Best Dog Breeds For Horses

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Today’s article will literally give you advice on the best dog breeds for horse owners. If you are looking for a new friend for yourself and your horse, a dog is certainly a good choice. Let’s find out about dog breeds for horse owners, their characteristics and how to choose a dog suit your needs.

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Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are really popular with not only horse owners but also everyone.

These medium-size dogs are known for their kind, friendly and gentle behaviour. That’s why they are perfect for playing with you, your kid and especially your horses. Golden Retrievers are also really intelligent. They are able to be trained and will easily adapt quickly to your place. Their medium-size is also another advantage. Though they are not small enough to get underfoot, they are big enough to fight against the larger animal.

Like any other dog breeds, Golden Retrievers will have some health problems as they get older, such as hip dysplasia or patella luxation.

Welsh Corgi

This might be a surprise when Corgis, a small-size dog breed, is one of the best dogs for horse owners.In spite of their small size, Corgis are born to work with livestock. So they are not being threatened by other larger animals, importantly horses. There are two types of Corgis, Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Both of them are light-footed, outgoing and dynamic. They are willing to please, behave well with kids and love to herd. They will be a perfect partner when playing around with you and your horses.

Welsh Corgis average lifespan is about 11 to 13 years. In their last years, they get some health issues such as intervertebral disc disease and canine hip dysplasia.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are extremely active. This is the thing that many equestrians worry about when they want to choose these dogs. But for the same reason, Australian Shepherds are so suitable to the horses, who are also extremely active. They are surely the best dogs for a riding comantion.

One important thing that you need to pay attention to when having an Australian Shepherd is to make sure they have enough physical health training. These dogs breed with their intelligence and energy, are much more energetic than others, will not likely to sit still.

Australian Shepherd are standing out for their eyes colors, and it is related to their health like dermatitis, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

Jack Russell Terrier

Another small-size dog breed in this list is Jack Russell Terriers. And like other dogs in this list, they are mischievous and full of energy. They are also really smart and will be able to adapt to a home.

Having a smaller size than the other dog breeds means they need less exercise. However, they still need a significant amount of exercise to maintain their health and prevent them from some health issues.So that they can have that energy to play, run or train with horses and riders.

Jack Russell Terriers have a long average life expectancy, but they can still get some health problems like bone growth, deafness and eye diseases.

Border Collie

Unlike those listed above, which are known for their energy, Border Collie are known for their wisdom, concentration. They are also obedient and willing to please their owners. That makes them easy to train. These loyal four-legged friends will be a great partner and a great guard for both you and your horses.

Energy is a must-have part of dog breeds for horse owners. And Border Collie do have a huge amount of energy. And so on, they need many active opportunities to exercise their health both physically and mentally. It is never a problem to find these opportunities when you already have a horse.

Australian Cattle Dog

People sometimes mistake Australian Cattle Dogs with Australian Shepherds. But in fact they are truly different. Unlike Australian Shepherds and other dogs in this list, Australian Cattle Dogs are short and burly. They also scarcely bark, this makes them perfectly suited with horses which are easily-frightened.

The similarities between Australian Cattle Dogs and the other dog breeds in this list is its energy. They are active and need health exercise everyday.

Australian Cattle Dogs are developed to survive harsh conditions.They will rarely get any health problem, unless they don’t have proper care and exercises. Some health problems that they can get consist of deafness, hip dysplasia, and arthritis.


If you ever watched 101 Dalmatians (1996), there is a part where a dog communicates with a horse and asks for help. And in reality, this breed of dog is really being used for their ability of communication with horses. Dalmatians are also called a “fireman’s dog” because of their ability to interact with the horses that pulled the fire truck in the past.

Dalmatians can be good friends of your horses as well as a reliable guard. However, many equestrians hesitate to adopt one of them. Dalmatians do need a lot of care and attention in their early years so that they can be trained properly. They also have a wide array of health conditions such as hip dysplasia, deafness and many other conditions.

German Shepherd

This breed of dog is much more aggressive than the others in this list. Many horses owners don’t choose them because of this reason. However, they are energetic, dynamic and if you can train them properly, they will always be ready to fight against any threat to protect their owners. That makes them become perfectly reliable protectors.

If you want to have one of German Shepherd, you must spend time and prepare equipment to train the dog. This breed needs a large amount of positive reinforcement training and socialization so that you can keep them with your horses.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are often mated with many other breeds, whereby they have diverse characteristics and personalities. And almost all of them really get along with people, horses and other animals. They are friendly and outgoing, which makes them perfect to keep in your place.

