Weird Question~ Dog vs Mini

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IowaPines

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Okay, so bear with me here for a moment. I have a question that isn't completely horse based but I feel like this is the best crowd to ask. I was wondering if anyone could contrast the price of a dog vs a mini horse/pony? Buying, upkeep, vetting, ect? This would be a large dog, great dane sized for example. I'm looking at the price of dogs vs ponies as driving animals, it's more niche but it is a sport! Thanks a bunch for any awnsers/thoughts!
 
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BSharpRanch

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I'm biased, mini hands down. They live longer, more productive lives than large breed dogs. Less liability with horses. Horses are quieter (as a rule.
 

IowaPines

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I'm biased, mini hands down. They live longer, more productive lives than large breed dogs. Less liability with horses. Horses are quieter (as a rule.
I definelty understand the liability, that could be a huge plus, the longer lives as well. Could you elaborate on the productivity? I feel like dogs would be more versatile in their jobs but it could be my lack of horsey experience talking too.
 

MBENES

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As the owner of both a 126 lb dog and a mini, I don't think you can compare. My dog protects my sheep, mini, chickens and ducks, and provides me with a different level of companionship. On the other hand, he requires a meat protein based diet that is harder on the environment and my wallet. Some dogs love pulling a cart, but it is hard on their joints, so I think a mini is better suited for that purpose. My dog has given himself the job of flock guardian and border patrol. He will not deign to fetch or pull. I am hoping that once we are past foaling, I can get a cart for the mini.
 

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IowaPines

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As the owner of both a 126 lb dog and a mini, I don't think you can compare. My dog protects my sheep, mini, chickens and ducks, and provides me with a different level of companionship. On the other hand, he requires a meat protein based diet that is harder on the environment and my wallet. Some dogs love pulling a cart, but it is hard on their joints, so I think a mini is better suited for that purpose. My dog has given himself the job of flock guardian and border patrol. He will not deign to fetch or pull. I am hoping that once we are past foaling, I can get a cart for the mini.
Do you find the minis less expensive overall or just food wise? Are you feeding a higher quality kibble or some sort of homemade/raw diet? Just curious :)
 

MBENES

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My dog eats a primarily chicken based raw diet that includes sardines and beef heart. On the other hand, the paddock, barn and fencing required to keep the mini is a huge expense, compared to the shower stall that my dog prefers to his memory foam extra large bed. I don't think minis are any less expensive than a cob size or smaller pony. The vet, dentist and farrier bills are the same.
 

Abby P

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I have owned both a 120-lb dog and now I have a 37" mini and I'd go with the mini hands down! Probably not less expensive on an annual basis although it might be if you have your own place, board adds up although my feed bill is very cheap compared to that of a big horse (I rough board, so basically just rent a paddock). I trim his feet myself and lately horse vetting is cheaper than dog vetting. If your goal is driving, a horse is much more suited to that than a dog. Large dogs tend to have orthopedic issues and short lifespans. They also cost a lot to buy up front. I paid $1000 for my Amish-trained mini at 5 years old and unless something happens I'm likely to be able to drive him until he's in his 20s. A typical purebred dog is going to be $2500+ and the jumbo breeds are lucky to see 10-11. But of course a dog and a horse are so very different, they aren't really directly comparable, so it's really personal preference. If you want to get serious about driving, definitely a horse - if you just want to goof around and have fun in your backyard, sure, hitch up your dog! :)
 

Marsha Cassada

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I think a horse would be more expensive than a dog. Not only feeding and health, but all the accoutrements needed for your sport niche. Of course, I suppose the harness dog niche has its own type of bling and wow items that would add to the cost.
I had to go and look up the topic and it looks like wonderful fun!
 

Willow Flats

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When I was at Kingston Saddlery picking up Annie's cart I saw a type of cart I had not seen before and wasn't offered on their website. When I asked about it he said they were for dogs. He said there was a large group of people somewhere near here that he orders them for but does not offer them for shipping.

I didn't know this existed either only having seen teams of dogs with sleds on television in the past.

Would be interesting to talk to one of the dog people to see what it was all about.
 

Dragon Hill

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I love both dogs and horses. My first Doberman I was training to pull a scooter(very exciting) until he got hurt. Would you believe he got hurt trying to help corral a loose mini stallion? I made the stallion turn and when he did he ran over my dog. 😭 You are much more likely to find a mini suited to driving than a dog. The right temperament, the right drive, and desire. A dog would be more versatile (companionship, protection, other sports), and easier to house and transport, but a mini would be more suited to driving if you are wanting to get seriously into driving. I would not even compare purchase prices because that's the least amount of money you will ever spend on any animal.
 

