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Re: [RC] Strange dogs--dogs chasing horses - Julie

Running triggers a chase reflex in ALL dogs. <

Yes, yes, yes!!  I had an experience a few months back that taught me this
in a huge way.  I work in EMS and one of our part-time EMT's is also a
full-time K9 officer.  I had been asked to get an ambulance ready for a
non-emergency transfer and was nonchalantly heading around the front of the
ambulance to hop in the driver's seat.  Unbeknownst to me, the K9 officer
had told my boss, "hey, watch this" (usually an indication of trouble) and
in a bit of joke, put his police dog on *alert* which basically meant to
watch this person, they may be trouble.  This was not an *attack* order but
as I came around the front of the ambulance, still clueless, the dog (a
fully attack-trained German Shepard) lunged towards me barking and snarling.
I'm not afraid of dogs but was totally unprepared for this as I didn't even
realize the officer and dog were there.  I turned and ran.  BIG MISTAKE!
The officer yelled, "good God, don't run!" but it was too late.  The fleeing
triggered the attack mode for the dog.  The officer was able to get her back
under control quickly as she is well trained but I got a good tongue-lashing
on the stupidity of running from any dog, much less a police dog.  The only
thing I could say is that it was pure instinct at that point which has made
me a bit more understanding of my horse spooking at goofy things.  We kind
of laugh about it now but it certainly wasn't funny at the time.

A bit more on-topic, I remember many years ago riding a very spooky mare
that was terrified of dogs.  I actually got dumped when she freaked out over
an attacking Chihuahua.  I never like to be dumped but I can't remember ever
being more angry with a horse over spooking.  She could have stepped on this
dog and squashed it like a bug!  I don't know if a more aggressive approach
would have worked with this particular horse but it would have definitely
been preferable to just trying to ignore the little yapper.  I'll have to
give approach a try.

Julie S.

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[RC] Strange dogs--dogs chasing horses, Andrea Day