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Incorporating Pet Friendly Ideas

Well it's already a certain that come Spring we'll be getting chickens (Bantams) in the garden who although they'll have their large secure fort knox may have supervised time free ranging around the garden (I need all the help I can controlling the local slug population) but we've now been given the green light for a German Shepherd. 

Does anyone have tried and tested methods of keeping harmony in the garden between the plants, vegetables, and paw prints?



  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Posts: 3,845

    Ahhh I didn't see this post. So you are getting a shepherd, lovely.

    they are such clever dogs you will have no problems if you train early. 

    I have always had dogs in my gardens, worst one was a guide dog puppy, but that's a story for another time! Don't allow them out alone for a while. Decide where you want them to do their business. choose a word ( we use " busy") and repeat over and over when you see them in action, reward with a treat. After a few days you will have a dog that pees goes on command.  Really saves time and mess in the garden.

    good luck! What fun

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Thanks Lily!

  • I find my own two hens cause considerable damage when let into the garden. If they are digging or looking for slugs they dig up/rip apart with their dinosaur feet whatever plant is harbouring the slugs.

    At this time of year damage is minimal if I rescue any root balls that have been dug up. In summer mine go for flowers/petals/bees too, in particular anything redimage They help with weeding in a way, bitter cress and dandelions but leave the roots in place.

    Hope all goes well for you with your new animalsimage 

    Wearside, England.
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Thank you Victoria: what kind of hens do you have? The chicken farm ours are coming from said bantams aren't quite as harsh on the garden.

  • Hi Clarington

    I haven't heard that about bantams which is interesting - mine are hybrid layers of some description from the enriched cage system so it's possible I have 'problem' birdsimage

    Hope you put some pics on when they're home and settled in...image

    Wearside, England.
  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    My collie Scout is obligng re peeing etc as well.  He was a 3 year old rescue when I got him, been living in a barn or tied up to a kennel so he hadn't a clue re civilised existence but he learnt very fast on a reward system.  Took him 48 hours to decide that being a house dog was an excellent career move and very little longer to learn a lot of useful habits.  There can be a slight problem if you have treats in your pockets when out and about.  I often find I have acquired an extra dog or two even when shopping if I have the same jacket on.  I've been followed into the lift to the car park in town and yesterday someone had tied a lovely old lab to a stand on wheels, which said lab was towing along behind me so I had to wait until his owner re-appeared image.

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    Oh Dorset how funny!

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    We have had several rescue dogs over the last decade or so that needed some guidance.

    Best not to use the garden as a play area or place of excitement. For me the 'trigger' for that is getting the lead out for walkies, or opening the back door on the car which means a trip out for walkies. Not associating this with the back garden helps a lot.

    Keep the garden as a peaceful place, where people are either busy working and dog is welcome to be there and keep a watchful eye, or a place where people sit and relax and dog can do so also and get some attention.

    The back garden doesn't need to be a toilet either, they will always pee up your prized plants, which is just a natural dog thing to do, I would rather have an area set aside at the front that is easy to clean up or take them out.

    In all just have a plan of what you want. If dog knows what is expected and not given mixed information of what is right or wrong, they will soon learn to do what makes you happy, 'cos it makes them happy too. It is instinct for dogs to want to poo and pee all over the garden, it is after all their 'territory' one just has to guide them that it isn't the done thing to do. Their territory can be much larger and more exciting than the back garden and going to visit it is a special part of the day for dog and owner. image

    Dorset I can just picture it now imageimage

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,068

    I'm lucky to have wild land as well as a formal garden. I trained my Border Collie not to wee or poo on the lawn in the garden area. Take him to a wild bit or out for a work and when he performs give lots of praise. Teach him the word "No" as soon as possible.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Best way Busy-Lizzie image

    It is worth just mentioning what usually happens with a rescue dog when it is first introduced to the garden. They will be in a routine of being in the kennels for much of the day and occasionally let out into an exercise yard.

    If one takes them home, the house becomes the kennel (and they may be in the habit of peeing in it so be prepared!), the garden becomes the exercise yard. So they will be in the habit of running around the yard, marking it in every possible spot as in the rescue center.

    What I find best is to not even introduce the back garden at first, hard to do because we all know they would love to get out there.

    I sort out the toilet issue of not going in the house first, getting them to ask to go out for either walkies or the area in the front garden.

    Only when this is totally routine do I introduce the back garden. Taking them out for short periods as if it is just another room in the house. Be ready to say 'no' to break the sniff and pee cycle and take them to the toilet area if they start to mark in the back garden and end the session (really just the same principle as if they decided to piddle in the kitchen). They soon learn peeing in the back garden is a 'no'.

    Works for me very well as they never form the habit of using the back garden as a toilet, they just see it as an extension of the living area with the same rules. image

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