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Gardens for Dogs

We have a 2 year old Labrador pup, however we used to have a lovely family garden, the grass is thin on top, the bulbs all dug up and the climbing plants are not climbing they have gone.

It is not a huge garden but I want this year to sort it out so we can enjoy it again and so can our dog. Lying in bed at night I think the only thing for it is concrete, but I love the hedge and I love grass, am I dreaming can you have a garden and a dog. I hate gravel so that is not an option.

The Garden is North East facing and we get some day light and we can grown things in it.

Has anyone got an idea which will help me out here




  • i allso have two dogs and some things got damaged but now the dogs are older 

    they do not destroy things. i clearded up the mess each time and now i still have a lovely garden, so my advice is clear it up and replant things if they are badly damaged

    but otherwise most hardy plants of mine recoverd from the dogs.

  • SuziSuzi Posts: 11

    It is so refreshing to here this, I spent two hours searching the internet for ideas and all it  could offer was carving up the garden one small piece for us humans, then  watch the dogs to see where they go and give them what they naturally want - the lot. One site did suggest putting stones around young trees but we get very little light, so the last thing I want is lots of shade, we get such little day light I want to get as much as we can when we have it.

    What plants have you found can take the ware and tear of the dogs

    Thanks again for replying

  • Hi we have a labrador and have had him since he was 15 weeks.  He's been great and is now 9 yeaars old.  Thankfully we never had a problem with him and the garden but a few years back we got a seconde lab a black on as a pup and he was a nightmare.  Not only weeing on everything in sight but also eating stuff and digging it up.  We too considered sharing out the garden but that didn't feel right for the whole family including him. Slowly as he aged he has fussed less with the garden and the plants and now just enjoys sitting in the garden watching the children paly and us doing the gardening.  In addition we found that the brids were happy to land in the garden as he keeps the cats away.

    Don't give up on having a family garden - if you have tendr plants just make sure the dog can't wee on them and keep them out of reach also make sure the dog has something to play with so that they don't get board.  We found that the swing ball was great as he could chase the ball around however he has pulled if off the string a few times and reattaching it can be difficult.  Hope this helps!!!


  • My dog (thats her in the picture) who sadly is'nt with us anymore, came out into the garden with me from a puppy. She did have a habit of biting off the tulip heads in the spring and pulling out munure and rolling in it. All though I would be busy in the garden  I tried to give her attention as well and play with her. It seemed that by including her in the garden it made her less distructive. As time went on she would sit and enjoy the sunshine then come over to me for a bit of a play. I think its just a case of trying to keep them occupied when they are very young.  I really miss her.

  • batbat Posts: 4

    Dogs are trainable - you can get them to empty in one designated spot, a few firmly structured ground rules i.e. do's & don'ts, backed up with verbal instructions if necessary.   I have 2 dogs presently (had as many as 7 at a time) - Marcus seems to me to be on the right wave length.

    Keep trying both the garden & the dogs are worth it.

  • SuziSuzi Posts: 11

    We got her when she was 8 weeks old, and from day one she loves being in the garden  as I love   being outside, you would think great.

    I play throw and fetch with her when I am doing jobs in the garden, and yes she will roll around the garden on her back in the sun, sounds great....but she will climb into the hedge and chase the birds away. The grass is awful, given it was a new turf lawn about 4 years ago it is heart breaking.

    As the garden is small she has a loopy 10 minutes every few days, and this is when she causes her greatest devastation; breaks everything in sight she is quiet like a dog possessed.

    She is walked regulary, and we are trying firm rules with her, she doesn't listen so now I get right down to her level and say NO! as firmly as I can, which seems to work at least with her licking the dirty dishes in the dishwaher.

    She has stopped digging whole in the grass, but to be honest from her wild runs and excitement bursts, plus weeing I think a few whole I can fill, the roses, she clipped to the butt, and neatly stacked all the trimmings on the slabs for me ...these  it was recommended would be dog proof, the only shrub I have found she leaves alone is Lavender, which I put in pots. We had to lose the strawberry bed as she kept pulling all the plants up before during and even after they produced fruit.

    I am told the older she get the better she will be, the only problem is will I have any garden by then, I love her to pieces, she is a true member of the family only problem is she loves the garden for very different reasons.

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I do need as much help as I can get., I think to be firm is the right way (Bat), to include her is also a good idea but I do. I might even see if I can get a swing ball for her.


  • just an idea, why dont you grow your strawberrys in a strawberry planter pot, and then keep it out of your dogs way. Im having to think about protection for my plants from chickens.. which is a little easier as I can use netting, although you may be able to have plants in pots and keep them temporarily behind some wire trellis whilst your dog is playing bouncy games. I also have planters attached to the walls which are out of dogs reach.

  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    I agree with Heins57 that they should grow out of it (especially if they are tired out with long walks).  We've had a (completely mad) springer spaniel from 10 weeks and he completely decimated the garden last year.  I had prepared myself for some damage but it was alot worse than I expected.  I did train him to use the loo in the same place (bottom of the garden on some concrete which we hosed down regularly). 

    Main damage was done by eating or breaking off plants when he ran through them. 

    He is now a year old and although still has his mad 5 minutes, tends to stick to the paths and paved areas.  I cut off the perenniels he damaged last year and expect them to grow back this year.  I think I have only had one fatality that I can see at the moment which isnt too bad considering.

  • Hello dog-lovers,

    Suzi, I'm glad you're getting some good info! Here are some bits and pieces from the site about dogs in the garden. Firstly some advice about how to deal with dog wee. Secondly Adam's written a blog about his poodle when she was four and then when she was 5 - 6. Hopefully they will give you something to look forward to!

    Emma team

  • Hi Suzi - I hope the pup and garden are getting on better now.  I'm new to gardening and just joined the forum this week.  I'm yet to find out what my dog is like with my plants, but I agree with the other comments, I think the trick is a combination of keeping him occupied so he doesn't get bored & destructive and also be firm with him so he knows his boundaries  (what is he allowed to do and what is he not).  My dog is a working cocker spaniel and like labs his main motivator is food image So we have found that an easy way to keep him happy is with the famous 'Kong'  - these are indestrucible rubber dog toys and you simply fill it with whatever you want and then let the dog have a good time unstuffing it to get at the treats.  I stuff it with chicken, ham, kibble etc and also something gooey like peanut butter, squeezy cheese, meat paste to hold everything together.  If you find he gets very good at unstuffing then you can freeze the kong to make it last longer.   Now that we have a garden, I also plan to give our dog real bones more regularly to knaw on in the garden, not only will these keep him occupied but he will be cleaning his teeth at the same time and healthy teeth goes a long way to meaning a healthy dog. Just remember the golden rule of bones.  Never give your dog cooked bones.

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