Neighbor's dogs and our goats--HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday we brought home 2 pygmy goats. They're about 2 months old. The fence we have them in is 4 feet tall then a more sturdy fence is also on the same fence posts that is 3 feet tall. The gate is made of the same material. Right now they have no shelter....I know, I know, they will need something before it rains.

Here's the problem: the neighbor's 3 dogs. They had run of our land before we moved here in December. One is a Black Lab and the other 2 are mutts, but large dogs. I've seen them kill a raccoon w/my own eyes. Not a pretty sight.

What can I do? Last night my dh slept in his truck until 2 in the morning so he could keep a close eye on them. It's mainly one of the mutts (sorry if I should be using a different term here ) that is interested in them. The Black Lab went down to sniff them out then doesn't come around much. It's the other two. My ds and I had the goats on leashes out grazing this afternoon. One of the dogs came up and smelled one of the goats "rumps" then continued to sniff the rest of it. Just when it looked like it MIGHT be going to chomp it's tummy, I hollered at the dog. It walked away.

Then we had the goats back in the pen and my ds was in the pen w/them while I ran into the house quick. He said one of the dogs laid next to the fence growling at the goats. So obviously I can't leave my dc in the pen w/the dogs around. I told ds that if the dogs do happen to attack to just get away. Don't holler at the dog or try to save the goat. Get away!!

So, what I can't figure is if the dogs want to kill the goats or could they be protective of them?! Perhaps that's wishful thinking? What can I do? We can't stay awake everynight until we figure out what the dogs are going to do!!

We also have coyotes in our woods. Is the only way to keep them safe to have them in a barn?! HELP!!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#2 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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Can you put up electric wire? Put a strand about a foot off the ground and a strand on the top of the fence. Or get a donkey, they hate dogs (and coyotes) and will drive them off to protect their goat friends.

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#3 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by QueenOfThePride
Can you put up electric wire? Put a strand about a foot off the ground and a strand on the top of the fence. Or get a donkey, they hate dogs (and coyotes) and will drive them off to protect their goat friends.
Actually the owner of the dogs offered us some electric fencing b/c he just sold his horse. I just didn't know if it'd work. So you think putting a single layer of electric fencing about a foot off the ground next to their existing pen would work? And then another on top of the 4 foot fence? Or can I make the electric fence 2 strands?! Thoughts?

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#4 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 04:53 PM
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Hello,

I raise goats and have heard way too many horror stories about even friendly, family dogs attacking and ripping apart goats. It is a predatory instinct that all dogs have, no matter how tame and domesticated. You need to get your neighbors to keep their dogs off your property. You have the right to shoot/kill a dog that comes onto your property if you have livestock. I also second the idea of electric fencing. I would not under any circumstance let the dogs sniff the goats or come any where near the goats, unless it is a trained and bred livestock guard dog. I would seriously be in my neighbors' face about this, as they will be responsible if their dogs maim or kill your goats. Anyway, I would, like someone else suggested, reinforce that fence, electrify it, etc. or get the neighbors to take more responsibility for their animals, preferably both.
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#5 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really don't think it's possible for our neighbor to keep his dogs off our property. It used to be their land before they sold it to us. It was bare land when we bought it and the dogs could roam it as they pleased. The dogs always pee on everything we own, but it's intensified since the goats came. All 3 will mark their territory on the same plant for instance.

I'm tempted to shoot the dogs w/a BB gun, but maybe that'd make it worse?

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#6 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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I would get a can, put some pennies, and throw it near the dogs every time they come around the goats. Dogs hate the noise.
My dad used to shoot srtay dogs withh a bb gun, it worked most of the time.
The electric fence sounds like a really good idea. Or if you have room for the donkey.

One thing about your ds...you don't want him to run from the dogs. It activates their prey drive, and they would be likely to focus on him instead of the goats. If attacked, he would be better off curling up on the ground, covering his face and neck with his arms, and playing dead. I teach dog safety classes, and it is better to back up slowly than to run. FWIW.

