We have rescued a Labrador who is about 2 yrs old but behaves like a 4 month old pup at best - lots of leaping and bounding and playing. We got him to keep our rescue terrier cross amused while I was laid up and unable to do walkies for several months.
She likes to dig up moles and rats and voles when she hears them underground so sometimes our lawn looks like a bombsite and I find plants in borders with their roots hanging in air. He likes to chase butterflies and romp through the pond and sit or lie near me when I'm working so I have squashed hostas and bent plants and child gates on the living room so he doesn't spray pond juice all over the sofas. I've also noticed brown patches appearing in the lawn where he's peed but the cons are far outweighed by the pros and we do love our daffy dogs.
I find long walks help, as do occasional play sessions and also making sure they have their own toys they can chase round the lawn rather than chasing each other round the borders. The best one is a large knotted rope they can both get hold of and play tug-of-war. A small football was good enough for Rasta when she was on her own but he shreds them in a few minutes.
Monty Don has a a golden retriever, named Nigel, who is the star of his weekly gardening program. Monty has even trained his dog to do tricks with cooked potatoes (as demonstrated on GW a couple of weeks ago). Monty can balance a cooked potato on Nigel's nose, and Nigel can then throw his head back and catch the potato in his mouth. Am wondering about meal times in the Don household.
Monty used to have a miniature dachshund, named Brenda, and a Jack Russell, named Barry-Anne. Not sure whether he still has those too, he may well.
I suggested to someone else a while ago that building a small sandpit for your dog is one possibility to keep him amused. My friend's collie loves finding toys and treats in his sand pit and he knows it's an area where he's allowed to dig.
I'm a dog owner too so I do sympathise, but it's the chickens that cause the most havoc. I have to fence off anything I don't want eaten!
I have a rescue dog and as he was mistreated he wasn't taught any boundaries, this means that my precious perennial borders have become his path ways!! I have to say that I don't worry too much about it and over time you will see, which plants can withstand a little rough treatment from our beloved four legged friends! Anything that is tall and creates good clumps work well I have found, also mixing in good size ornamental grasses with your plants can help? Raised beds are another alternative which have also worked for me? I also have a wildlife & wild flower area which he runs around but as it doesn't have to look so pristine you can get away with a bit more 'trampling!' I have used old branches twisted together or laid on top of each other to make raised beds, divides and paths, which is also a good way to create an extremely informal barrier/fence (there are some pictures of this on my blog below if it is something which might work for you?)
The most important thing is to just enjoy the pleasure your dogs give you and then adapt your garden if and as necessary, there is absolutely no reason why you can't enjoy both!!!
All goes to show you should do some research before you get a dog.
Small gardens are not really suitable for large dogs. Labs were bred to be working gun dogs; not small garden dogs.
People don't seem to appreciate that dogs get destructive or otherwise unmanageable when they are bored. That is not the dog's fault; it is the fault of the owner.
Or the fault of the breeder who sells pups to well-intentioned people who don't have the facilities or lifestyle to meet the dog's needs.
How precisely is the breeder to know the circumstances of the people they sell dogs to? The questioning would have to be pretty intrusive. And not all breeders are totally responsible. Some are in it solely for the money.
As an example, border collies, a prime example of highly intelligent working dogs, are often bought by people who have not the faintest idea how to handle them. Which is pretty sad for the dog.
Responsible breeders do check out their clients before letting their puppies go. Unfortunately, not all are responsible.
I also agree that it's best to check out suitable breeds before getting a dog to make sure your house and garden are adquate for their needs and their personality matches your lifestyle and faciities. This isn't so easy when it come sto rescue dogs whether mixed race or pure. They've often been badly neglected and/or abused and require plenty of time and patience.
Our two are very different characters - one is a terrier cross of unknown parentage who looks like a Labradoodle. She was 11 months old when we got her and is 5 now and has no more "issues". She is tenacious, intelligent, sociable and well behaved but likes to dig and chase rodents in the garden plus birds, hares and roe deer on walkies. Games of fetch are a tug of war. He is a 2 yr old Labrador we've had for 3 months and is very daffy and playful but timid. He bounces round the garden, in and out of the pond, understands that Fetch means Retrieve but he's a bit of a scaredy cat with most humans, especially men and boys.
Fortunately, we have a large garden with a large expanse of grass and some secret-ish paths where they can go and run and hide and play. The damage they do is minimal compared to the fun we have with them and plants recover well on the whole.
Hi Obs - how are you these days? Good to hear that Rasta's playmate has settled in so well.
As far as choosing a breed of dog goes, I reckon there are so many "fashions" these days that it's a pity people don't think first before they buy - e.g. if you don't have the sort of lifestyle that suits what was bred to be a working dog, you're probably asking for trouble if you can't give the dog the amount of exercise/work/entertainment it needs. Ongoing maintenance is something people don't often think about much as well - I dread to think what it costs to have a dog's coat professionally trimmed, for example. Have just paid over £70 this morning for booster jabs for The Accomplice - and, being a whippet, care of his coat etc is minimal! The late Charleyfarley's successor (whippet - of course!) is doing fine - he's a bit whiney sometimes, and I can't always "read" him the way I've been able to with all my previous whippets. He's quite like HCF in terms of wanting to be outdoors a lot, and not nearly so much of a couch potato as T.A. is. Just goes to show that even dogs of the same breed can be quite different in terms of character.
Hi Ma. Doing well thanks and fully recovered from the op. There are lots of hidden costs. Bonzo Dog was free to acquire, despite being a pure Labrador. However he cost me €170 for all his jabs including rabies and the microchip which we need for his passport, €100 for his cage, €100 for his basket and bedding, €100 to be castrated and then collar, harness, lead, name tag, toys, bowls and he eats like a horse given half a chance. At least his training is free cos we adopted him through our trainer.
Rasta costs €50 every two months for her haircut plus annual jabs, food, kennels when needed. All cheaper than in the UK from what I can tell.
They get at least an hour's walk every day, longer at weekends and then play in the garden. Both like to "help" when I'm gardening.
Do your two get on well? I'm sure you'll learn to read the new one soon enough.