Everybody knows how loyal and outgoing dogs are. They are truly great companions for humans. Most owners consider their paw friends as family members and best friends. How about the friendship between dogs and horses - is it real? Do dogs get on well with horses? We did a little research to get the hang of it.

Dogs vs Horses - Who Is Smarter?

Let’s trot on over the intelligence of these species. Both dogs and horses are extremely smart. Thus, it’s hard to say who is the winner in the battle of wits. These animals are used in a wide range of activities to support people and ease their lives.

Dogs are trained as companions to help blind people. Besides, they are great friends to children who need someone to share their stories and secrets with. Service dogs provide emotional support for people with mental issues. Canines help get sociable and learn responsibility.

Horses are excellent companions too. Of course, you can’t keep an equine at home as a pet dog but there are other ways to interact with them. As horses are highly sensitive, they could help you deal with a bad mood. Performing in horse shows gives a good opportunity to bond with the animal, do sports, and achieve new goals.

As for emotional intelligence, dogs and horses are great competitors. Canines are able to interact with humans and respond respectfully. Researches say that dogs’ brain activity is escalating when they see their owners. 

Equines are claimed to sense others’ feelings. That’s why it’s not recommended to approach your hooved pal when you’re feeling angry. On the contrary, horses can comfort you and make you feel better. There’s a special therapy called hippotherapy that involves equines. The idea is to help patients through bonding with horses including taking care of the animals and riding them.

A cowboy with a horse and a dog

Historical Background

Getting back to the origins, both dogs and horses are herd animals. They got used to communicate with their peers and care for each other.

Wolfs, as dogs’ ancestors, tend to hunt in a pack. Wild horses prone to live in a herd to survive. When it’s a nap time, one part of the herd is sleeping while another part is up to watch their fellows. All of these have affected improving communication skills of equines and canines. That’s why we may assume that dogs and horses can be friends and bond well.

Moreover, we’re facing brilliant examples of dogs and horses working together. This strong relationship is still valid nowadays. Think of ranches and livestock management. While owners are mounting horses, their paw friends are right at their side helping herd the animals. Another example is hunting, which is still popular around the globe. Both hooved and paw companions help the man to get their prey.

Dog and Horse Interaction Through Play

If equines and canines can find a common ground, what’s the best way to mesh them? Make them play together, of course!

Dogs love games, hands down. As soon as they feel a sparkle of fun is about to happen, it reflects their behavior. Canines start wagging their tails and the legs are bowing. That’s a sign of invitation to play.

Researches report that horses act similarly to dogs when having fun. That’s why they can bond flawlessly through play. The animals tend to mirror each other’s expressions and behavior. Such a phenomenon is also relatable to sun bears, meerkats, and primates.

Thanks to domestication, canines and equines can leave peacefully today. Although their ancestors are predators and prey, domestic pets can find a common ground with no probs. Playing games is the bridge between two species. Study shows such interactions are beneficial for them. Young representatives hone their communication skills while adults find games relaxing (sounds relatable to humans, right?).

How spellbinding it is to watch how different species find a common language to cooperate. Both sides feel comfortable enough to play together. Even though horses are larger than dogs and they are potentially dangerous, it’s not an obstacle for true friendship. In fact, the origin of bonding dogs with horses hasn’t been fully discovered yet.

The Final Word

Dogs, as well as horses, are intelligent species. They are quite sensitive that makes them able to “understand” other animals. Such representatives are excellent companions for humans for many purposes. No wonder canines and equines could be good friends to each other too.

Various studies show that the bond between dogs and horses is possible. They can interact when playing together by reflecting each other’s behavior. Canines and equines have already exhibited their teamwork at the ranch and hunt. Thus, it’s reasonable to carry out further researches in order to improve the bond between these species.