Good luck, what a frustrating problem.
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#7 of 28 Old 05-22-2006, 09:58 PM
 
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#8 of 28 Old 05-23-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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One of my goats was attacked by a pet dog. The vet said that the bites looked like "play bites" (ie, the dog was not going for the throat, but rather chasing and niping), but any dog bite is very hard for a goat to recover from (and my goat didn't make it).

I think electric fencing is a very good idea, especially since you have coyotes. You should also make sure that your fencing is very sturdy, because once the goats get a bit older they will turn into escape artists. Hog panels have worked really well for us. An electric wire at the right height will keep coyotes from digging under (I think ... we combine hog panels with a livestock protection dog so I forget the electric fence details).

Something else that sounds obvious but can be easy to forget (at least for me!) is to not put anything "jump-able" next to the inside fenceline. I've set a wheelbarrow next to a fence and minutes later there's a goat out.

nak...
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#9 of 28 Old 05-23-2006, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night the neighbor guy and my dh put up an electric fence. It's a single wire about 12 inches off the ground. The dogs seemed to know what the fence was w/out getting zapped. They must have previous experience.

Thank you to the pp who gave the tip about NOT running away from the dog if it attacks a goat. That certainly makes sense although it wasn't obvious to me until I read it.

And also thanks for the tid bit about not putting something close to the outside of the fence. I could see myself doing that when we put a stall in the pen somewhere for shelter. Like thinking I was tucking it out of the way if I put it in a corner.

Gee....looks like I have a lot to learn!!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#10 of 28 Old 05-23-2006, 10:35 PM
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Off-topic, but...

Pygmy's need only a small, simple shelter. WE did 4 sides with a cut-out for the doorway. We use garden fence stakes to stake it down, so it's easily movable.


Bck on-topic.....Your neighbor presumably MADE MONEY selling you the land, right? SHouldn't he be using some of it to fence in his dogs, regardless of where they roamed previously, instead of helping you fence yourself in? MOst states have pretty strict laws regarding dogs and livestock!













Though really, I'm thinking of your kids.
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#11 of 28 Old 05-26-2006, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Red--you're right. We did help our neighbor to shave $25K off his mortgage. So I know I shouldn't have this guilt, but I do!!

Our new problem is the neighbor's dogs are peeing on all of the garden plants. Once again, our neighbor has said he'll help to erect a fence. I'd rather his dang dogs stayed in their own yard instead of all this fencing. : The garden is actually a community garden w/us, the dog owners and my father-in-law.

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#12 of 28 Old 05-31-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Red


Bck on-topic.....Your neighbor presumably MADE MONEY selling you the land, right? SHouldn't he be using some of it to fence in his dogs, regardless of where they roamed previously, instead of helping you fence yourself in? MOst states have pretty strict laws regarding dogs and livestock!
Though really, I'm thinking of your kids.
I totally agree...if you bought it, it's yours! You don't need to feel guilty for protecting your animals and family members.

ONEOTAMAMA- your dh is so sweet for sleeping in his truck to protect the goats!!

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#13 of 28 Old 05-31-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Your neighbor's dogs are determined that this is *their* property. Everything they pee on, is their's. You really need to stop them from doing this if you want things to improve. The penny thing can work. Also, those "super soaker" big honkin' squirtguns filled with vinegar can also make an impression on a dog. The step after that is pepperspray, so I'd be *real* consistent with the other methods so as to give them maximum chance of working. Any chance of you getting a dog of your own?

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#14 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's just so tough b/c the neighbor is my dh's best friend. I know that sounds lame, but it does make things more difficult. Currently the dogs are peeing on my garden plants and I think they're killing them. Now mind you this is a garden that we planted w/the neighbors. So it's their plants too. The neighbor has offered to run a wire around the garden too. And I know he will; it's just a matter of he and my dh being home on the same evening.

The dogs go through our property to get down to the creek to cool off and get something to drink. The main dog giving us the scare lurks around and stays pretty scarce. However, the black lab sacks out in our yard all day. I guess this is a discipline issue just like w/kids where I will need to be more consistent. I have stopped throwing any meat scraps out to them, but my dh hasn't. Of course they usually go to our compost pile and eat out of that anyway. (side note: no, the meat scraps aren't going in there.) I suppose I'll just have to keep on the dogs to go home regardless whether the goats are staked out in the yard or not. Whew. Who knew it would be this hard!

