View Full Version : Need a miracle to stop the yard grazing

Lady Hoop
26th October 2012, 04:27 AM
Lady will not stop eating things in the yard. I have a chair outside that I sit in so I can jump up and referee her yard habits and drive myself (and her, I'm sure!) bonkers. I have tried EVERYTHING. I read tons of advice, tried advice, bought 100 different kinds of distracting toys, "leave it", "drop it", "EH EH!", "NO!" and nothing works. The vet suggested to feed her a bit more at meal times (which it was time to do anyway) so we upped her food amount and that hasn't worked either.

On top of all of that, I decided that maybe if we covered up what she was getting into the most that we could solve the problem and she would concentrate on her outside toys. We had potting soil with tree bark chips in it that she loved to get in, flowers planted and a dead bush she gnawed pieces off of and tried to swallow. So to fix this problem we spent an entire weekend re-arranging our back yard and laying pine straw over all of my garden areas (had to rip my flowers up! :mad:) so she couldn't get to plants or potting soil and my husband actually took his truck and YANKED the bush out of the yard! It didn't work! Now her favorite thing is pine straw again. I am now reminded of the days when we first brought her home and she was fascinated with pine straw. I actually looking forward to her being INSIDE b/c I can puppy proof my house a lot better than the great outdoors.

Please any advice send it on! She's attempting to eat (and a few slip by before my fingers get them): tree bark, grass, twigs, pine straw, beetles, leaves, etc. etc. etc.......UGH!

26th October 2012, 01:39 PM
Fletcher loves to eat/ play with leaves and I don't stop him. He seems like really like the dead crunchy big ones best. He also likes to chew on sticks, bite at the taller grass and chase beetles and I rarely stop him. If he's breaking off big pieces of the stick I trade it out but other than that. Unless he is eating a lot of it or doing something destructive I want to be a no no(like digging where he's not allowed) I won't worry about it. We have had a great time with a sandbox that is just for Fletcher. We noticed he like to dig so we gave him one place the sandbox he doesn't dig anywhere else now.

I have to ask why do you not want her to chew/ play with this stuff. If she eats the occasional leaf or bug I don't think it would harm her. Make sure the bugs/plants in your yard are not poisonous to dogs I'm sure this is info on this site even. Plus I think distracting her with an active game might work better.

26th October 2012, 06:12 PM
Bentley has always enjoyed dead grass or plant stems. We got him in January and had a hard time getting him to concentrate on pottying when we'd take him out because he wanted to munch on dead, crispy plants. I allow him to eat this stuff now unless it's something that I'm worried about him getting choked on.

Lady Hoop
27th October 2012, 06:57 PM
Ugh, That's my problem, most of the things in our yard are actually poisonous and since we live in a patio home that shares fence lines in such close quarters we can't do anything about the major culprit which is horsetails. My neighbor won't get rid of the plant and they have grown in about 100 different places under the fence and into our yard and all through our fence, wrapping upwards. They drive me nuts and grow faster than anything I've ever seen. They are poisonous in large quantities and I've started to grow weary b/c she's eaten so much of it, I'm sure she's getting to that point. I can't pick them out of the yard fast enough before they grow back again and she's found them.

We have three Oleanders as well and the two that we have pruned really far up so she can't reach it she's never cared about, so the dead-like one that she kept going after we yanked up out of the yard.

I don't mind the grass or leaves. I know that can't hurt her, but the poisonous stuff worries me. The pine straw bothers me because when we first brought her home we couldn't keep it out of her mouth and my vet said her throat was very irritated and near infection and to always keep the yard gunk out of her mouth.

That being said, t's been interesting b/c half of what's in our yard she can't have but the other half is not really bad for her...but it's all the same to her. So I can't figure out how to make her realize that some things she needs to leave alone, but not others. I feel like it's all or nothing...

27th October 2012, 07:20 PM
We are a shared fence line as well so I understand but when we first moved in our neighbor has this potted cactus that was blowing needles all over our side of the fence!!! They HURT and were everywhere. I chatted with my neighbor who told me well she put it outside because it was blowing needles but it should end soon because of some crap about the weather. She had no care or concern that the needles were in my yard!!! So basically our yard sucked. After a week or so of this my husband got ANGRY because he came back in the house with like four needles in his foot he jumped the fence and poured gas in to pot LOL She never said a thing to us ;)

Do you walk her often? If she is getting enough exercise outside of the yard maybe it would be safer for her to have a small pup run for the yard. I would think because of the dangers it might be a good idea. I would try to make her area as big as possible like use 2 xpens. I know you want her to be able to use her yard but until you can trust her leave it/drop it commands that's what I would do. I'm sure you can come up with a cost effective puppy effective option.

