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Project: Keeping the Dog out of the Raised Bed

We rescued a puppy a few months ago, and he was supposed to be a terrier/pug mix.  Not so much anymore– we think he might actually be a terrier/Irish Wolfhound mix.  He’s very cute.

Can you stand how cute that face is?

However cute he is, though, he is destroying my raised bed.  (My husband, who didn’t want the dog, loves to taunt me: “Ah, the epic question– what do you love more, the garden or the dog?”)  He already ruined one crop of seeds that I recently planted.  I knew I had to take some serious action, and it didn’t involve a $200 an hour dog trainer.  (Although I haven’t ruled that out.)

the dog, post-destruction, full of well-prepped dirt

I re-planted my bed with my swiss chard, spinach, beets and carrots, and came up with what seems to me a totally adequate if not highly aesthetically-pleasing solution.  The raised bed sits about 2′ high in the backyard:

I re-prepped the raised bed after the dog completely tore it up

I decided to make a kind of “fence” around the perimeter of the bed with bamboo stakes spaced at intervals.  I bought a few packs of long bamboo stakes at Home Depot and broke each one in half, so I ended up with a bunch of 3′ or so stakes.

well, this is off to a problematic start

The solution seems to fulfill my main requirements:

  • keep the dog out of the bed– really, I only needed a deterrent; as long as he thought he couldn’t get in, the barrier didn’t need to actually be strong enough to stop him
  • allow sunlight to get to the plants
  • allow me to get to the bed easily to tend the plants and harvest, and because the bamboo stakes are simply tucked into the soil, I can remove any number that I need to to get to the plants
  • not take too long to implement– it took less than 10 minutes to put the stakes in, and they cost less than $6 at Home Depot
  • not be an eye sore– not perfect, but blends in pretty well

project complete, and so far, no dogs in the bed

I’ll be posting as the plants begin to sprout and hopefully don’t get uprooted by a crazy canine.

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  • November 25, 2009, 12:43 pm Becky

    He is adorable. Adorably destructive, but still adorable. And a good solution! Our dog is the same way though. She just needs to think that she can’t get to something. She won’t really put us to the test.

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  • November 25, 2009, 12:48 pm bethpc

    I just had to order a replacement Lego for the Armored Assault Tank because it is now in about 12 pieces. Ah, the things I will put up with for that little face…

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  • April 2, 2010, 3:29 pm Melanie

    Thank you, that’s a great idea I wish I’d thought of it, and sooner(smile)!
    I didn’t want to put a fence around the raised beds, but our babies were determined to get in and dig, loving that great soil. We’re dog-loving people, didn’t want to use mothballs or anything like that, so many thanks for the tip, and enjoy your garden!

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  • December 13, 2010, 11:11 am Erin

    I have a puppy that looks just like yours! She’s only about 25-30 lbs. Is your dog bigger than that? What led you to believe he may be part Irish Wolfhound? I’ve been trying to figure out what breeds my dogs is.

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    • December 13, 2010, 11:16 am bethpc

      Caesar weighs 52 pounds– I just took him to the vet & he got weighed. I think it was mostly his resemblance to an Irish Wolfhound– when I saw one, I thought, “that looks like Caesar!” He could also be giant schnauzer, possibly, judging by his looks. I don’t think we’ll ever figure it out! :-)

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