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#15 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Your neighbor's dogs are determined that this is *their* property. Everything they pee on, is their's. You really need to stop them from doing this if you want things to improve. The penny thing can work. Also, those "super soaker" big honkin' squirtguns filled with vinegar can also make an impression on a dog. The step after that is pepperspray, so I'd be *real* consistent with the other methods so as to give them maximum chance of working. Any chance of you getting a dog of your own?

Aaron, using Michelle's account...
Why use vinegar instead of water?

We have thought about a dog, but I'm just not sure about it. I get a little scared w/small kids and big dogs. And I guess I always felt like the neighbor's 3 dogs are at our place so much it was like we already had dogs, yk?

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#16 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 10:28 AM
 
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Vinegar stings if it gets in their eyes or nose. Makes more of an impression.
They definitely won't stop coming around if your dh is feeding them. As long as they associate your property with food and fun, they'll keep coming around.
I'd make my property as unpleasant for them as possible. Nothing fun here.
Definitely take your neighbor up on the offer to fence your garden. Nothing like a little dog pee to spice up your tomatoes. Bleh.
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#17 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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Wow, you're feeding them? Here is what it sounds like to me: the dogs have the run of your property, you have no authority or control over them, they get meat and other goodies for no work from being there and you feel uncomfortable drawing a line in the sand with the one person who *does* have some control over the dogs. If this is accurate, I'd be really, really uncomfortable being in this position with *my own* dogs. A pack of dogs can be very dangerous. They don't act the same when there are several of them as they do when alone. Personally, I'd run them off any chance I got. I definitely wouldn't let the kids out unsupervised under the current conditions. At the very least, make sure that they don't get another morsel of food from being there. If your husband *must* feed them, make them work for it, do alternating sit/down commands (doggie push ups) or something--this will at least help make them submissive to someone there and possibly get them used to obeying at your place. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If they are eating from the compost, sprinkle some cayenne there and see if that changes anything. Really, I see only a couple of options--either you gain some control over the dogs' movement/presence on your property through the owner's actions, or you do it through yours. For practical purposes, it'd be easier to make the owner step up and confine the dogs. Obviously, however, social obligations make that unlikely. So, you either have to train them to keep away from your place, or you have to train them to obey you. The first is easier, since it's purely aversive. If you choose the second route, you've got your work cut out for you, I think.
I hear you about the big dog and kids thing, although the difference between your neighbor's dogs and your own is that, presumably, your dog will *obey you.* We have a large dog and he's a mixed blessing at times--he'd die to defend the kids from anything, although he's also too much dog for them to control in a bad situation. The vinegar is to make sure that the dogs remember to not do whatever it is that you're spraying them for. Dogs are totally scent oriented and it'll make an impression on them they won't soon forget.

Good Luck,

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#18 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aaron-you're absolutely correct. We have no authority/control over the dogs. And yes, they're a wild pack in a sense. I watched the peskiest one capture a raccoon one afternoon and kill it. He did most of the work anyway. The fight even made it down into the creek and then back up onto the bank. When the coon was almost dead, the black lab had the final chomps into the coon's neck. It was interesting, yet scary to watch almost.

Our neighbor has been very responsive to my concerns so I guess I'll have to come clean and tell him some tactics that I have for keeping his dogs at their own home. The kids love the black lab. Yet even w/that dog one night that my dh was sitting outside eating hamburgers it nipped at the kids. Both kids about 5 minutes apart. Didn't actually "bite" them, but got her point across that she had other things on her mind. FOOD!

Okay, I'll talk to the neighbor. And my dh too

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#19 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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1) Your neighbor is responsible for keeping his dogs under control. If his dogs are running loose off of his property, and especially if they are threatening people or property or livestock that don't belong to him, this is against the law. It is not your responsibility to fence your property. It is his responsibility to control his dogs. Period.

