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Going With the Dogs

Some farriers think it’s fine while others think it’s a huge mistake to take dogs along on barn calls

Some 54% of farriers allow their dogs or clients’ dogs to munch on hoof scraps while they are trimming horses during many of their daily barn stops.

For many years based on traveling with farriers, I’ve thought the Jack Russell was the favorite dog breed of horseshoers. But that opinion didn’t hold water when we recently conducted an American Farriers Journal electronic survey among footcare professionals in regard to their favorite breed of dog and whether they take their pets along to barns where they work.

In fact, the Jack Russell only placed fifth in our list of 14 dog breeds. As the accompanying chart indicates, the Australian Cattle Dog was the favorite dog followed by the Border Collie and Labrador Retriever breeds.

There wasn’t any consensus when farriers were asked about the pros and cons of taking dogs along to hoof-care appointments. Some see benefits in taking dogs along — others are against the practice.

Some shoers point out that there can be considerable liability concerns with taking your dog into client barns. In fact, some barn owners have pointed out that their insurance company does not allow dogs in their horse barns. 

The survey found 91% of farrier families have one or more dogs. Among those families with a dog, 26% of farriers regularly take a dog along on trimming and shoeing calls. Another 36% occasionally take a dog along, while 39% never take their dog.

Among farriers that take a dog in the truck, 22% let the…

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Frank_lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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