How to stop dog from digging in flower bed?

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How to Keep Dogs Out of Flower Beds

Dogs are the greatest companions and friends to humans, but when they are not busy in being your best friends, they can be found digging in your garden and chewing on your flowers. So, even though your dogs are loyal and fun buddies, they can create a mess of your well-maintained flower beds.

Yes, you should have an emotional bond with your dog, but you can’t let them make flower beds their playground. When the dig, they can hurt themselves and can cause injuries. To avoid these things, you should take some actions for keeping your pooch away from the garden.

Before starting to explain the ways of keeping dogs out of the flower beds, I will give a brief about the reasons behind their digging.

Several things lead your dogs to dig in your garden; the most common reason is boredom. If your dog is hyperactive, but you don’t have enough time to play with him, then he will find his own entertainment. The garden is the one of the most attractive places for dogs and the soil that you used for flower beds is easier to dig compared to the other parts of the garden. The beautiful site, texture and smell of the flower beds attract pets (and other animals!). Another reason behind the digging is the compost you have added in the landscape to gain more blooms. The smell and taste of some fertilizers attracts your canine to the plants. Due to the warm, soft, smelly, and easy-to-dig soil base, dogs create hidey-holes to lie in or bury their toys. By resting in their new place, canines play with earthworms, moles & at the same time chew your plants!

How can you keep your dog away from flower beds?

There are specific ways that can help you keep your pooch away from your beautifully arranged garden.

Make a fence around the flower beds

The most common and harmless way is to create a dog fence. You should make a strong, attractive, and tall enough physical barrier according to your canine’s height. Making the area so it is not easily accessible can make your dog stay away from the flowers.

If your pooch is stubborn, then create an invisible fence in the area. It will not harm your beloved friend but will surely give him unpleasant experience. You can use receiver collars which can connect with the fence system. You can also use flags as fencing around the flower beds. Teach your dog not to go beyond this boundary and stay away from the plants.

Use dog repellents

Using dog repellant is also a useful way to keep your pooch away. Spraying dog repellants on the flowers will help keep your pets away from them. There are commercial repellents available in the market at affordable rates. Their strong aromatics are not harmful to the pets but makes them irritated. Remember to not spray the repellants directly on dogs and do not spray them on the plants when your dog is around as it can lead him to stay away from you rather than the plants.

You can also use natural dog repellents like semi-rotten potatoes, orange peels, peppermint leaves, etc. to keep your pets away from the plants. These repellant plants not only will keep dogs from flower beds, but also help in beautifying your garden.

Some dogs don’t love showers

While some dogs love water, other dogs actively stay away from it. You can use your sprinkler system for keeping dogs from a specific area. A motion-activated sprinkler system will detect the movements and trigger a quick water spray. This method will surprise your pets and will make them stay away from the flower beds. A significant advantage of using such motion detecting sprinkler system is that it not only will keep your dogs but also the neighbor pets and stray dogs away from the flower beds.

Plan your garden

Another way to keep your dog from plants is to arrange the flowers in a way that is inaccessible to your dogs. Place valuable plants in the backyard as this area might be less accessible to the neighborhood pets than the front yard. Choose the right spot in your garden and plant the flowers and other plants that you want to keep safe from dogs.

This solution is my favorite because it worked well for me. I designed the backyard garden by using a design which doesn’t let my Pomeranian feel uncomfortable to play. I have created a separate path for his walking. Also, he sees me working with my garden and understands that I get a little bit of less time to play with him. I used some flower containers too for keeping my precious plants safe and unreachable.

Train your dog

If you start training your dog when he is a puppy, then you can keep him away from flower beds without having to resort to other method. Dogs are cute and adorable, but they are smart enough to understand the commands even if they are only a few months old.

Things will be easy to manage if you teach your dog to stay away from the garden area when you are planting the flowers or even before that. While training your dog, make him aware of different areas in your garden. Let him understand which areas to access and which should be left untouched. This small effort will keep your flower beds safe without disturbing the routine of your pooch.

Create a dog-friendly garden

You love your canine and your garden both. Then how will you manage them and keep them safe from each other! Well, follow the simple yet effective methods as mentioned above, and you will be happier by seeing their friendship!

Dogs love their owners, and they expect the same in return. So, if you are a dog owner and want to make a strong bonding with him, then make sure to create a pooch-friendly backyard.

About the Author: Mandip is an IT graduate who loves to write about animals, tech, and other trending topics. He is a proud owner of ‘Blue’ – a Pomeranian. He is associated with dog food research. When not busy in working, he enjoys his time with his pooch & visits nearby animal shelter.

How Do I Keep My Dogs Out of Garden Beds?

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5 Easy Tips to Stop Dogs Digging Up & Getting Into Garden Beds

Written by Colin Seal

10/10/2018 Dog Bark Collar, Barking Dog Collar

Dogs digging up garden beds is no surprise. However, your dog destroying your garden can really be a disaster – imagine thousands of dollars spent on fancy plants, teared up by your pooch! So, we compiled 5 very useful tips to stop your dogs from digging up and getting into your garden beds, one of these is getting awesome dog-proof fencing and having an effective dog-proof garden design. See the video below.

The 5 Awesome Tips to Stop Dogs Digging Up & Getting Into Garden Beds

  1. Dig Up the Root Cause of Why Your Dog Is Digging

  2. Spice Things Up in the Garden or Make Your Garden Bitter

  3. Install a Reliable Garden Dog Fence System

  4. Pebbles Could Solve Garden Troubles

  5. Create a Special Dog Digging Pit

Tip #1 Find Out the Reasons Why Your Dog is Digging Up the Garden

Your dog may be trying to find a cool spot, is bored or is trying to escape. Whilst it is possible in a dog’s nature to dig, there may be some reason as to why that you can address.

Dig up the root cause of why your dog is digging. Most often than not, there are other underlying factors that you need to be aware of, in order to help your dog quit the digging habit.

In most cases, you need to determine your dog’s needs and most dogs dig because of the following common reasons:

  • They are trying to find a cool spot

  • They are extremely bored and need to release extra energy

  • They are trying to escape

Determining your dog’s needs could be the spot on solution to your problem – if your dog often tries to find a cool spot to stay, you can get him/her a dog kennel and make sure to establish a safe and comfortable area for your dog.

Also, if your dog lacks playtime with you or walks at the park, he/she is most likely to dig.

So, it is highly recommended that you get interactive dog toys or chews to stimulate your dog away from digging up your garden beds and eating your plants.

Now, if your dog always tries to escape… Tip # 3 would be the best solution.

Tip #2 Stop Your Dogs from Eating Your Plants Using Coffee & Chilli

You can spice things up in the garden… or make the whole garden bitter to help you stop your pooch from eating your plants. Use chili, coffee, mustard and citrus.

This is one of the most clever techniques that may stop dogs from eating the plants in the garden – the smell is often enough to keep them out of your garden beds.

How do you do it?

A vet, Dr. Susan Wright, shared these tips of keeping dogs out of garden with Gardening Know How.

To keep things naturally spicy in your garden – mix water with a hint of chilli, add some mustard and crushed dried pepper. Spray this mixture in your garden beds to keep your dog’s snout away from your plants.

To make things aromatically bitter in the garden – use coffee and bitter citrus, these could be your new favourite natural dog deterrent! Plus, coffee grinds can be really good fertilizers. So, dissolve citrus or oranges on used coffee grinds and sprinkle these grinds in your garden beds.

