulated and seeped in cruelty at each step. With pups introduced to this from infancy itself, sometimes their little nails are clipped without any regard to their pain. As time goes on, those unfit for racing are disposed of. While this may mean given up for adoption - this isn't always the case.
WORK LIFE Unlike humans, a 9 - 5 job is probably a dream for these creatures. Paid in food and shelter, they are often pushed past their limits as they become pawns in the game of human gambling. They are bet on, and as it so happens, they need to win or die trying. A horse that doesn't have a win to its name is useless, so it's no wonder that investors put plenty of pressure for their victory. Consequently, this has given rise to the problem of drugging. If they are sick, they are drugged enough to finish the race. If they are healthy they are drugged to run faster. And more often than not, these medications suppress the animal's natural instincts, allowing them to exert themselves up to unhealthy levels. Dogs face similar pressure during races as they too are frequently injected with different steroids, drugs, and more. All of this is used to boost performance and even make sure that biology doesn't come in the way. So various medications are administered to ensure that female dogs don't get on heat.
Being smaller creatures, they also suffer a lot more. Unlike horses in the stable, these dogs are frequently kept muzzled and in small cages for up to 20 hours a day. Scant rations and poor condition are the primary causes for their health to deteriorate. Since their races don't play out in close companionship with humans, their lives are frequently devoid of love as well. But that's not all, with plenty of untreated medical issues, terrible living conditions, and even awful means of transport, their "jobs" frequently claim their lives. In fact, many break their legs in races, suffer paralysis, spinal injuries, and more - after which, this terrible career is finally at an end.
THE RETIREMENT But if you thought that the saying "put out to pasture" was talking about animals retiring from racing you were wrong. Their pension plans are nothing like ours. There have been plenty of reports of invaluable horses being sent to slaughterhouses or simply put down. Since they aren't providing a return on the investment anymore, why should money be spent to ensure that they live comfortably? While this isn't how all stables operate, some have managed to tarnish the name of horse racing. On the other hand, some retired dogs are put up for adoption. But considering the malnourished and unhealthy conditions these creatures have survived in, they have little chance of a better future.
Others are given for breeding to produce more racing dogs with superior genes. However, for the most part, there is no record of what happens to these loving creatures. One owner was arrested for falsely assuring safe adoption of each of the dogs when in fact they had sold them to a medical research facility. Another man was arrested for putting a bullet in the heads of these "worthless" racers. The sad reality is that many hounds don't get to see these "better" days. Despite their average lifespan being 18 years, they frequently die before they turn 5. Heatstroke isn't an uncommon cause for animals forced to compete in extreme weather, nor is electrocution. Tales of human cruelty have emerged more and more frequently, and fortunately, many disgusted people are finally turning their back to it. Even so, the torture, the terror, and the sheer inhumanity of their lives continues in at least 6 of the 50 states of America.
DOG vs HORSE RACE COST: WHAT's CHEAPER? Even an ordinary pooch that sits by the fire at night or licks your face with unquestioned dedication costs a lot. That furry feline that demands Fancy Feast food, fresh kitty litter and scratches the lounge, is expensive and costs close to the amount needed to cover owning 10 per cent of a race horse. If you don't believe me - I did a little financial maths that all dog and cat owners probably know too well when they load up the supermarket trolley with pet food, pay the vet or take dear Fido and Fluffy to the pet hotel when the humans take holidays.
First the race horse. While the costs with a horse clearly vary a lot from month to month according to whether they are in work, racing, spelling or somewhere in between, the annual total of all expenses amounts to around $3,500 to $4,000. Recall this is for a 10 per cent share.
Secondly, for the friendly family dog. The cost is, wait for it, close to $3,000 a year or sometimes a little more if you pamper it, as many people do.
