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I just posted this on NWGardenweb, but I know I will get many answers geared toward the garden and not much sympathy for the dog. I don't want to always get annoyed with Sienna every time we are out in the yard. Any ideas?

Hi, We have a two year old Golden Retriever we adore. I am also nurturing a developing backyard garden being new to home ownership.
I took chicken wire and fence posts and used it as a barrier to keep her out and it works, but it also takes away from the visual enjoyment and makes it more annoying to work in it etc.
Last weekend we took it out to mow around and thought we might try to see how she did. Well, she failed. She was very intrigued with the dirt (I had just planted some roses and used bone meal) and also kept going through the raspberry bushes to grab old stocks for sticks. The deal breaker was when she grabbed the end off of one branch of my prized saucer magnolia.
My husband was away for the week and just got back. I spent the whole week repeatedly chasing her out from the plants. I have started to put back the posts to reconnect it all, but Dear Husband doesn't want it back. I don't either, but I am sick of not being able to just enjoy the yard. He thinks we can just use a squirt gun or possibly put cayenne pepper around the dirt to deter her.

Any ideas?? I don't want to do anything that will hurt Miss Sienna, but my garden is also therapy.

Thanks for listening! :wave:
 

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I dont know unless you did an underground fence. Bama was really bad the first year but leaves the plants alone now. Just goes hunting for lizards.
 

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Oh dear, I know just how you feel. I've been in my new house for a few years and spent a small fortune on the yard prior to having a big life change - I quit my 6-6 job, started working from home, and got the dogs I'd always wanted but didn't think were fair to have before as I was rarely home. Had I known I'd be getting the dogs in hindsight, I might have planned differently in the yard. But there is no changing it now!

Fergus is Captain Destruction in the yard. I'm hoping that another year of "NO!" and "OUT!" will result in a dog who doesn't eat the plants, dig, and crash through (in the process, breaking) hedges, but who knows. If I had a good boundary to put in invisible fencing, I would, but I just don't see a way it would work for us.

Sigh. I have developed some rules for us.

#1: No balls that roll in the back yard. He kicks it to get it going - usually straight into the planters - then POUNCES on it from on high to kill it and any plants that were unlucky enough to be the way. He also likes to throw tennis balls into the dirt and dig them out, destroying plants in his way. Toys that don't roll rarely have the same consequences, though I know it's not as fun for him. We chase tennis balls at the park instead.

#2: I try to make sure I am paying attention to where he is and what he's doing when he's outside. I've learned that silence is a very bad sign. If I'm not paying close attention, I figure any destruction is much more my fault than his. He'll get a NO! or OUT! if I catch him in the act, but otherwise I don't get mad.

#3: Exercise is Captain Destruction's Kryptonite. He's less naughty when he's kept busy. So if I notice he's wreaking havoc in the yard, we go for a walk or to the park to burn off the excess energy.

Good luck to you! I mostly wanted to let you know I can commiserate.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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(this is the head game I play....) I choose to look at garden fence as a piece of the hardscape - the bones of a garden that give it structure - part of the 'art' of the garden rather then a distraction....
 

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We keep the boys out of the no-no places in the backyard by calling them to us when they hit the boundary line. As they get older, they kind of get the hang of not going past the boundary, and once they seem to grasp it, we use vocal corrections when they cross the boundary. It works really well, but I think it strongly depends on the fact that they get tons of exercise out in the woods so they're not as bent on digging or exploring. The yard is really just a pooping and training area, not a place for extended play, so maybe that's why it works.
 

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Gunner and Honey's Mom
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I have used a green wire fence for years to keep my dogs out of my flowers. My Schnauzer was good and didn't try to get under the fence. She passed away last April and I took the fences down. I got Gunner in October and put the fences back up. He tries to push the fence in towards the garden to get the wood chips to chew. I've come to realize that I will never have the yard I had with my Schnauzer. My grass is another story. I don't put chemicals on the lawn and it doesn't look very good after so many years. I put new sod down just before my Schnauzer died and was able to fertilize for a year. Once I got Gunner I stopped. If you look real hard at the pictures you can see the green fence. It blends in nicely.
 

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Chloe and Cedar's Mom
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Yea I have the same problem.. I havent started my spring gardening yet, but Ive already been looking at garden fences because I know Cedar will be in my garden digging.. She already digs up every tree root she finds and pulls out the flowers that are coming up from previous years that the previous home owners planted.. Chloe likes to lay in my one Garden.. Im honestly fine with that cuz I can make a spot for her. She doesnt dig or eat my flower. But Cedar is the devil in disguise .. lol
 
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