For the dog owners...

pbl_ge(5/6)April 16, 2014


We recently spread our our precious black gold compost over the raised veggie beds. Ever since, our lovely and generally well-behaved greyhound seems to think those beds are snack bars. He can't seem to resist walking over, sniffing until he finds a good nugget, and chomping it down. We try to stop him, and try to prevent, but he's pretty insistent. We got him after five years on the track, so his obedience lessons only took him so far. We'd hate to have to keep him out of the back yard, but I know compost can be very bad for dogs, so we're not sure if that's what we have to do.

Anyone got ideas?

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Is there any kind of a dog repellent spray that would deter him?

Or, dig/till the stuff in, assuming you haven't planted yet.

Or put a net over it - you can get those very lightweight plastic nets made to keep birds off of fruit trees and bushes, and just lay it out. Unless he eats plastic too. :-]

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:05PM
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This works best on smarter dogs.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Toxcrusadr - do you have recommendations about deterrents? We've tried the bitter apple stuff, on injuries for example, and it didn't work.

Cold_weather_is_evil (no argument there) - I can't tell what that is. Does that make me a dumb dog?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 5:27PM
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The photo is of an electric fence. It would be attached to a power supply that delivers a non-lethal, but painful, shock. I think it would be cheaper and simpler for you to fertilize and amend your garden with materials that are not attractive to the dog. You could till in some peat moss, and use urea, for nitrogen. I use Schultz plant food-acidic formula, on our blueberry shrubs, and the dog is not attracted to the mulch. However, this is not a certified organic amendment.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:11PM
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Ok,so I wasn't about to wade in until Cold put a toe in the water.
You made referance to obediece problems. I highly reccomend E-collars. No that has nothing to do with buying fido a lap-top. I prefer e collar over shock collar.
Let me first tell you that I will put the device on me set at the same level required for all but the most stuborn animal. Yes the good collars are adjustible and I would never use one that isn't adjustible. The stimulation is not punishment but a reminder. If a dog ever yelps or reacts as if struck,they are not a canidate or you are misusing the collar. Stop and consult a knowledgeable trainer. To be succesful you must study and follow instruction book and vedio that comes with the collar. You must also teach your dog meaning of basic commands such as stop,come,sit,stay and NO! I said "what they mean" not that they must obey every time. Case in point. Most dogs stop what they are doing and/or come when you tell them,RIGHT? What about the same dog if he is about to chase the mailman , another dog or a skunk? The collar makes the difference and will very well save him a thousand times over the discomfort involved with the collar,not to mention his owner's. I have trained several hunting dogs and presently have a GS Pointer that I got as an adult and was very stuborn about verbal comands if his mind was elsewhere. I used the collar at a level that was barely detectable and for only two behavioral issues. Bull rushing the open kennel gate and coming when called. Had you witnessed the 180 deg behavior,you would be convinced. From there foward he responds to ques so subtle many people don't even realize I gave it to him. I am not saying those two sessions taught him all that,he simply responded to the remainder of his lessons very well and the collar wasn't required. as reinforcment
It bares repeating,educate yourself before trying to educate the dog.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:11PM
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He can't seem to resist walking over, sniffing until he finds a good nugget, and chomping it down.

If the compost is properly finished, there should be no "nuggets" for him to find. Try sifting the next batch.

For now, sprinkling a light dusting of chili pepper flakes or powder along his favorite snack area will discourage him.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:09PM
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"For now, sprinkling a light dusting of chili pepper flakes or powder along his favorite snack area will discourage him."

Hehe was just going to say that :D

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I don't know, but a Greyhound dog that might have suffered abuse in the Racing industry, would seem to need a gentle touch, I would think. Well, I am just too much of an animal lover to ever subject any animal to electric shock. I suppose an electric fence for livestock may be a real necessity to keep them safe. At any rate, I guess I would have to be pretty desperate and would have to try it out on myself to see just how much of a shock it gave out. And in the end, dogs I've had were always responsive to persistence, firmness and a lot of love and affection.

If that didn't work, I might be inclined to try the suggestions given first, to work the compost into the top 4 inches of soil and sift out large chunks that were the focus of the dog's attention. As a last resort, I might try the chili pepper which I would guess would quickly discourage the dog to repeat this behavior. But I'd be on hand to wipe the dogs snout or paws to make sure there was no residue, once the point was made.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:16PM
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I taught my dog to stay out of the raised beds by yelling at him instantly when he went in. I put up a little fence at first to serve as a clear boundary (it was only around 6 inches high). But honestly, I wouldn't worry about the dog eating the compost. My dog likes to munch on pieces of horse, cow or goat manure, in various stages of decomposition. I don't think it is bad for him. If the compost is mostly finished, it should be relatively harmless. Just don't let your dog put his feet on the bed as it will compact the soil. You can also put hoops over the bed and put bird netting over the hoops. This helps with protecting seedlings from birds, too. Maybe after the plants grow up a bit your dog will lose interest.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:40PM
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