Now, the pitfalls of these natural deterrents are wet and cold weather – if it rains, you’d have to apply the mixture or grinds in the garden beds again and again.

Tip #3 Train Dogs to Stay Out of Garden Beds Using an Invisible Dog Fence

Keep your dogs away from garden beds by installing a reliable Electric Dog Fence – this system is extremely helpful if you have a stubborn hound.

Invisible Dog Fence systems have been widely used to protect garden beds with well-thought, safe and clean garden beds and gates boundary wire layout.

A Dog Containment System such as the Pet Barrier Dog Fence replaces some unsightly and expensive regular fences that are often inefficient in protecting your garden. Not to mention covering the beauty of your plants.

So, you need to find the best groundskeeper system that you can trust. The system that you can rely on to keep your dog out of the garden beds.

Now, take a look at the Pet Barrier Invisible Dog Fence Kit – this is the Electric Dog Fence that we highly recommend. The best Dog Containment System by far, in the market of Australia.

These unique features of the Pet Barrier will surely keep your dogs out of the garden:

  • 3 Years Up to a Lifetime Warranty

  • First-in-the-Industry Chew Warranty on the Collar

  • Unique Coded Digital FM Radio Frequency

  • Lightning and Surge Protection on the Power Supply

  • Super Strong HDPe Coated Boundary Wire (20-year UV rating)

  • Fast React Technology on the Receiver Collar – 1/8th of a second

  • Easy Peasy Installation – No Need for an Electrician

Protecting Garden Beds: How Does the Invisible Dog Fence Work?

Your kit includes a transmitter – this is where the radio signal comes from, the signal travels through the boundary wire that you will set around the garden beds.

Your dog’s receiver collar will react to the signal around the boundary wire – if your dog goes near the garden, he/she will hear a beeping tone as a warning from the collar, to back off from the garden.

If your dog continues to go near the garden, he/she will then receive a harmless static pulse to deter your dog away from the boundary. Don’t worry, these static corrections are safe and NOT painful… but they are annoying enough to keep your dog away from the garden beds.

Soon enough, your dog will be able to associate the static stimulations to getting near the garden or digging things up. Your dog will eventually quit such behaviours – effectively training your dog to stay out of the garden beds.

Garden Fence – Pet Barrier Invisible Dog Fence Features:

These are the feature details of Pet Barrier Invisible Dog Fence System that will help you protect your garden beds:

3 Years Up to a Lifetime Warranty

Each equipment in the kit is covered by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty. Now, if you upgrade to premium receiver collars, you’ll get the collars covered by the lifetime warranty.

First-in-the-Industry Chew Warranty

All receiver collars of the Pet Barrier Electric Dog Fence is covered by a Chew Warranty. Even though we all know that these collars are super TUFF, they are still covered by this unique guarantee since some dogs are just extreme chewers.

Unlike any other Dog Fence systems, Pet Barrier is designed with a unique digital code on the transmitter- emitting the FM Radio Frequency that is uniquely recognised by the receiver collar.

This is to ensure that the radio signals will not bounce. So, your dog will not get zapped by the receiver collar for the wrong reasons. This is also to make sure that the system will not interfere with other electronics that use radio signals.

Power Supply with Lightning and Surge Protection

The power plug that comes in the kit is designed with a green earthing wire which helps direct any extra electric energy to the ground in case of power surges, usually from lightning strikes, to protect your transmitter.

This feature is very important and saves you more money BECAUSE it will cause you more than $250 just to replace a transmitter damaged by power fusions.

Super Strong Boundary Wire

The boundary wire of Pet Barrier Electric Dog Fence is coated with High Density Polyethylene (HDPe) – this has been rated with 20 years of UV resistance. Inside the wire, is a 1mm 7 strand copper core. These features make the wire almost impossible to break.

So, you can just place the wire on the ground or hang it on your regular fence – it won’t easily break down in the sun. You can also bury it to the ground and not mind gardening around it.

Fast React Technology

The receiver collar *is designed with the fast react technology – 1/8th of a second. This is to prevent dogs from running through the boundary, escaping and getting in the garden.

The collar will be able to immediately detect the radio signal from the wire and deliver the static correction to your dog as he/she pushes through in a quick manner.

Thus, no matter how fast your dog may seem to move, this feature effectively deters your dog away from the garden.

Easy Peasy Installation

Yes, you won’t ever need to call up an electrician just to install the Pet Barrier Invisible Dog Fence around your garden beds.

The kit includes an easy-to-follow installation guide, operation manual, and comprehensive training guide. PLUS, we have a 7-Day Help Line that you can always reach if you have questions about the installation. Call 1 300 THE DOG. That’s 1-300-843-364.

Tip #4 Use Pebbles to Stop Your Dogs from Digging Up Your Flower Beds

Pebbles could solve your trouble with a dog digging up your flower beds.

Scatter pebbles around your garden beds – most dogs do not like walking on pebbles since their paw pads will mostly get stuck.

However, you need to find pebbles that are just the right size so this technique will be effective in stopping your dogs from digging up your flower beds.

Tip #5 Build a Sand Pit to Keep Your Dogs Out of the Garden

Creating a special dog digging pit is one of the inventive techniques you could do to keep your pooch out of your garden.

If you have a spare area in your yard that you could willingly give to your dog as a playground, install a sandpit – this a fun alternative to digging up plants.

You can hide odorous treats and toys in the pit for your dog to dig and enjoy.

Do not forget to reward your dog with more treats and attention if he/she digs up the right spot – away from your garden beds.

Do you have more clever tips that will help keep dogs out of garden beds or flower beds? Let us know!

7 Tips to keep your dog out of the garden and flower beds this Summer.

Updated: May 2019

We all have heard the saying, April showers, bring May flowers, and it’s true. May is a great time of year for every gardener. But as our flowers begin to bloom and the change in season breathes life back into our gardens, our dogs take notice too.

And while they may have the best of intentions, their pawing, nosing and gnawing can wreak havoc on our plants and lawns. Keeping your beloved pet out of the garden is no easy task, as their curiosity and determination usually far outweigh our own.

We have put together some helpful tricks that you can try below. So instead of feeling defeated and resigning to a Summer of looking out across holes and broken stems, try them out and let us know how it goes!

1. Create A Barrier

This works like a charm. Block off the garden area with chicken wire or consider installing a fence. Chicken wire is flexible and can be easy to cut. It might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it will get the job done.

If you are looking for something eye appealing, try creating a fence border. There are multiple types of fencing that you can use which can be found at your local home improvement store from bamboo, mesh, wood, or steel.

You can also try creating a barrier of some of the more prickly varieties of flowers. Or, if you have roses or holly, you can try using their trimmings to create a barrier. Your dog won’t like being poked by those thorns any more than you do and they should blend in nicely!

2. Give Your Dog Something To Do

Digging is oftentimes a sign of boredom in dogs. Having toys handy, taking your dog for walks, or playing a game of fetch will keep your dog occupied throughout the day and mentally stimulated, preventing them from getting the urge to dig.

We’ve all seen how our pups can crash and sleep for hours after a long walk and a good feed so this is a great way to keep them from digging up your garden flowers. Setting up a toy bin outside can also allow your dog to play with multiple toys so he doesn’t get bored easily!

3. Make A Dog-Friendly Digging Area

So some dogs dig because they’re bored, but others do it because they just love to dig! They do it because they think it is fun. Creating a dog-friendly digging area, like a sandbox, can let your pup enjoy his digging in peace without ruining your flowers or garden.

If you take the time to train your pet to dig in his/her designated area, it will be far more likely to stick, and you might just have some fun yourself!

