[permaculture] Dogs in the Design

Michael Snow msnow at valley.net
Sat Jun 13 10:13:13 EDT 2009

Thought this might be of interest:



> Subject: [mghcmembers] For dog owning gardeners
> The National Wildlife Federation has a recent article on creating a
> dog friendly wildlife garden, which is a good review.  I swear I'm
> going to prepare a presentation some day on "Gardening With Dogs".
> -- Lisa Lemza
> http://www.nwf.org/NationalWildlife/article.cfm? 
> issueID=129&articleID=1730
> Here are some of my personal observations, with my pack of 3 medium
> sized dogs:
> -- Raised beds- or at least beds that are highly defined-- are the  
> answer.  The dogs clearly see the difference, just as we de.
> Enhance it with mulch or other visual cues that tell the dog/s THIS
> IS DIFFERENT FROM THAT.  As many of you know, my so called 'raised
> beds' are simply beds lined with scrounged rock;  they don't have to
> be fancy or expensive.
> -- If the dogs are racing through a particular short cut through a  
> bed over and over:  GIVE UP.  The dogs will win.  Redesign the bed
> and put a path through their preferred shortcut.
> --  Do not plant up to fence lines.  Leave a space for the dogs to  
> run along the fence-- THEY ARE DOGS.  It's what they do.  Just back
> new shrubs and  plantings off enough for them to run between them
> and the fence.  Cage any new plantings (they'd better be sturdy
> ones) that must go next to the fence, until established.
> --  Tin snips are your friends.  Buy a short roll of 4 foot  
> fencing, the cheaper the better, and whenever your dogs take a  
> fancy to a
> particular place to wallow in a no-go zone, cut out a small section
> and lay it there for a while.  Yes, it's ugly but not as ugly as a
> dog wallow.  They seem to particularly hate chicken wire.
> --  Don't hesitate to cage young trees or plants with a roll of  
> aforementioned fence material, planted with an upright tomato
> stake.  They will adjust to it in a few months, but due to a searing
> incident with a prized young halesia (silverbell) tree, I just keep
> small trees caged indefinitely.
> -- I'm sure some of you will feel strongly to the contrary, but I  
> have never once seen any of my dogs-- or any dog-- eating any holly
> berries or milkweed or any or any of the listed toxic plants (HINT:
> they taste BAD).  Some dogs will eat ANYTHING of course, and it may
> be an issue for puppies, but it's just one of those things I choose
> not to worry about.  You  of course may not want to accept that risk.
> --  You will occasionally take some damage.  You just have to  
> accept it, like the broken halesia tree, or more recently, a badly  
> damaged
> Pee Wee Oakleaf Hydrangea that the little b++xx at ds tore up,
> doubtless when chasing an unfortunate rodent.
> --  Which of course leads to my last point:  they will kill the  
> occasionally small creature--  rabbits, chipmunks, etc. They will
> try to kill snakes, or at least attempt to bark them to death.  Try
> not to let it bother you too much.
> They are all worth the trouble and bother  Which are the names of 2
> of  my dogs, oh-so-appropriatly.  -- lz

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