Why Dogs and Horses Make the Best of Friends?

dogs and horses

Why Dogs and Horses Make the Best of Friends?

Generally, horse lovers are also dog lovers and would want to have them both. If you are yet to see both of them together, you may be forgiven if you thought it would be a disaster. After all, one is considerably larger than the other and can be aggressive when it feels threatened and the other, well, aggression is embedded in most of their DNAs.

It may be shocking to know that their aggressive behaviors are usually tamed when in the company of each other. In fact, dogs and horses can be best friends, it takes time and patience to introduce and adopt this relationship, however, once a success this can be very rewarding to horse, owner and the dog.

Despite having contrasting physical features, dogs and horses share similar behavioral patterns. Sometimes so striking, you’ll think they are of the same species.

Dogs and horses probably are not meant to be friends judging from their early days as they can be termed “prey and predator” but through domestication, these two have found themselves and have since looked inseparable.


But why has this relationship blossomed despite their obvious physical differences?

You’ll see reasons why dogs and horses have dropped their feud and become best of friends shortly.

Dogs and Horses Share Similar Tactics

When it comes to behavioral tactics, the dog and horse are not so different. Attack and defense tactics and playing style all seem alike. 

This makes it easier for them to mimic each other when playing and running around, just like how animals of the same species do. Behaviors like opening the mouth wide when playing, setting their mouths like they want to bite but not actually biting and several other patterns show why dogs and horses have such a strong bond.

They are Typically Used as Hunting Animals

While not all dogs are hunting dogs, most of them do well when hunting. They are able to both accompany humans to hunting expeditions and also assist in some capacity during the hunt.


Although they may help in different ways during the hunt, their foray into the forest where many other domestic animals venture not is a testament to their compatibility.

While dogs use their sense of smell, tact, and aggression to track and chase down prey, horses use their agility and guile to take you deep into the forest farther than where your legs can take you.

They are Both Affectionate Animals

Horses and dogs do not shy away from showing love and affection to their owners. This has gained the dog the tag “man’s best friend” and the horse “man’s most loyal friend.”

If not for anything else, they both share the same owner which they love so coexisting and perhaps becoming friends with each other is the next best thing for them.

Although they show their affection in different ways, if you watch closely, you cannot mistake it.

They Both Recognize Facial Expressions

Dogs and horses can recognize the facial expressions of their owners and that of animals of the same species. This sets them apart from several other animals and gives them a natural understanding of their environment.

Ever wondered how you could just frown and your dog or horse stops messing around? It is this ability to read your facial expression that lets them know your mood and how they should react.

They have so many Common Traits

Dogs and horses share so many things in common including types of games they play. Both animals like to roll in the dirt, play with toys and get treats after a day of good behavior.

One of the best ways to train them to become best friends is by giving them treats when they behave properly around each other, you’ll notice how quickly they’ll get to respect each other.

They are Ride Buddies

Did you know dogs have excellent balance and can ride on the backs of horses?. Training your horses with a dog on their backs takes time, patience and understanding, and should be done carefully and without haste.

Dogs have balance and an excellent feel of their surroundings.


If you have a horse and would like to add a dog to your home, there are safe ways to introduce them to reduce the chances of accidents and help them develop strong bonds quickly.

Some dogs are more aggressive than others and would pose a bigger challenge when introducing them to a horse. There are several black dog breeds to choose from that are friendlier and would coexist peacefully with your horse.


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News Team

Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email: contact@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

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