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Smart Dog

November 10, 2011

The little devil with impish eyes behind the tree is none other than this guy.  You can see the gears turning in there…

Hmmm, does that look seem familiar?

We’ve had an ongoing problem with deer in the gardens for some time.  Mel didn’t care to chase the deer anymore, so we started covering the carrot rows with deer netting to keep the deer from digging out the carrots, and some summers we covered the rows while they were growing just to keep the deer from grazing them.  Simultaneously we purchased Trace with the hopes that he would be a mean mistreater when it came to deer in the garden.  Soon he was big enough to chase the deer away, most of the time.  A few nibbles happen once in a while, but the tracks tell the story.  The deer are persistent, but the dog pretty much stays on duty and chases them off.

However, it seems the guard dog believes he should be compensated throughout the night with his own midnight snacks – of carrots!  On the path to the garden and in other favorite vantage points it’s not unusual to find a den of padded down grass and carrot tops sans carrots.  Melvin is a daytime carrot sneaker and he just goes to the carrot rows in any old place and finds a weak point where the T-posts holding down the deer netting don’t overlap.  But Trace, who is a thinker, goes to the ends of the row where I have been digging, and helps himself.  It’s uncanny, because my carrots are in double rows, and I dig both rows evenly.  So does Trace, and he actually pulls the carrots out instead of digging.  I’ll walk by and glance at the carrots, and the rows seem shorter,  “Did I dig the rows back that much?”  I question myself, he’s so good at it.  The only difference is that I don’t leave the carrot tops lying about in the grass, I put them back in the garden for carbon.  Fresh carrot tops in the grass are an indicator that the dogs have been vegging out all night.

Enter the “dog” panel, actually hog panel that hasn’t seen a hog since last year.  My pea trellis is now carrot protector.  Hog panels are one of the most useful, everyday tools around here.  Dogs are thwarted for a while.

I wonder what he is thinking?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 9:53 pm

    Yesterday I was watching my friend’s dogs steal her snow peas. My cat loves lemongrass too.

  2. November 10, 2011 10:43 pm

    What a smart dog, quite funny really! I can’t imagine a dog munching on carrots!

  3. November 11, 2011 12:02 am

    My dog likes to garden too. Funny he won’t eat the veggies if I actually hand him one; they must taste better when they’re stolen 😀

  4. November 11, 2011 12:28 am

    Our garden, which is no where near the size of yours, is fenced to keep the dogs out. Peas, carrots, raspberries, blueberries….they are all fair game. Of course, sometimes the gate gets left open….:(
    And as for deer and dogs, oh, and cats, this video was all over our news at one point

  5. Sheila Z permalink
    November 11, 2011 3:38 am

    I had a dog that would pick corn, husk it and eat the kernels off the cob. Another that would eat all the blueberries off the bushes. Creative stinkers, I mean thinkers.

  6. November 11, 2011 5:49 am

    Our old Lab loved carrots!!!

  7. jenj permalink
    November 11, 2011 6:01 am

    Sneaksy little suckers! Maybe carrots taste better when they’re pilfered?

  8. knancy permalink
    November 11, 2011 7:23 am

    This post was hilarious! I laughed out loud at the shennanigans of your “garden protector”! I lived with a Dachsaund for 12 years and he was funny, too. I once came downstairs to find him munching on a raw potato from the kitchen bin while lying in front of the fireplace! When I chopped vegies for any dinner I was preparing, he would beg for green pepper strips. I also had a cat that would go beserko whenever I made pizza. As soon as I started the sauce she would try to climb up on the kitchen counter. Maybe my oregano was really catnip? These room mates were not hungry – they ate more food than me and were smaller!?! I just love witnessing all the personalities and how inventive the brains of we mammals can be!

  9. November 11, 2011 4:03 pm

    Our one friend has goldies (1 male, 1 female) and he discovered one day where all the strawberries had been going. They also know how to work the ice feature on the refridge and has stepped in more than one puddle with socks on – ha! Our dog growing up would sneak hotdogs off the grill. Intelligent and at times sneaky creatures that give unconditional love:)

  10. November 14, 2011 8:33 am

    He is thinking that he wishes he had opposable thumbs, so he could circumnavigate your efforts. Perhaps it’s easier to raise the height of the fence for deer proofing? 10′ is what the vineyards in Willamette Valley put up and it seems to work. Trace looks a lot like my Barrow (aka Bear). He’s a thinker too. What breeder did he come from? I may want to add another to our pack in the next year or so.

    • November 17, 2011 3:21 pm

      OS, we don’t want a deer fence, so I just use the netting to cover the rows of goodies. The dogs are the deer fence and the vole hunters. But they sure like their payment in carrots. Small price to pay for their good hunting skills, and endless entertainment for us:)

      I got Trace here, the dog they currently have a litter from is Trace’s sister, Jessie.

  11. Doris permalink
    November 18, 2011 7:07 am

    LOVE this!! I think that is way cool that he pull up the carrots evenly. How many extra rows would you have to plant so you could afford his tax w/out having to protect the carrots from him? He knows what’s good and good for him.

  12. JP Swift permalink
    November 21, 2011 6:01 am

    Wait till the dogs learm how to move the hog panels an put them back.

  13. March 3, 2012 3:19 am

    Hello, MatronofH,
    I wondered if I could beg for a post on how to raise dogs on a farm. I have raised dogs, but in a city. My husband and I have just moved to a farm and gotten a little (for now!) Bhotiya pup. The world seems full of dangers out to swallow her; and other resources seem to treat a dog as just another excuse for shopping. Could you help?
    I would love to know how you feed the dogs, train them not to eat your chickens for dinner, and protect the pups from being a cat’s snack!

  14. March 3, 2012 6:04 am

    chicu, I’ll have to think on that one, since I don’t do anything special. The biggest thing since you now have your pup is to imprint her from the beginning with your chickens so she knows not to harm them from the beginning. As for keeping her safe from cats – we just make sure our dogs can’t wander where the cougars are until they get beg enough to be a threat to the cougars themselves. Do you have leopards there? I’m guessing they are a little more aggressive than the pumas here as far as dogs go.

  15. Shawn permalink
    January 29, 2018 9:22 pm

    Who could blame him? Those look delicious. Wish I could grow them like that!!

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