The assetment is based of the following costs:
Food. The tins of meat, the dry crunchy pellets plus an odd treat of a bone adds up to around $4 a day. That's about $1,500 a year. Then there are the dog hotel fees when you are lucky enough to have a holiday. Assuming 20 days a year away - some people take more holidays than this, at $25 a day, here is another $500. Then there is the grooming. A mobile dog shampoo and tidy up is at least $50 a pop. Every two months? Another $300 a year. So at this stage, your lovely pet dog is costing you around $2,300 a year. The variable and unknown costs are for the vet but inevitably these will be a few hundred dollars a year. Given that it costs around $400 a year for dog insurance and that does not cover 100% of vet bills, let's go for something like $500 a year. Now we are pushing $2,800 a year, about $1,000 less - $20 a week, than covering the costs of a 10 per cent share in a quality race horse. I suppose we can add to that the cost of a collar, leash, treats, bowls, flea powder, blankets, the amortised cost of the kennel and the like and $3,000 a year is looking a fair guess. The costs for a cat are about the same.
One critical difference between a pet dog or cat and a racehorse, is that a dog or cat cannot earn any money.
A racehorse just might.
Recent changes in the rules allow for syndicates to offer 5 % shares in horses, so the initial outlay plus running costs of having this smaller share are obviously halved. Using my Dynamic Syndications example as a guide, around 90 % of the horses they have syndicated have earned prize money. The average is around $71,000, although it must be acknowledged that a couple of horse Reward For Effort, He is No Pie Eater, Atomic Force have been hugely successful which boosts this average and some have not been financially viable, to be sure, but around three-quarters of horse syndicated by Dynamic Syndications have earned more than $50,000 over their career in today's dollar terms. Recall that for a 10 % share, those prize money numbers are divided by 10. If the horse races for say 5 years, and is around the average, you get back around $1,000 a year, making the net cost $2,500 to $3,000 a year. In this case, it is cheaper than a dog or cat and when the horse is finished at the track, there is residual value for stud duties or as a brood mare. Love you dog and cat, but the cost of a share of a race horse is not as extreme as most people think and the rewards can be fantastic.
You might ask the questions: "What are field trials, and what does the horse have to do with field trials?" It is first important to understand what field trials are and then understand why horses often play an important part in this sport even though the dogs are the animals competing. Even though field trials do not involve judging horses, the horses often do play a critical role. The horse's role will be visited below.
First, there is an explanation of what field trials are all about--different in various countries and often complicated to understand. However, before you start reading one might say that field trials, simply stated, are a competition to determine who has the best performing bird dog on a particular day of competition. In the southern United States the term bird dog refers to dog breeds such as the pointer, English setter, Red setter, German short hair pointer, Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever, Brittany, and other pointing breeds.
A field trial is a competitive event at which hunting dogs compete against one another. There are field trials for retrievers, pointing dogs and flushing dogs. Field trials are usually organized by kennel clubs or other gun dog organizations. Field trials are generally considered more competitive than hunt tests in that success at a field trial requires a higher level of training than success at a hunt test requires. For example, in Retriever Field Trials, dogs retrieve over longer distances with a more complex path than a Retriever Hunt Test would generally provide. Field trial dogs must be "finished" in order to enter. Their purpose is also different, as they exist mainly for breeders, while hunting tests are made for users.
The term is confusing as it means different things to different breed organizations. Spaniel field trials demand that dogs compete against one another, whereas retriever field trials are more similar to hunt tests among other breeds. In most hunt tests, on the other hand, dogs are evaluated against a written standard and all of the dogs in the hunt test may qualify if they meet the standard. To further complicate the issue, various kennel organizations have differing definitions of field trial. Field trials come in various grades including Open, Amateur, Sanctioned and non-sanctioned. An Open field trial permits entry from any handler or trainer while an Amateur trial only permits non-professional handlers/trainers. Sanctioned trials are ones that are held under the control of a national kennel club or organization, while the non-sanctioned can be organized by a local club.
