How to Keep Dogs Out of Garden Mischief

How to keep dogs out of a garden is a problem most gardeners have to solve at some point. Finding a way for both you and your pet to enjoy your garden takes a little planning and patience, but it can be done.

Plan for Your Dog in the Garden

One of the easiest ways to accommodate your dog in your garden is to make a place for him. Use the track he's already worn in your lawn for your garden path, for instance, or set up a resting place under an existing tree.

Establish a bathroom area for your dog in the garden. Make it easy to maintain by using wood chips or pea gravel. Train your dog to use this spot to relieve himself. Praise him when he uses it, and correct him when he finds other locations to go to the bathroom.

Another way to make your dog a part of your garden is to give him a digging spot. You may have to fence it off from the rest of the garden, but you may find it worth your time to have a place your dog can dig to his heart's content. Praise your dog lavishly when he digs in "his" spot, and add some of his favorite toys to the area so he'll feel at home. Correct him when he digs in any other spot, and before long, your dog should know the difference between his spot and the rest of the garden.

Train Your Dog for Garden Behavior

You train your dog how to behave when he's in your home or when he's out on a walk, so why not train him how to behave when he's in the garden? The time spent training your dog will help strengthen the bond between you, and it will result in a more enjoyable garden experience for you both.

One of the simplest things to train your dog on what to do in the garden is to have him lie down beside you. This will help keep him under control, and will also provide you with some company as you weed the flowerbeds or harvest vegetables.

If your dog is naturally active, he may learn to help with garden chores. He can fetch your tool bag or kneeling cushion, or he may be able to pull a small garden cart to help you take weeds to the compost pile.

Use Dog-Proof Landscaping Materials

If your dog is a digger, some commonly used landscaping materials can deter him. Placing bricks in a recently dug hole, for example, can lessen his desire to finish the excavation because he may not enjoy the feel of brick on his feet. Some dogs are deterred from running through the garden after decorative rocks or pine cones are added to the landscape, while others find densely planted areas unpleasant places to play.

Fencing: Not a Duel between You and Your Dog

Different types of fences, from invisible electric fences to informal chicken wire to traditional white picket, can be used to protect your garden. Chicken wire can also be used as an over-the-ground barrier, while ground cover is filling in a slope or other garden area. Raised garden beds can also keep some dogs away from garden plants.