Home
Karen B. London
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Dandelion Dog
She helps me find weeds
Schultzie points out a dandelion

Yesterday I was searching for dandelions to yank from my lawn and garden with Schultize, a dog who is staying with us for a couple of weeks. After about 10 minutes of pulling these weeds, Schultize was consistently in my way. Several times, I found myself having to wait for her to move so I could use my weeding tool without risk of hurting her. She just kept sitting right near a dandelion. At first I thought this was a bit of an annoyance, and it reminded me of the futility of trying to read the newspaper on the floor when a cat is present.

Then I started to think that Schultize was finding the dandelions before me. As I searched the lawn methodically and found one, she was already sitting by it. Is this possible? Had she figured out what I was searching for and begun to lend her services? I pulled the one right near her and then waited. Sure enough, she went and sat by a nearby dandelion and looked at me. How cool is this? The worst part of weeding is finding the unwanted plants. Pulling them up just takes a moment.

Schultzie has not been trained to find dandelions. She just seemed to notice that I was looking for them, and did her part to show them to me. Today, when I went into the yard with my weeding tool and began to look down at the ground, Schultzie immediately sat by a dandelion in the grass, and when I pulled it up, she trotted over to another one. Today, there were only a handful of weeds (progress!), but after Schultzie showed them to me, I only found one additional one on my own, which suggests that she wasn’t just randomly sitting by a plant that is common.

In my past experiences, the only part of gardening that dogs in my home have joined in on is the digging. Has your dog ever figured out what you were doing in the garden and actually helped?

Print|Email

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.
Submitted by Katy | May 4 2012 |

Although I have not had my help with gardening, my one dog will point out raspberry and blackberry bushes when we are out hiking. She also helped me when I was working on my dissertation by pointing out the plant I was interested in whenever she would find it.

Submitted by Kerry | May 4 2012 |

While I don't garden, I have a similar story about my chow mix. A couple of years ago we had a mosquito problem in our apartment, and every night before bed my husband and I would walk around the house hunting down and killing mosquitoes. It didn't take long before the pooch had figured out what we were after, and would start hunting and pointing to mosquitoes for us. Now, whenever I'm trying to track down a bug she joins me, and usually finds it before I do.

Submitted by Kerry | May 4 2012 |

While I don't garden, I have a similar story about my chow mix. A couple of years ago we had a mosquito problem in our apartment, and every night before bed my husband and I would walk around the house hunting down and killing mosquitoes. It didn't take long before the pooch had figured out what we were after, and would start hunting and pointing to mosquitoes for us. Now, whenever I'm trying to track down a bug she joins me, and usually finds it before I do.

Submitted by corine | May 4 2012 |

Yes, my dog Charlie was a great help in the garden! He would help to dig when I needed it and also to pull on the big roots. he was the best helper and like Schultize a great observer!
Good job Schultize! : )

More From The Bark

By
Karen B. London
By
Karen B. London
By
Karen B. London
More in Karen B. London:
Packing to Move
Movies and Breed Popularity
Matching Names
Circadian Rhythms
Amazing X-Rays
Back to School
A Dog in Front and a Dog Behind
Resembling Our Dogs
Favorite Facial Expressions
Handler Stress Improves Dog Performance