Field Trials in the UK and Ireland A field trial that is held under the auspices of the Kennel Club, the UK's governing body in respect of working gun dogs, can be described as a competition to assess the work of gun dogs in the field. By definition this means that all field trials are held on live, unhandled game that is shot for the purpose of that field trial. Game that has been handled in any way, whether it be live or dead game, may not be used for testing dogs in any part of a field trial. The only exception to this rule is where dead game may be used in the conduct of a water test at a field trial. The reason this exception exists it to acknowledge the fact that game will not necessarily be shot over water, although for dogs to qualify for titles in field trials will be required to demonstrate their ability to retrieve from water. Gun dog clubs and societies that are registered with the Kennel Club and which have been authorized to org anise and run field trials may do so, provided that a licence is issued to that club or society for every field trial. Field trials not licensed by the Kennel Club are liable to be deemed as unrecognized canine events.
Horses & Dogs Working Together It should not come as a surprise to anyone that horses and dogs work well together. The famous dalmatians were known as fire dogs. They followed coaches pulled by horses. Jack Russell Terriers are used in fox hunting to ferret out the fox. The working terrier comes in many forms from the specialized breeds like the Patterdale, Fell types, Jack Russell, Border, Staffordshire and Pitbull to the hybrids of these breeds. English Foxhounds run in front of the hunter horses. Horses carry riders to track people for many reasons. Hounds are used to pick up the scent. The list goes on and on. Now that field trials have been explained above, we can visit the importance of using the horse in this endeavor. Even though field trials do not involve judging the horses, the horses play a critical role and must be up to the task. All gaited breeds are represented: Paso Fino, Spotted Saddle Horses, Rocky Mountain Horses, Kentucky Mountain Horses and Mountain Pleasure Horses. Even gaited mules and grade crosses - such as the Walkaloosa and others are used. However, the Tennessee Walking Horse is the most commonly used breed for Field Trails It should be noted that although pacers are gaited they are considered undesirable for use in field trials as are trotting breeds in most quarters. A 4-beat gait is the gait of choice. Mechanized modes of transportation are forbidden, so the horse is the perfect mode of transportation.
THE HORSE Gaited horses 4-beat gait are the mount of choice.
The horse is a partner for the individual handling the dog.
Long hours are spent in the saddle by the handler. Comfort is important.
Gaited horses are smooth and cover lots of terrain rapidly.
The horse must be sure-footed.
The horse must be able to lead, be in a pack or fall back.
The horse must leave the group when asked.
The horse must negotiate all obstacles without hesitation.
The horse must interact with the dogs without problems.
The horse must be hardened off to gun fire.
The horse must stand quietly when asked under all circumstances.
The horse must not kick or have other vices.
The horses must be road safe.
The horses must learn to stay for long hours on a picket line.
Horses must tie to a trailer without any problem.
The horse must accept objects tied around their neck and packs.
The horse must not spook. Fluttering birds, noises, activity, etc. abound.
The horse must have an even temperament.
The horse must be fit.
The horse must be sound.
The horse must have good endurance.
The horse must be easy to trailer. No bad habits in this regard!
Who Uses the Horse in Field Trials? The judges, handler's, bird planter's and Field Marshall - gallery horse - The field Marshall's job is to control the gallery use a horse in field trials. Field trials where horses are used are almost exclusively for pointer breeds. Field Trials that use Beagles, on occasion, for pack trials. The quick movement of the dog often require the judges to follow on horseback. It is difficult to keep up on foot. The vantage point from on top of the horse provides the judges with a better view of how each dog works within the pack. Field Trials using Spaniels and Retrievers do not uses horses.
SOME TERMINOLOGY Roading - Roading is a method to condition a dog. The dog wears a harness. A thirty-foot rope is attached to the harness. Then the rope is attached to the saddle. The dog is encouraged to lean into the rope and harness and pull hard. The rider and horse follow. Thirty minutes of roading is the equivalent of an hour of free running. The dog usually stays out in front of the horse so the horse must tolerate the rope crossing over his chest as the dog moves from the left to the right.