4. Use Unfriendly Scents

A dog’s smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human, depending on the breed. With a nose like that, garden smells can be alluring! But unpleasant smells are amplified just as much as the sweet smells of your flowers.

Dogs dislike the smell of chili pepper, citrus fruits, coffee grounds, and vinegar (be careful where you put any vinegar, it can act as a weed and plant killer!). By sprinkling a little in the garden or flower bed, your dog might just turn the other way. Before using this method, it is best to do your research and pick a safe scent that will not harm your pet.

5. Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised

This is particularly true for puppies. Even older puppies! Left to their own devices, of course our pets are going to get a bit restless and inquisitive. It’s just their nature!

Destructive behaviour in puppies left unsupervised outdoors is very common. To them its not destructive behaviour, but a fun opportunity to learn and explore. So until you have time to train your pet not to pull out your prized plants and drag them around the garden, it’s a good idea not to give them the opportunity.

6. Use A Sprinkler

If you have a sprinkler system, this can be a great way to keep your pet out of your flower beds. Your dog won’t like being sprayed with cold water any more than you do. OK, maybe some dogs will enjoy this – but most won’t like it one bit!

A well placed sprinkler should convince your pet that there are more interesting, and more comfortable ways to pass the time than to pull up your hard work.

If you find your dog goes into the flower bed more when you have the sprinkler system running, they may be trying to cool down, particularly if they are a large breed like a husky.

7. Keep Toys Around The Garden

Distraction and misdirection both work great with dogs. If they have stimulating toys in the garden they’ll be too engaged to bother making a mess of your flower bed. There are plenty of rewarding toys now available for dogs, that are challenging and reward them with treats over a period of time.

You might be surprised how long your dog can be distracted by something as simple as spreading peanut butter inside one of their favourite chew toys. Just make sure to only give them peanut butter in moderation, and unsalted if possible. (NOTE: Make sure the peanut butter does not contain Xylitol – it’s safe for people, but toxic for dogs).

By taking the time to dog-proof your flowers and garden, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy watching them grow and flourish all summer long with no worries!


Are you struggling with yellow or brown patches on your lawn? For over 15 years our customers have had great result from Vet IQ Green-UM Lawn Burn Solution, which is a natural product that helps prevent yellow spots appearing on your lawn.

By now, your garden should be in pretty good condition, but if you need a hand keeping your furry companion out of it—or you didn’t plant this year because you were worried about it—these suggestions from HomeAdvisor can help.

The video above essentially mirrors the tips in the graphic below, so they both have the same information—but it’s all good. Some of it is stuff you’ve probably figured out, like using chicken wire to keep pets (and other animals near your home) at bay, but some other suggestions, like sectioning off a sandbox or a pet play area, are also great for encouraging your pets to have their fun somewhere you’re not trying to grow flowers or food.

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Similarly, make sure you choose fertilizer and plants for your garden that are pet-friendly, just in case they manage to get in there anyway. We’ve shared some pets that are best avoided and some other pet-friendly plants, but if you’re not sure, consult the ASPCA’s database before you buy.

Beyond that, the graphic is full of tips to pick good furniture and to make your yard a pet-friendly place. Check out the full graphic below.

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How to Pet-Proof Your Garden | HomeAdvisor

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6 Tricks to Keep Your Pet Safe and Out of the Garden

Kai Peters/plainpicture

When paws meet flower bed, your precious geraniums aren’t the only things in danger. Each year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center gets nearly 14,000 calls about garden-related pet scares, says Tina Wismer, DVM, its medical director and a master gardener. You may think your furry friend won’t gnaw mulch or eat petals, but there’s a first for everything. (Wismer’s pup recently ate a plant after ignoring it for years – luckily, it was harmless.) Follow these steps to create a safer green space.

1. Plan wisely

“Educate yourself on what you plant,” says Michael Biehl, DVM, Ph.D., a clinical professor of toxicology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and faculty adviser for its Poisonous Plant Garden. More than 700 flowers, shrubs, vines, and trees can be poisonous to dogs and cats. That includes common favorites like azaleas, begonias, daffodils, and tulips; sago palms, oleander, and various lilies are particularly deadly. “Plants may go by different names in different parts of the country,” Biehl adds. “Keep the labels on them, and learn their genus and species names.” (For a full list of frequently encountered plants with photos, visit aspca.org.) “And use common sense. Don’t plant oleander hedges around the fence if your dog likes to go there.”

PLANT THESE: 10 Pet-Friendly Houseplants for Your Home

2. Remix your mulch

“Dogs are very odor-driven. If something smells good, they may want to taste it,” says Biehl. “Cats typically don’t do that.” Most felines turn up their nose at cocoa mulch, for example, but it can utterly seduce dogs. Like chocolate, it contains caffeine and theobromine, both poisonous to canines. Instead, use nontoxic shredded bark or leaves, pine needles, or untreated wood chips, Wismer suggests. And before you spread it, “look for any mushrooms and pick them out.”

LEARN: Summer Safety Tips for Bringing Your Dog To The Beach

3. Compost with care

A big, stinky mess isn’t the only reason to keep your pet out of this backyard heap. “During decomposition, molds often develop that can be harmful to dogs,” says Wismer. Once compost is ready, it’s perfectly safe and makes a nourishing fertilizer for plants. Until then, house your pile in a shed, or surround it with chicken wire to keep nosy creatures out.

GET GARDENING: 7 Steps to Building a Compost Heap

4. Play keep-away

Some dogs and cats find all-natural fertilizer ingredients like bone meal, blood meal, feather meal, and poultry litter simply irresistible. Just a small helping of bone meal can cause constipation; a larger one can create a bowel obstruction that may require surgery. Make sure these products are out of reach, even when they’re in use. “I set pavers on top of the soil after applying bone meal to stop my dog from digging it up,” Wismer says. Or stick to risk-free fertilizers, like clippings or compost.

5. Fend off creepy-crawlies

There are plenty of natural ways to deter pests. Products made with neem oil and other plant oils are usually reliable; so is fighting bugs with more bugs. “Think about introducing beneficial insects, like ladybugs to kill aphids, or parasitic wasps to eat caterpillars,” Wismer says. “Pet-safe plants like basil and fennel can help, too.” That way, you and your gardening buddy can sit and stay as long as you like.

6. And now for some fun…

A surefire way to keep your pets out of your best bushes is to give them a personal patch. Sarah Hodgson, a certified dog trainer and the author of “Modern Dog Parenting” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2016), suggests carving out pet-friendly play spaces. “I plant catnip and hang bird feeders (out of reach) in areas where I want my cats to meander,” she says. For dogs, Hodgson suggests anchoring toys to a tree base or branch with rope for tussling or tug-of-war games, and staking out a sandbox or digging spot that can easily be covered with shredded bark or dirt. Bury a favorite toy or treat for your dog, and dig with her to show it’s okay.

Want more tips? Martha and pet expert Marc Morrone have a few tips of their own:

Keep Your Dog Out of the Garden With These 9 Home Made Repellents

With spring in full swing and summer just around the corner, you may be wondering how to keep dogs out of your garden. Are you in full garden mode? There is nothing more frustrating to me than seeing my immature carrots lying beside where they once were sprouting and a crater in its place!

Gardens are fun!!! Digging is fun!!! Digging in an already dug up garden is super fun for your dog!

