How to Keep Dogs out of Flower Beds

Two Methods:Preventing Dogs From Getting in Your Flower BedsTraining Your Dog to Stay Out of Flower Beds

Are dogs getting in your flower beds? While dogs can be loyal and fun companions, they can really make a mess of your prized petunias. To keep your pup, or neighborhood pups, out of your beautiful flower beds, you will either need to change their behavior or change your beds a bit.

Method 1
Preventing Dogs From Getting in Your Flower Beds

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    Fence in your flower beds. This should send a message to your dog, or other dogs in the area, that he or she is not allowed in your garden. Ensure that the fence is sturdy and tall enough so a dog can't simply push it over or jump over it.
    • Many times dogs simply wander into flower beds because they are just areas that are easily accessible. Simply making access more difficult with a short fence will deter many dogs from entering.
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    Consider growing barrier plants.[1] Tall, thorny, or especially fragrant plants can be a great deterrent for dogs. Planting a row of thorny roses or other prickly plants along the edge of your flower bed will make the area much more unappealing to a dog looking for a place to dig or lounge around.
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    Make your flower beds unappealing by adding tastes and smells that dogs don't like.[2] Dust the edges of your flower beds with red pepper powder or other pungent spices. You could also sprinkle strong smelling liquids, such as vinegar, around the edges of your beds.
    • Make sure that whatever you use as a deterrent is unpleasant for a dog but it not toxic to it. The goal should be to deter dogs from entering your beds, not to injure them.
    • Don't use commercial repellents made to repel deer or rabbits.[3] Most of these products contain coyote urine, which keeps deer and rabbits at bay but attracts the interest of dogs.
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    Locate flower beds in inaccessible areas. Place your prized flowers that are not in the path of neighborhood animals. Backyards or side yards are less likely to have unwanted visitors than the front of a yard near a sidewalk or street. You shouldn't have to limit what and where you plant necessarily, but use common sense when choosing the right spot for a delicate and special flower specimen.
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    Switch to container gardening if your flowers are getting repeatedly trampled.[4] Dogs are less likely to get into pots or raised beds, as access it inherently more limited than flat areas of a yard. Having raised beds will not guarantee that your pooch won't go tromping through it but it will make the occurrence less likely.

Method 2
Training Your Dog to Stay Out of Flower Beds

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    Start training your dog at a young age. Puppies are ripe for training and most thrive under a kind and productive training system. Even puppies that are less than a few months old can learn commands successfully.[5]
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    Let your dog know that the flower beds are off limits as soon as you can. It is easier to let a dog know it can't go somewhere before it ever does, versus teaching it after it has enjoyed the area already.
    • While training your dog to stay in designated areas, it's a good idea not to leave it alone with the temptation and ability to break the rules. This is basically just setting your pooch up for failure.
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    Have a designated area where your dog can play and roam. Make sure the area is inviting and fun for the dog. Have some toys and enough space to play, so that the pup doesn't need to look for other areas to explore.
    • You can also designate an area where your dog can dig, if that is what they are doing in your flower beds. Make your dog's digging area appealing to them. Encourage them to play there, letting them tear up the area as much as they like.
    • Prevent your dog from digging in the soil by placing chicken wire, large rocks, or a plastic membrane over the earth.
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    Don't scold your dog when he or she tries to enter the flower beds. Scolding the dog could teach them to go into the flower bed for attention. The owner needs to be more subtle, such as distracting the dog and then rewarding the dog for the good behavior.
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    Try a commercial dog repellant. When the dog isn't there, you can either spray it around the bed. Don't spray directly at the dog. It may not be clear to the dog why it is being sprayed and what behavior you would like it to stop in response to the spraying. Spraying repellant when the dog is there is going to teach the dog to avoid you, rather than the flower bed.
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    Be consistent. You need to be consistent with your disapproval, never letting the dog wander into the flower beds without facing negative consequences. Also be consistent with your praise when a dog follows your command. Give it positive reinforcement with treats if need be. This will give your dog a good reason to do as you ask.
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    Hang in there! Keeping your dogs out of your flower beds will require persistence. No dog will get the message that you don't want him or her in your flowers right away. Just try to make it as clear and consistent as possible. Above all, keep playing with your dogs and let them know you love them, even if they do dig up your prized petunias once in a while.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Obedience