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How do I discourage hedgehogs from coming into the garden?

I have a ten year old Staffy that I re-homed last year and, unfortunately, he will pick up any hedgehog that he sees. Hedgehogs have always been welcome in my garden previously, but after rescuing a few from his jaws last summer and removing them from the garden, I feel I should be discouraging them from coming in now just to keep both hedgehog and dog safe from injury. So far this year he has already picked up two that we've come across on our late evening walk round the block, or possibly the same one two evenings in a row.
My old dog just used to stand and bark at them so I have no idea how to stop this one from just snatching a hedgehog off the ground as soon as he spots it, and if he can smell one in the garden he will just hunt around until he's found it.
Thanks, Valerie


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551
    surely he'll learn that hedgehogs hurt and he'll leave them alone?
  • Valerie 7Valerie 7 Posts: 59
    You'd think so, but it doesn't look that likely. And how many hedgehogs risk injury while I'm waiting for that to happen. He grew up on a small holding so I have no doubt that he's been doing this for years.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited May 2020
    In that case all you can do is block every single access hole in your fences and hedges that are 4" diameter or larger.  I've a feeling you knew that though.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,942
    A muzzle?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Valerie 7Valerie 7 Posts: 59
    So there's nothing I can plant that they would find off putting?
    Trying to block all the gaps could be difficult but I'll give it a go. Am I right in thinking that they can climb fences too?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    No, hedgehogs are poor climbers and I often sit giggling watching them on the security camera trying to climb onto a raised bed which is only 10 inches high.  There is one spot which is 2 inches lower and they can just about manage that. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Valerie 7Valerie 7 Posts: 59
    Fairygirl said:
    A muzzle?

    Doable for the evening walk I suppose, but I'm not putting a muzzle on him while he's at home.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,076
    edited May 2020
    No they cant climb fences ... they can climb steps  tho ... and get through quite small holes and under quite low gates.  And of course they can get through hedgerows. 

    My ex MIL had a rather unpleasant Corgi x Lhasa apso who treated hedgehogs the way badgers are reputed to tackle them. 

    Apart from the loss to the hedgehog population the unpleasantness of finding the ‘empty’ remains was awful ... so given that you’ve discovered this tendency in your dog @Valerie 7, I applaud your attempts to keep your neighbourhood hedgehogs safe 👍 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,932
    I'm guessing your dog is on one of those retractable leads if he's able to grab hedgehog before you can react (forgive me if l'm wrong). 
    The normal advice from rescues at the BHPS is to have your dog on a lead for his last visit to the garden each night. 

    Fairy girl's suggestion of a muzzle is a good one. As you are both a dog and hedgehog lover, it is the safest thing to do. The hedgehog population is under threat, and l have seen the results of dog attacks on hedgehogs,it's not pretty. I hope he hasn't caused serious injury to them - please note l'm not criticising you or your dog. This is a situation that can be resolved  :)

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    Staffies have an incredibly high pain threshold so the prickles won't put him off once he has grabbed one. I'd block access. Taking a muzzle on and off every few minutes will drive you both mad.
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