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Hedgehogs => European Wild Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) => Topic started by: hedgedog on Saturday 29 August 2009_ 21:38:47

Title: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: hedgedog on Saturday 29 August 2009_ 21:38:47
Hi,

We have a dog who will attack hedgehogs who come into our garden. After a traumatic month after they first came out of hibernation this spring they had left our garden well alone (thank goodness). However, this week our dog has found 2 already and managed to get hold of them (both survived). We would like to actively deter them coming into the garden so that they don't risk getting attacked. Any advice on how to do this would be appreciated. Unfortunately one side of our garden is hedge and it not possible to completely fence it off and so although our dog can not get through it the hedgehogs can.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: clayts on Saturday 29 August 2009_ 21:48:01
How about turning this problem on its head and think about the root cause - your inquisitive dog ?!

Everyone on here will tell you to encourage the hogs in - they are desperately short of accessible gardens, of which yours is clearly one.

Are you not in a position to train your dog not to pick hogs up - some simple clicker training (reward him each time he leaves a hog alone) should solve the problem, maybe ?

Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: rachel on Saturday 29 August 2009_ 21:50:44
i don't think you will be able to deter the hogs unless you can build a wall to keep them out they'll keep coming

x
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: spikelet on Saturday 29 August 2009_ 23:03:43
Or fence a bit of your garden that your dog can't get to and put food and water otu for the hogs. They may pass throughm avoinding your dog.
But far better to train your dog not to attack them. Ours used to dig all around them and they'd end up at the bottom of a 2ft pit in the lawn. Needless to say, we had to stop him doing it and now he just sniffs after them.

Rob
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: SoftTouch on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 00:14:29
Sorry but as the owner of the dog you are responsible for training it and making sure it doesn't attack anyone or anything. I'm fed up with dog owners constantly asking for animals to be removed or blocked from their natural habitats, habitats they have used for many years, purely because they have moved a dog in and can't be bothered to train it properly.

Hedgehogs are a protected species. You are responsible if your animal attacks one of them and given you know this is likely you will quite possibly be in a situation where you can be prosecuted under one of the wildlife acts.

Your options are:

1. Fence off a piece of your garden that your dog can use without being able to attack anything, be that hedgehog, rabbit, small child...

2. Discipline your dog EVERY time it attempts to attack wildlife for best results. The more it gets away with an attack the less successful you will be. This may mean confining the dog so it cannot get to wildlife initially and only allowing it freedom when you have the time to correct any misbehaviour.

The "Bad Dog - Good Dog" routine is the best form of discipline. As soon as it shows an interest in wildlife, bellow at it, shouting "NO - BAD DOG" to stop it in its tracks. If the dog stops, follow this by commanding the dog in an encouraging friendly tone to "COME" to you (and to move away from the wildlife). If it does this good action, praise it for being a "GOOD DOG". Then totally distract the dog by playing a game such as chasing a ball so it forgets about the wildlife.

You could also hose the dog, or throw a water bomb at it when it is barking at wildlife. If you do this make sure you then call the dog to you and praise the dog as in the "Bad Dog - Good Dog" routine.

3. Muzzle it.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: AlliH on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 00:59:00
Hi Hedgedog  :)

That is a real problem and I'm not too sure what you can really do about it.   It's nice though that your taking the hedgehogs into consideration, a lot of people don't and would gladly let them have the hedgehog as a plaything!!   

My dog used to sniff and grumble and make lots of huffy noises at them, but after getting spiked on the nose a few times, even the huffing disappeared and she would just walk past them casually pretending they weren't there and she didn't really care!!!

As mentioned previously would it be possible to fence off even a small section of the garden, let it grow into a bit of a wildlife patch and place food and water on the hedgehog side of the fence.  Do you think they are getting in under the hedge?  If so somewhere along that side of the garden maybe.   

That way if you can do that hedgehog and dog can live in harmony and you won't have to fret anymore.

AlliHx

Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: Stef on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 07:31:20
Is your dog sleeping in the garden?  ??? If not and you are just letting out to do its nightly business - think about taking it for a walk instead of letting it out in the garden on a night - problem solved  ;)
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: Emi on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 10:21:31
I have a very dominant dog and it is really difficult to educate him. But even then, I did manage to train him not to touch hedgehogs in the garden. Yelling and telling him "no" when he does bad things doesn't work as he is dominant. Instead, rewarding him works much better. As he loves to eat, I give him a little snack everytime he listens to my commands. Also, if he has enough exercise during the day (a long walk), he is too tired to go near hogs during the night. My dog is a smallish dog but still he needs 1 to 2 hours of walk everyday. He can walk for 4 hours a day without a problem. So, if you have a big dog, you need to take your dog for a very long walk everyday.

Also, When my dog goes out in the garden during the night, I go out with him and stays with him all the time to make sure he doesn't touch hogs.

Dogs are very intelligent, they can learn.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: sonic on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 11:45:38
There has been a lot of good advice given and i really hope you can resolve things.

