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Re: Suitable Dog

Rides 2 Far wrote:
> > I can't tell you about question number one, but I sure can tell you >
> about> the best dog for the job.  Without a question, it is a Border >
> Collie.

> That said, in my opinion the *best* thing about my dog was that I could
> say, "Go Home!" and she WOULDN'T go riding with me.  I've yet to see
> public land that invited a loose dog, and I know my neighbors have
> appreciated me not bringing my dog onto their property where they let me
> ride.

This is an important point. Although it's nice to have a dog along, this
can sometimes leave a "bad impression" on people, particularly if the
area you're riding through is populated and there are unrestrained dogs
around.  To appreciate this, you need to be involved in an "incident"
where there are several horses and several dogs involved in a dogfight.
This does not exactly have a calming influence on horses and can result
in some severe injuries to the dogs and to riders when they get dumped
off in the melee.  This can also happen when you meet other riders on
the trail who are riding with THEIR dogs.  If you choose to do this, be
sure your dog (like your horse) is well trained.  It is possible to
teach your dog to "heel" behind your horse. Usually the Forest Service
also takes a dim view of unrestrained dogs. Be considerate and know the
area you're riding before choosing to take your dog. (This also applies
to Endurance Rides, which is a another subject worth discussion)  

I didn't have a dog until a little Heinz 57 (kinda looks like a cross
between a Brittany and a Cocker) was dumped out up here, pregnant,
covered in fleas and ticks, and obviously abused.  Took me 4 days to
catch her.  I just couldn't give her away, so Maggie has definitely
moved in.  She loves to hike the mountains with me, loves Sunny, who
will "groom" her back when she comes over, but one of the first things I
taught her was that she does NOT go with me when I ride. 
> The only dog I ever ride with was a Blue Tick Coon Hound that my neighbor
> owns.  When I see him loose I try to sneak by him but that doesn't help.
> Doesn't matter if I'm a mile up the mountain I know the second he crosses
> my trail....BAOOOOOOOOO!  I can hear him baying as he retraces my trail
> across the valley.  It's slightly amusing to pretend I'm an escaped
> convict and the guards are gaining on me...but once he catches me he
> immediately loses interest and wanders off across the side of the
> mountain after something else...which is how my neighbor got him.
> Somebody else lost him.

Coon Dogs are kewl....except for the ones my neighbor keeps tied up who
bark all day.  When I moved up to the North Georgia Mountains, my other
neighbor had a Walker who just "appeared" one day and stayed.  She loved
to go with us riding and when we rode out she would hear the horse's
feet in the gravel and come baying across the field to go with us. You
never know what a coon dog's gonna do.  One day Pam Spencer was riding
with me and we were leading down Mule Top Mountain, which is slick and
REALLY steep near the bottom. I was in front about 30 yards when Pam
hollered "Out of Control Coon Dog"! I watched in amazement as the dog
came "skiing" down the mountain, encountered a log, did a flip, and went
into a roll.  Meanwhile Sunny, who is not afraid of dogs, and doesn't
mind teaching them about getting too close, is keeping a wary eye on
this performance, especially since we are below her on the "ski slope"!
The dog is about to get it under control when she fetches up against
Sunny's back feet, who decides he is under attack and adds to the
momentum by promptly administering a swift cow kick.  Out of control
again, the dog rolls on down the mountain, finally colliding with a
large tree. Although the injuries were nothing more than a few bruises
and scrapes, the dog declined to ride with us anymore.  She would just
stand in the yard and bay as we rode out. (I don't recommend this method
of teaching a dog not to go riding with you) That hill will be forever
more known as "Hound Dog Hill". 

Jim and Sun of Dimanche
> Angie
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