Roading is also used to excite and educate the dogs. In American Field Trails you can road dogs in the gallery behind the dogs in a brace. The dogs being roaded become fired up by watching the other dogs work as the gun is fired and the bird is flushed. Roading is also used when a dog makes a mistake and you are far out on the course. If the judge orders you up, the dog can be roaded back to the club house. A dog that has been lost on the course and later found can be roaded back. This does not interfere with the new brace of dogs.
Gallery - The gallery may be as large as sixty or seventy riders on some of the more prestigious trials. He has to watch each brace and be ready to step in and judge, in the event something happens to one of the judges. He may also be the time keeper. The Marshall knows the course and shows the first brace where to go, most trials run over the same course all day. Some have two courses going at once, some may use a continuous course.
Brace - A brace trial is called a "brace" because there are two hounds that are put on the trail of game together. You do not get to choose whom you are braced with, it is done at random.
Field Marshall - This individual is in charge of finding the game in the field. He has to watch each brace and be ready to judge in case something happens to one of the judges. The Field Marsahall may also be the time keeper. The Marshall knows the course and shows the first brace where to go, most trials run over the same course all day. Some have two courses going at once, some may use a continuous course.
HORSE SHOW DOGS This article is proudly presented by Lisa Munniksma
People who love horses often love dogs just as much, and horse people want to include their dogs in their equestrian lives whenever possible. If your dog is going to tag along to equestrian events, he needs to mind his manners for the safety of all involved. If you plan to bring your dog to a horse show, you need to train him to act appropriately in crowds with many unfamiliar people, horses and other dogs. He must also feel comfortable with being confined for long periods of time. At show, dogs should not run loose, should not be on 'flexi' leashes that could tangle and trip others, and should not bark excessively.
If your dog gets overly excited when you get to the show, settle him down with exercise. A good 10-minute run in the morning, during the day, before I go home, and before I go to bed. Prepare your dog for shows by training him to accept confinement at home. Regularly feed him in a crate or a separate room until he goes there on his own even when no food is available.
Progress to confining him in the room or crate while he's eating his meal, then prolong his room or crate time by placing his food in a favorite toy so it takes longer to eat, or frequently go back to reward him with additional treats. Gradually increase the time that he's left alone. You also want to train your dog to focus on you during exciting situations.
Teach your dog a really good "come" when called. Every time he hears a "come," that means run and chase after you because he's going to get something really good when he catches up to you. You should practice this in the house 10 or 20 times a day, and then practice the same thing 20 times on a long lead in the dog park. Once he gets the first treat, keep him focused on you by rewarding him for sitting and looking at you, and then quickly run backwards a few steps and repeat the sit at attention. Repeat this four to five times quickly so he thinks he's playing a game. Keep in mind that dogs aren't always allowed at shows, so check the rules. Even if dogs are permitted, yours may not be keen on spending hours in an unfamiliar place among large crowds. Take his personality into consideration before you take him to a show.
What happens if a dog comes after your horse in the pasture? Dogs and horses go together like the Fourth of July and fireworks, usually a great combination, but sometimes not so much. Many barns have a resident greeter who comes to car doors, tail wagging and tongue lolling. These guys are often seen attached to the end of a lead rope at horse shows, standing at in-gates, walking cross-country courses, lounging in front of tack stalls. They are used to being around horses, and many of them love their bigger partners in crime. But then there are the non-horsey dogs.
A rider might encounter a loose dog while trail riding, or maybe the neighbor's dogs run onto the horse owner's property. Most of the time the encounter ends with all animals going their separate ways. Unfortunately, every so often one of the animals injures the other, leaving their owners to sort out who is at fault and who should pay for any veterinary bills. Liability for injury is almost always based on fault - the only exception being cases of strict liability. In cases involving animals, the question will be who was responsible for controlling the animal that caused the injury. The second question will be what, if anything, can the injured party get from the responsible party.