2) He isn't doing this. You know he isn't doing this. You know the dogs are a threat to your livestock and your children. YOU NEED TO DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY. If this means putting up a wall around your property, DO IT! If this means calling the sheriff every time the dogs do run on your property, DO IT. The dogs have "nipped at" your children? I guarantee that would only happen once in my yard. I would call the sheriff, talk to the owner (and that "talk" would be control your dogs or else), and I would be prepared to follow through with the "or else".

3) This is a MUCH lower priority, but if you have a Netflix account or if your local video store carries it, you may want to rent Season One of The Dog Whisperer or Cesar Milan's Aggression DVD. There are a lot of warning signals and you seem to be downplaying them, because they make you uncomfortable. While you're at it, get a copy of Protecting the Gift : Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe by Gavin De Becker from your local library or bookstore. De Becker talks about how we, as women, tend to put "being polite" above all else, even protecting ourselves and our children. The idea of standing up to your neighbor may terrify you, but if you don't protect your family, who will?

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#20 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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That nipping was a correction to your children. It sounds like the dog has a pretty clear picture of where the kids stand in the heirarchy of things--if your kids don't get the message, I don't doubt that the dog will correct more harshly next time. While labs are friendly as a breed (when well bred) they are still big dogs and their heads are about face level for a little kid--what might be a stern correction to an uppity pup could be a cosmetic and psychological disaster for your kids. Please be careful. I wish you the best of luck. As far as being assertive for your children's safety, You *Can* do it! Hang in there!

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#21 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was able to order the book Protecting the Gift through interlibrary loan. I'm also getting a different book from Cesar Millan. Not either of the videos you suggested, but a book about correcting dogs behaviors. Unfortunately I'm #11 on the list....Cesar Millan must be quite popular!

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#22 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 08:32 PM
 
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First of all, I'm sorry you are having to deal w/this very difficult and touchy problem. I understand. I have some great neighbors and we are all very good friends. They have 2 large dogs that over the last 2 yrs have been caught trying to kill our chickens several times. After a stray dog came onto our property and helped himself to THIRTY of our chickens (essentially our whole dang flock), and I killed it in one of our coops, I let our neighbors know that there is a containment law out here. Lots of ppl let their dogs run loose out here, and lots of dogs are dumped out here. Once they get the taste of any kind of livestock, they will be back! My dh helped the neighbors to put up a dog pen, but they kept letting them run loose anyway. They would chase kids on bikes, cars, etc....When i ordered my new batch of chicks this Spring, I let them know that all bets were off after our massacre last year. If their dogs so much as stepped one paw onto my property I would shoot to kill. I hated to tell them that, and I'm sure they hated to hear it, but they understand how important our livestock is to us. We do, afterall, give them free eggs. It is not your responsiblity to deal w/these dogs, other than to shoot them if they are on your property. Please don't think I'm a dog hater. I have 2 wonderful Labs myself, who are trained not to touch our birds. We cannot afford to fence our whole property yet, so my dh dug a trench alllll the way around 4 acres so that we could be responsible pet owners and installed Radiofencing. Maybe you could tell your neighbor about this wonderful product. radiofence.com. It cost us $300 to fence 4 acres, plus the 2 receiver collars. It takes about 2 wks of very consistent training, but the dogs will learn! Who the heck wants to be shocked? I got the stubborn dog receivers, so that the thick neck skin of my Labs didn't get in the way of them feeling the shocks. Now, if we could just locate that silly receiver that my one dog chewed off the other dog....... : LOL! She was trying to free her, I guess. Really, though, this fencing is a great and affordable option!

Good luck!

Oh, and my mom raises Kiko goats and has an Anatolian Shepherd and 2 Great Pyrinese to guard them.

edited to add correct web address....

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#23 of 28 Old 06-01-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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Re: the electronic fencing, the key words are *consistent training.* Without it, the dogs will eventually go past it--especially if chasing something enticing on the other side. They'll just run right through the shocks because they're in prey drive. They won't come back, though--because they won't have the distraction of chasing something to make them ignore the shocks. When they approach the "fence" they will get the warning shock and that'll be that. The electronic fencing *can* work, especially with low drive or easily trained dogs. Usually when it fails, it's due to lack of consistent training of the dog. Some dogs, however, will barely notice it if they are chasing prey.