I have said it before and I will say it again, to be a good dog owners, trainer, and handler you have to “Think like a Dog”. Not that thinking like your dog changes the fact that you don’t want him in your garden, but I think realizing that he sees things so much differently than we do helps us to plan ahead of time and hopefully prevent destruction before it happens.

Understanding WHY he behaves the way that he does leads to more ingenious ways to teach him and I think it helps to control our anger and steer us away from using physical force.

Hitting, kicking and other negative methods just teach our dogs that we have short tempers and can’t be trusted, I think most of the time they don’t even associate the behavior we didn’t want with the pain or sadness they incurred. Imagine a 2 year old child wanders into your garden and you yell, then you go out and punch him in the face… is that really a teaching moment?

Nope, for the child it is just a terrifying moment and remember that your dog is like a 2 year old so it isn’t a teaching moment or learning moment for your dog either!

From Your Dog’s Point of View

Almost nothing is more fun than digging!

The ground smells AMAZING after you plant a garden or work the ground!

You filter through different layers of smells that excite his nose and his instincts.

Don’t believe me? Dig a random hole in front of your dog and watch his nose twitch!

His nose with all its abilities is one of his strongest senses, his visual acuity pales in comparison to what his nose can do and what kind of stories the ground tells. I often tell people digging a hole for your dog is like reading a suspense novel for us; the problem is that it is not socially acceptable for most people to have their dog digging things up.

So, when you dig up new earth don’t expect your dog to just ignore it! Understand what that means to his senses and how difficult it is for him to ignore it.

PLUS

He sees you digging, right? So how is he to assume his digging is wrong?

To me, this is like yelling at your dog while he is barking… he thinks you are barking too, so why would he stop?!

Instead of resorting to violence (although I know how frustrating it is to have a garden re-dug), have some understanding.

Often times, people leave their pets out in their yard for long periods of time.

Again, imagine sitting outside in your yard for 8+ hours a day with no phone, no book, no ability to get inside.

Do you think after a few days, you would dig too? I know that I would! Bored dogs dig! Digging is like reading a book for a dog. Each new layer of dirt smells different and watching the dirt fly through the air is fun for a dog! It definitely beats boredom!

Digging is actually a good outlet for your dog’s energy, so if there is a suitable spot (preferably shady) in your yard for it, set up a designated digging area. This could become a favorite place for him to be while you hang out in the yard together. Help your dog get the idea by burying treats and toys for him to find in the designated digging area. Keep the soil moist (not muddy), so it is cooler and not dusty.

You can also use a child’s plastic sandbox. If your dog likes to bury bones, he will hopefully choose this spot. If you catch your dog digging in the wrong place, get his attention and redirect him to the right place where you’ve hidden some treats.

If your dog is one who likes to bury treasures in a safe place and he doesn’t use the designated place, give him less valuable toys that he won’t think are worth stashing. Save the really high-value things for when he is indoors in his crate.

Spring is the time of year when wild animals get busy looking for food and making dens to raise their families, and this makes for irresistible digging temptation. Sometimes moles can be controlled by treating your lawn for grubs, which are moles’ food source. Follow directions carefully for the safety of your pets.

Some animals won’t come into the yard if they know a vigilant dog is around, but others don’t seem to mind the risk.

Maybe you can make the designated digging area more tempting than a chipmunk hole, but if your dog is a terrier, it may be impossible to divert him. The only certain way to keep your dog from attempting to dig up these critters is constant supervision when in the yard.

Ideally, dogs should not be left outside all day while their pet owners are gone, even in a fenced yard. They are much safer indoors and less likely to become habitual diggers. If a dog gets anxious, he may dig under the fence to get out—then get lost or, worse, meet with a car.

If there is no other option but to leave your dog outside, install a smaller kennel in the yard that is dig-proof, with buried fencing or concrete under the fence perimeter. Surround it with shrubs and trees so your dog feels safe there and cannot see (or be seen by) passersby. When you leave him there, provide long-lasting chew toys or food puzzle toys.

There are also products available that are supposed to deter dogs from digging. Some are effective, and some dogs aren’t bothered by them at all. If it rains, they must be reapplied.

In reality, closer supervision and good management are the best ways to curb digging. If special flower beds are in your dog’s domain, try putting a decorative fence around them. If you have amended the soil here with compost, it’s extra tempting.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and attention to prevent boredom. Now that good weather is here, a nice long walk every day is a good start for both of you.

If you don’t want your dog to dig, bring him inside and stimulate his mind!

So How Do You Keep Him Out of Your Garden?

Teach Him your Expectations!

I wrote an article about impulse control a few months ago.

I think one of the biggest “sources” of behavior problems that I see with dogs is their lack of impulse control.

They are used to getting what they want when they want it, or they are adept at rewarding themselves (by digging, stealing things, jumping up etc.).

And, when we allow our dogs to reward themselves or we reward them for their mere existence we are in turn creating little furry monsters. We think our dogs are so very cute no matter what they do, we spoil them a bit and we simply never teach them to control their impulses.

AND, they are dogs… so they don’t really see any need on their own to control their impulses! They jump when they want to jump, some of them go potty where and when they want, they chase the cat when they desire, they steal food when we leave it out… they do what feels good.

They don’t really have the ability to look back and think about consequences. That is what separates us; we can think about what we will do tomorrow and reflect on what we did yesterday. Dogs live in the moment.

So Let Us Teach Them How to Control Their Impulses!

Dogs with impulse control make much better pets.

And, although obedience is a form of impulse control, it is also delegated by command or cue when true impulse control comes from the dog’s choice.

First determine what kind of person you are; lazy or proactive?

I tend toward the lazy end of the spectrum so in that case I would fence it off.

A fence is easy, and if you do it right it is fairly infallible. Fencing just keeps the things you want off limits; and there is a variety of garden fencing that is easy to put up, take down, and manipulate.

Plus fencing keeps other critters out! I know if we don’t fence our garden, I am producing produce for all the neighborhood deer, opossums, raccoons and anything else that likes veggies (which is usually fine with me, but not my husband when the deer ate his corn). You can even get invisible fencing for your garden if you want your dog to stay out of a certain area, or areas in your yard.

Otherwise….

Simple Fencing Keeps Dogs and other Animals out of Special Places

You actually have to TEACH your dog what your expectations are, and one session is probably not going to cut it!

You will need to take him outside on a leash and allow him to see the area. Let him check it out, within reason; if you don’t allow him to see and get a little sniff of the area, he is just going to wait until he is alone to go back in.

I always use a rope that I stripe with tape to teach my dogs a boundary area, so that they can see it. Like a fence, you need to put up some kind of boundary that they can see, a marked area that they learn not to cross.

Then, the dog needs to be taught that if he stays on the appropriate side of the rope he is rewarded, and if he crosses the line, he is not rewarded and then taken back to the other side of the rope.

First you start on the same side with your dog clicking and treating him for staying and not crossing the line and when he does you give a non-reward marker like “No” or “Eh” then bring him back to your side.

Once he figures this out step to the other side of the rope and he will likely follow, again use a verbal non-reward marker like “No” or “Eh” which means he gets nothing.

He will learn to stay in his own space and where he gets rewarded. The next step is to do the same without a leash and then from different distances away.

BUT

This training will take several days if not a week or more and you MUST go out with him each time he goes outside no matter what time of day to ensure he doesn’t frolic through your garden!

Eventually he will learn, but he needs to be taught where to be and where not to be.

I want my dog to learn good impulse control and eventually learn to leave the garden, steak, chicken or liver, but I want my dog to be as successful as possible in the beginning.

And, I think it helps the human to not become as frustrated!

