Yeah I know…there are no bad dogs only bad owners.  But dogs that have bad owners can be downright irritating, or as I call ’em-Dog-Noxious.  And unless you sic Cesar Milan on them things are unlikely to change.

We’ve all met them, the nasty little purse sized dogs who snap and snarl at everyone while “Mommy” laughs and pats it for being so cute  (yeah-reward it for that-that’s great training *eyeroll*).


Or the huge Mastiff sized beast that jumps up on or humps the kids, while the owner tells you “Oh he won’t hurt little Jimmy”, (as little Jimmy lies flat on his back in a puddle of mud with two ham-sized paws on his chest).

Training-not just for horses LOL!

Gotta say, I may have less tolerance for obnoxious dogs than many people.  Our family dogs were trained to obedience trial level by dear ol’ Dad (though they did not compete).  Dogs in our home were not allowed on furniture, they did not jump up, bite or bark 12 hours straight.  They were well behaved family members we could take anywhere.  There is really no excuse for a badly behaved dog as they are one of our most easily trained companion animals, unless it is a rescue you just got or something.

So….bad enough when you have to deal with these canine brats, but what about having them at the barn where you board?

Some boarders think it is their right to bring their dog to the barn, and some barns allow it.  Not a problem when it is someone’s old yeller who lies nicely in the corner after getting his pats from the other boarders.

But then we have the Jack Russel on crack type.  Nipping at heels, or noses hung over stall doors.  My personal favourite, when you’re on an already nervous green horse and one of these nasty creatures decides that would be a good time to run into the ring harassing said horse.  Or how about jumping an in and out, with the little monster running between the fences to stand there and bark at your horse?

I remember this happening to  me once, I pulled the horse up to avoid landing on the dog.  Then went into the barn and told the owners of little crackhead that I had stopped my horse ONCE in front of the fence to avoid squishing their little precious and would not be doing it again.  And that the purpose of my ring work was NOT to teach my horse to slam to a halt in front of a fence!

Yes, I’m a big meaniehead 😛

If I ran a boarding stable I would have a “no dogs” policy.  Actually I think some days I’d have a “no kids” policy too hahaha.


Some of you have likely been there.  The lady who brings her five psycho offspring to the barn with her, then goes off to the arena for her lesson.  So as you groom and tack your horse you have them either hanging off you, or running about screaming behind and past your horse.  Of course any adult of good character is going to keep an eye on them, so it takes away from your horsey time.  You end up acting like an unpaid babysitter so no one gets hurt, especially if there is no one else at the barn right then:

“Please don’t run behind my horse, he may kick you!”

“Don’t wave that pitchfork at your little brother-you could hurt him!”

And the typical 500 question game:

“My horse is a boy”,  “No he is not brown he is chestnut”,  “Yes he used to run in races”,  “No he did not win races like Seabiscuit”, “Yes this is a different bridle from what your Mom has”,  “No he can’t jump 6 feet high”, “Yes he has been to a show”………

“Hey dressage Mommy-you owe me five bucks an hour over here!!!!”

Told you I am a big meaniehead 😉

Dogs and kids, well I live with both and love ’em dearly.  But when they run rampant  and affect others in a negative way-never mind the potential for their OWN injury?

Not cool.  All boarders usually pay the same amount, and deserve the same rights to ride and handle their horse without chaos and stupidity distracting them or the worry of someone’s child being hurt if you don’t keep an eye out for them.



About crow131

I'm a happy camper 95% of the time, I love animals and kids....and some adults. I believe in Karma and am a spiritual and moral person. Bad people may gain in this world but they are still bad.... I have many interests, including horses, birds, growing my own food, art, writing, the Runes....yes, it is all over the map. I feel some of us are here to care for those who are not cared for by those who should care for them-if that makes any sense ;-)
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20 Responses to Dog-noxious

  1. trailrider20 says:

    At a boarding stable that should be simple, it’s a matter of liability. For me, keeping my horse in my back yard and riding public trails, I just act like everything is OK, and always assume that the worst is about to happen. I am having a problem right now with the neighbors dog, the people are very nice, just don’t know anything about dogs. She was in my front yard yesterday, I got my hose ready, walked up to her, and blasted her. A little while later there she was again, I started to walk out my gate and she took off. So I am training the neighbors dog. Out on the trails I keep pepper spray with me.