When the Horse is injured Dogs bark. And like to chase things. Squirrels, balls, sticks... and horses. Horses, as we all know, don't like loud noises. And they run from things that scare them. Wheelbarrows, flapping plastic bags... and barking dogs. Running horses sometimes injure themselves. They might step in a hole or, in some cases, run through a fence. So if a dog chases a horse and the horse is injured, what next? Some states have "strict liability" laws that say dog owners are liable when their dog injures someone, regardless of the surrounding circumstances. These laws are seen mostly in the context of dog bites. When a dog bites someone, in a state that has a strict liability dog bite law, the dog's owner is responsible for any damages suffered by the person bitten - usually any hospital bills that result from treatment. Some states also have laws about dogs "running at large."
Such laws are aimed at dogs that are allowed to roam unleashed, which can pose a hazard to the community. However, these laws do not address what happens if dogs that are at large injure people or other animals or property.
When the Dog is injured As horse owners, most of us are concerned about our horses being bitten if they are chased. But what if your horse, in self-defense, kicks out and injures the dog? Or, let's say you have a territorial horse and the dog runs into its pasture: reversed situation, the horse chases the dog, and either bites the dog or throws it over the fence. Just like the dog owner was liable for injuries to your horse, you can be liable for injuries to the dog. There aren't any laws that contemplate strict liability for injury caused by horses in the same way as the strict liability dog bite laws. The closest to having strict liability for injuries from horses are states like Connecticut, where the state supreme court in 2014 ruled that horse owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent the horse from causing foreseeable injuries, because horses are naturally inclined to cause injury. However, an injured person still has to prove negligence in order to win in a case against a horse owner. Even if the dog's owner can prove negligence or fault on the horse owner's part, there is still a question of what they can recover. As horse and dog owners, we value our animals as family members. The law sees them as property. Therefore, they are assigned an economic value and not a sentimental one. In a lawsuit, an animal owner might actually lose more than they gain by suing the responsible party. Costs of treatment and market or replacement value are generally available, but damages for sentimental value, emotional distress, and to punish the person responsible are much more difficult to come by. Landowners have a right to defend themselves, their families and their livestock from animals on their property. However, a landowner cannot use deadly force to defend property, including livestock!
What to do If the Horse is Injured First, call your veterinarian - if necessary. The sooner you can get your horse treated the better. Then, your best option is to get the dog off your property by calling its owners or the authorities. If this is a recurring problem, consider installing some sort of electric fence and keep calling your local animal control office. Remember that this is intended to be a general overview. The applicable laws and regulations in your state and city might be different from what was discussed here. If you have specific questions and concerns, contact an equine lawyer!
DOG & HORSE PARASITES: FIRST AID and TREATING This article is proudly presented by WWW.EQUUS MAGAZINE.COM and Heather Smith Thomas
Your dog and horse share similar internal parasites!
The major canine helminths worms include hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, tapeworms and heartworms. Although these worms may belong to the same genus as those that affect horses, each species of parasite tends to thrive in only one species of host. In other words, Most of these parasites are not transmitted to dogs from horses or other farm animals the dogs might be hanging out with.
Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) Heartworm is one of the most serious health threats for dogs. This parasitic roundworm is spread by mosquitoes, which pick up microfilariae from the blood of infected dogs, and after a short period of maturation within the mosquito, pass them on to another susceptible host. Once established in a new host, the larvae take about six months to mature into adult worms, which can reach one foot long and live in pulmonary vessels near the heart. Signs of infection include a persistent mild cough, exercise intolerance, decreased appetite and weight loss. Dogs with a heavy parasite burden can develop heart failure and damage to other internal organs. Heartworm preventatives are formulated to kill any larvae the dog is exposed to before they molt into adulthood. One cause for concern, though, is that in recent years heartworm has been spreading and becoming established well beyond its historic range.
