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Question
Posted by: Georgina | 2008/01/09

Garden being destroyed

I have two 1-year-old pups - a labrador and a German Shepherd-cross. Between them, they are effectively destroying our garden.
We recently had new lawn laid and a new irrigation installed. We try to keep them off the lawn most of the time but when we do allow them onto it, they dig holes in various spots right in the middle of the lawn. They also chew all the sprinkler heads on the irrigation system.
I have a third dog - a 5-year-old GSD - and they all play together very nicely. I leave them loads of toys and chewy treats when I leave for work in the morning to try to alleviate boredom. In fact, most of the damage seems to happen when we are at home with them.
Does anyone have any tips on how to stop this destructive behaviour?
Many thanks, Georgina

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Our expert says:
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There have been queries about such behaviour in the past so please search the archives for destructive behaviour.

If they damage the garden and irrigation when you are home it could be that they are attention seeking.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lea | 2008/01/11

Hi have the same problem with my Basset. I have not found a cure for destroying the grass but I will definately try your suggestions Blaah. What I can suggest for the beds is a product called Persuader. It is a pet electric fence with low electricity. We put it around all our beds and Alex the Bassets only tried once to get in there and never again.

The shock is very light and is more of a scare tactic than a hurt. I now have lovely beds but no grass.

Reply to Lea
Posted by: Jean | 2008/01/09

How about giving them a place where they ARE allowed to dig? Find a spot which would suit you for them to dig and then fill the spot with soft sand. Hide treats, toys, etc in the sand. Then encourage them to dig there - for which they will get a reward (the treat/toy they find). If you catch them digging in your lawn, take them to their own spot and show them that this is where they can dig. Dogs dig, period, and it is easier to allow them a spot, than to try and prevent it.

Reply to Jean
Posted by: Blaah | 2008/01/09

sorry the produt could also be call GETOFF
my bottle is finished so i can't refer to it now and my mind is now blank of the actual name

good luck

Reply to Blaah
Posted by: Blaah | 2008/01/09

welcome to my world
hubby recently took up gardening to help with stress and our ladX pup decided to take up landscaping he is very critical of what we do in the garden and rips out what we plant that he doesn't agree with or just runs through it destroting everything in his path including my japanese maple tree

to be honest he started with the grass and that has stopped
now he is in the beds and we are working on that problem ad it is getting better

this is what we did about he grass

new grass has a fishy smell from the irragration system and fertilization used
doggies want t eat it or investigte it
so unfortunately till that smell goes away you will have a bit of a problem with digging
ok where they dig put their poop there
if you catch them in the act say a firm no and ignore them while fixin the mess (if you replace and water removed grass it will take again, that i why on golf courses they request player to replace difts they make), mke sure they know they have done wrong
you can also put on the sprayer and wet them while they are in they act (unfortunately thi did not work wit my pup as it became a gam, he loves water and getting wet, but you can try it)
but seeing as they are eating you sprayer i would suggest you put PETOFF around the sprayers, you can get it at some vet stores, menlyn pet shop and Pick N Pay hyper, it is a green goo but don't over do it as it can make plants go yellow, you can also place it in the offending areas (it does't make grass go yellow easily unless you go over board)

tabacco dust works on some dogs, or lion poo (if you can get)

never ever put down bone meal fertiliser or dung fertiliser
your dogs will destroy everything where that is put down

treat you grass with superfosfate (sp) and 323 to promote growth (water well when using 323) superfosfate takes long to absord and i would suggest using it in winter months but it can be used in summer especially with all this lovely rain.

they are doing this to get your attention
so if you catch them do run after them waving your arms and making a scene as it becmes a game

good luck
p.s. perhaps you should buy a large plastic container and fill it with water if your dogs like water
i found if i leave a swimming area for my wanton gardener he doesn't do as much damage as he is too busy swimming (even in his water bowl)

Reply to Blaah

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