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Keeping dogs in the garden


 
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inishindie
Rank attained: Tree plantation keeper


Joined: 27 May 2007
Posts: 563
Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Keeping dogs in the garden Reply with quote

Those darn dogs

I got fed up of running up and down the road this week trying to track down my wayward dogs. Both of them found a way out of the garden even though I am constantly piling up chopped branches and anything else I can find to block up escape routes.
As soon as I took my vigilant eye off them for a second they were away, high tailing it to one of three places where food is left out. The first port of call for them is the neighbours who leave food out for the cats, and if you have ever had cats you will realise that most of them are grazers popping back and forth to their dinner bowls when the urge takes them. It only takes one sitting and a couple of seconds for the plate to be licked clean when one of my two get there. Another destination is a few hundred yards away where someone puts food out on the lawn for the birds. Bird feed isn't very well digested by dogs and looks the same going out as it does going in. The third place is at the edge of the park where someone is a bit sloppy putting their leftovers in the bin. They feast on spaghetti one day then a pile of mashed spuds the other.

Making the most of every opportunity
The dogs make the most of every opportunity to get food. Julie's dad came over the other day and delivered a beautiful homemade loaf. It was a bit early in the day and as we were in bed he decided to leave it in a "safe place" in the garage carefully wrapped up in a brown paper bg. The safe place was on top of the boiler so it didn't take much for one of the dogs to get it down and devour it. It also didn't take much to see who the culprit was. Chips, the daftest of our two dogs could hardly walk let alone run when I took them for a walk later, her stomach was like a balloon.

I had to do something about the dogs escaping so I went down to the wood yard and bought myself 75 metres of 2"x1" strips of wood to make a sturdy trellis. I did a bit on the other side of the garden so knew what I had to do. There is a really wavy concrete block wall that rises to about 3 feet high so I screwed vertical posts onto these for a start before gauging how far to space the horizontals out so the dogs couldn't squeeze through them. It took me all day to build the trellis, and fine looking it is too.
It took the dogs less than three minutes to break the defences and high tail it down the road again.
I wasn't going to be beaten so after getting the pests back I got my lad to let them out of the house whilst I hid in the neighbour's garden undergrowth to see exactly where they were getting out. I couldn't believe what I saw. Because the wall has a slight wave of subsidence to it, the dogs found the bit that had the biggest gap and twisted themselves sideways to get out. The gap was only inches tall; you would never guess they could sliver through such a tight gap; they looked like flapping flatfish that were trying to escape a net.

Let them witness the work

I chained both dogs up to their kennel and let them witness firsthand how I unscrewed each section then lowered them following the contours of the wavy wall. It looks a bit odd, but there is now a uniform gap all the way along the wall. I sauntered over to the kennel and let them off their leads. I went indoors and when they thought I wasn't looking made a bid for freedom. Their attempts were foiled, try as they might they couldn't find a gap.
I've won this round. It probably won't be long until they find a way to climb up the trellis like a ladder. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.



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I’ve won this round but how long will it be until they learn to climb?
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Anonany
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 09 May 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Bray, Co Wicklow

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm so sorry for laughing Very Happy , but those dogs just look so angelic ... butter wouldn't melt in their mouths !

And I hate to have to tell you that you're quite right in thinking they'll learn to climb the trellis. Our last garden was enclosed by 5ft block walls and it didn't take our collies five minutes to discover that an athletic leap would get them to the top and over.

Like you, we erected trellis on the top and thought "Well, that's settled that !". No such luck. The monkeys quickly learned to leap, hook one paw on the top of the wall and then start climbing the trellis like a ladder. I've never been quite sure whether it was all their own idea or whether they learned the trick by watching our cat.

Our present garden is far more "country-ish" and the only boundaries are hedges (a doddle for dogs) and a small, shallow river at the bottom. Our older (female) collie has never been in the least inclined to roam, but our year-old male is a divil ... particularly when it comes to Orla, his "lady friend" who lives on the opposite side of the river.

Orla regularly pops across to invite Gyp out for a game, whilst on other days, Gyp drops over to her place. It doesn't matter how many times Gyp (or Orla, for that matter) is "sent to his bed in disgrace" ... within minutes of being released he's completely forgotten that he is not allowed to go outside the garden. As Orla's "Dad" says, "there's a touch of Mills & Boon about the pair of them" ! On the plus side, neither of them ever need taking for a walk to get exercise; they exercise themselves.

Thank goodness all our neighbours either have dogs and cats themselves or are animal-lovers and very tolerant about trespassing. Like children, dogs will be obedient most of the time ... until they forget !

Fingers crossed you, too, have tolerant neighbours.
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tunnelsofhens10
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


Joined: 07 Jun 2011
Posts: 146
Location: Longford

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: dogs Reply with quote

Dogs! where would we be without them! They make you feel your the only person in the world that matters, which is probably true when when you consider the different looks they can give you if your a little late filling the feed bowl. Rolling Eyes However, as most folks know, its now lambing season, and little minnie and large bruno, lovable gets!, will be delighted to team up with any stray dog to give chase to a running sheep with dire consequents, also bear in mind that any dog running after sheep is fair game for any gun on the scene. I say this because I know people who have moved to the country lately (I moved 12 yrs ago after visiting for 45 yrs) Some people really have know idea how quickly little minnie can revert back to his ancesters. this has nothing to do with folks above, I"m just trying to help some people who think the country-side is euphoria for dogs, and it is, when your with them. Laughing
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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2024
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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tunnelsofhens10
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 07 Jun 2011
Posts: 146
Location: Longford

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot on, kindredspirit
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robineire
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 65
Location: Oughterard CO GALWAY

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:21 pm    Post subject: sympathise with you inishindie Reply with quote

I have three dogs here, the last one was left to starve on the hill last Autumn so he has been adopted and joined the pack. I took a kelpy x back with us from Australia when we emigrated here and the other dog we have is a Scottish collie we took on when he got too much of a handful for my wife's sister who lives in Inverness. The Kelpy is the master of escape, she should have been at Coldiz castle. When I am gardening I have to keep a really good eye on her or she is off up the road visiting. The collie and new dog stay in the garden with me but the new guy is the very devil for digging up what I have just been planting.

Thankfully I have 6 acres of garden and woodland so there is loads of space for them to do their thing. I have been thinking of getting on of those wireless dog fences with the radio collar but it was that or a polytunnel and I reallllly need a pollytunnel lol.
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you protect your polytunnel, the little tykes will claw and chew it to bits... I'd really concentrate on creating a "no dog" area for your garden first! You can grow plenty without a tunnel, but not if your growing space isn't dog proof. Plus, if they defecate in your growing soil, you have an added risk of Toxoplasmosis, and other nasties.
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