• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Blue heeler removing horse's tails and injuring goats- help?

Help Support Ranchers.net:

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
I have a 9 month old male blue heeler from farm stock-- not really a working dog. We have a rooster and two cats that he does not mess with, but he will catch one of the goats and gnaw on her leg, and he will chase the horses, catch their tails and swing from them, shortening all the tails. Not all the tails-- the more dominant horses do not seem to be affected. For now we are keeping the goats stalled, but in the spring we will want them out. I have never seem him on the horse's tails, but the rest of my family has. One day after school, my daughter had let the goats out while the dog was inside. Later the dog went out and at bedtime, I found one of the goats lying near the stall with a bleeding leg.
My husband says shoot him with a BB or paintball gun when he is doing it. Would this work?

He is a very obedient dog when I am present. He loves to chase cars, but will not do so, or will stop at a dead run when I call him. He will obey others who are willing to use the right voice and use common sense. (If my teenager yells "Cut it out" when the dog is getting wild, the dog ignores him, but the boy refuses to use the commands or the voice to enforce it.)

As I write this, I realize that my first answer should be to exercise him more, train him more and work directly with him and the goats, with him and the horses, to teach him that these animals are not to be harassed. I am thinking of getting a second dog to keep him occupied. A friend has a 2 month old male Aussie pup I could have. This would give the heeler an appropriate focus for harassment(!) Or it might give him a partner in crime.

After all this, I am realizing that more effort on my part is the most reasonable option. Still, I would like opinions about whether an Aussie pup would solve the problem or add to it. I have a six year old daughter, so any dog I get, I have to commit to keeping. It would me very easy to find a great home for this pup, but it would break her heart and be an example of laziness and lack of commitment. I am home most days, and he is in the house more often since the problem started. Following me around the house keeps him out of trouble, but it isn't really much of a job for him.
I would appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
11,308
Reaction score
0
Location
South East Texas
I have a blue heeler that chases the horses as well, nothing we do seems to make him stop, he doesn't do it while we are riding, just when they are out in the pasture, he doesn't grab tails or anything. I have two border collies that are tied, if left to their own devices they run and chase horses as well. I wouldn't recommend getting another dog, until you get this problem fixed.And then still you may have the same problem with another herding dog. It's in their nature to herd animals, and I've about reached my limit on tryin to get this heeler to stop chasing. I wouldn't recommend a paint ball gun, this may scare your horses worse than it does the dog.
Mine hasn't messed with daughters 4H goats in the past, but they stay in a pen that he can't get into.
I as well as you would be interested in any tips or training advice that someone may have, that will help in getting this stopped.
Someone once told me that after they get kicked a few times it'll stop, either I have an extremely hard headed dog, or my horses have poor aim with their kicks. Because it hasn't stopped. LOL
 

alabama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
0
Location
Alabama
If you last him out the puppy stage and stay on him every time you catch him he will learn. However if he is killing goats and calves you has got to go.
 

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
Wow, thanks already for the thoughts. He actually enjoys the challange of getting hit or kicked at in any way. The Missouri Fox trotter stepped on him by accident and broke the heeler's leg last July, but that hasn't stopped him. I wouldn't mind him chasing if he didn't harm the animals, they all could use the exercise. I think the idea of BB's or paintballs is bad, as you say, the horses are most likely to suffer. Probably the second dog idea is not good either- more likely the old dog will teach the new dog the tricks.
 

ropesanddogs

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
123
Reaction score
0
Location
South Texas
Or 30 grains,aka 22.Or,borrow a shock collar from someone,oor,give him a job to do every day,let him bring the horses in for feed,call the horses and send him out,he'll begin to think he's making the horses come in,IMO its mainly boredom/instinct.
 

kolanuraven

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,861
Reaction score
4
I went a bought one of those starter pistols, like they use for races, and each and every time my heelers or Aussie acted up....I fire it. They would stop dead in their tracks.

Here the BIG problem is chasing deer and that will lead to who knows where...found one dog 5 miles away once. The starter pistol is small enough to keep in your pocket...shoots blanks...but for me it's been the best 'dog whistle' I've used and I've trained a lot of these dogs.

Hand one dog who would go after the testicles on the bulls! Of course the bulls helped me out on this problem...but the pistol worked wonders.

These dogs are strong willed and you need to prove to them that YOU are the alpha dog . Hope this helps out.
 

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
Northern rancher, are you serious or just kidding? My husband jokes about the same thing. If that is the only way to stop him (the dog), well, that is what I need to know. But if it is just laziness or ignorance on my part... that I could fix-- if I had the energy or smarts.
 

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
I really like the shock collar and starter pistol ideas-- why not both at once? That could really work on this dog, Thanks! Also the idea of sending the dog when the horses are coming in -- then if he does go for the tails, he can be "corrected"! Thanks so much.
 

