The "Dog" Consensus

I have to admit, I was little surprised by our blog readers’ consensus on taking dogs to shows. I was sure that you guys would have been livid at our December ’09 Mail Call letter, “Dogs at Shows,” in response to the author’s comment about our recent Team H&R article with Charlie Cole on proper dog ettiquette at shows. “People—–leave your dogs at home! You may believe your dog is special and that everyone loves him. Here’s as surprise, we don’t like your dog,” the writer said. And, in case his sentiments weren’t clear enough, our proponent for dog-free horse shows added, “If you can’t be without your dog for the duration of a horse show, get psychological help—-now!”

Ya know, I love horses. I love dogs. I suppose I’m fortunate that I’ve never been in a situation in which I was inconvenienced by a dog at a horse show, or otherwise. But it is understandable that people at horse shows, especially the competitors, who’re likely stressed already, would prefer not to be harassed by a troop of unruly pooches.?

Just in case you missed them, thought I’d share a few of your own comments:

Dogs at shows = Definite NAY. I love my dog and she is extremely well behaved (obedience/agility trial champion multiple times over), but I would never impose her on someone else. Nobody loves your dog as much as you do, and to me it seems like an accident waiting to happen (oh wait… accidents have happened). Keep the dogs to the dog shows and the horses to the horse shows, or at the very least – leave the dog by your trailer, your stalls, please – not near me or my horse.?

Dogs at shows…..
Well mannered, well socialized dogs should not be a problem. I believe on one forum I read that a competitor took their dog to protect their stall and equipment. A horse show is NO place for a dog who is territorial. I have not personally run into any problem dogs at shows but if I did my perspective would certainly change. One way to get a grip on the issue might be to have people who bring their dogs be required to have a Canine Good Citizen certificate. Just like you have to have a current health cert and coggins for your horse, you should be willing to go the extra mile if you want to bring your dog to a show. Coggins have to be re-certified yearly (or more often), CGC’s could be done yearly too. What will most likely happen sooner or later is that the liability will be too great for the show to have the dogs there. One serious bite could do that.?

If you reversed the situation, what would people do? ?It would be very interesting to bring a horse to a dog show. ?My horse is very aware of a dog and it does affect him as I am sure it would affect some of the dogs at a dog show. ?I say leave your dog at home.?

No way! ?I was bitten by a dog at a show this summer. ?The owner refused to provide rabies certification (even though he had one) and the dog was not on a leash (as required by show management). ?If folks can’t or won’t follow the rules the dogs should stay home… the people who pay to show their horses and the folks that go to watch the shows can do just that.?

For the record, I have 3 jack russell terriers, that go EVERYWHERE with us. However, I try to leave them with the “Granddogparents” while at a weekend horseshow. And if all else fails, we have a nice kennel/run for them to chill out in out of the elements. I don’t understand why you would want to worry about that one more extra detail when preparing to show your horse….did I tie him up long/short enough?ETCETC. I would prefer them to be home relaxing on the couch or helping cook goodies. We might find it okay for them to be under our feet at home, but I wouldn’t say the same for others at a public event.?

I don’t mind dogs at horse shows if they are kept away from me, my things, my “camp”, my dogs, either by leash or voice command. I ?have had way too many come to beg from me, “mark” my things, or insist on sniffing my dog from head to tail which she does not like & the owners will just say, oh my dog behaves.?

I agree with Holly, well mannered and on a leash! ?I was at a Saddlebred show in Fletcher, NC this year. I went to the Tack shop trailer to buy a girth. There was a great dane loose out front wanting to be inside with its owner, a Mrs ‘I am somebody special’ (I am 65 and walk with a cane) When I opened the door to the tack store, the dog nearly knocked me down the stairs rushing to get into the trailer. ?I told the lady her dog should be on a leash and she took the attitude that I was nuts and she didn’t have to do it. She stuck her nose up in the air and returned to her gossiping. ?Maybe some owners should be on a leash, too.?

AND, as only fitting, I was set to head to the All American Quarter Horse Congress right after this “issue” of dogs came out. And, I’ve never seen so many hounds in one place…I haven’t been to a real dog show, but this sure out-populated the dogs parks I take my pooches to.


“Yipee!!!” Mad-dash to the food court.

“My blanket is way cooler than the rags those horses wear.”

“I’m being very well-behaved. Have toys and multiple harnesses.”

“Ms. Editor Lady Alana says if you can guess what I’m wearing, she’ll send you a prize!”

“Oh, legs too short. Food court too big. Need help.”

2009 Appaloosa World Show, Fort Worth, Texas

Erin cuddles with H&R’s head editor’s (Juli S. Thorson) brother and sister’n-law’s pooch, “Blue,” at the Appaloosa Show this past November. Err…was that a mouthful?

2009 World Paint Horse Show, Fort Worth, Texas

Jana Simons’ pooch in pink. Jana is Team H&R’s Andrea Simons’ eldest daughter and super-star Western competitor. TIP to all (in case you didn’t already know this): Lead ropes make great leashes, too!

Best Dog Alternative Pet? (besides a horse, of course)…

Pigs? Nothing like a Rodeo Queen clutching an adorable lil’ piglet at six in the morning!

So, in all seriousness, I appreciate everyone offering their opinions, and welcome more!!! Anyone actually have a pet piglet? 🙂


Related Articles
Dam Spotlight: Soula Jule Forever
Dam Spotlight: Snap Krackle Pop
Devin Conley Riding
When Opportunity Knocks
Time to Reflect
Receive news and promotions for Horse & Rider and other Equine Network offers.

"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.