Hookworms Four species of hookworms may infect dogs in the United States. The dog hookworm is very similar to the small strongyle of the horse. With the hookworm, however, transmission is a little different. The larvae of the dog hookworm, instead of being picked up by grazing, penetrates the dog's skin. If the dog lies in a grassy, shaded area where there is moisture, this is where the hookworm larvae might be. The hookworm larvae migrate through the dog's body and ultimately reach the intestine, where they can cause bloody diarrhea and vomiting. The interesting thing about the hookworm is that it may stop along the way, in the tissues. In older dogs that have some level of resistance to worms, the hookworms don't go right into the intestines. They just sit in the tissues, waiting. If something happens to remove all the adult hookworms in the intestine, such as deworming the dog, then some of these dormant young ones will wake up and go into the intestine to replace them.
Roundworms There are actually two roundworms that affect dogs, but the most common is called Toxocara. In many ways it is like the ascarid that affects foals. We tend to see this infection most often in puppies. In this case, however, puppies become infected by larvae that were migrating in the mother and crossed the placenta into the pups before they were born. The eggs are very much like the eggs of the horse ascarid, in that they are very hardy and can sit around in the environment for a long time, waiting for a chance to infect a dog. Puppies with roundworms tend to have a characteristic round "potbelly" and may have intermittent diarrhea, vomiting and constipation.
Whipworms These worms are picked up orally - the eggs can remain viable for long periods on hard surfaces in dirt or concrete kennels that house large numbers of dogs. The parasites infect the dogs' cecum. Mild infections cause no symptoms, but large numbers of these worms may cause bloody diarrhea or anemia that may lead to death.
Tapeworms Several species of tapeworms can infect dogs. Most are consumed orally, as horses do, but with an extra step: The eggs are shed by an infected dog, then ingested by an herbivorous prey species, where the larvae encysts in the muscle, until it is ultimately consumed by a predator or scavenger. One canine tapeworm species travels by fleas, which consume the eggs. When the dog bites at the itchy spot, he swallows the fleas along with the eggs. Tapeworms are very common, but most dog owners don't realize their dogs have tapeworms because they are difficult to diagnose at the veterinary clinic and typically do not cause overt clinical illness.
Heartworm preventatives also control other internal parasites !!! Many of the same chemicals used to control parasites in horses are also used to treat dogs. These drugs include pyrantel, fenbendazole, praziquantel, ivermectin and moxidectin. These same drugs have been formulated into dog products for treating similar parasites. In most dogs, the primary focus of parasite control is to prevent heartworms, and a number of those products also contain agents that work against other parasites as well. The majority of heartworm products on the market today are labeled for treating hookworms and roundworms, and some of the products treat for whipworms, as well. A couple of heartworm preventive products also treat tapeworms now. Even if heartworm isn't typically a concern in your area, it may still be a good idea to treat your dog. Heartworm prevention is a great thing for any dog, anywhere in the country, not only for preventing heartworm infection but also for all the other parasites that the product treats. Collies and many other herding breeds are unusually sensitive to ivermectin.
IVERMECTIN - THE DOG DEWORMER Ivermectin is generally a safe, effective dewormer for dogs and is commonly used in low doses as a heartworm preventative and in higher doses to treat conditions such as mange. Some dogs, however, carry a genetic mutation (MDR1) that makes them more susceptible to toxicity from higher canine doses of this common drug. Signs are neural dysfunctions, including incoordination, blindness, tremors, excessive salivation and coma. A serious overdose can be fatal. Ivermectin and its cousins all work on the nervous system of the worms or arthropods. The reason these drugs don't cause any damage in most mammals is that it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier and is kept away from the brain. If the genetics of the dog are such that the ivermectin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, then we see problems.
DOG AND HORSE ANATOMY: DIFFERENCES & SIMILARITIES This article is proudly presented by Erica Liszewski
The basic structure of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians is very similar. We will provide both a carnivore (dog) and an herbivore (horse) in order to highlight some of the differences between them.
The dog and horse are probably the most well-studied of animals, so there is a lot of information available on both. I am also the most familiar with dog and horse anatomy, having drawn, studied, owned, and worked with both for many years. I'll start with the whole skeleton, and then look at each part in detail.
