How to Keep your Dog Out of the Garden
Benjamin Franklin once said: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.", and we couldn't agree with him more.
Before you ask yourself how to keep your dog out of the garden and prevent him from redecorating your precious flowerbed to resemble a gourmet Swiss cheese, you need to find out why do they do it in the first place.
Domestic dogs belong to the biological family "Canidae" which also includes some other relatives that are found in the wild like wolves or foxes. If you've spent five minutes in your life watching a wildlife documentary, you surely noticed that in most of the footage these animals usually spend their time digging. Pets WebMD elaborates that they do this for various reasons like making a cozy "bed" for their young lings, stashing valuables for later use or just to keep themselves warm.
Our domesticated furry friends tend to share some of these reasons with their wild cousins, but also they could be just bored or looking for some quick entertainment. Some people resort to chaining their dog while he's outside or punishing him when he makes a mess, but for us this is out of the question so we prepared 10 useful tips on how to keep your dog out of the garden.
1. Embrace The Habit
One approach is to reconcile with the fact that your canine is a born digger. Instead of trying to break the habit, embrace it! Section out a part of your yard and turn it into his private little "Dig Pit". Sandy surfaces and loose dirt seem to be attractive and inviting, that would explain why they enjoy your freshly planted Daffodils. After you're done preparing their play zone, place their favorite toys and you've got yourself a designated dig pit.
2. Speaking of Freshly Planted Flowers...
You probably have some roses planted in your garden, prune the bushes and scatter the clippings all around. Those thorns are gonna be a minefield for your pup and he will think twice before placing his gentle paws near your garden.
3. Add Some Spices to the Mix
Sprinkle the area with hot spices like cayenne pepper, powdered mustard, and a mix of red and black pepper. You could also use coffee grounds because for some reason dogs don't like their morning dose of caffeine. An interesting fact is that coffee grounds also serve as a fertilizer and as an organic material which can improve the soil.
4. Exercise Improves Quality of Life
Just like humans, dogs need their exercise in order to stay healthy, anxiety-free and focused. This especially applies to working dog breeds, and breeds that are generally very active. In order to keep your dog happy and prevent him from getting bored (and devastating your flowerbed) make sure to exercise him on a daily basis. Occasional playtime and walks twice a day are usually sufficient.
5. When Life Gives you Lemons...
Peel them, along with a couple of oranges and distribute the mix of rinds evenly. The citrus oil has a sour and bitter taste which is usually a no-no for all furry pets. Don't worry, no harm will be done if they get curious and eat the peels.
6. Make Sure your Garden is Rodent Free
If your excavator is particularly ecstatic about a specific spot in your garden, you might just have a rodent problem. Chipmunks, rats, gophers you name them... Some breeds like the terrier are born and bred to locate and exterminate these animals very efficiently. Gopher holes are pretty obvious, try locating them yourself and use a garden hose to flush them out. You could also hire a professional if your rodent problem seems to be out of hand.
7. Bury Chicken Wire or Stones
If your dog likes digging a specific spot for no apparent reason, try burying large pieces of stone or even some chicken wire a few inches deep. When he decides it's finally time to do some landscaping, he'll discover an unpleasant surprise. However, your dog just might pick another spot, dogs are smart you know...
8. Additional Supervision and Training
This is probably the second best tip we can give you on how to keep your dog out of the garden. Set aside some time and invest some effort into actually teaching your dog that the flowerbed is not his excavation area and is off limits. All you need is his favorite toy, a bag of treats, a leash and, most importantly, a good attitude. Use positive reinforcement and be consistent. You could also consider getting a remote trainer device which will help you substantially in the training process.
9. Toys, Toys and More Toys
Playtime and regular walks in the park are important for your dog, but life happens and adult responsibilities are ever-present so you can't spend the entire day with him. Separation anxiety is more common in dogs than you might think so before leaving for work make sure he has his favorite ball, maybe a bone he can nibble all day or just his favorite toy.
Remember, the more you occupy your pet, he's less likely to end up rolling in your Lilies.
10. Our Best Tip - Install In-ground Dog Fence
Ran out of ideas on how to keep your dog out of the garden? If all else fails, consider installing an in-ground wired dog fence on your property. These containment systems act as a deterrent by issuing mild static stimulation via a collar your dog wears around his neck. The wire is buried in the ground and spread in a layout of your choosing. You can make an exclusionary zone, which would be your garden in this case, while still leaving the rest of yard for your dog to enjoy. To find out more read our article on how to bury dog fence.
Hopefully, these 10 tips on how to keep your dog out of the garden have been helpful and that starting from tomorrow your fragile flowerbed will be safe.