How can I keep my dog from eating my flowers?

the_farmers_wife(zone 5 Montana)February 8, 2006

I bought a bunch of bulbs yesterday and am super excited, but then DH reminded me that our puppy eats the things we plant. She was able to jump the garden fence last year and eat the peas and beans(I don't think she'll be able to this year) and she tore up the corn, which was also behind a (shabby) fence. But the flowers won't have any fencing or anything else protecting them from her! Is there anything I can put on sprouts and flowers to make them taste horrible, but that won't hurt the flowers? Or any other ideas. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

I've already ruled out killing the dog - DH and the kids actually like her. (just kidding about that one! I love the pup too, I just want her to stop destroying my growing things!)


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

There are numerous commercial repellents on the market, and I would bet that your area PetSmart or other pet supply store would have some on hand. Be sure to put plenty of chewy dog toys in the yard that your pet CAN chew on!

Ropel is the brand name of one of the most common taste repellents. It can be sprayed on plants. There are many other brands, many of them with hot pepper or hot mustard ingredients, which you may not want to expose your dog to.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2006 at 12:38PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

Try spraying or sprinkling things in your fridge. Try black and or chile pepper, garlic powder lime juice. You can safely try those without adding foreign chemicals to your plants and pet.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 1:11AM
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I do not mean this statement to be discouraging but I was never able to train our two min pins from beating
me to the ripe tomatoes or Jasmine flowers. Nor could I keep our old Chow Chow away from the Gardenia.
I am so thankful that they do not bother anything else. Some times pets and gardens do not compliment each
other. ;-]

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 10:19PM
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The commercial dog repellants generally have something like oil of citronella in them. One of the repellants is called Dogzoff. That combined with a lot of 'no's should do it. After all, puppy is older now.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 11:00PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I have lived at my current home for 28 years. In that time, I have had the extreme pleasure of having 3 German Shorthaired Pointers, a west Highland White Terrier, and our current extended family - a toy and a standard Poodle as my friends and companions. All the dogs were loved to the Nth degree and never mistreated in any way.

That said, one of the first commands these dogs were taught is "NO". They are made to understand that when their behavior is unacceptable, the "NO" command means STOP IMMEDIATELY and that if they do not stop, I am immediately ready to make them stop. Each of these dogs was trained as a puppy to stay OUT of the gardens.

I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but, if your dog(s) will not obey your command, the dog is training you to be subordinate in the pack. Your dog must know exactly who is boss and that it is not him/her.

I can raise my hand as though I was going to hit my dogs, or pull back my foot as though I was going to kick them and they will not respond by flinching or cowering because they are never abused. While training the dogs I use a 4 ft piece of dowel rod as an aid. I do not strike the dogs, I only use it to tap the dogs for attention or to move their position. Often, I only tap the ground for attention. The dogs recognize the training aid as a symbol of dominance - even though I never strike them. When I pick it up, the dogs are immediately attentive. Tapping the stick on the ground or carpet has about the same effect as an alpha dog growling at a subordinate.

Our dog's main fault is they think everyone is their friend come over to play. If you came to my home, they would want to nudge you to solicit pets. If I tell them no & they forget or ignore the command, I simply pick up the stick without saying anything. The dogs immediately are reminded they are subordinate and give up their aberrant behavior. This is not cruel, nor does it cause your dog to shun or hate you. Our dogs are extremely loving, seeking our constant companionship, and have no fear of being "punished". A stern word puts them in a submissive posture and anxious to please, unlike many other dogs I've seen that are obviously afraid of being struck.

From this you can gather that my advice is to establish yourself as pack leader and never give a command you are not immediately in position to insure the dog will comply with.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 12:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

bitter apple type spray .... your vet can recommend something harmless to the dog and the plants ....

trap the dog .... open mouth .. spray its mouth ... laugh at the reaction ....

then while holding him there on a leash .. squirt the plants .... while giving him a sniff of the bottle every now and then ... and lecture the dog on NO,NO etc.. whatever words you want ...

next day ... squirt a plant... let him sniff the bottle ... TALK STERNLY ABOUT 'NO' ... ETC ..

IN ESSENCE.. TRain the dog to HATE the stuff.. and recognize the smell ... pavlovian theory at work ...

it wont take long to transfer using the stuff.. to the voice commands ...

another trick is to leash the dog.. and walk the garden perimeter everyday ... reinforcing the verbal commands .. until you have trained yourself.. and the dog will follow your lead ....

you admit to having kids... you trained them to stay out of the garden ... you just have to do it with the dog ...

my dog is 8 ... the stuff is still under the sink .... every now and then i pull it out give him a sniff and chase him with the bottle... he thinks its a great game ... but if he walks in the garden .. all i have to say in an authoratative voice is GET OUT OF THE GARDEN .... and you ought to see him scoot .... lol



    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 2:41PM
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the_farmers_wife(zone 5 Montana)

So I assume that the stuff that's "safe" for dogs is also safe for the kids Ken mentioned? Al, I'd love to have the time to train the dog, (and yes, I understand that a well trained dog is WORTH the time) but I just don't. Since she's outside all the time and I'm not (and in fact will be out of town quite a bit this summer) I want a way to know she'll stay out with no reminders from me. Hubby will protect the garden, but my flowers will be on their own.

I've been thinking of putting plain ol' pepper on the top of the mulch when I plant the bulbs in case she tries to dig them up - maybe that association will help. (we get NO rain here, so it should last)

We'll stop at the pet store tomorrow and see what they've got!
thanks, all!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 5:50PM
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roxy77(Houston Z9)

I did some research and the pet stores should carry some products specifically designed for this purpose (use outdoors, specificially to protect plants). I am going to give it a try this weekend, if it works I will let you know.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 2:09PM
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Personally my dogs have their "own" area and my gardens thier "own" area.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 12:58PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

lol .. i didnt have to use the spray on the kids ... i could catch them ... lol ... couldnt catch the darn dog ...

heck .. with all the sour candies the kids love.... the little freaks would probably like the spray .. man .. some of the candies these days would make you and me hurl .... lol...


    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 2:34PM
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hopflower(z8/z15 CA Sunset)

Actually all you have to do is keep the seedlings or young plants convered with bird netting until they get up high enough to not interest the dogs. As you do this, train the dogs to stay out of the area. It is best to reward them from coming out of the area rather than punish them when going in; just make sure they understand it is better to be out of the garden than in it. Lead them out and reward them; call them and when they come reward them. After a few weeks of this, you can reduce the amount of treats and they will be trained to leave the area alone.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2006 at 11:38PM
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