How can I keep dogs out of the garden?

My family has just adopted a one-year-old dog, and she keeps running through my gardens and peeing on everything! I’ve found several plants squished and I don’t want the entire garden destroyed. How can I keep her out?

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Answer provided by
Andrea Barrett
Answered on Jun 03, 2022
That’s exciting you’ve just adopted a new dog—but not so exciting she’s trampling your plants! The best way to keep dogs out of the garden is to create physical barriers that prevent them from entering. If you’re able to build a fence around the area you want to protect—either with small gauge chicken wire or mesh netting—your dog won’t be able to run through, unless they’re a jumper.
Here are some other options for keeping dogs out of the garden:
  • Make things spicy or stinky: Like most creatures, dogs don’t like spicy or overly smelly things—use that to your advantage. Sprinkle some mustard powder or red pepper flakes around your garden bed. When they approach and sniff, (hopefully) they’ll take off right away. Dogs also aren’t keen on the smell of vinegar, which can be poured on the surrounding dirt—just make sure it won’t interfere with the health of your soil.
  • Use a motion-activated sprinkler: Most dogs aren’t fans of water, so it can be a great way to keep them away from your gardens.
  • Invest in training: Sufficient training is beneficial for all dogs, but working hard to help them learn the “NO zones” could go a long way. Using a command like “nope” followed by guiding out of the area may help over time. But be consistent with your commands!
  • Make a container garden: If you’ve tried everything and your pooch still thinks the garden is a fun zone, consider planting in containers or raised garden beds they can’t access.
  • Reward the good: If your dog obeys your commands and refrains from entering the garden, make sure you reward them! Most dogs do well with food-based training and they’ll catch on to what you want faster if they know they’re getting treated.
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