Our yard is small and even tho Fletcher can do some running around I still walk him a lot. Luckily for us there is a good sized doggie park/dog run in our neighborhood well within walking distance for some 'real' games of ball.

Lady Hoop
27th October 2012, 07:44 PM
How annoying!!! Some neighbors are nightmares! We love our neighbor. She's very nice, feeds my kitties when we're gone and Lady plays with her Dachtsun. I think that's why we have avoided talking to her about it b/c we like her too dang much! Her dog was never a grazer or chewer so she's not worried about things like this...Her yard is COVERED in a million different plants, bushes and all kinds of junk. I think we need to talk to her and maybe she'd let me husband go over there and try to do away with them. I don't know if there's much hope. Horsetails are one of those pesky 'never-going-to-go-away" plants like Kudzu.

We do give her lots of exercise and walks as well as her 100 laps a day around the house with our boy kitty. We also sit outside with her a LOT. That did help a little for a while until her spay surgery. We haven't wanted to take her for long walks or let her get too wild. Today is her first day that she's allowed to go buck wild again so we're going to take her to the bark park, get a good bath, take a trip to PetSmart and she gets to see her cousin tonight (5 month old Blenheim). Although she does not like her at all (haha), she will still get some exercise.

I am afraid to spend the money on an X-pen after she's had so long with free run of the yard. She would bark incessantly until she was "freed!" She loves to do little laps around the yard as well. I almost would feel silly doing that as the actual grass part of my yard is probably only double the size of an Xpen. Very small. I wish I could just put a fence around those edges, but that would be silly also.

Small yard: That grass area is about all she's got to frolic in. We yanked the Oleander she found interesting up and pruned the other ones...and pruned the bottoms up so she can't reach. We are eventually pulling them out, but one traumatic tree pulling per weekend is about all I can handle. That little booger being pulled up ruined my whole day. Thankfully she could care less about the other two in the meantime.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8188/8128408534_c0c6ae0145.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128408534/)
photo 2 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128408534/) by Lady Hoop (http://www.flickr.com/people/5hoops/), on Flickr

This is her SPOT! I would feel cruel Xpenning her from this spot, haha!
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8327/8128381761_eac6ac624d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128381761/)
photo 1 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128381761/) by Lady Hoop (http://www.flickr.com/people/5hoops/), on Flickr

She's not THIS bad anymore, I can be thankful for that. Caught red-handed.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8190/8128408610_f05d21076e.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128408610/)
image (http://www.flickr.com/photos/5hoops/8128408610/) by Lady Hoop (http://www.flickr.com/people/5hoops/), on Flickr

28th October 2012, 12:50 AM
Is there any way you can put up a small fence around your planted area?
I heard of critter ridder, black pepper I believe is the main ingredient???, that may work or spray bitter apple on them.
I did that with Molly, worked great until she found that she could fit through some of the bars.
It's too bad that Oleanders are so poisonous, they are so beautiful!

28th October 2012, 06:53 PM
I would put in a small garden on safe plants. Wheatgrass (also known as cat grass), I think mint and basil are also safe. There are a few herbs you could safely grow. And then allow her to munch those areas, and other areas are off-limits.

29th October 2012, 02:19 PM
One aspect of owning dogs or cats is -- we have to adjust our lives to provide a safe environment. Really, you have to get rid of your poisonous plants and garden materials or always risk a dead animal that will die very painfully -- or put those plants behind safe fenced off areas. And generally redesign the garden to be safe if it currently is not and you have a dog that eats things. Many dogs do this -- it is a normal behaviour and generally must be managed as you cannot trust a command of leave it that works when you are there, to keep a dog outside on its own for a moment to stay safe. I would get a small fenced area, and or put a nice attractive picket border fence high enough to keep her out of the plants 0r else try raised beds and safe plants.

You do not really have a choice -- unless you want to risk having her poisoned. Free rein in the garden simply because she likes it, is not going to be a convincing argument to you when you are in the emergency room with a vet on a drip likely to die. Same as dogs being off lead on roads around cars -- sure they'd like to be off lead -- but responsible owners know they are safer on a lead. She can have free rein in large open areas when she has excellent recall and also excellent reliable 'drop it' or leave it'. A dog that ignores these commands quite simply is a dog that isn't adequately trained yet and has lacked constant, fun reinforcement for these commands every single day. Most dogs under 1 are not terribly reliable and responsible ownership means keeping that in mind too (and NO dog has perfect recall. As anyone who has watched even the 'perfect' obedience dogs of Crufts will know :lol:).

