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My dogs & flower beds

June 23rd, 2005, 10:29 AM
Hi everybody,
I'm new to this group. I have a 10 yr old male chocolate lab and 2 10 month old female White German Shepherds. Our 2 angels (as my husband refers to them) have been a real pleasure to have.
I have a question if anybody knows any trainig techniques on my problem. We live on a 5 acre place, and we have an underground wire fence with radio collars to keep them inside the yard which works great. I have many flower gardens and they are my joy in the summer time. My problem is my 2 "Angels" are digging up the dirt and laying on my plants, I have tried sprays, cayenne pepper, but nothing seems to help. Any body have any ideas. They know that they are not supposed to be in there, because I'll tell them bad dogs and they cower, but the minute my back is turned or I leave I come home to diaster.
Thanks, Littleburnsy

June 23rd, 2005, 10:35 AM
The way I stopped my 7 week old from going into it was that I put her on a 10 foot lead and walked around the yard every morning while housebreaking her, I would take her close to my flower gardens, and I have many, each time she'd sniff a flower, I'd praise her, but each time she'd set just one foot on the soil, I'd do the "ah ah" sound, loudly, and she'd quickly step off, it took about a week of doing this, roughly about 8 times a day, but she no longer tramples anything.

June 23rd, 2005, 11:04 AM
I completely disagree with the use of radio collars for a variety of reasons.
This is part of your problem with the dogs on the garden beds. They have so much sense of freedom they'll go anywhere. AND don't think you or your dogs are safe with this mechanism. You and they are not.

I know it's hard if you have a large property, what do you do right? Fencing off a large area of play for them is a good idea if you can do it.

However, the collars you are using have been known to malfunction and cause damage, including shock burns to the dogs neck incase you weren't aware of that. In addition, dogs can and WILL cross the shock line, then be afraid to return and take off. As well, it doesn't prevent or deter anyone or any creature from coming on to your property a HUGE HUGE liability risk.

So thats just something I thought u may be interested in knowing about.

June 23rd, 2005, 11:51 AM
Yes, Luba! A fenced off play area is a fantastic idea... Or a really good-sized kennel.. protected from the elements and lined with good bedding material (not concrete) for when you're not home... Assuming of course that we're talking about you not being gone for really long periods of time. :)

How tempting these flower beds can be to our dogs... I mean.. they see US digging around in there... they smell our scent in the soil... There must be something really good about them or else we wouldn't be in there right? The only thing that ever worked for us was good old fashioned spying. As soon as our dog stepped into the bed they got a stern "out" (which we also used for other off-limits areas such as the baby's room, etc.). But you see - they quickly learn at this age.. that there is no 'out' when you aren't home or when you are off doing something else... and it's hard to reinforce the training!! Thus -- it's really good to have a safe and comfortable place for them to be when you can't supervise. With age and wisdom - patience and training - our dogs could be trusted without the constant supervision...

P.S. We tried the cayenne pepper once.. and our dog LOVED it... LOL My husband looked at me and said, "Oh no.. now she thinks we're seasoning everything for her!!" But then again - her breeder was a Cajun man.

June 23rd, 2005, 03:09 PM
I'd steer away from anything like cayenne pepper, it can get into their eyes and cause great discomfort and they will start scratching at their eyes, same thing can happen to the squirrels or other visitors to your garden.

Have you taught your dogs the word OFF or OUT

June 23rd, 2005, 03:32 PM
I got the orange flags on wire posts from TSC, and an air horn. I laid out the flags in a border around the yard to keep her out of the flower beds... and when she went beyond the flags I blew the horn behind my back.. act of god and such. Annoyed the neighbours for a few days.. but It means I'm no longer screaming 'Cider out./.. out now' at the top of my lungs daily.

doggy lover
June 23rd, 2005, 05:31 PM
Dogs just don't understand that gardens should not be dug up to them it is just dirt for them to dig. Get them their own sand pit to dig in a burry some of their toys and bones only let them dig in that spot. I have large gardens at my cottage and last time I was there Tucker had a poop in one of mine, he never digs in them but he walks through them, when I tell him off he just looks like what is your problem, he doesn't understand flowers from weeds. :p

June 23rd, 2005, 08:01 PM
Your gardens are your territory and your dogs should be able to respect that. Just like you teach them not to dig at the carpets in the house they can learn not to dig in YOUR dirt. Yes, they could have their own dirt to dig in and that way they get to still have fun.
You need to work on setting boundaries. They will stay out if they respect your word - just like a child who doesn't go in the cookie jar when you say not to versus the child who sneaks a cookie when you aren't looking.
You need to start on leash and set boundaries they cannot cross in the house, when you are successful there you can move it outside into the garden. Use a word that they can connect to like "out". It is up to you to teach and be consistent and persistent in your teaching - otherwise they learn (especially at their teenage stage) that they can sneak behind your back.

June 24th, 2005, 10:01 AM
Thanks to everybody with your comments. I have tried the flags in the beds which we used to teach them about the boundaries. It didn't work, I thought if they saw the flags that they wouldn't enter them in case they got shocked, they just ignored them. We have started watering the bare ground under some big cedar trees and they seem to dig there, which is fine. It will just be a learning summer since this is there first one, and it does get very hot here and they dig to get cool. Again thanks again for all your help.