Hi Everyone and sorry for the long story but ...
I have a new dog, we got him from a rescue in Victoria. He is 2 years old, staffy x, and delightful. He originally came down from Canberra, so we assume he was a 'city' dog.
When he first arrived at our property he was very reactive with everything, the roos, chickens, sheep and my horse. He just seems really excited about anything that moves, but in a 'nice' way - waggy tail, goofy face and definitely no hackles or anything, just barking and lunging on the lead.
My husband and I have been working very hard with 'look at that' and treating him when these distractions are around and he is getting much better - we can walk past the chicken pen most days with just a look but no tugging and he will sit quietly and check out the roos and the sheep but not bark his head off and lunge.
My problem is my horse. I'm not sure if Chad (the dog) thinks Baz (the horse) is the biggest dog he has ever seen and just gets over stimulated or what. I have previously tried to let Chad sniff the horse and have succeeded on one occasion only. I take Chad to the paddock every afternoon when I feed the horse and tie him at a 'safe' distance. He started out barking his head off and lunging as soon as I go in the paddock. I thought maybe he was worried about me and my safety so I would go back and get him to calm down and treat him for being quiet, but the minute I stepped back into the paddock it would start again. But once I'm in the paddock he will calm down and stop barking and just stand and watch after a short period, so when I come out I tell him 'good boy' and give him a treat for standing calmly.
Recently I have been giving him a pigs ear to chew on when he is quiet and this has seemed to work the first time I go in the paddock, then I will come out and we sit quietly and watch the horse have his dinner. Then I go back into the paddock and he will start with the barking again - even with a pigs ear!
I am really sorry that this post seems convoluted, but I was just hoping someone may be able to give me some suggestions to help the dog just relax around the horse, I don't want to have to tie him up forever. BTW, we have only had Chad for 6 weeks and considering where he came from, we are very happy with his progress and I am sure eventually he will get use to the horse, but if I can do something to speed things up and help him I would be appreciative.