Five Good Dog Breeds That Get Along With Horses

Updated on August 23, 2019
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Make sure that you pick a dog breed that likes horses.
Make sure that you pick a dog breed that likes horses. | Source

Most horse owners also love dogs. Whether a tiny Miniature Doxie, a giant Great Dane, or anything in between, there is something nice about going on a trail ride and having your dog accompany you and your horse.

Not all dogs are great with horses, however. A few are aggressive, a few breeds are shy.

The following breeds are usually good with horses but definitely not guaranteed! There is always variation among the dogs in a litter, much less in the breed as a whole. All I can tell you is that not all dogs are great companions on the trail, but the five breeds listed are usually good with horses.

Dog Breeds That Are Good With Horses

  1. Golden Retriever
  2. Australian Shepherd
  3. Dalmatian
  4. Australian Cattle Dog
  5. Corgi

Golden Retrievers are great around kids, and they also like horses.
Golden Retrievers are great around kids, and they also like horses. | Source

1. Golden Retriever

This medium-sized gundog is usually good with horses, and most of the dogs of this breed are also good with kids, like cats, and do okay with any other animals around the house. They are intelligent, usually gentle, and their willingness to please makes them good guide dogs, hearing dogs, search and rescue dogs, and of course, it makes them good on the trail.

Goldens are not large and rowdy around the stable, nor are they small and nervous. They do have some serious health problems, like hip dysplasia and patellar luxations, and obesity is seen a lot in those dogs who do not exercise enough. If your Golden does get out with you and your horses, they sometimes have problems with allergies and hot spots.

If you do decide to find a Golden Retriever to keep you and your horse company on the trail, you should make sure that your dog has had the hips evaluated, that the parents have had genetic screening for the most common diseases seen in Goldens, and that your puppy is examined by your veterinarian before you get too attached.

If everything is okay, you will have a great dog breed to enjoy around your horses.

An Australian Shepherd puppy, one of the best dog breeds around horses.
An Australian Shepherd puppy, one of the best dog breeds around horses. | Source

2. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is not really an Aussie. This dog was developed in the western US. They are great companion dogs for the horseman in any country that rides a lot, and likes a dog to run alongside; Aussies have too much energy to spend most of the time just sitting around at the stables.

Aussies are not big dogs. They are usually about 50 pounds, but they can be heavier or much smaller. They are all colorful, no matter what the size, and can have brown eyes, blue eyes, or eyes with both colors in the same iris.

Most of the Aussie health problems are related to the color. Eyes should be examined and certified by an ophthalmologist; genetic screening is available for most other problems that affect the dog. Epilepsy is also seen in the breed.

If you need an active dog, and plan on making use of his abilities, the Aussie is a great choice around your horses.

Dalmatians are famous for working around horses.
Dalmatians are famous for working around horses.

3. Dalmatian

This breed is famous for getting along with horses. They were developed as guard dogs but have been used as carriage horses and in the US are considered “fireman´s dogs” because of their willingness to be around the horses that pulled the fire trucks.

Dalmatians get up to about 24 inches tall at the withers. They are born white, but by the time they find their new homes they have their spots.

Some Dalmatians will have hip dysplasia, but it is not a great problem. Deafness is a big issue, though, affecting about a third of all the dogs, and blue-eyed dogs are more commonly affected. They also suffer from a genetic disease called hyperuricemia, in which the liver has trouble breaking down uric acid, and it is built up in the blood, leading to kidney stones and bladder stones.

If you want a handsome dog that can serve as a companion to your horses and a guard for you, the Dalmatian is a good choice if you are careful to avoid the health problems.

Blue Heelers are good around horses.
Blue Heelers are good around horses.

4. Australian Cattle Dog

Although this active breed was originally developed to work with cattle, the Australian Cattle Dog is hardy, good with horses, and a great companion to have on the trail. The dog was meant to be a drover, moving cattle from one area to the next, but never seem to bother the horses they are around. They don’t even bark much so are unlikely to upset horses.

ACDs are active and move around a lot but are short and do not overwhelm and frighten horses. Males are only about 20 inches at the withers and less than 60 pounds.

This breed has been developed to survive in a rough area and are usually healthy. They are sometimes deaf (probably related to the coloring), rarely have hip dysplasia, but of course can develop arthritis when they become older. Most of these dogs do get old if not injured.

If you are looking for a breed that will be good on trail rides, this is a good choice.

Even though the Welsh Corgi is small they are low maintenance and get along with horses.
Even though the Welsh Corgi is small they are low maintenance and get along with horses.

5. Corgi

The smallest dog on this list, the two breeds of Welsh Corgi are both originally bred to work with cattle. The dogs were bred to nip on cattle heels and noses, but they work geese without doing any biting.

There are two breeds available, the Pembroke and Cardigan, and although they vary in size and shape they both varieties are good with horses. Cardigan males are about 30 pounds, and Pembrokes are a little less.

Both Corgi breeds are healthy but have several problems. Pembrokes can suffer from Intraverterbral disc disease and a few other ailments, Cardigans can sometimes have hip dysplasia. The problems are not common, and Corgis compete in agility and should be good companions on a trail ride with horses.

If you want a small dog that is easy to take care of and good around livestock, the Corgi is a good companion.

Dogs like sleeping on a horse blanket even more than a dog bed. Why is that?

There are a lot of choices if you want a companion for your horse! Do not limit your search to just these five breeds. Although there are some dogs that almost never get along with horses (like the Siberian Husky, or any breed that sees a horse as prey) most dogs will do great if the horse is willing to put up with their smelling/sniffing/investigating. Even my Maltese liked to run alongside, although he would be tired out quickly!

My dogs sharing breakfast with one of my mares--most dogs will get along with horses.
My dogs sharing breakfast with one of my mares--most dogs will get along with horses. | Source

Questions & Answers

  • Are Rottweilers good around horses?

    It really depends on the age that they are introduced and the parents. I have seen a lot of Rotties that do very well with horses, but some of the dogs are bred to be very heavy and are not that athletic. If you are into long trail rides they are not the best breed, but if you ride around the stables they are fine.

  • Are labs good with horses?

    Most labs are easy going dogs and get along just fine with horses. Make sure you introduce them slowly and let your horse get to know the dog before you expect too much out of him.

  • Are Huskies good with horses?

    Huskies are not a good breed around livestock of any kind. Some individuals will do okay, but if you are a horse person then you will most likely to okay with one of the breeds that are suggested, not a Sibe.

© 2012 Dr Mark


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      11 months ago

      I had to giggle at the part about huskies not being good around horses. My pack go out on the trails with us all the time and have even taken to copying the herding dogs making light work of cattle round up!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Collies are herding dogs and they will get along with hourses pretty well

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi angdjs, yes, I have seen a few dogs like that. Okay with cattle, but my horses certainly would not go for that behavior.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      only problems with blue healers are that they live up to their name, they like to bite at the heels of larger animals like sheep, cattle, and horses. this can be trained out of them though.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      That horse and dog playing is so adorable. What breed dog is it?

    • agilitymach profile image

      Kristin Kaldahl 

      7 years ago

      I voted up!! You have some great dog/horse choices here. I especially like the Cattle Dog and the Aussie as that's exactly what I thought when I read your tittle. Voted up!!

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Michelle Dee 

      7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      The video of the dog and horse playing is the cutest thing I've seen, and so is the photo of the Australian Shepherd puppy. Thanks for sharing, voted up.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      7 years ago from Alabama

      That video is awesome. Guess my dogs are too old to befriend a horse, but wonder which one would if they could.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)