  2. CHV says:

    Try riding at a lesson barn that regularly does pony rides and is easily accessible to the population of a large city.

    Last time I was schooling it was “Go back to your mother now!” (This same kid, who’s MAYBE five, is constantly standing outside the outdoor ring with no adult supervision. I don’t mind kids watching me ride, but when I’m handling a big, powerful OTTB, I am NOT comfortable with a five year old being right next to the fence).

    Then later in that day “Don’t pet that pony!” as two small hands reached over the fence towards the jaws of a pony who was in full snake head (this pony is, as I always put it, “unfriendly.” We need to replace his danger warning sign).

    The worst thing I ever saw at that barn, though, was the “gentleman,” term used loosely, who sneaked in through a side door, went into a stall and put his two year old on a horse. Nope. No kidding. He actually did that. Fortunately the horse he picked was over thirty and wouldn’t hurt a fly…as opposed to the easily startled 1400 pound bundle of anxiety and nerves in the next stall…

    As for dog-noxious, I have an old story on that from when I was in my teens. We used to take the horses out and we’d always “canter” up this one hill – you know, by the definition of canter that involves four beats and not because it’s western pleasure. I was riding a 13.2 pony…and yeah. Flat out up the hill. Now, this was not normally an unsafe proposition. The going was decent and there were no trees or anything AND everyone in the area knew we used that hill. I had time to notice that there was a guy halfway up the hill holding his dog firmly by the collar.

    The next moment, he wasn’t. I don’t know whether he lost his grip or the collar broke, but this HUGE yellow lab runs right out in front of me. It was one of those situations where short of a reining sliding stop, trying to stop would have probably resulted in a wreck, so I just dropped the rains and trusted the pony to get us out of the situation. He did…

    …by clearing the dog with perfect form. The dog yelped and ran back to BEHIND its owner…completely unhurt, but I’m betting THAT dog never ran out in front of a horse again!

  3. trailrider20 says:

    This is very interesting, and something that I have always practiced, which is letting the horse do some figuring on his own. Training is fine, but a trail horse must be able to use his own brain to figure some things out. By dropping the reins and letting your pony decide what to do, you avoided a wreck.

  4. CHV says:

    I will note that this was not a green animal, but a highly experienced trail horse and trained jumper. Had I been riding a greenie, I might have done something different. But yes. Sometimes you really do just have to trust your horse.

  5. trailrider20 says:

    Let me clarify. Yes, on a greenie, you would handle the situation differently, but you probably would not be running a untrained horse. You were on an experienced pony and had enough brains to let the pony handle the dog. Any horse ridden outside an arena must be trained to both trust the rider, and trust his own instincts.

  6. regalsin says:

    I had a kid ( still got her but she’s an adult now) and have a dog and by god they both know how to behave around horses and barns . Hell I make them behave in public period . LOL I was at a barn where their own kids would ride their bikes down the aisle while I had my yearling in there. I wanted to grab them by the scruff and frog march them out. My dog is one of those small breeds that most hate, A Chihuahua, he is not allowed to bark or snarl at anyone !!!!! He even thinks about growling at someone at the door his butt gets sent to his crate.I am not mean but some behaviour is not acceptable at all to me. 5 lbs or 50 they are dogs and need to be trained. Too bad other people don’t think when they raise their kids or dogs !