So separate your high level treats and your low level treats in your pouch. I put my low level in the right side and the high level in my left. My right hand is dominant and will do most of the work with the low level treats.

I have my dog sit in front of me (if he can sit) if he can’t “sit” on command that is fine. This is also appropriate to do with puppies!

I put a small low level biscuit in my right hand. Next I open my fist to show my dog the treat. 99% of dogs lunge purposely toward the cookie or treat; this is normal and to be expected. As soon as this happens I close my hand around the treat.

SAY NOTHING!!!

This is critical.

We want the dog to make the choice on his own!

If the dog has to rely on a command, he will still be more likely to steal food from small children and from others. If we teach him to control himself, by his own choice we are teaching him a stronger behavior.

As soon as he stops actively nuzzling, scratching, poking, nibbling etc. for the treat and has given up, click (click on this link for why the clicker is critical) and reward with a higher level treat from the left hand and the left side of your pouch.

Dogs are smart. The dog will very quickly realize that you are giving him something more tasty and rewarding.

Continue doing this until he understands that NOT stealing the treat or rewarding himself is what you want and will get him rewarded.

The Next Step

The next step is to move the placement of the treat in your hand. Use your left hand. Hold the treat high.

Hold the treat low. Place your palm on the ground. Move your hand away quickly (think of jerky movements like children make).

Teach your dog that no matter what an open OR closed fist with treats is NOT HIS!

Other Tips:

Homemade Dog Repellent Recipes

— Mix equal amounts of powdered mustard with crushed dried peppers. Disperse the mixture around your garden beds and with luck, your dog doesn’t want to add more spice to his life!

Please note, this method works better in dry climates with little rain, as water will reduce the potency and you will have to do another application.

— For a rain resistant homemade dog repellent, mix bitter orange oil with used coffee grounds. Bitter orange oil is heavy and resists rain far better than pepper and mustard.

If you don’t have access to bitter orange oil, here is a recipe to make your own. As an added bonus, coffee grounds are an awesome fertilizer for your garden.

— No one likes to get stabbed by a rose bush, and that includes your dog.

This tip is for the stubborn dog in your life (or neighborhood cat that decided to make your garden its litter box… you’re welcome).

After pruning your roses, instead of throwing those beastly branches away, instead of mulching, cut the branches into 1-foot long sticks and surround your garden beds with the spiky twigs.

But beware, these will stab your too!

Here are more recipes from GardenSeason.com:

Citronella Oil Dog Repellent

It’s no secret that citronella is commonly used as an insect repellant. But did you know that dogs don’t like its smell either? Mix half a cup of citronella oil with 4 cups of water, and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the mix in places you don’t want your dog to go to for a week until the dog understands that it’s not allowed in that particular place.

Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Repellent

Why spend so much for ready-made dog repellent when most of these products use apple cider vinegar you can find at home?

Make your own apple cider vinegar dog repellent with just a fraction of the price of store-bought repellents.

For a stronger solution, just mix a cup of white vinegar with two cups of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. You can even use this to keep dogs off areas inside your home.

Citrus Dog Repellent

While we love the citrus scent, dogs surprisingly dislike it. Mix citrus juice and the zest or scrapings from the fruit’s outer layer in a spray bottle to make dog repellent.

You can also use citrus fruit peelings, cut them up into little pieces, and spread over areas in your garden you want the dogs to keep out.

As an added bonus, aphids and ants will also stay away from the soil and your plants, with citrus peelings to block them out.

Garlic and Chili Pepper Dog Repellent

Mix a quart of warm water, a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid soap, chopped onions, garlic, and chili pepper. Leave it as is for 24 hours, then strain afterward. Pour it in a spray bottle.

You can also use the pieces from the strainer for the same purpose by spreading them in areas you want dogs out.

Mustard Oil Dog Repellent

Dogs dislike the smell and taste of mustard oil. You can use it as it is by spraying in areas you wouldn’t want dogs in.

Chili and Black Pepper Dog Repellent

For a more effective solution, mix chili pepper powder or black pepper in oil instead of water. Oil can help release the active ingredient in peppers called the capsaicin. It’s the very thing that dogs are averted to.

Coffee Grounds Dog Repellent

Don’t throw coffee grounds or leavings right away. They can actually be reused as an effective dog repellent. You just have to spread them over areas you don’t want the dogs to disturb.

No matter which recipes you choose, your homemade dog repellent will be more effective with frequent applications, especially after the rain. One homemade dog repellent may not work every time, but you can always switch to another one until you’ve got the right repellent that will indeed keep dogs out of the garden!

As I mentioned earlier, digging is fun! But, digging is often a sign of boredom.

— He’s left alone in the yard unsupervised for long periods of time

— He has no playmates or toys.

— He’s a puppy and has more energy than he knows what to do with.

— He is a breed that was bred to dig such as a terrier.

— He’s an active breed who needs a job to be happy.

— He has recently seen you gardening or working in the yard. Come on, you can’t have all the fun!

Are You:

— Exercising your dog enough?

— Playing brain games?

— Working on obedience daily?

If you want or need to leave him outside give him something better to do; like chew a bone! Most dogs would rather chew a great big bone than dig… just make sure you don’t give him enough time to do both!

Exercise! If he is tired he isn’t likely to dig, so play with him, take him for a walk or a run before he is allowed access to the yard! As with any other behavior problem this issue takes patience and training to conquer!

Here are some boredom busters to get your dog out of the garden and doing what you want him to do!

And Remember: Dogs don’t come with a handbook or a way to download our expectations or skills; they have to be taught what we want! So if you don’t like it, train for it!

We want our dogs to eat well, but we don’t want them snacking on our heirloom vegetables and prized perennials. Nor do we want them digging up the daffodils.

How can you keep dogs from wrecking your garden?

Spray Nasty Odors

Your vegetable garden is a salad bar for your dog. To keep him away, spray plants with pungent white vinegar or apple bitter. Or plant marigolds between vegetable rows, which repel dogs and other backyard pests, such as Mexican bean beetles, aphids, squash bugs, and whiteflies.
However, don’t apply rabbit or deer repellents that contain coyote urine. Dogs love the smell of urine and will either roll in your sprayed plants or leave an odor of their own.

Sprinkle Yucky Tastes

Sprinkle powdered mustard or red pepper flakes around your plants. A few sniffs and licks of these unpleasant tastes will discourage your dog from returning to the area.

Fence Dogs In or Out

If you’ve got small dogs, a 16-inch fence border ($29 for 6 feet) will mark the perimeter of your garden and discourage them from trampling your seedlings. For large, spunky dogs, encase your vegetables in a chicken wire cage with a top enclosure, which fence out deer and rabbits, too.
Or, contain your dog in a fenced play area that’s roomy and filled with interesting toys and treats. However, if your dog likes burying things, don’t give him a bone; instead offer chews, such as rawhide or bully sticks, that’ll keep him occupied and his mind off burying.

Erect Prickly Barriers

Place pruned rose or holly branches around your garden or plants. The thorns and prickly leaves will discourage your dog from entering the restricted area.

Provide a Pooch Path

If your dog cruises through your garden but leaves the veggies alone, make him a path of his own. You can lay down mulch, or even place a spare piece of carpet along your pet’s favorite route. You may have to alter your garden design a bit, but that’s better than watching puppy crash through your flowers or zucchini.