THE DOG SKELETON The dog is a carnivore, and while its evolution is not as specialized than the horse, the dog is constructed around teeth. The teeth of a dog are its primary source of food and defense. The dog has long thin limbs for running, although they don't need to travel as far or as fast as the horse.
Dogs have four "weight-bearing" digits per foot, with a shorter dew claw on the front and sometimes back feet. It is interesting to note that all domestic dogs have the same anatomy, the differences between breeds are in the size and shape of the bones.
THE HORSE SKELETON The horse is an herbivore, and its evolution has been driven by flight. A horse's life depends primarily on its ability to outrun danger. The horse has a shorter humerus and femur (upper leg), and a longer cannon bone (lower leg). This allows the horse to run faster, as it puts the muscle mass, and thus more of the animal's weight, closer to the body. The horse has only a single digit on each toe, although there are remnants of additional digits. Although the horse is more specialized than the dog, its structure is somewhat simpler.
THE BODY Quadrupeds walk on all four limbs, and their bodies are built differently than bipedal animals. The spine of a quadruped contains the same types of vertebra as a human: cervical vertebra make up the neck, thoracic vertebra connect to ribs to form the chest, lumbar vertebra form the lower back, the sacrum attaches to the pelvis, and caudal vertebra form the tail. The exact number of each type of vertebrae varies somewhat between animals, but differences in shape are usually due more to the shape/size of vertebrae rather than a vast difference in number. Cervical vertebra are very flexible, and the first two are differently shaped to allow the head to pivot on the spine. Thoracic vertebra are much less flexible as each thoracic vertebrae attaches to a pair of ribs. Lumbar vertebra are fairly flexible in carnivores, but fairly rigid in herbivores. Not all animals have caudal vertebra, but they are always very flexible.
The rib cage of a quadruped is usually longer vertically - from sternum to spine, than across the body - from a given rib on the left to the corresponding rib on the right. The ribs spring out away from the spine at the top, and then curve back towards the mid-line towards the bottom. The forward sets of ribs connect directly to the sternum, and are called "true ribs". The next set of ribs are connected to the rib in front of them by cartilage, and are called "false ribs". Ribs that do not attach to any other are called "floating ribs". Carnivore ribs tend to be slender, while large herbivore ribs are very wide. The very front end of the sternum is called the manubrium, and marks the "point of the chest". The "point of the chest" is an important landmark, as it remains stationary regardless to the position of the head and neck.
The pelvis is made up of mostly fused bones, and has little flexibility. Looking down the spine, the pelvis is ring shaped, with the top of the pelvis attaching to either side of the sacrum. From this ring, a "wing" called the ilium extends forward on each side. The shape of the ilium varies by species, but it tends to extend outwards more in herbivores than carnivores. The ends of this wing are a bony landmark called the "point of the hip" that is visible on most animals. Near the bottom, on either side of the "ring" are the sockets where the femur attaches to form the hip joint. The portion of the pelvis that extends backwards from the hip joint is called the ischium, which form the buttocks. The ischium is another bony landmark that is visible, or at least discernible, on most animals.
FORE LIMBS The fore limbs of the quadruped are weight bearing, and so differ from the fore limbs of a biped. The quadruped has an elongated scapula that lies alongside the rib cage, while the scapula of the biped lies behind the rib cage. The clavicle (collar bone) is usually small, or completely absent, and the fore limb is only attached to the body by muscle.
The scapula usually slopes forward and meets the humerus at the "point of the shoulder". The "point of the shoulder" is another useful landmark for animal anatomy. The humerus slopes backwards and meets the radius/ulna at the elbow. The radius and ulna are often fused in quadrupeds, which means they cannot rotate their "hands" like humans can. The elbow joint is usually close to the bottom of the rib cage, with the radius/ulna perpendicular to the ground. At the lower end of the radius/ulna is the "knee" joint - the human "wrist". This joint is usually higher - closer to the body in herbivores, and lower - closer to the ground, in carnivores.