They also have good endurance. A Labrador Retriever can easily keep up with you on a long trail while the others will find it difficult with this.

If you need a new dog but have a lack of time to spend training them, Labrador Retriever will be a good choice. These dogs are so loyal and obedient that you can train them in a short time.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees are fluffy big-size dogs, they are friendly and gentle with people and things that are familiar with them. This dog breed has a great source of energy, they will need a lot of entertaining activity. And that is perfectly suitable to let them play with your horses.

One thing to be considered about before having a Great Pyrenees is they are not easy to train. You will need to spend time and effort on them.

Because Great Pyrenees are naturally guard dogs, they do bark a lot. This will not be an advantage if your horses are afraid of loud noise or if you want to go on a trip with them.

Dog breed that may not get along with horses

Although there are many dog breeds suitable for horses, there are also some that will not be a good decision to keep them near the horses.

When you first bring a new dog home, you should spend time observing their behavior while playing with your horses. If you see them try to run away from the horses, or they don’t wag their tail, or they put their ears back, maybe your dog is being scared by the horses.

Some dogs can also be aggressive when they feel threatened. In that situation, they can bark or bite your horses. It will cause danger for both the horses and the dogs. Similar dangerous situations can happen if your dogs get too excited. They can run and jump at the horses and make them scared.

On the other hand, if your dogs are doing well, they don’t fear or get too excited, the problem can come from the horses. Some horses are not likely to get along with dogs. They will become aggressive and start to attack the dogs. A horse’s kick can result in bad injury for your dog or worse killing them.

It would be bad if either of these two situations, or both of them happened. Let them get to know each other slowly under your close observation.

What to consider when choosing the best dogs for your horses.

To prevent some bad situations from happen, when choosing a dog, there are some things you need to consider:


It is really not suitable to keep the toy breeds around your horses. These tiny and vulnerable dogs can be out of sight of the horses, they can be stepped on or being kicked. Having a small size also means they can be attacked by other bigger animals on the farm but can fight back.

Easy grooming

Imagine your dog will spend his whole day playing on the farm, and at the end of the day he is covered with mud and dirt. Now, brushing their hair will be a huge challenge for you. Dog breeds with short or slick hair, which are easy to brush and clean, are better choices for you.


What would happen if an aggressive dog always barks and attacks your horses and other animals on the farm? Pitbull and Rottweilers are breeds that may not be friendly enough to keep with other pets. And they may make you pay more for your homeowners or commercial liability insurance companies.


Last but not least thing to be considered. Some dog breeds bark a lot. This can be frustrating for not only your horses but also yourself. Loud noise can make the horses scared and get panicked.

Dog that looks like a horse

Irish wolfhound

This is an enormous-size dog breed. They are known as one of the biggest and tallest dogs. Their enormous may make you mistake them for a young horse.

Irish Wolfhounds have a wide sight, high speed and durability and a great power. So in the past, they were used for house guard and hunt other animals, especially wolves. Nowadays, this breed is much more gentle. They can be very friendly with children and other dog breeds. People usually keep them in the house with their family as a guard dog.

Chinese Crested Dog

This breed is divided into two types, the power puff and the hairless. The one that looks like a horse is the hairless. They truly look like a horse of small size. Though their name is hairless, they actually have long hair on their head, neck, tail and the lower part of their legs.


Do dogs get along with horses?

Yes, they really do. Although this also depends on the dog breeds and your horses. But most of the time, both of them really get along with each other. They are both friendly and outgoing animals. As long as their partner behaves well and doesn’t panic, they will be a perfect match to each other.

Which is faster: a horse or a dog?

The answer is horses are faster. You may have heard about a Greyhound, which can run faster than a horse. But for long distance runs, after about 30 meters, the horses will catch up and take over it. This result is in general. If you consider both weight and breeds then it may be changed.

Which is smarter: a horse or a dog?

It is not easy to measure the intelligence of anything. And for dogs and horses, they have different complex actions and thoughts. A dog can be trained to smell illness, to fight and defend people. A horse can recognize emotions, they have the ability to detect and avoid the hunters. So in conclusion, we shouldn’t compare them together.


Now that you know the important things to look out for when choosing a dog for you and your horses. We also listed the best dog for horse owners. Before making your decision, don’t forget to ask your horses ‘who’ they like, too. We hope you can choose the right one and have fun with your pet.

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Further reading: Dogs that look like horses – Are they real?

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