  7. HJK says:

    Untrained (or ill trained) dogs and horses are my pet peeve. I have 2 very large dogs (a mastiff and a shepherd) and I tolerate absolutely no aggressive behaviour; no marking territory, no kicking grass, no guarding food. Did I attend puppy school? No, I did it all myself using techniques I’d learned from horses. I’m amazed by how many people seem surprised at how well my dogs behave with children, strange adults or other animals. It’s much the same with the horses; no getting in my space, no turning butt towards me, etc. Once they realize you’re alpha (and keep reinforcing it) you’re golden. I should add that I have never hit my horses or dogs. To me, that is your responsibility as a pet owner – to meet the needs of the pet not only in terms of nourishment and shelter but emotional well-being (including training). Unfortunately it seems the small dog owners too often forget that just because the dog is small doesn’t mean that it can’t cause harm.
    Fortunately in my situation I have the horses at home and don’t have to worry about other boarders. Previously I had boarded at other stables where these issues were apparent. To me if the dog gets kicked and injured then it’s not my fault and I won’t be paying the vet bills. You chose to bring the dog to the barn and it’s your responsibility, not mine. In the case of children I give them a warning and then take it up with mom … and I don’t care if she’s in the middle of a lesson (I guess I’m a meaniehead too 😛 ). I am not a babysitter, plain and simple. This often happens at shopping centres too; parents will leave children to do their shopping and the kids run riot.

  8. Quill says:

    Dogs are allowed at my barn, but only small ones and they had to be on leashes. The only big, unleashed dog allowed was the seasoned old barn dog who was silent, followed the BO everywhere, and knew his way around horses. If dogs started being obnoxious the BO would tell the handler to either put it in the car or go stand out in the yard with it, handle preference and weather permitting. However, the BO is not ALWAYS around and sadly not everyone abides by the rules as tightly when she’s not around. So we get quite a few tiny yappy dogs running loose. If their owner is no where in sight to come control the dog, my solution is to grab them and toss (gently place) them into the nearest empty stall and lock the door. They keep barking, yes, but at least they won’t get stepped on.

    As for getting in the way of a jump, I wouldn’t pull up. I’d keep going. My horse can clear a jump and a tiny dog, and I’m not going to start teaching my horse to stop at jumps because some idiot can’t control their squeaky toy. Getting the crap scared out of them is the only thing that’s going to teach them keep away, since clearly their owners aren’t going to do anything in the way of teaching their dogs barn safety. It may be “heartless” but that’s what I’d do.

    I also will not watch children. I don’t care if the parent is out riding and I’m the only one left around to watch them, I will not babysit. Now if one of them gets hurt I will go check on them, and if they aren’t dying I will go get the parent, but rest assured I will not take time out of my riding time to make sure they don’t pet the wrong pony, or poke themselves on something. They aren’t my responsibility, and if they’re stupid enough to joust with pitchforks then we don’t really need them anyway (now if they’re REALLY little, I will make an exception, but if they’re old enough to know better, then they’re on their own).

    I dislike children. If I had a barn, restaurant, apartment building, business, anything, it would be “NO CHILDREN”. It would also be “NO POORLY TRAINED SQUEAKY TOYS.”

  9. ruth ellen hoezee says:

    we keep our 3 horses, and 1 small mule at home, we have 40 acres that at the waaay back of the property is a real ritzy subdivision,the people that live there seem to think “were in the country now” and let their children, and dogs run wild. we had a problem last year w/ kids in our hay barn, they broke open about 10 square bales of hay, and were jumping out of the loft in to the pile of hay !they had emptied their pockets, and my hubby chased them off, and watched where they went, in the barn were, matches, cigs. lighters,firecrackers,$63, and some expensive tools, we called the cops, the brats denied everything, their parents believed them ! so the cop gave us the money, and everything else, including the tools, probably worth $ 100 , for dogs if their friendly i take an empty pill bottle, tape it to their collar, and put this note inside – ” if your dog keeps coming in my yard, he wont be coming back to yours” worked pretty good, otherwise a air horn works wonders too, i know it doesnt help for boarding barns, but you could lock the little” lint on a leash” in an empty stall, and let them worry for awhile, and then innocently add ” maybe he was bothering someone, or in the way” and put up a sign that reads” all un attended children will be given large amounts of sugar, and a kitten, please watch your children”

  10. crow131 says:

    Squeaky toy…good one! I call them Kleenex box dogs!