My neighbour blocked off his garden to keep his kitten in but unfortunatley it kept hedgies out. The other night i heard and saw a hedgie desperate to get into my garden through a bit of wire. I found it distressing and so did the hedgie. I helped her through eventually.
What i'm saying is they have their routes and if the way gets blocked they will be very determined to find a way in. I'm just glad that this hedgie didn't hurt herself on the wire.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: hedgedog on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 14:24:50
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply.

We got our dog from the RSPCA and are in the process of training him, he's old but learning. He's not at all aggressive to other animals, we're surrounded by fields of livestock that he's fine with, just hedgehogs for some reason (and certainly not small children!!). What we tend to do is let him in the garden after his evening walk (his third of the day) as he likes to lay out for an hour or so and have a sniff around. We're going to go for putting a fence in front of the hedge, it's a nice wide hedge so the hedgehogs will be able to still have a wander up and down underneath it (presumably they like it for all the insects, we've never seen them anywhere else in the garden) and we can put some food out for them too that way. If we can train him to leave them that will be fantastic and going to try the water option (delivered via a water gun) as he does not follow any of the commands he usually does once he's seen one. As for now his nightly garden wanders will have to be supervised.

L and J x 
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: Mouse on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 14:42:20
Sounds like the perfect solution!  :)  The visiting hedgies will love having an undercover avenue to wander and forage in and even better if you're going to put food out too.

All my dogs (3 over the years) have been rescue dogs and only one wasn't a puppy as we had lots of other animals too.  It took a long time to train him, mainly because of the damage people had caused to make him mistrust people (men especially).  He grew into a very gentle old man and it broke my heart when he died.  It sounds like your dog has now got the loving family he deserves  :)

Ali x
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: spikelet on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 14:55:43
Just as a footnote, could you make some means of letting them get through the garden if they want to ?
ie. A small, safe, route through to your neighbour's garden in case you are on a through-route or through to the fields.

I hope you can train him to ignore them, or at least tolerate them. You can all enjoy watchign them together then. ;D

Rob
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: hoglover!! on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 15:18:06
I look after my brother's Doberman dog several times a year for a week or so at a time.
I know that's not the same as having her full time but when she's here we just don't let her out in the back garden after dark, we take her out on her lead for a wee.
She has free access to the garden during daylight hours but I don't know how she would be with hedgehogs so I don't take the chance.
We did have 3 dogs of our own in this house but only noticed a regular hedgehog presence in the garden once our last dog died.
I can remember odd occasions where a hog was in the garden though because our dogs would show an extra interest under a particular rustling bush but we were lucky as they always left them alone.
Training dogs to go against their natural instincts is very difficult.  :-\
My dogs always hated cats and went mad whenever they saw one even though they were excellent with everything else.
Good luck.
PatX
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: JULES 1 on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 15:45:05
Yeah I agree there is no reason why dogs who attack hogs can't be trained.  I have had five dogs over the years some rescue, and some from pups.  I have managed to train all of mine not to harm any form of wildlife.  My labs won't harm the hogs but they will bark at them if they hear them running through the shrubs etc which is distressing for the hogs so they only have access to the front garden for their last wee of the day and then they are closely supervised.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: Stef on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 16:08:40
We currently have my neighbours black collie, alsation x staying with us for the week - hes bin camping outside the garage door (where spud is!) and watching at the patio doors where the 'babies' were staying in the run. He has been known to grab a hog in his mouth and carry it around playing with it - he is a gentlt dog though and always ends up with a cut tongue! - so we don't let him in the garden on a night - he goes out for a walk instead. Also dont let him out during the day either - he goes for a walk then too - as he would probably sniff out a sleeping hog like he did when he sniffed out an autumn juvenile who was too small to hibernate! Maybe il use him october time to sniff all the juveniles out lol  ::)
When i brought the 3 babies in to weigh yesterday i let him sniff them all - he didnt once attempt to grab them and when the 3rd and final one HUFFED at him - he cowared away to the next room!   :D
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: Mouse on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 18:36:59
I think you've touched on something Jules.  The dogs breed will affect how it reacts to wildlife and some dogs will attack and others will sniff them out.  My dog will watch for hedgehogs by the back door and wouldn't bite a hog but would quite happily roll one round the garden if I didn't keep him in order. 

Now a sniffer dog to find babies in need would be good  :D
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: JULES 1 on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 20:06:20
Yeah the breed of dog will determine how it reacts.  Mine are suppose to retrieve but they don't unless it is a choc drop. ;D ;D ;D

What a thought Ali a hog sniffer dog.
Title: Re: Deterring hedgehogs from our garden to save them!
Post by: AlliH on Sunday 30 August 2009_ 22:32:02
Hi Hedgedog

Sounds like you're going to have the perfect solution.  Don't forget to put a few bowls of water down as well, they can survive longer without food than they can without water and water is usually harder to find!!

Good luck training your dog, sounds like he's found a super home at last  :)

AlliHx