Northern Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,247
Reaction score
0
Location
saskatchewan
Well heelers can be hardheaded-I won't tolerate a dog chasing horse or nipping them-it's all good till he wirecuts one running them or gets somebody in a wreck by nipping one they are riding. Unless you tie him up till your going to use him it's a treally hard habit to stop. I don't like having to remove a dog but I can do it if I have to.
 

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
If he was severely hard-headed or vicious, I would shoot him too-- I wouldn't inflict him on anyone else and I would explain to my daughter that the dog is mentally ill and we don't know how to cure dogs like that. But he really is trainable and doesn't seem to be trying to kill anything. I hadn't really thought about how much of a risk there is for accidental injury, though. It is pretty icy right now, and his chasing really does increase the chance of a horse's broken leg. I need to fix this NOW, and keep him confined until it is fixed. Thanks again everyone.
 

Faster horses

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
28,830
Reaction score
72
Location
NE WY at the foot of the Big Horn mountains
All Blue and Red Heelers are natural heelers, doesn't matter where they come from. It is bred in them.

A dog that chases horses is a real problem. There is a woman here that suffered a head injury because someone used a dog to load horses in the trailer. The horses were tied to the trailer and the woman walked behind them just as the dog appeared. The horse kicked in defense at the dog, only it hit the woman.

Dogs should NEVER be encouraged to chase horses for any reason. It sets up a potential problem later, whether on foot around horses or riding them when dogs are present.

I don't know what you are going to do with your dog. We have 2 dogs that we are having a problem with as well. (Now I am more understanding of Soapweeds opinion of dogs.) We have NEVER had this problem until now. We always have had female dogs, 2 or 3 at a time. Right now we have a female and a male. And you can bet they will chase something if they can. We are contemplating getting rid of one of them, just can't agree on which one.

It is a terrible problem and one that is hard to solve. Dogs do have a responsibility to their owners and that is to not cause problems.
 

merrylieux

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2006
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Northern New York
He is clearly chasing instinctively. He will even chase birds fltying across the sky. When I said he was not a working dog, I meant that I think that is part of the problem-- not enough to do.

I have learned/ am learning alot from Parelli-- funny about that quote. You can't force much from an animal-- you must get cooperation. Make it easy and pleasureable to do the right thing but difficult and unpleasureable to do the wrong thing. So what I have to do is: more training, exercise and socializing every day and loud, painful stimulus when he chases. This sounds good. This is the very first time I have ever considered horses easier to train than dogs.
 

kolanuraven

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,861
Reaction score
4
I never let my heelers/Aussie just run loose on the place. If I'm not with them they are in their kennels. They know they have certain times for work. This way it eliminates the extra time on their paws to look for something to do.

These are dogs that once trained will be wonderful. I use mine only on the cattle....never on the horses as it just seems too tempting for them and I don't want to start that habit.

I looked into the shock collars and around here the are expen$ive..and the starter pistol was more reasonable. It will take work on your part too as it's a 50/50 deal with these dogs. These dogs need a schedule of when to work, rest and play. Play and work can't be confused and stick to the schedule till you get things like you want them.

My heeler female will at times jump up and catch birds right out of the sky just as they leave the brush. They are 110% pure energy.

I have basically become a Rescue for these types of dogs as a lot of people get one...realize that it was not the best choice for a house dog...or it starts herding the neighborhood kids or gets into mischief as they will outsmart you. So I've had to rehab A LOT of them....kept some and placed some with local farms/ranches, all of which has worked out well.

Bottom line...YOU are the top dog and the boss!
 

Aztumbleweed

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
144
Reaction score
0
Location
Arizona
I have used this method on most of my dogs. Put a 30 foot lead on him and every time he goes to take off somewhere to do something you don't want holler your command and jerk his head off be consistent and never let him be loose outside by himself if you don't have a kennel tie him up. The Heelers are tough but a little persistence(sp) will fix it. Then get you a Cur dog its all up hill after you get one of those. Good luck :)
 

Soapweed

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
16,248
Reaction score
23
Location
northern Nebraska Sandhills
This is precisely the reason I don't like "cowdogs". Norther Rancher's advice might seem severe, but believe me, it eliminates the problem. You have to look at both sides of the equation, do you really "love" the doggie that much to put up with all the crap, or do you also love your horses enough to grant them the dignity to have regular full length tails like all your neighbors' horses have. It would be an easy decision for me. I would rule in favor of the horses. :wink:
 

Northern Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,247
Reaction score
0
Location
saskatchewan
My feelings too Soapweed-I don't do a good cowdog justice so I just go with the other ones-I liked my Pyreness he wouldn't chase a cow if his life depended on it lol.
 

Northern Rancher

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
12,247
Reaction score
0
Location
saskatchewan
merrylieux don'y you know every heeler comes with the garantee to chase birds and kill cats-least everyone i've seen lol.
 

Latest posts

Top