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Harmony of Dogs and Horses at Non Ame'

By Cyndi Keller

   Here at Non Ame' Acres in Waddell, Arizona, we have 13 miniature horses, 3 goats, 1 American Quarter horse, numerous chickens, peacocks, geese, ducks, exotic birds, even emus. With this many animals on our property, you can see the Anatolian Shepherd livestock guardian dogs are very important. We have 3 right now. Our youngest is a 2 year old male named "Hakim", next a 3 year old male named "Jax", and our female "Kuchuk" who is 4 years old. All are registered and OFA'ed.


[Picture of: Maranda's Hakim olm Ame']
Maranda's Hakim olm Ame' C.G.C. with yearling.


   I have started older pups up to a year old, and young ones, the same way and have had very good success.
   Our horses' barn area is "L" shaped with each horse having individual outside pens that open into a 2 acre pasture. The new pup is put in a middle pen so he has horses on both sides and he can see all the activity. The pup is left in his pen all the time, with lots of visits from me so he settles in. Each day we do go out on leash to walk the perimeter fence line and to say "hello" to each horse and any other animals we may have at the time. I let the horses determine the length of visit for each, as some horses are more friendly than others. After about one week, I let the pup out with one or two of the horses that seem to be extra friendly, never leaving the pup unattended. He is not allowed to make any aggressive moves to the horse or he is severely scolded. These lessons only last 20 - 25 minutes at first, 2 to 3 times a day for about one week.
   If everyone gets along, the time gets longer and longer until the pup is out with the horses all the time. If there are any problems, we go back to the beginning and start over. It doesn't seem to take long for the dogs to learn which horses to stay away from and which are more tolerant.
   Our 3 year old male, "Jax", is very good at keeping the horses quiet when they are tied for grooming or whatever. Jax stands next to the horse's face and licks his or her nose. Even the 14 year old stallion calms down and one mare returns the gesture by licking Jax's face.
   "Hackim", who is 2 years old, has decided his extra job is to help me exercise the horses when I am in the round pen. He sits right in the middle, tall and proud, and oversees everything.
   The dogs and horses even play together. The horses enjoy running around chasing each other (in play). They even include the dogs, with each getting a turn at being "it".

[Picture of: Kellek Jax]
Kellek Jax with his miniature horses.

   The other day, our horses' friendly vet was passing by, and thought he saw one of the minis stretched out sick in the pasture, all by itself. So, he stopped. As he got out of his truck, he wondered if our dogs - who know him - would let him in to doctor the sick horse. At that moment, the 'horse' jumped up, running straight towards him, barking "Hello!". It was Hakim! Since Anatolians and minis are the same size - who knew?!
   Although the dogs and animals are friends, the dogs know their "job" is protection, and they do it very well.

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