IowaPines

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When I was at Kingston Saddlery picking up Annie's cart I saw a type of cart I had not seen before and wasn't offered on their website. When I asked about it he said they were for dogs. He said there was a large group of people somewhere near here that he orders them for but does not offer them for shipping.

I didn't know this existed either only having seen teams of dogs with sleds on television in the past.

Would be interesting to talk to one of the dog people to see what it was all about.
There's a few people who offer carts for dogs, though it's hard to find them! I really like the Chalo Sulky dog carts. I was going to start my giant mutt mix on carting but she has hip dysplasia so that's a no go. I didn't know that Kingstom saddlry sold dog carts!
 

IowaPines

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I love both dogs and horses. My first Doberman I was training to pull a scooter(very exciting) until he got hurt. Would you believe he got hurt trying to help corral a loose mini stallion? I made the stallion turn and when he did he ran over my dog. 😭 You are much more likely to find a mini suited to driving than a dog. The right temperament, the right drive, and desire. A dog would be more versatile (companionship, protection, other sports), and easier to house and transport, but a mini would be more suited to driving if you are wanting to get seriously into driving. I would not even compare purchase prices because that's the least amount of money you will ever spend on any animal.
I agree! Honestly the purchase price for a registered mini and a purebred dog (Only saying purebred as I'd want a puppy who's parents have been screened for hip dysplasia) are probably very similar! I'm sorry about your dobe, they're great dogs! I'm training my mutt dog to pull my bike
 

Abby P

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One thing I WOULD love to do with a dog is skijoring. It seems like a ton of fun and you can do it with a normal-large dog (like a lab or whatever, you don't need a giant dog). There is a guy I see around here who has a little Pitbull mix just about as wide as she is tall that pulls him all over on the bike lanes on a skateboard. It seems much easier on the dog than pulling an actual cart.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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Find this topic interesting........The things that stand out for me is the initial purchase price may be close between a mini and purebred large dog, but then there is the life span difference to consider......Large dogs MAY live for 10 years, but won't be able to pull a cart for all that time....possibly for about 5 years of its life? Minis would be able to pull a cart from age 4, into their 20's if cared for properly. Daily feeding? I don't know. Do some research on the cost of quality dog food and the cost of quality hay and supplements. Both should have shots. Then there's the cost of worming the horse several times a year, plus the hoof trimming needed. So, balance that all out. Oh, and of course there is the issue of COMPANIONSHIP.
 

MerMaeve

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I agree with everyone else, but another thing is that dogs require more care if you were to go on vacation.
Dog - needs to be let out every few hours, feeding, exercise, needs more company, etc.
Mini - feeding/hay, live in their bathroom 😉 , doesn't need as much company, doesn't need as much exercise, etc.
 
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BSharpRanch

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I definelty understand the liability, that could be a huge plus, the longer lives as well. Could you elaborate on the productivity? I feel like dogs would be more versatile in their jobs but it could be my lack of horsey experience talking too.
Large breed dogs have a very short life span, 10-12 years, compared to 20-30+ years for a mini.
So their productive time would be pretty short just a few years, compared to a couple decades with a mini.

However, due to their size they tend to have joint issues, especially doing something like driving.


I don't know what the weight % is for dogs to pull, I'm sure that number would be like the minis, it all depends...level pavement/solid dirt...hilly dirt...grass...deep sand.

As for companionship, I absolutely LOVE my minis. The ones I take out boardjoring are awesome companions with the plus side that I don't have to worry about them wanting to go after another animal or human. (I see this often when out on public trails).
 

Cayuse

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About the liability, it must be a regional thing. Here most people carry liability insurance on their horses cause everybody sues at the drop of a hat. I don't let anybody near my horses anymore because of it and I'm insured. They are known (horses in general ) as an "attractive nuisance" and it is the owners responsibility to keep fools away. So much for personal accountability :mad: and common sense.
I think a dog would be cheaper to keep, no farrier and horse trailer needed, vet probably cheaper in the long run as no farm fee involved.
 

Dragon Hill

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plus side that I don't have to worry about them wanting to go after another animal or human
Yeah, I have another dog that has the drive and stamina and would probably pull, but he is a hunting breed dog and follows his nose. Those sudden 90 degree turns at full speed are not conducive to good health. 🤣
 
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