Teaching our dogs to stay out of the garden. - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-29-2010, 10:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Teaching our dogs to stay out of the garden.

My wife and I put in our garden, and even put up a plastic chicken wire fence to restrict access by the dogs (they're outside dogs). This is a vegetable garden and we want to keep the dogs out so that we can eat what we plant (and even share it with the dogs), I know they don't care about peed-on produce, but the thought kinda grosses out my wife and I'm not to keen on having dog pee on our fresh spinach. The dogs are both on the 'Sit means Sit' training, which comes with e-collars and a remote. I 'taught' them that being in the garden area (with the gate open) or even rubbing up against the fence results in discomfort (and we've even busted them a couple of times looking for ways to get in).

Little Stella, though, seems hellbent on getting into the garden and digging up our soil, it's like she's trying to see what's in the bottom of the dang garden boxes! We haven't planted yet because she keeps getting in there! Rhett gets the message, but she doesn't seem to get it. At first we were just buzzing her whenever we would notice that she's in there, then we buzzed her and put her in the dog run (fenced in area, segregated from her buddy, Rhett) for a couple of hours. We even caught her one night and she stayed the whole night outside alone, but she keeps going in there. I must be doing something that is not conveying the message that I want to send (staying out of the garden is good, being in the garden is BAD). Please help.
Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Get a taller fence for the garden.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe bring them inside, so they won't get in the garden when you cannot watch them...easily solved.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^ yes.

Or, here's an idea.. keep your dogs inside.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Morgan has spent 90% of her life inside. Never solved the problem of her going in the garden. She can't possibly be bored, she walked for 3 miles, then she played ball and herded the kids around. Yet she still gets in the garden, digs up the tulips, eats dirt... she has a sandpile she could be digging in, nope it's got to be the garden. The only thing she respects is a raised bed.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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SunCzarina: she doesn't go over the fence, she goes under, and any attempts at blockading their way in (old lumber staked in place), she pulls out of the way and gets in there anyway. And they are in raised beds.
Everyone else: they are outside dogs, we don't neglect them, we don't starve them, we bring them in at night. My wife and I are outside people, we spend alot of time outside playing with the kids and dogs and gardening, etc. We have a dog run that we used to use for storing garden tools away from the dogs (Rhett would chew through the garden hose like a thing possessed), but we moved all of that stuff out to use it as a penalty box for this case. If we brought the dogs inside, then we would have a destroyed house, and bored dogs (our interior is not all that open). We put the dogs in the run when we can't watch them (like going away from the house), but we don't want to keep them in there all day and have crazy, bored dogs. The question that I asked was how to teach my dog to stay out of the garden for those moments when we turn our backs, how do I teach her that the garden is not for her?
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Bury the fence deeper I'm only laughing becuase I put up with this for years. Morgan one summer removed all my eggplants and threw them all over the lawn. She'd wiggle her way into the garden, sit there waiting for me to find her and look like she was laughing at me.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I asked the same question last year...here was my solution...

If you can train a dog to stay in the yard then you can train them to stay out of the garden. Walk her around it, when she stepped in tell her No. Out. For the most part it worked. She had a few brain farts but was just trying to come back to me. There is a path down the center that she can walk in.

However, mine is NOT outside unattended. If yours is then get a good strong fence that she can't go over or under.

Just to add...this never, ever stopped her from racing me to the garden to pick a tomato for herself before I could get there....
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wonder if a low hot wire would help. We use hot wire on the top of our fence to keep the horses from bending over the chain link, and the dogs from going over the chain link fence. They only touch the wire once or twice and they'll stay away from the fence. You can set it up for really low doses.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok, I’m going to have to laugh along with Jenn for a moment here. I had a GSD who thought she was the world’s best gardener. Really she thought she was being a good gardener when she would go and dig in the garden. They’re smart dogs you know. She learned many things just by watching and this was one. The master digs in the garden, she thought she should too.

But Jenn does bring up a good helpful tip and one my husband actually did. Bury that fence deeper into the ground. I think we went at least a foot into the ground. It helps when you have dogs that have grown accustomed to visiting the garden by digging under the fence.

Also, I agree with Jax08. If you can train the dog to stay IN the yard, you can train them to stay OUT of a garden. Teach them that the garden is not their yard. If you’re working in the garden and want the dog near by then be sure to teach them the long down or a down/stay command. He/she can watch you garden but is not allowed in the garden or off a designated path. Also, a strong “come” command is very helpful. If you see the dog heading toward the garden or in the garden already, give the "come" command and then reward the dog for listening.
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