Related:

  • Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts When You Have a Dog
  • Better Than a Dog Run — Yard Ideas for Your Four-Legged Family Member

Residential Landscape: How to Keep Dogs Out of the Garden

Dogs are great companions—loyal, cute, and great cuddlers. Unfortunately, they also have a mischievous streak that can make it impossible to keep your landscape in crisp, clean shape. And pet owners aren’t just worried about a messy yard, it’s what a dog may consume in the process. If you use small landscaping materials, such as pebbles, bark pieces, or recycled rubber mulch, it’s important to teach proper behavior because a well-behaved dog in the backyard reduces the chance of them ruining your garden or even ingesting things they shouldn’t.

As a national distributor of bulk rubber mulch, we understand customers worry about how pets play in the yard. So the question is—how do you keep your home’s landscape in order while also promoting healthy dog behavior? Help keep your pet safe with some of the tips listed below.

How to Train Your Pet for Safe Yard Activities

Teaching your dog about your yard’s boundaries is a good first step to keep them safe and your landscape in working order. Here are some effective ways to train your dog about better outdoor behaviors:

  • Teach redirect commands – there are a number of sound techniques that will condition your pet to understand the “no-no” areas in the yard.
  • Use verbal commands if your canine is most comfortable with this technique, or you can utilize a clicker to attract their attention. Tip: remember to reward your dog when they follow directions during training sessions.
  • Buy backyard toys– find out which toys entertain your pet. This will distract them from snooping, digging, or chewing items in the garden. And playing alongside them gets rid of excess energy, so both of you can relax.
  • Hire a trainer: it’s doubtful that pet guru Cesar Millan can pencil you in, so rely on your local resources. Search for a reputable dog training center and work with a professional trainer to learn the most effective techniques for controlling your dog’s antsy behaviors.

Alternate Tips to Keep Pets Out of the Flower Bed

When “no” doesn’t register with your canine, try out these alternative tips to keep your pet out of your home landscape.

  • Limit access – add a low wire fence or decorative lawn stones around your home landscape material. This indicates that this area is off limits.
  • Create a barrier – if a garden fence doesn’t keep pets out, you may have to create a pet barrier. A great alternative to dog pens is a big porch with an added gate—this closes off the porch and limits a pet’s access to the yard. This is handy during times when you can’t dedicate your full attention to their activities.
  • Babysit your pet – take your dog out with the intent to watch and prevent them from mischievous behavior. Sometimes a leash is the most practical answer.
  • Create a walking path around the landscape – add a stone path and train your dog to use this as a guide, instead of having them traipse through a flower bed. Smooth rock, concrete, or bricks are materials that are easy to lay and remain cool enough for your pet’s feet.
  • Build a shaded area – in many instances dogs dig and act out because they are overheated. Natural shading is ideal, but sometimes you have to create man-made shade by buying a dog house or overhead tarp. This should help them cool down and remain calm.
  • Spray landscaped area – don’t use any chemical that will endanger your family and pet’s health. We suggest purchasing garden spray from your local pet store. Typically they stock bitter apple spray that has an odor and taste dogs dislike. Showing your dogs the connection between the bitter taste/smell and your garden may discourage them from causing a ruckus in that designated area.

We hope that with our tips here, you can keep your garden and your dog safe. If you’d like to learn more about the use of rubber mulch and other recycled rubber products around your home, check out the rest of our website!

The main methods to keep dogs out of garden areas are training and dog repellents. These come in natural and artificial forms.

Studies show mixed results on the effectiveness of dog repellents. But, you can also alter your garden design and use dog barriers to keep dogs out of garden areas they shouldn’t be in!

There is joy to be had in a lovely garden, just as there is joy to be had in sharing your life with a dog. Sometimes attempting both can be challenging, but it can be done.

Let’s take a closer look at how.

There are various methods you can use to keep dogs out of garden areas, and we’ll look at each in some detail.

Why Keep Dogs out of Garden?

There is nothing puppies enjoy more than a bit of ‘freestyle’ gardening.

Most young Labradors think that a rose bush looks a lot better when it has been uprooted and dragged around the garden a few times.

And of course, digging up your prize carrots is always a good way for any Labrador puppy to start the day. In fact, digging of any kind is a source of joy to many dogs, not just puppies.

This can come as quite a shock to a first-time Labrador owner.

Why you Might Need a Dog Deterrent

If it is your dog causing the problem, you might think that you shouldn’t need dog deterrents or barriers. Surely by six or seven months old you should be able to leave your puppy unsupervised for a few minutes, without him destroying your shrubbery?

Shouldn’t you?

After all, not all puppies dig up the yard as soon as Mom or Dad turn their backs. Your neighbor’s puppy probably has no enthusiasm for landscape gardening at all.

Are All Dogs Destructive in Gardens?

Some puppies are positively angelic outdoors. Which makes the owners of the naughty ones feel as though they are doing something wrong.

I can reassure you that for the most part they are not doing anything wrong at all.

Destructive behavior in puppies left unsupervised outdoors is so common as to be considered normal.

In the photo above, you will find my own puppy, Rachael, relaxing in the mess she has made on our patio, after being left to her own devices for rather too long.

Your dog’s excavating abilities may rival those of a backhoe, but they don’t indicate an unstable temperament or some kind of mental disability. You simply have a normal Labrador puppy.

Ways to Keep Dogs out of Garden

So, your dog is normal. That’s the good news. But it doesn’t change the fact that you don’t want a dog, any dog, digging in your flower beds or rooting around in your vegetable patch.

Naturally, as the owner of a young tearaway, you are looking for a quick and effective dog deterrent solution. A command or training method that will keep dogs out of garden areas, off flowerbeds and put a stop to the destruction and naughtiness.

Most importantly, you want to be able to let the dog into the yard without watching him like a hawk every second he is out there.

We’ll examine the main ways to keep dogs out of gardens and prevent your little piece of paradise turning into a moonscape.

Your Options

Here are some of the options we are going to consider:

    • Altering your garden design
    • Training your dog
    • Dog proof barriers
    • Dog repellent and deterrent methods
    • Wait it out.

Let’s start with a look at changes you can make to your yard/garden to make it more compatible for life with a dog.

Altering Garden Design

The first option we’ll consider is making changes to the design and style of your yard to keep dogs out of garden.

One of the problems with dogs is knowing which areas are off-limits to them. This is much more difficult if the boundaries are blurred or not physically obvious.

The point where grass ends and flowers begin might be clear to you, but it isn’t clear to a puppy. Raised flower beds with a solid boundary help dogs make these distinctions.

Putting plants in heavy raised tubs can reduce digging, so can replacing grass with paving or pebbles. You can get great ideas for designing gardens that are home to dogs on Pinterest. We have a Pinterest board dedicated to the topic!

Redesigning your garden can be a great solution if you can’t keep dogs out of garden areas you own, or you don’t want to.

Plants to Keep Dogs out of your Garden

Another option is to plant things that will naturally repel your dog. These are generally plants with odors that dogs dislike. They are not harmful to dogs, but dogs will naturally avoid them.

Using dog repellent plants for borders will help keep dogs out of gardens or certain areas of your yard. This technique will effectively set a boundary that your dog is likely to respect.

Dog repellent plants include common rue, chili peppers, citrus trees, lemongrass (citronella), garlic and onion. Of course, not all of these grow in every climate zone or are suitable for every garden.

Common rue repels dogs, cats and ants; however, it is harmful if ingested by humans. Use caution if children will play where it’s planted.

Another type of plants to keep dogs out of your garden are prickly plants. These can be used for edging and include varieties such as aloe, agave, hollies, barberries or huckleberry. The prickly feel of these plants may deter some dogs from stepping on flower beds or entering an area they border.

