what breed of dog is best around horses??

what breed of dog is best around horses

  • Grey Shorthaired Pointer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Australian Cattle Dog (Red/Blue Heeler)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Border Collie

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever

    Votes: 2 100.0%

  • Total voters


Nov 18, 2018
Recently I've been thinking about getting another dog as a opportunity to "reset" the whole horse/dog experience. The dog that we (my family) have currently is a Chesapeake Bay
Retriever, however she wasn't raised around horses and it has taken a LOT of groundwork ( both for the horses and her.:)) to get to the point where she knows not to run into the middle of the trail while I'm in the middle of a wild gallop. I think she would be perfect if she had been raised around horses, also my Mom is a BIG Chessie fan. :p

One of the people who lives around and boards her horse with mine has a border collie who runs off at a regular basis. I have heard from some people who own/have owned border collies that they have the same problems with their dogs running off. I'm not sure about German Shorthaired Pointers, but I think they also have a problem with running off.
I am most drawn to the Heelers with the cattle dog aspect. But I would like to meet one before coming to any decisions.

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
I have a collie and also a terrier cross. I have the collie for working the sheep and cattle, but she absolutely loves coming out on hacks with me as she is a family dog as well. The terrier x also loves coming out with the horses hacking but as she is nearly deaf and is 15, I have stopped taking her. In there prime they would both happily hack out with me.
The collie lays outside the tack area when i tack up, and as soon as I head to the mounting block she starts bouncing, will trot on a few steps, then come back if I haven't moved off. Once hacking she just trots along either in front or behind doing her own thing sniffing. She's 12 now and I have noticed that she cant keep up in the canter so much now. But she still loves it. She comes out with me when I go to feed the horses. Often just lays down while I feed them, or has wander round the fields, but is never far away when I lead the horses in, as she walks behind like she working them.
A place I work at they have Australian cattle dogs. They run a horse yard. One dog is out floating all the time, the other has had to be confined to the garden after nipping one of the liveries owners one day.
They dont take them hacking though.
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Reactions: Huggy


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Unless you have a big property with stock I would discount collies and healers, personally I believe they are working dogs and if they can't work (or have lots of constructive training) they tend to get obsessive and challenging, plus both are bred to herd things, not great if their obsession becomes herding your horses! and healers are called that because they nip the heels of the animals they herd. I love both (a healer is on my dream sheet), and have worked with them, but wouldn't have them without work for them.
I love a pointer, but they do need to be kept focused. A retriever is going to be by far the easiest in terms of attitude and trainability, they are bred to wait patiently until everyone is done shooting to go and retrieve the birds, making them very biddable.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2003
I have Dalmatians, they were bred to be carriage dogs and guard the stables, so they are naturally pretty good around horses. I first looked at the breed a I wanted a dog that could be around the horses.
I've had a Collie and a Retriever x, both were fab with the horses and would come riding with me and spend all day at the field with the horses. I've also have 2 Springer Spaniels, fab with the horses and came out on rides with me, although our Male Springer had a tendency to wander.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
I remember many years ago taking my dad's springer out with my pony - it was a disaster. The dog was a trained gundog who, once we got into a field, insisted on putting game out for us, unfortunately the pony had a tendency to be a bit spooky & didn't appreciate the dog's efforts! The ride became rather lively & was not repeated. I should add that I'd practiced riding with the dog in the school with no problems.

I think at least as important as breed is getting the training in from an early age, though I agree with @Jessey that of the breeds you've listed I'd go with the retriever every time. I wouldn't want a strong herding instinct in a dog I was riding out with & while I don't know the specific pointer breed you mention the ones I do know tend to be hyperactive idiots (my apologies to any pointer fanatics, and I do think they're very loveable).
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Active Member
Jul 14, 2019
I have a collie. However I took her as an older dog, she had never worked but even at 10 her brain never stitched off. She is incredibly focussed to the point that if a ball is in a horses path she won’t even notice the horse walking at her! It’s not a breed I’d consciously go out and get as a puppy to chill out around a yard.
She’s old now and lies watching me work instead which is far less stressful


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
As a spaniel owner who would love a dog to hack with I'll read this with interest. The spaniels are hopeless: they are too busy to enjoy sticking close to the horse, and a bit soft as shite to be honest so they are easily scared by a horse that warns them off.
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