While sprinklers are often recommended to scare dogs away from your garden, some dogs just love them. Sprinklers that pop up from underground can be a great novelty and some breeds -- such as spaniels and retrievers -- are fascinated by water, so they will naturally run towards the sprinklers rather than away from them. If you're tired of replacing chewed-up sprinkler heads, there are some things you can do to keep them safe.
Turn on the sprinklers only when the doggies are safely tucked inside the house. If this seems difficult -- or if the dogs go crazy as soon as the sprinklers go on -- consider installing a timer. That way you can set up the sprinklers to go on -- and off -- before you get up in the morning. Many dogs will only go after the sprinklers when they're on because they want to play with the water. If you manage to make them work while the doggies are still sleeping, you should be fine.
Scatter pieces of pine cones or prickly mulch around the sprinkler heads. Dogs hate the feeling of these on their paws, so they'll stay away. Not working? Make a wider ring or add an extra layer to solidify the message.
Give Doggie something else to do. Is he chewing on the sprinklers because he lacks chewing options? Get him a few rubber toys and some chewing sticks, including a few soft ones and some hard ones, just so he has options. It could also be that he's bored, in which case some tug-of-war or some extra-long walks might help. Interactive toys and games that challenge his mind will keep him busy and entertained.
Let the dogs know that the sprinkler is off limits the first time they approach it. If you're inconsistent -- today you let them chew on it, tomorrow you scream at them -- you'll only get them confused. If you plan on saying "no," say it from the beginning.
- If you have a water-loving breed, keeping him away from the sprinklers can be a huge challenge. In those cases, it might make more sense to focus on the "no chewing" teaching while letting him play in the water when the sprinklers go on.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images