Changes in garden design aren’t for everyone, so what about training? Can you teach a dog not to go on your flowerbeds?

Training Your Dog

Training is certainly an option. Dogs can be trained to remain in one particular part of a garden while avoiding others. But it isn’t as simple as teaching a dog to sit, and it requires your active participation until they are fully trained.

If you plan to undertake this kind of training, you will need to monitor your dog continuously while he is outdoors for some time to come, and to spend several minutes a day, two or three times a day, on training sessions.

Here’s a Kikopup video that will give you an idea of what’s involved.

This is useful training. But it’s also training that is best suited to those who are normally out with their dog in the yard or garden.

If digging is the primary problem, check out our article on how to stop your dog from digging.

If you ultimately wish to leave your dog outdoors completely unsupervised, relying on a trained behavior is not something that even I, as a relatively experienced trainer, would consider doing.

For the unsupervised dog, the best remaining option to keep dogs out of garden areas is likely to be dog proof barriers and/or a dog repellent.

Barriers and Dog Repellents

We mentioned raised flower beds earlier to keep dogs out of garden areas. These may deter dogs from straying onto your plants, and they can help you train your young dog to respect the flowers when you are in the garden together, but they are not dog proof.

Raised beds are not going to stop a determined digger from mounting an attack on your roses. So, how do you keep dogs out of gardenareas?

I’ve seen mulching with rose pruning suggested, but I would worry about dogs getting thorns in their pads. A better alternative is pinecones, especially if those are abundant in your area.

Protecting your plants with permanent barriers is likely to be an unappealing option to keep dogs out of garden areas. Both because it is hard to build attractive barriers around flower beds that are actually dog proof and because it is a lot of work.

Think of Your Dog’s Age

With a puppy, you may decide a better option is to compromise with temporary fencing – wire netting for example – around your flowers and accept that your yard isn’t going to win any competitions this year.

If it’s an older dog causing problems, a simpler option might be to fence off part of your yard specifically for the dog to play in. Create an exercise yard or dog playground of some kind. These can be quite attractive and again, Pinterest is a good place for inspiration.

If none of those appeals to you, that leaves us with dog repellents.

Let’s find out what a dog repellent is, whether dog repellents or dog deterrents work, how safe they are, and where you can find them.

Dog Repellents

A dog repellent is something that a dog finds unpleasant and will choose to avoid. We are not looking at hand-operated training devices here, but rather at repellents that you can set up and leave.

The idea is that the repeller sits in the area that you wish your dog to steer clear of and it works in your absence.

To act as a deterrent, the device must create an environmental trigger that a dog dislikes and may find upsetting. This is not something to undertake lightly or with a nervous dog or one that lacks confidence outdoors.

Dog repellents for gardens fall into three categories:

  • Ultrasonic – dog repellents that use sound
  • Dog repellents that use water
  • Chemical or odor dog repellents.

Let’s take a look at ultrasonic animal repellers first.

Dog Repellent Sounds – Ultrasonic Dog Repellers

A number of US patents have been filed for animal repellers that work by emitting a shortwave high-frequency sound. The idea being that humans cannot hear sounds over 20,000 Hz (known as ultrasounds), but animals can and will try to avoid them because they find the sound unpleasant.

That’s the theory.

Devices aimed at the homeowner for use in the yard or garden generally consist of a small square or rectangular box. They are mounted on a spike which can be pushed into the soil of your flowerbed or lawn.

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The question is, do these devices actually work? And the answer is unclear. A number of studies have been carried out using these devices on mammals over the past several decades.

Efficacy of Ultrasonic Dog Repellers

In 1990, two experiments were carried out on a group of dogs using three different electronic units. In the first experiment, no device repelled all dogs but some dogs exhibited aversive behavior to two units. With the second experiment (with modified equipment) one unit had an immediate effect on nearly all dogs, with half reacting aversively.

Ultrasonic repellers were also tested on White-Tailed Deer in 1998. Some were fitted with strobes and some were not. Only the repellers fitted with strobes were successful at repelling deer from feeding stations.

A study carried out on cats using an ultrasonic device showed a modest deterrent effect. The authors of the study noted that the effectiveness of the device increased over time and concluded that it could be further improved by more careful positioning of devices.

A study published in 2007 tested on dingoes concluded that the ultrasonic device studied had no measurable deterrent effect.

A more recent study, carried out on badgers at feeding stations in the UK concluded that ultrasonic devices may even have attracted badgers to the baiting stations!

What Do The Results Mean?

It appears the results are very mixed as to whether these ultrasonic repellent products work to keep dogs out of garden areas.

It’s worth remembering that most of the studies carried out on these devices use feeding stations to attract the animals to the device in the first place. At a feeding station, there is strong motivation for the animal to put up with the aversive effect.

Digging up flowers is not usually as motivating to a dog as food, and it is possible that the device will fare better in this situation than it would in a trial. Despite that, we feel that the alternatives are more desirable.

Choosing an Ultrasonic Repeller

What do the manufacturers of these ultrasonic animal repellers, and their customers, have to say about the success of their products?

Most of these products seem to be manufactured in China or Taiwan, and unfortunately, the manufacturers’ websites lack information or links to sources that back up their claims.

We can, however, read the customer reviews on these products.

Here are some of the products available today and what reviewers seem to think of them. The ones with the best reviews all seem to incorporate some kind of flashing light in addition to the high-pitched sound they emit to keep dogs out of gardens.

Best Ultrasonic Dog Repellers

The Hettak Animal Repeller is a green box that you locate in your yard and claims to repel all manner of animals from your garden.

It’s waterproof and solar-powered, can be plugged in or run from a battery (not included). It can be attached to a fence or wall and has a good proportion of positive reviews. You can read those reviews here

Pestzilla Outdoor Animal Repeller

The Pestzilla outdoor animal repeller is a ‘box on a spike’ type of repeller and claims to be particularly powerful. It incorporates flashing LED lights –

From the White Tail Deer study, we can see that strobe lights did have an effect on deer. Whether they would bother dogs, is a question that remains unanswered, but the majority of Pestzilla’s customers seem happy. Check out the reviews here

BestGreen Animal Repeller

Another repeller that received a high proportion of good reviews was the BestGreen.

This model also combined LED lights with the ultrasonic noise. Here are the reviews

Don’t scare your dog!

Okay, those are some examples of ultrasonic animal repellers that are claimed by the suppliers to be effective on cats and dogs.

But here’s the thing to remember.

If devices like this work, they probably work by frightening the animal away from the device to keep dogs out of gardens.

If you use a device like this in a small area – where your dog cannot easily move away, you are going to have a scared dog on your hands. Possibly a dog that won’t go outside at all.

Dog Repellent Sprays – Water

Dog repellers that use water are similar in design to the ultrasonic deterrents in that they are attached to a spike that you push into the ground. They are also triggered by the motion sensors that detect an approaching animal.

Instead of the device emitting a sound, it emits a stream of water to keep dogs out of gardens. This means that the device needs to be attached to a water supply. A garden hose is connected to the water inlet, and the trigger operates a valve that releases the stream.

Studies have shown that water jets can be effective at frightening some types of birds away – herons for example – which may appeal if you have a garden pond whose fish population you want to protect.

And in the badger study we mentioned above, water jets were also tested and found to have some effect. Though not a very strong one. The devices did reduce food intake at the feeding station but not badger activity overall.

Bear in mind though, that there is less motivation for your dog to approach a flower bed than there is for a wild badger to tuck into a free dinner. So, in theory, it should take less to stop him.

