Messages posted to thread:

S M Ott25-Feb-02 11:47 AM EST
Susan25-Feb-02 12:28 PM EST 6a   
S M Ott26-Feb-02 11:40 AM EST 3a   
Jenna27-Feb-02 11:04 AM EST   
S M Ott27-Feb-02 11:26 AM EST 3a   
Susan27-Feb-02 04:29 PM EST 6a   
George Griffin27-Feb-02 06:42 PM EST 5a   
Alex02-Mar-02 05:17 PM EST 3a   

Subject: New Dog
From: S M Ott
Date: 25-Feb-02 11:47 AM EST

Forgive me if this has been discussed before, however, I am a new member. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to 'train' the newest member of the family (Basenji cross - 1 year old) to stay out of the flowerbeds?

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 25-Feb-02 12:28 PM EST

The first thing to do is go to obedience class so that you and the dog learn who's the boss! This is an especially important step for an adult dog that has had a previous owner. It's also a good way to help the new dog bond with you. Our dog was 3 when we got her as a 'rescued' dog; obedience class helped her settle in and sort out where she stood in the heirarchy of this new 'pack'...

Next, assess the garden for dog attractions - i.e where will he/she want to go to greet other dogs/warn off intruders etc. I know Basenjis don't bark but maybe a cross would and, in any case, they probably have the same impluses minus the bark... If there are obvious 'dog routes', don't fight the inevitable - make paths through the garden where he/she will want to go.

Finally, practice saying AH-AH in a very disapproving voice! Dogs do not understand NO but Ah-Ah gets their attention every time! (It sounds like the discipline growl of a bitch, so even a puppy understands....) When the dog goes where you don't want him, say AH-AH and call him to come. My Golden Retiever never goes in the garden other than along the paths that I've made. The paths work for me for maintenance and allow her to get to the fence to 'talk' with the neighbours' dogs. Chelsea sometimes will even go out of her way to follow the paths... - it's an easier route for her if she doesn't have to go through plants to get where she wants to go. Even dogs we babysit from time to time quickly figure out that the paths are easier and do not result in the dreaded, disapproving Ah-Ah!

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: S M Ott
Zone: 3a
Date: 26-Feb-02 11:40 AM EST

Thanks for the info, Susan. We start obedience classes tonight. Keeva is also a rescue dog and has some bad habits inherited from the last owner who did little training with her. And you are correct, whatever she is crossed with does bark, but only at someone who comes to the front door (after navigating a long driveway, so she's not a big barker!).

I have noticed the 'pathways' that she seems to have cut out for herself, but didn't realize it until I read your response! I am fortunate that my garden is still in the infancy stage (lots of hard landscaping still to do) and can accomodate her treks. Also have no dogs on either side of us, so I won't have to worry about the existing flowerbeds.

I like the 'ah-ah' technique. Will try it next time she is out. Thanks again!

PS - Totally jealous of you being in zone 6 - from the wannabe in zone 3a!

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: Jenna
Date: 27-Feb-02 11:04 AM EST

I used small fences (the wire sort) to define where the garden started and the lawn ended as a start. Then I used the command "Off!" as a direction to have the dog remove herself from anything I did not want her on. This command is very useful for dogs. It can mean off the couch, garden, chair, fence, my chest... anything. I am not familiar with Basenjis, we always had Border Collies and they train very easily. I nevcer had any problems and once the garden was properly defined I could remove the fences and she never stepped in them again.

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: S M Ott
Zone: 3a
Date: 27-Feb-02 11:26 AM EST

Thanks Jenna. I was going to do that, but being February/March, I will have to wait until the ground thaws here (zone 3a) before I can use those wire fences. I will be the first one at Canadian Tire once they show up on the shelves!

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 27-Feb-02 04:29 PM EST

I agree with Jenna that 'off' is one of those essential words to train a dog to understand. For big dogs, you need it for stopping jumping up on people; for smaller dogs, it's more commonly needed to keep them off furniture but once, the concept is learned, it works on prohibiting anything...

I also use those little wire fences in my 'wet corner' to keep Chelsea out of the mud, especially in spring when it's really wet down there. But you have to be careful with those fences. Chelsea once got her collar hooked on one of the connecting hooks on the end and just about strangled herself before we noticed that she was in trouble! Fortunately, she has enough sense to sit and not struggle once she realized she couldn't get loose on her own. We don't usually leave her chain collar on but we happened to that day. A thin nylon collar on a smaller dog could also get caught up on those fences, so be careful.

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: George Griffin
Zone: 5a
Date: 27-Feb-02 06:42 PM EST

I hereby offer to share my experiences as a dog owning gardener. I am not an expert in dog training and my dog evern flunked out in training ( which really means I did) However with that said I have had very good fortune in keeping my dog out of our flowerbeds. Here are a few notes. Number one is timing. The plants should not be sprouts just coming from the ground in spring. This is when the most damage is done and it is the hardest time to train the dog as the object of discernment is invisible to them.However after they are about six inches tall a sharp no repeated as they approach with obvious intent on geting into it. Thier body language usually indicates an interest on the inside of the garden. A day or two is usually good to set my dog up for the summer. Each yse it gets easier. Hope this helps. If your dog is a beagle or a hunting dog you may find this does not work as well as a cattle prod.

Subject: RE: New Dog
From: Alex
Zone: 3a
Date: 02-Mar-02 05:17 PM EST

Ha! Ha! Ha! ...excuse me, just trying to compose myself here. I really love my yard and I really love my two medium-large, dog-pound, adopted at two years, terrier-mystery, darlings. Well, we have made modifications to our garden -which is a forever work in progress anyway. The dogs did CARVE some of their own paths ie. to next door through the peonies. We made some lattice panels - about 3ft high and then plant red-runners there in spring. We end up with this humorous- looking living fence which provides some extra privacy, colour, even some food. Also, a willow trellis here and there have helped to divert "race-tracks" onto paths. Large groupings eg. the tomato bed, pumpkin patch seem to be too much bother to plough through. We have also surrendered a patch of goat-foot (gout-weed) as the dogs find it soft and shady to lie on. The plant basically springs back anyway. Some give and take and also the modifications I've mentioned seem to work reasonably well and safely. No eye-poking or strangling accidents! I also flunked obedience by the way. As for the dogs learning where they are not allowed to go - mine know very well but often wait until my back is turned before trying to tip-toe and sniff through forbidden beds. Same in the house - when we arrive home the coffee table is usually warm! Well, SM Ott - Congrats on your new companion and I really hope you all have fun with your garden too.

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