Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dog vs. Drip Irrigation

I'm not sure what the attraction is, but dogs and water find each other, wayyyyy too often. We've had more than one sprinkler mangled by our dog. Probably a combination of thirst, playfulness and boredom. Our sprinkler solution: put a tomato cage around the sprinkler head to keep a few inches separation between nozzle and muzzle.
     Les in Gold River has his own doggone water issue:
     "We are dog sitting my in-law's dog for awhile," Les writes. "I was thinking of re-doing my drip irrigation this year, but now my in-laws' dog has done my thinking for me by ripping up sections of the drip line. So before I try to put something back in place, is there something that you can recommend that I try that does not encourage dogs to chew it up?"
     You mean other than blame the psychoses of your in-laws for screwing up the dog? Nah, that's too easy. Other than burying the line, I can't think of any other deterrent; installing an enclosed dog run in another part of the yard, perhaps. You may want to check with the Dripworks website to see if they have any dogproofing ideas.

     The Dripworks catalog is a great resource for anyone tackling the problems associated with drip irritation...uh, irrigation. Just thumbing through the catalog can give you several "Aha!" moments for improving your own yard watering procedures. And the Dripworks online site has helpful tips and videos that can help beginner and pro alike solve their drip irrigation and yard watering woes. (note: I was not compensated for this endorsement, damn it.)

     And that includes a helpful staff. I sent a copy of Les' e-mail to Cathie Nicolaus at Dripworks. And she responded:
     "I experienced my lab puppy doing the same thing, she liked the emitters the best because of the water spraying out. I had to redo my entire system on the deck! Here is something to try: Get a spray bottle and mix cayenne pepper powder and warm water and spray on the area that the dog is going for. You may have to make a small offering of tubing for the dog to get the idea, but he should rather quickly. For squirrels, we have in the past recommended petroleum jelly and cayenne pepper mixed together if you need to have it last longer on the tubing. In retrospect for our dog situation, I would have used the petroleum jelly/cayenne pepper mix around the emitters (being careful not to plug any holes) and tubing, since the water from the emitters was attracting the dog."



  1. Ah yes, the neighbor's dog loves to dig underneath my fence in a vain attempt to get at the cats -- which he never does. Then he gets frustrated and starts chewing on the half-inch drip line that I have anchored up against the back fenceline. Dogs and drip lines do not mix -- which is why I have cats.

  2. No dogs here either, although Neighbor Kitty does "visit" my raised beds often (in spite of the cayenne pepper).

    I'm about to sheet mulch 1/3 of the front yard--any suggestions from the pros? I don't want him to think I've installed a giant catbox.

  3. I know this is an old post, but I am sure there are many people searching for the magic bullet to keep dogs (especially labs) from destroying drip line. My solution might be a bit unorthodox, but it works like a dream (so far). About a couple months ago, I was having problems with my lab digging holes in the lawn around the sprinklers. I read that you can fill the holes with their own poop and they will never touch the hole again. Needless to say, I have had much fewer holes dug and he never returns to the same hole again. Fast forward, and now I am boarding a connoisseur of drip line. I was getting so fed up with the daily repairs, that I tried burring the line, apple bitters, cayenne etc (nothing worked). I thought to myself, desperate times call for desperate measures. I decided to bury his feces along the drip line that was buried, and for anything exposed, I smeared it all over. I am now without problems. I'll report back on how permanent this solution proves to be.

    1. The poop trick seems to be the only thing that works for our digger. Keeps the gophers down and him up. Just not sure exactly how to apply that to the irrigation on the flower beds where o don't want poop

  4. It accidently found that method by getting fed up and just throwing poop down a gopher hole. Works wonders. Keeps my Weim from digging down and the gophers from coming up. .. The best part is it's a free unlimited supply

  5. Hmmmm, very interesting. Will have to try this.