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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Fear factor

Milly, my one-year-old crossbreed, ran back from the back garden crying in fear and would not return out there. I don't know what was the cause but I suspect the neighbours may have put some device to repel dogs (electronic or ultrasound perhaps) because they don't like it when she occasionally barks at them over the fence. Would this be legal?
Alternatively, could she have met a toad which sprayed her? (She was also licking herself as if she felt sore.)
I would be grateful for your advice.
V.Cesareo, London


  1. I'd never heard of a dog repellent device, but googling it shows there is such a thing, the same as used for cats it seems.It also appears to be legal :(

    Toads don't spray, but do exude an irritant through their skin to protect them from such things as being picked up/eaten. But I'd have thought Milly would have been pawing madly at her mouth if it was that.

    As long as Milly is physically alright I'd say the important thing right now is to get her relaxed about going in the garden again.

    Check first to make sure there is nothing poisonous or dangerous out there,including plants & shrubs then try walking into the garden with a handful of tasty treats & dropping them from time to time, so Milly's kept busy sniffing them out, also play with her without getting her too over-excited, you need her to be calm while out there.

    Hopefully, by keeping it low key & acting relaxed yourself you should change her feelings about the garden.

  2. A neighbour of mine used a sound repellent device to prevent cats from entering his front garden. It could clearly be heard by humans and was a horrible sound. It made the same kind of high pitched noise that TV's sometimes make. It also did not work so was rapidly abandoned.
    You can also purchase a motion detect spray which hisses compressed air. These devices are also audible and very sudden. They are quite small and expensive too and do not cover much range.
    Whilst the devices themselves are not illegal, causing deliberate harm to an animal is not legal. You would have to establish this somehow - not easy.
    My only other thought was that Milly may have met a hedgehog, or even a cat and received a nasty shock upon investigation.
    Begin to create a positive atmosphere about the garden once again, go out there with Milly, feed her out in the garden and play a lot of garden-based games with toys, hide and seek and so on.