  11. regalsin says:

    I love the lint on a leash phrase even though I own one !! Difference is my lint is trained. Of course I walk my lint I don’t carry him and he knows his commands. I get compliments on him and they don’t understand why he behaves and my answer is always ” he is a DOG not and purse puppy so I train him not to bark etc” I hear you on the country folks that think it is great to let Rover run all over. We had one who’s dog sat in the middle of the road all the time. I told her come winter I am not swerving to miss your damn dog. She looked shocked but I said I am not ditching my car or crashing because she wont keep her dog on her own property. Funny thing was the dog no longer showed up on road. She also got 2 stolen that were always on road. A nice sheltie and Boston. I was tempted to take them too just to save them from the owner.

  12. crow131 says:

    Great idea for a sign! Scary to think kids had matches and lighters in your barn, especially citiot kids (city idiot).

  13. crow131 says:

    You hammered the nail on the head, they seem to think because a dog is small is does not have to be subject to the same rules as a larger dog. How cute would it be if someone’s Rotti lunged and snapped at anyone who came near them? It is a huge pet peeve of mine too.
    Cheers fellow Meaniehead 😉

  14. crow131 says:

    I had a friend with a darling Chihuahua who only ever barked when the mail flew through the slot in their apartment door, it freaked her out every time lol. As long as they are trained they are sweet little things.

  15. crow131 says:

    I, too, have seen people just pop a kid on a horses back, happened to me once at a show while he was tied at the trailer. And I was a “snooty mean horse show person” when I told them to PLEASE get that kid off my (spooky-green-Thb) horse RIGHT NOW!
    They have no idea the potential for injury…it’s scary really.

  16. crow131 says:

    Maybe you could train your neighbors with that hose too LOL 😉

  17. Quill says:

    Ugh, Citiot kids! I love that by the way, I’m going to steal it! One of ’em about took out my mare with his truck. The barn she lives at is directly across the street from the barn I ride at. After looking both ways and determining everything was clear we crossed. We were about half-way up the driveway. We were as out of the way of cars as we could get. A car would have to swerve just slightly to get around us, but nothing too bad. Well, this kid came swinging into the driveway and sped up it about as fast as he could go, not even bothering to swerve. My mare spooked just slightly and he narrowly missed her.

    I – very angry – marched right up there with my good ol’ girl in hand and shoved the end of my riding crop in his chest (much like a pointing finger, not hitting him with it or anything), stared him straight in the eyes, and told him if he’d so much as clipped her bum with his mirror I’d use his jaw as a hoof pick and told him I’d better not see him going that fast ever again. His sly “look at this silly little girl” smile went away rather quickly. I have him a very sweet little smile (aka the “mess with my horse again and I will castrate you” smile) and then my girl and I continued on to have our lesson, and I reported the incident to the BO.

    I firmly live by the “mess with my horse and I mess you up” phrase.

  18. Quill says:

    The same thing happens with ponies, hence the “evil pony” stereotype. Since they’re smaller people assume they can do less damage and aren’t as strict with them. Like “awww, look at his cute little bucks” while the kiddo is riding. They wouldn’t think that was cute on a bigger horse, or a draft, why is it cute on a pony? Dangerous behavior is dangerous behavior.

  19. crow131 says:

    For sure-Actually I have catch-ridden a ton of ponies that were allowed to be jerks-until it got out of hand and wasn’t funny anymore. I’m only 5 feet tall and 110 lbs so I was in high demand to reschool the little critters 🙂 I LOVE ponies!

  20. Kat says:

    Where I used to ride the barn owner and manager were the only ones allowed to let their dogs roam. I was turning out the barn manager’s horse one day when the owners dog decided to chase the mare and got kicked in the head (he was fine but did have to go to the vet). Well the barn owners daughter decided it was all somehow my fault. And that same dog started biting other dogs as he got older–it was effective in that we all stopped bringing our well behaved dogs around.

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