How Water Repellers Work

This is a fairly typical water spraying animal repeller.

As you can see, the water repeller is rather more substantial than the ultrasonic repellers and needs a water supply.

Many people are buying and using these for repelling wild animals such as deer or the neighbor’s cats. It is debatable how well they might work on water-loving dogs like Labradors. Though, of course, taking a dip in your favorite pond is not the same as being squirted in the face.

Again, the risk with using an aversive like this is unwanted effects. A dog that won’t swim on the beach because he has developed a fear of water spray for example. It could happen.

Dog Repellents that use Smell or Odor

There is evidence for the limited effectiveness of certain chemicals or odors as dog repellents to keep dogs out of gardens. But when using these solutions, there are factors to be aware of.

Outdoors, any kind of chemical that you apply has the potential to both

  • Have some effects on the surrounding area
  • Break down and become ineffective soon after application.

Provided that you are aware of these two issues, dog repellent sprays that keep dogs of the flower beds using unpleasant odors may be something you’ll want to consider.

Examples of these Repellents

Two such repellents are methyl nonyl ketone and cinnamic aldehyde. In laboratory tests these chemicals reduced damage by dogs and cats to garbage bags by 70-80% and in the field by about half that amount.

Most of the products available to the public, however, contain natural ingredients – substances that dogs don’t particularly like such as eucalyptus – but the reviews suggest that they are not particularly effective.

Repellent sprays with names like ‘liquid fence’ and ‘critter ridder’ sound appealing but may have limited effects to keep dogs out of gardens, partly due to the nature of being outdoors.

If you want to try something like this, you might be better off creating your own home-made concoction. A lot of dogs dislike citrus fruits like lemons. A few lemon slices or citrus peels around your roses might just do the trick.

Or you could try placing cotton wool balls soaked in vinegar or ammonia around your precious plants.

Mind your fingers and watch closely – some dogs will eat the weirdest things!

Should You Just Wait it Out?

Sometimes, the best option to keep dogs out of garden areas is to wait out this phase. The secret to nice flowerbeds and a fruitful vegetable plot in a yard shared with a Labrador puppy is usually more supervision and/or restriction.

Just like we need to move trash bins out of the way (or use puppy proof lids) in the kitchen when leaving a dog alone there, so we also need to take steps to restrict a puppy’s opportunities for mischief outdoors. Put up a few barriers, or move things around a bit.

This may seem like a big deal now, but it really is worth it.

By the time your dog has passed his second birthday, he will probably have lost much of his passion for landscape design. Hopefully, you will be able to relax and give him free run.

Until then, you will find life a lot simpler if you put a temporary fence around your vegetables, move your tubs and planters where he cannot reach them, or fence off part of the yard for your puppy to play in.

When it comes to puppies, it is a good idea to pick your battles carefully. This is one that you may struggle to win.

How to Keep Dogs Out of Garden – Summary

As you may have discovered, some unsupervised Labrador puppies can cause a great deal of damage if left to their own devices in the yard.

There is no foolproof way of controlling what a puppy gets up to when you are not there, and purchasing an ultrasonic or water emitting device for your yard may be something of a gamble.

Remember, there is some dispute as to whether the devices currently on the market for repelling animals using sound or smell actually work. And these devices, while not harmful, do rely on aversives to keep dogs out of garden areas.

Most modern trainers believe that using deterrents in animal management should always be a last resort as side effects can be unwanted and unpredictable

One alternative to devices is to train your dog to stay in one part of your yard and away from another part. While training is generally a good idea, when it comes to relaxing and enjoying your garden, it is often better to avoid trouble than to treat it as a training issue.

If you decide to give an ultrasonic repeller or spray a try, let us know in the comments how it works!

More information on puppies

For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

The Happy Puppy Handbook covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

The book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialization and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

This article has been updated for 2019.

References and Further Reading

  • Ward A et al. “Deterrent or dinner bell? Alteration of badger activity and feeding at baited plots using ultrasonic and water jet devices” Applied Animal Behavior Science 2008
  • Nelson S, Evans A, Bradbury R. “The efficacy of an ultrasonic cat deterrent” Applied Animal Behavior Science 2006
  • Edgar J, Appleby R, Jones D “Efficacy of an ultrasonic device as a deterrent to dingoes (Canis lupus dingo): a preliminary investigation” Journal of Ethology 2007
  • Bellant J, Seamans T, Tyson L. “Evaluation of Electronic Frightening Devices as White-Tailed Deer Deterrents”. University of Nebraska 1998
  • Mary Bomford and Peter H. O’Brien Sonic Deterrents in Animal Damage Control: A Review of Device Tests and Effectiveness, Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
  • Blackshaw J et al. “Aversive responses of dogs to ultrasonic, sonic and flashing light units” Applied Animal Behavior Science 1990
  • Lehner P, Krumm R, Cringan A. “Tests for Olfactory Repellents for Coyotes and Dogs” Journal of Wildlife Management 1976

Dog Repellents That Really Work: 3 Ways to Keep Dogs Away!

They damage lawns, eat from your garden and have the capacity to cause serious damage to your property. No, we’re not talking about raccoons, rodents or other types of critters this time; we’re talking about dogs! Whether they are lost, feral or simply your neighbor’s pet roaming where it shouldn’t, dogs can be a serious concern to homeowners.

Aside from the obvious destructive method – digging – which can uproot plants, vegetables and the lawn itself, the nitrogen in their urine kills grass, leaving unsightly “burns” across your lawn.

DIY dog repellents include using ammonia, vinegar or citrus peels on your property, but these require special instruction. Ammonia and vinegar may kill your lawn and vegetation, so these may only be used on an outer perimeter, which may only prevent trespassing from one direction. Citrus peels may be added to these unprotected spots, as dogs tend to be offended by the odor, but this canine deterrent may then attract other critters, including rats.

Fortunately, Havahart® offers several options for keeping dogs off your property, and they are available in three forms:

  • Liquid repellents
  • Granular repellents
  • Water sprinkler repellents

These solutions each have their own methods for how to use them to greatest success, so read about each to help decide which one is best for you.

Liquid Dog Repellents

With the Critter Ridder® ready-to-use spray, one application lasts up to 30 days! Create a five-foot-wide perimeter, spraying 3 full trigger blasts for each square foot. Unlike the DIY dog repellent solutions previously mentioned, this treatment is designed for use on the lawn. It repels animals by its odor and taste using active ingredients of black pepper, piperine, capsaicin and related capsaicinoids. In case of heavy or prolonged rains, reapplication is advised.

Granular Dog Repellents

Critter Ridder® also comes in granular form with the same active ingredients and the same 30-day protection. For this product, a quarter-pound should be spread for every 15 square feet that is being treated.

Water Sprinkler Repellents

Effective against a wide assortment of animal intruders – on land and in the air – the Critter Ridder® Motion-Activated Animal Repellent system senses animal movement up to 35 feet away. A harmless deterrent that doesn’t do anything more than frighten off inquisitive animals, it simply uses a stream of water. With no chemicals and nothing to clean up afterward, it relies on the most natural substance in the world, as well as the animal’s own surprise and built-in flight-response.

With an assortment like this to arm yourself in the battle against canine intruders (plus other critters as well!), Havahart® gives you the freedom to select the method that works best for you. Let us know about your preferred methods in the comments section below. Also, join us on Facebook to share your animal repelling success stories. For more helpful articles and exclusive updates about new products, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter.

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