The knee joint itself contains two horizontal rows of small cube-shaped bones called carpal bones - the human wrist. The pisiform is the most obvious carpal bone, as it projects backwards from the joint. Below the knee are the metacarpals (hand bones), which are often fused in herbivores. Below the metacarpals are the phalanges, (finger bones), which may be split into toes (cow, deer), or remain a single toe (horse). Hoofed animals are literally walking on their fingertips. Carnivores have separate metacarpals, each ending a clawed toe. Carnivores walk on the last bone at the end of the "finger" with large pad supporting the weight from the "knuckle" joint.
HIND LIMBS The hind limbs of a quadruped provide the power for movement. The femur (thigh bone) attaches to the pelvis with a ball and socket joint. The ball and socket joint allows for movement in multiple directions - inwards towards the mid-line, outwards, - away from the mid-line, as well as forwards and backwards. The lower end of femur is deeply notched in the front, were the patella kneecap fits and slides with the movement of the joint.
The tibia meets the femur at the stifle - the human "knee", which is usually just below the belly-level of a quadruped. The tibia is accompanied along it's length by the fibula, however the fibula is only partial in some animals - ox, horse. At the lower end of the tibia, and fibula if present, is the hock joint - the human "ankle". Similarly to the knee of the fore limb, the hock is usually higher on herbivores, and lower on carnivores.
The hock joint is made up of small tarsal bones, with the most prominent being the calcaneus (heel bone) which projects outwards and upwards from the back of the joint. The calcaneus bone is very obvious in most quadrupeds, as it will form the point at the back of the hock.
Below the hock are the metatarsals foot bones, which, like the metacarpals of the fore limb, are often fused in herbivores and separate in carnivores. The toes of the hind limb are very similar to the toes of fore limb, except that in carnivores the dew claw is usually absent. The hind feet of a quadruped will also generally be slightly narrower than the front feet, since most quadrupeds carry more of their weight on their fore limbs.
THE HEAD The skull of an animal serves to encase the brain, and houses the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. The skull is usually only covered by small muscles, so the shape of the head is largely defined by the shape of the skull. The brain in housed in the rounded cranium, near the rear of the skull. Large carnivores will often have a ridge along the top of the cranium, where the chewing muscles attach.
The orbits - eye sockets, are usually on the front of the head for a carnivore, providing better depth perception, and on the sides of the head for a herbivore, providing a wider area of visibility. The zygomatic arch forming the cheekbones, begins near the orbits and extends out away from the skull, then connects again near the back of the skull. When viewed from the top, the zygomatic arch is often the widest part of the skull.
The mandible - lower jaw is hinged near the back of the skull, meaning the entire lower jaw is involved when opening and closing the mouth. The upper end of the mandible passes through the space formed by the zygomatic arch. Teeth vary depending on function and age of the animal, but carnivore teeth are usually pointed, while herbivore teeth are comparatively flat. Some herbivores (ruminants) lack front teeth on their upper jaw.
WHEN THE ORGANS MEET... Hopefully you now understand a little more about how quadrupeds are put together. So, how do you go about using this new insight? Here are a few suggestions. Practice drawing animal skeletons. Pay special attention to joints, especially if they usually give you trouble. You don't have to use my illustrations, as there are plenty of better ones available, some specific resources are listed near the end of this article. Going to a museum and sketching skeletons can also be useful. When looking at animals - at the zoo, on screen, or even your pets try to figure out where various bones are. Where is the scapula, how does it move? How do the joints of the leg extend and flex? Where are the ribs?
This is particularly useful with a pet, where you can gently feel for some of the less obvious bones. When drawing animals, pay attention to where the bones of that animal are. If you are having trouble getting a joint to look right, roughly sketch in the bones, and see if that helps you figure out how everything should fit together. When designing your own creatures, think about what their skeletal structure might look like. Is you creature a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore? Does it depend on flight for survival, or does it fight? What type of terrain does it inhabit? How might these factors effect it is skeleton?
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