Dogs & Horses: Things They Share in Common

dogs and horses

Dogs and horses have a lot in common. Both are domesticated animals that are commonly used for transportation, work, or sport. They are both incredibly versatile and can be trained to do a variety of things. They are also both very social animals and enjoy interacting with their human companions.

Dogs and horses have been bred for centuries to have certain characteristics that make them well-suited for certain tasks. Dogs, for example, are bred to be loyal and obedient, while horses are bred for strength and endurance. But despite these differences, dogs, and horses share many of the same physical and emotional characteristics.

In fact, both have been known to develop close relationships with each other. They often enjoy playing together and share mutual respect for one another. Here we take a look at some things shared by both dogs and horses and how their behaviour is similar. 

Common Things Between Dogs And Horses

You have a special relationship with your horse and dog. Even though they are entirely different species, there are some similarities between them. First and foremost, they are both extremely lovable. You must enjoy their company equally.

1. Ancestry

Dogs and horses are both descendants of the wild wolf and the wild horse, respectively.

Both were originally bred for their strength and abilities. Dogs were bred to help humans with hunting and guarding livestock, while horses were bred to be used in warfare or transportation.

Despite their different purposes, they have many similarities. They are both social animals that form close bonds with their families. They are both intelligent and have a natural instinct to obey their owners. And they are both capable of forming deep emotional connections with those around them.

2. Physical Characteristics

Dogs and horses have a great many physical characteristics in common.

Both animals are mammals, meaning they nurse their young with milk. They also have four legs and are covered in fur or hair. Dogs and horses are both predators, meaning they hunt and eat other animals.


They are also both domesticated animals, meaning they have been bred by humans for certain purposes.

Dogs are often bred as pets, while horses are bred for racing, work, pleasure or military use. But in case of military use, dogs have to undergo training. If you want to train your dog too, visit Sally Said So Dog Training.

3. Joint Health: A Shared Concern in Dogs and Horses

In the journey of companionship with these magnificent creatures, it is essential to be cognisant of the health issues that both dogs and horses commonly face, arthritis being a prominent one. Just like humans, as these animals age, they are more susceptible to experiencing symptoms of arthritis. This condition manifests through a range of symptoms such as stiffness, reduced mobility, and noticeable pain, which can be heart-wrenching to witness. While the approaches to pain management might vary, the underlying commonalities in their arthritis symptoms are quite significant. It is imperative to maintain a vigilant eye on their behaviour and physical movements to detect early signs of arthritis. Fortunately, advancements in veterinary medicine offer a beacon of hope with the likes of Stem Cell Vet

Various pain management solutions are available to alleviate their discomfort and enhance their quality of life. For more insights on managing arthritis symptoms, consider exploring painkillers for dogs uk to find suitable options that can provide them with the relief they deserve.

4. Prey Drive and Herding

Dogs have prey drive and horses have a herding instinct. Dogs have a natural instinct to hunt and capture prey but can be used to herd flocks of sheep, for example. This deep routed behaviour is what drives them to chase cars, bicycles, and other animals. Horses also have a natural instinct to herd. They are usually used to herd cattle, but they can also be used to herd other animals, including dogs.

This shared instinct helps explain why both are so compatible as working partners when trained properly. They are able to instinctively understand each other’s needs and communicate with each other without needing words.

5. Both Used In Therapy

The use of dogs and horses in therapy is a common practice. Horses are often used to help people who have been traumatized, as they are very good at reading body language. Dogs such as Maltipoo are used to help children with emotional issues, as they are very good at reading human emotions.

6. Life Span

Horses have a lifespan of around 25 – 30 years, and dogs 12-15. However, historically, horses had shorter lifespans similar to that of the dog. It is only as feeding, care and veterinary treatment has advanced, that horses can live longer healthier lives.

Despite differences in the modern-day life span, both require a lot of care and maintenance, and they can be a big financial commitment. They are both also excellent companions and can provide a lot of love and support to their owners for many years.

7. Personality

The personalities of horses and dogs differ greatly from one another. Some dogs like Teacup Maltipoos are friendly and playful, while others are more independent and aloof. Horses also come in all sorts of personality types, from the nosey, what’s going on type to the easygoing grazer.

Which one you choose for a pet will likely depend on your own personality. If you want a pet that is always happy to see you and loves to play, a dog is the perfect choice. But if you’re looking for a pet that keeps you fit and outdoors for longer periods of time, a horse may be a better option.

8. Training Ability of Dogs and Horses

Dogs and horses share one important characteristic: they both can be easily trained. With patience and persistence, you can train your dog or horse to become easy to handle, respectable and enjoyable to be around.

Dogs are especially good at following commands, and they love to please their owners. Horses are a bit more independent, but with proper training, they can be just as reliable as dogs.

  • Strong Sense Of Smell

It is well known that both dogs and horses have a very strong sense of smell. This is what allows them to be such great trackers. They can pick up the scent of a person or animal from miles away and follow it until they find what they’re looking for.

  • They Are Both Intelligent Animals

Almost all animals are intelligent, and dogs and horses are no exception. They are both capable of forming attachments to their owners, and they can learn to perform a wide variety of tasks.

Dogs are known for their keen sense of smell, while horses are known for their strength and agility. However, they both have many other qualities in common, which is why they are often used as working animals.

  • Both Used In Law Enforcement

Dogs and horses have been used by law enforcement for many years. Horses are often used to control crowds at large events, and dogs are used to track down fugitives and find drugs and other illegal items.

Both are very reliable and can be counted on to do their job. They are also very versatile, which makes them perfect for law enforcement.


Both animals have been working together for centuries, and there’s a reason for that. Both of these animals are incredibly smart, versatile, and strong, which makes them perfect partners on the farm or in the city.


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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email:

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