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My own dog Poppy, an airedale terrier, was never much use around the garden until this summer when I discovered she had a hidden gardening talent. We have a terrible problem with next door's bindweed which spends all year trying to take over our borders, but it is impossible to completely dig the roots out of our heavy, claggy clay soil without it snapping into pieces. Being a terrier, Poppy is a great digger and when told to, will enthusiastically dig in any specific spot until told to stop. So on my command she will begin to slowly dig out a patch of bindweed, stopping every few seconds to allow me to pick out the roots from the big pile of broken up clay she effortlessly gets out. She dug down almost a metre this spring in one particularly bad spot allowing me to get out some massive roots (and all the little bits too) and refill the hole with the bindweed-free friable, airated clay. well done poppy! Makes it easy to forgive her less helpful garden antics, like squashing the new season's growth under her massive paws as she sees squirrels off her patch.
Now that's one clever dog! I'll follow your advice and train Magic to help with the weeding, although she'll need a good bath by the end of it I'm sure. I wonder if anyone else has a dog with hidden gardening talents?
I can't imagine gardening without my two Border Terrier dogs - Sporran and Poppy. They're always by my side come rain or shine, normally sticking their noses in trying to see what I'm doing. Who else can I rely on to trample my border plants, create dog circles (wee marks) in my lawn and set booby traps for me in the form of small holes dug randomly around the place. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have to agree with everyone about canine company in the garden. I have a Siberian Husky called Nanuk that loves nothing more than being with me in my garden. They say Huskies are intelligent dogs but in Nuks case,I am yet to see any evidence to back this up so I don't think I'll get him weeding or mowing the lawn but just having him by my side makes gardening that bit more special! He's taken to eating the nuts I leave on the floor for the squirrels too! Don't think the squirrels are very impressed!
I too love being in the garden with my dog - Millie, a Jack Russell now nearly two. Brains? I'm not sure, but her digging instinct is great for a root removal assistant. I hope her searches for rats are discouraging unwelcome visitors. As she doesn't like water, the water vole in the brook at the bottom of our garden is safe!

The only problem is that my efforts to puppy-proof our boundary have made it difficult, I suspect, for visitors like hedgehogs who would be very welcome.

A suggestion for Alan Pasco - what about one of those 'cages' you can anchor to the lawn to prevent big birds (crows, jackdaws,magpies) taking the bread? Ours works very well for dogs too! You can get the cages from the RSPB and Pets at Home.


Please has anyone got ideas our three dogs sometimes wee in the garden they have their own patch to go in between walks.But there is now a terrible stale wee smell that has arrived i need help to neutrilise the smell any ideas
Hi! We too enjoy our garden with our 3yr old yellow lab,she loves to find fallen branches for us etc.The only problem Annie leaves us with is the "bitch burn".All is not lost!... As a temporary solution and purely for looks, mainly in the summer I use a vegetable dye and spray it on the patches to make it less obvious. This works really well and if anybody wants any details you can e-mail me at
I love my dog Tilly! She's brilliant! I agree that life would be dull without animals.

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