Can Dogs Make Friends with Horses?

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

Dogs are ideal companions for people, no doubt. So can dogs get along with horses?

By Guest Blogger, David Garcia

The unconventional friendship between species is something truly amazing. Cats and mice, dogs and parrots, hamsters and snakes – the friendship has no limits. So how about canines and equines? Dogs are ideal companions for people, no doubt. So can dogs get along with horses?

Although horses seem inaccessible, they are often friendly to other species. In fact, equines are believed to understand the language of other animals. Thus, horses can make friends with non-equines with no probs.

If you’re wondering whether canines and equines can live together, the answer is yes. Moreover, owners can resort to similar techniques when it comes to pet training. Daily care may be common as well. For various animals can use some tools for grooming and trimming.

Let’s plunge into the nitty-gritty of horses and dogs’ behavior. So we can get how these species can interact with each other in a friendly way.

Dogs vs. Horses – Who Is Smarter?

Both dogs and horses are quite intelligent species. That’s why it’s hard to choose who is smarter. Both animals stand out with strong mental abilities. It’s beneficial to bring up our docile companions. Some trainers can deal with both canines and equines because of their common behavior.

Emotional Intelligence

Dogs, as well as horses, are empathetic creatures. They can “read” our emotions through mimics. Canines and equines can determine our feelings and act, respectively. No wonder why humans have been sheltering such animals as pets for centuries. These companions are best friends when it comes to sharing our stories and keeping secrets. We bet you think the same way!

Dogs are claimed to feel changes in our facial expressions. They can expound people’s emotions. The tailed friend knows when their owner is in a good mood or not. Besides, researchers state that the dog’s brain activity is escalating when they see their owner.

Horses can also feel our mood and read people’s facial expressions. Equines can distinguish between positive and negative emotions. They could act differently when their owner looks excited or moody. Additionally, the hack’s heart rate is rising when their human seems irritated. Thus, it’s not a good idea to visit your hooved pal when you’re in a foul mood.

Social Intelligence

Since dogs and horses are quite brainy, they’re capable of learning new things. Social modeling plays a crucial role in obtaining new skills. The animals are biologically programmed to socialize and keep their peers safe.

Wolves, as dogs’ ancestors, are pack species. They are prone to hunt in a group. They also travel and live together. On the other side, horses are herd species. Wild equines tend to keep an eye on each other when napping. When one stack of the herd is sleeping, another part is watching their peers.

Dogs and horses have been developing their social intelligence for a long. Although equines are prey species and canines are predators, both are extremely friendly. Due to domestication, these animals can live together flawlessly. Therefore, dogs are supposed to make friends with horses.


Dogs feature their exceptional associative memory. They have superior long-term memory built on associations. Amid the five senses, the smell is supreme. Canines can distinguish olfactory markers seamlessly. The item may seem odorless for humans, while dogs can smell it well.

Horses are also known for their long-term memory. In fact, they are great learners. That’s why horse experts train them to perform in a wide range of horse shows. Such events imply showing off a chain of complicated moves. The ability to perform in tandem with a rider is judged strictly.

Equines tend to bond with their owners emotionally. Horses can distinguish the horseman’s voice from others. Equines get used to their keepers so that you can expect a trustful relationship with your companion.

Being impressively intelligent, dogs and horses are superb comrades for us. They can be helpful in a wide array of activities. Lots of tailed fellows work as service animals to help people cope with their physical and mental issues.

For instance, service dogs assist people with disabilities. The animals are usually trained to bring necessary meds, call for help, etc. As for horses, hippotherapy involves equines to help patients to recover. People deal with their physical and emotional problems by stroking and riding horses.

The Natural Bond

As we mentioned, canines and equines are herd species. Notwithstanding dogs are predators (who attack) and horses are prey (who run away), both species inhibit their instincts. Domesticated dogs and horses can get along well and live peacefully.

There’s a myriad of stories about the zen bond between horses and dogs. Ranch life is a great example. You can witness dogs and horses playing together there. These species are a substantial part of farm livestock management. While a human hops on the horse, their dog is watching the herd animals.

Another notable example is fox-hunting. Both tailed companions serve their man to get the prey. That’s why a dog-horse bond has gone through centuries, and it’s quite natural.

It’s Playtime

Equines and canines can not only co-exist peacefully together. They can have a good time together. As the animals are highly sociable, dogs can invite horses to play and vice versa.

It goes without saying that dogs go in for games. As soon as they recognize the sign of invitation, their demeanor changes immediately. The animal starts to wag its tail and bow the front legs. These are common signs of a zingy mood.

Horses, like dogs, act a similar way. That’s why the species can have a ball together. They reflect each other expressions and behavior. Even though horses are massive creatures, dogs feel quite comfy when goofing around with hooved pals.

Hence, canines can interact with equines through playtime. Having fun together is advantageous for the animals. Young representatives develop their social skills when playing together. At the same time, adults find games a good way to unwind. That’s true to people as well.

In the Nutshell

Dogs and horses have common behavior. These are sociable creatures who instinctively know how to communicate with each other. The connection between equines and canines has been fostered since domestication. Nowadays, the species can certainly live together.

The similar demeanor of dogs and horses is an excellent opportunity to make friends. The species can distinguish the sign of friendliness and respond aptly—no wonder why people worldwide keep such quick-witted and sociable animals.

about the author

David Garcia considers himself a huge fan of equestrian sports. Being born in a family of farmers, he was literally living at the ranch. His first riding experience was when David was six. He was so fascinated with horses’ grace and intelligence, so he decided to plunge into equestrianism deeply. Thus, he’s been participating in a range of horse races and shows where he often grabs medal positions.

David believes that we could be better by sharing our experiences. That is why he founded Horsezz – the blog that is dedicated to equestrian sports.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?