mulch eating dog - burp!

karlajr(z5 CO)July 30, 2011

My dog has taken to eating my new mulch; Gorilla Hair type, I believe. He then comes in the house and has "issues" from both ends. Any suggestion on what I can do to keep him from consuming it? He is a sheltie, house dog, about 12 years old. I have never had mulch that was easy for him to get at before this season.

Thanx in advance for any suggestions!

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Well, I had to look up "gorilla hair."

Is shredded redwood bark (gorilla hair) commonly used in Colorado?

I think you might want to check with a pet forum. Personally, I can't imagine why a dog would want to eat redwood bark.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:20AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Maybe he needs more fiber in his diet! :^D

Can you put up a temporary fence, like chicken wire or plastic netting? Maybe that would be enough to get him out of the habit. Or maybe get some of that spray that deters pets and spray the perimeter of your mulched areas.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:07PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

What about some mesh, like is commonly sold to protect berries from birds? That would lay low, at least...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Dogs will eat just about anything, including things that are potentially deadly. Cat poop seems to be a particular delicacy. Fortunately, cats are a lot better at getting around things like those gates you use to keep babies from falling down the stairs than dogs are, so that's an easy one to solve.

If the dog develops a taste for your mulch, you can try going outside with the dog and giving him a good spray with the hose if he gets too close to the mulch. He'll quickly learn that he gets sprayed when he approaches the mulch and will avoid it at all costs. Or he'll learn to look around and only snack on the mulch when you're not out there (a much likelier outcome in my opinion).

A fence might help. Other than that, your best bet is probably a mulch that the dog doesn't like.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:13AM
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kvenkat(5a Colo)

I am always amazed at some of the things dogs eat!

Hmmm.. sounds like you might need to take a multi-pronged approach. Maybe include an "invisible" fence? If that can train a dog to stay in a yard, I would think it could keep a dog out of your mulched areas as well.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:39PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I WAY second BP's suggestion to use the hose! It works!

The neighbors behind me have a pack of dogs! Two of them are Great Danes, and when they stand up against the (6' privacy) fence, they can see over the top of it! The fence is old!!! Having a 150 pound dog repeatedly "throwing" itself against the fence is NOT a good thing!!! I asked the neighbors nicely to please keep the dog from jumping up against the fence! Nothing happened! Either the neighbors didn't care, or they never figured out that they were the Alpha Males!!!

Alpha Male here!!! ;-)

This spring, as soon as it was warm enough to leave the water on, I left the hose charged and kept it with me when I was out in the yard. Every time I got near the fence the dog(s) jumped up on the fence to look and bark at me! I waited for them! Stalker, I! Every time their adorable little (???) faces appeared above the top of the fence, the hose was waiting for them--and they got it--right in the face! Only took a few days to slow them way down! I wasn't trying to slow them down, I was out to STOP them, and consistently watched them and gave them a bath every time I possibly could! Even started to wait for them to jump up on my (side) neighbor's fence whenever they let their dogs out. Couldn't get them in the face over there, so I just held the hose (a wand with a breaker on it) over the top of the fence and "rained" all over their parade! In less than two weeks I had them almost completely "trained," and it's extremely unusual for them to come "visit" me anymore, even when I'm working right up against the fence! And besides the Great Danes, I also broke the next two biggest ones of standing right on the other side of the fence where I was working and barking--and barking--and barking...... I couldn't get them in the face, so I just "rained" on them over and over! No more barking.

For it to work, you need to really surprise them, at least the first few times. After that your dog will probably start to watch you anytime you're near/holding the hose, and once he's figured out that chowing down on the mulch is gonna be a "shocking" experience, betcha he'll stop pretty quickly. You need to be consistent--just like with a 2-footed kid--but if you are, I don't think it'll take long! (You need a quick shutoff valve on the hose so you can turn it on and off instantaneously.)

My last (second of two) dog (CHILD!) was an All American! Her mother was a pure bred Pekinese, but she looked just like a small Shelty! She thought horse sh...., I mean horse poop was a delicacy!


P.S. BP, nice to see you're still around here!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:10PM
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