Saturday, April 10, 2010

Miniature horses killed by dogs: Are our animals vulnerable?

When Riley was a two year old, I watched two unfamiliar German shepherds -- clearly ones who had never seen horses -- come bounding into a pasture where he and a few other horses were grazing. The dogs wanted the thrill of a chase -- bad news. I started to run to the field, but before I could get there, Riley and the herd started galloping toward the dogs en masse. Those dogs turned tail and barely made it out of the field before the horses overtook them. It was amusing at the time. Back then I didn't realize how vulnerable horses are to dog attacks.

Well, you know from the title this is not a happy story about horses and dogs. The video news account of this attack includes footage of the attack scene -- which is disturbing enough -- but no injuries. I think anyone who keeps animals outside (farm animals or pets), especially small ones, should at least listen to the audio portion.


  1. I don't understand why someone didn't hear all that horror going on. Very sad.

  2. A horse kept in a small pen reminds me of bait in a trap, but there's no trap - just bait. Dogs seem to recognize the fact the horse has no escape faster than other wildlife. We have had dogs attack (i posted here before about our foal being attacked), but not wildlife, not even the bear that was in our big pasture. (My super-opinionated Appy broodmares ran the bear off!)

  3. It can happen in an instant. Even having fences is not a guarantee of protection. So sad, horrific, but he is right. It could have been someone's child.
    What a horrible way to end a career they loved.
    My thoughts and prayers out to him and his family.

  4. For some reason I can not get the audio.

    I wish people with dogs would realize dogs came from wolves, they are predators and often still act like it. People are shocked when dogs kill things. It is so sad. I wish people would just realize what the nature of the dog is, accept it and then take the proper precautions to prevent tragedies like this.

  5. Attacks like this are so sad and all too common. When we recently moved our horses to our small farm, I became very concerned about the possibility of a dog attack. We have predator-proof fences surrounding our property, but a determined pack of dogs will go over or under a fence in no time. Add the fact that my husband and I work full-time, and the horses are on their own for 8+ hours per day.

    After doing some research, we adopted a rescued Great Pyrenees. She is super-friendly to family members and people she knows, but NOTHING and NOBODY gets on our property without her knowing and either alerting us or driving it off. We don't even have deer come over the fence, coyotes leave us alone, and the dog that used to come on our property (after escaping from his own) gives us a wide berth. I've seen her knock down my father-in-law's visiting Newfie who went after one of our chickens, but she is so gentle and friendly with people and animals she knows to protect - I've literally watched the chickens hop up on her flank while she's napping and she doesn't even raise her head.

    After having had our GP and watching her in action, I highly recommend looking into Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) if you're concerned about your animals or your property. Our girl has been a huge asset to our farm, and I feel so much better knowing that she's looking after "her" animals and "her" property 24/7.


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