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#24 of 28 Old 06-02-2006, 12:03 AM
 
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From what we've seen w/our dogs and the dogs that my dh has been exposed to who have the radiofencing (he use to bury phone cable, so that's how we even found out about it and he spoke w/many of the owners), the training consists of 'distraction training', which comes toward the end of the training. We did extra of this part, jic. And w/the training, you teach your dog where the 'safe zone' is, so that as soon as they get their warning beep/vibration, they know to immediately head to the safe zone, instead of keeping on. It definitely would not work for a lazy pet owner! The manual suggested 3 15 minute sessions daily. We did 4, sometimes 5. And our dogs are Labs, so they are considered stubborn, lol. Definitely have to be very consistent.

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#25 of 28 Old 06-02-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by oneotamama
Unfortunately I'm #11 on the list....Cesar Millan must be quite popular!
Cesar's book just came out last month. I own it, but haven't finished reading it. The DVDs came out even more recently than that. If you do get a chance to see any of his DVDs, I highly recommend them (Netflix has a 2 week free trial - I actually joined, because they've got a great selection of documentaries). Really, watching him in action is amazing!

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Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#26 of 28 Old 06-02-2006, 02:28 PM
 
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This is a really tough problem, I know. I think the electric fence is a great start in terms of protecting the goats, but I'm more worried that what you're seeing in the dogs is pretty clear 'pack' behaviour: and when they're in that mode it's going to be really difficult to alter their habits. Here's my thoughts, fwiw

1) NO treats from you at all - no leftovers or garbage where they can get to it, nothing to reinforce the idea that coming over into your yard is rewarding in any way.

2) Vinegar spray - do you have a SuperSoaker type water gun? They have great range, and are very useful if you want to mark the boundary...

3) Talk with neighbour about the fencing: also, are they fully vaccinated against rabies, in case God forbid they do ever bite you or dk...Your neighbour needs to reinforce HIS boundaries with them - ok, they used to roam your land, but you are now the Alpha animals on that property; he needs to help them to respect that. Radio collars can be a good way to go...

4) (Don't laugh!) Have your dh pee along the boundary...as high up a tree or vertical surface as possible. You need the dogs to know that there is a bigger, more powerful 'dog' around...(my dh loves this bit - he sees it as a challenge )

Good luck!
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#27 of 28 Old 06-02-2006, 08:40 PM
 
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LOL, I forgot about the peeing bit.....My mother writes a newspaper column about country living stuff. She had one column I was almost embarassed about. She mentioned that if ya see her dh out w/a milk jug full of yellow liquid, it's just the pee he'd been collecting to pour out along the front of their property to keep dogs away. EWWWW! My dh does it around the chicken pen. He loves it and my son is learning to copy his daddy. I figure they each save a buck a flush by doing it out there.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#28 of 28 Old 06-03-2006, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our neighbors are poor dog owners. I asked if they were vax'ed and they claim that they are. But otherwise they honestly don't pay much attention to their dogs. I don't really even know why they have them other than that often people just think having a dog is the thing to do, kwim?

These dogs prefer our property over their own. We're more fun I guess. Plus we've got that good compost. Gross in my opinion. I am going to sprinkle some chili powder when I add to it next time; I don't have any cayenne pepper.

We do have a super soaker squirt gun. And vinegar.

The underground fence doesn't seem like it'll work. Like I said, these people don't DO anything w/their dogs. In all seriousness they don't. Yesterday I was able to keep hollering at the 2 mutts and they'd leave, but the black lab acted like I didn't mean her. This afternoon when we go out I'll try the vinegar trick. Yesterday she'd just lay there and paid no attention to me. Then the kids would go and love her up. Talk about mixed messages.:

I don't know if my dh would go around peeing, but I know my kids would! Even my dd tries peeing standing up; something I'm not too fond of But at least if it had a purpose!!

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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