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Buster's Fair Leroy and Rex in the meadow.
Buster's Fair Leroy and Dogue de Bordeaux, Rex
are at ease with each other in the meadow.

Did you ever see a Dogue de Bordeaux drive a Toyota? Our Rex is actually from the family of Hooch of the film, 'Turner and Hooch'! I've been told that Hooch was his great-grandfather!

One day I went out riding with Buster to the forest with two dogs going along with me. I got about all of the village of Woudenberg's (province Utrecht) police force behind me! But they didn't get me as I went along a narrow path where they couldn't get with their cars, and so I left them behind. Now I was permitted to ride my horse, at least, but not along the narrow path I used. Of course I was not permitted to take two dogs without lead along. Legally it is permitted to take one dog along with your riding horse, but on the lead.

Henk and Rex, Dogue de Bordeaux

Now this was long ago, I had my "crazy mongrel" Brin (from Brindle as he was) along, my crossbred Boxer with (speculation) maybe Dutch Shepherd (you know the breed?), and he could go along free or on the lead very well. Of course usually he went along free but he was educated - I also taught him to stand up against my leg so I could snap the lead line on or off from horseback. Still this dog was difficult. If he got the chance and felt that he had to, he would fight other dogs and even attack bitches, but he had tremendous stamina, really never got tired on long rides.

Young gangly Rex already guarding Leroy's stable!

Once I had him loose along with Buster, riding in the forest when I met a "Veldwachter" in Dutch - they're not police but officials keeping an eye on regions like forest. Brin was just standing there and the man asked me whether he was my dog. I said yes and was ordered to put his lead on. Well, the guy was impressed that I had a lead at all, and more so when I called Brin to stand up and got him on the lead within seconds. Anyway, I was permitted to move on with the dog.

Greyhound, Casper and Dogue de Bordeaux, Rex.

That other time in Woudenberg with the two dogs was of course less easy, one too much, the other dog being one of a friend of mine (we used to care for each others dogs and cats on occasion) of the Saarloos Wolfhond breed. He was a young, rather shy dog, not harming anyone, with very good stamina. He went along well but wasn't taught to go on a lead beside the horse. This dutch breed was bred by Mr. Saarloos using German Shepherds and Wolves (original Canis lupus), so not a breed used for hunting wolves, like the Irish Wolfhound! Hond just means dog (not hound, neither male dog) in Dutch, it's Hund in German.

Saarloos Wolfhond Khensu  went along
with Brin and Buster in Woudenberg.

Khensu shows a very easy, ground covering trot.

Some time after Brin died, I met Greyhound Charley on the streets of the city of Eindhoven - NL, where he was wandering. He had been used for poaching, most probably and the dog-home people knew him well. I called the owner who almost immediately said, "Don't you want him? He's inoculated and all."

Well, I did keep him, but did inoculate him again, got rid of his multitude of fleas and his severe tapeworm infection! But then he turned out to be a fine dog, first thinking that my cat was kind of a rabbit, there to catch and kill, but later becoming real good friends with the cat. Of course Charley got to know the horses too, and went along as well, on the lead or free. With the Greyhounds, Charley and later Casper, I didn't manage to teach them to get up against my leg to put the lead on, while on the horse. Ordering a Greyhound around is a difficult thing anyhow! But still I got quite crazy about Greyhounds, considering them very fine dogs to accompany me while riding out.

Dixie and Charley
Charley is introduced to a horse; he still doesn't know what to think of Pride's Dutch Dixie.
Recklinghausen - Buster & Charley
At a horse fair day for families in Recklinghausen, Germany, improvising a "how to lead a dog from your horse", with Greyhound Charley and Lad's Black Buster.
For that, the Dogue de Bordeaux is quite worthless! Pulling like mad on the lead, in any direction (many!) where his nose or other senses lead him, with very little attention for his handler (you'll have to activate his attention for you quite constantly, and insist on it), mostly following his own mind. Be assured, his normal life is not on the lead, usually he's roaming free at the farm, e.g. making an inspection tour on his own along the fences of the meadow - we do have to watch him though that he's not straying.

Henk's favorite dog breed is the Rottweiler. We tried to get a young Rottweiler from the dog-home years ago, but Casper didn't accept him. Then we went for a puppy, that was Rex and Casper kind of adopted him straight away. They always got along well afterwards, but Casper is the boss! 

Brin and Buster
Buster and Brin, running together in the fresh snow.

Greyhound Charley and my cat Bop
became good friends

We don't want to breed or sell any dogs but write about our horses being raised with and used to dogs. Also some (veterinary) advice for training a suitable dog to go along when horse-riding. And a big praise to our guard dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux, for being the best "Foal Alert" watch dog you can have. He was with me in the stable, waiting for Spirit's foal to be born, and he barked the alarm when the mare laid down to give birth! Not for a horse laying down to sleep, just this mare.