Be very careful of things like slug pellets too -- I know a dog that died terribly from eating them. They look to a dog, like kibble.

My partner and I have had to do a lot of things to make both houses safe and also sacrificed some things we'd both like -- eg certain kinds of house furnishings -- because we have dogs and cats. In a nutshell: there's always a tradeoff if you want a dog or cat :) -- it may involve the garden, the house, furniture being clawed from time to time, fog vomit and poop accidents on good rugs, cost of a safe fence, assessing garden plantings and houseplants for safety. It's just what a responsible owner does. :thmbsup: :D

If she is still just a puppy than some of this is likely to end as she matures.

Lady Hoop
30th October 2012, 12:54 AM
Yes, if she lacks something in training it is definitely her recall. We tried to work with her this weekend with it and it was quite the battle. I re-read some information on recall in my Victoria Stilwell book and we tried it out again and she was immensely confused. She is an excellent leash walker so all she wanted to to was scurry right next to our side the entire time. Keep working on it we will!

I'm liking the fence idea. I think that would be an easy alternative since we know the roots to the other two are going to destroy the fence which our neighbor may shoot us over as well as HOA. The garden fence just seems like a "DUH" and I can't believe I didn't think of that before we backed our truck up into the backyard and ripped one of them up. :badgrin: Our neighbors looked at us like we were crazy when we told them why we were doing it, but like Karlin said...you've got to do what you've got to do or you shouldn't be a dog owner. As soon as my husband talked to the vet about the trees it was less than an hour before he had his truck backed up with the chain attached. :-D

I like the dog-friendly plants. That is a great idea also! I think we may do that with this small side area that she loves to prance in. We dug up the flowers that were in there after she found interest in them (see picture above, she helped dig them up) because I couldn't remember what the flower was and did not want to chance it.

I had a friend tell me the other day how ridiculous it was that our cats tore up one of our chairs. They didn't understand why we don't have them declawed. I could care less about the chair. Declawing...I struggle with this...I am against declawing, but always fear the kitties may get out of hand one day playing with Lady and hurt her. The 3 of them have a great relationship, but I still worry constantly. What are your thoughts on this Karlin? As much as I educate myself on declawing I just can't make a decision. I really hate it, but don't want to compromise Lady's safety either. They are not allowed alone together without our supervision. My kitties have taken quite the back seat since Lady's arrival as far as attention goes, but they are just as much my babies, too.

31st October 2012, 08:59 PM
Our Sophie is a ground Hoover; she'll eat anything she finds. We do not have a fenced in yard, so she is always on a leash when she goes out. IF we had a fenced in yard, I would not be able to put her out there. The constant diarrhea from her backyard buffet would not be welcome. I take Sophie on long walks, one to three miles, and that way she and I both get our exercise.

I have a friend whose little poodle keeps eating the mushrooms that randomly grow in their back yard. They cause the dog to hallucinate! My friend has given up in trying to eradicate the mushrooms and keep her dog from eating them. She doesn't let her out into the yard often, if she can help it. They have lived in that house for 25 years and their previous poodle never ate anything out there. Back yards can be really scary places for dogs.

3rd November 2012, 02:07 AM
I totally oppose declawing. Declawing is not allowed in the UK and Ireland -- the vet organisations here regard it as cruel and maiming a healthy animal. It is actually very painful for the cat for ages afterwards and they don;t just lose a nail; they lose the equivalent of the entire end joint of a human finger or toe. So they are forced to walk on the end of an amputated joint on all their front toes.

Declawed cats also are often unable to climb to safety or to defend themselves if attacked by dogs which puts them at risk if they are let outdoors.

I think if people want cats then they have to accept that means compromise and training (and often some torn furniture). I now choose furniture that is more cat and dog proof -- got a leather sofa and voila! -- no scratching any more by the cats and it always looks good and is easy to clean (I got a second hand one to try out without spending a huge amount -- €165 at Oxfam!). Cats can actually be trained and spending some redirecting to scratching posts etc generally will really help too. There are some nail caps that can be bought -- Softpaws is one type -- they actually work really well too for indoor cats; I used them with one of mine for a while. You glue them on and they are shed after about 4-5 weeks. You can even get coloured ones! :lol: