Being a dog and a plant lover simultaneously can place you in a really tricky situation.
You can find this statement materialising in your life if you have a beautiful garden in your backyard and a dog that is too curious.
Truth to be told, dogs are one of the most dangerous pests from whom you need to protect your garden. They not only injure your plants by trampling them but also insult them by peeing and defecating in your garden.
Fortunately, it is a widespread problem, and we have got several solutions for you. However, two solutions are specifically notable:
- Using Dog Repellants
- Discipling your dog
The first option may produce mixed outcomes. However, when complemented with the second one, it will definitely work. The upcoming sections will examine this in more detail.
So, read ahead and gratify your curiosity.
Dogs and their undying love for digging
Digging is one of the most exciting activities for some dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers. If you own a Labrador, you must know how energetic and inquisitive they tend to be.
If you don’t engage their mind and body enough, they will surely resort to such destructive activities like digging. And suppose they are bored and have an entire field with extra soft soil, you can very well imagine what a party your pup is going to have.
Your flower garden will be crushed, and your vegetable garden will be uprooted. At first, you may get shocked on the face of such massive destruction.
However, don’t get stressed. It is absolutely normal for your otherwise even-tempered dog to act in such a destructive way. Besides that, it is nothing you cannot deal with.
Why should you use a dog deterrent in your garden?
You must be wondering why do you need dog barriers or deterrents to protect your garden?
After all, your dog is still young and won’t be able to cause that much destruction in your garden if left alone for a few minutes. Right?
Besides that, not all puppies indulge in such destructive activities like digging and trampling gardens when not supervised by their parents. Take, for example, your neighbour’s dog. Such a well-behaved pup. No?
Well, here’s the catch!
Not all dogs like destructing gardens.
In fact, some dogs are so courteous when left outside or indoors that they make the owners of hyperactive dogs feel guilty. The latter starts to think that there is something wrong with their dog’s temperament or their training methods.
However, we assure you that your pup is absolutely fine, and it is entirely normal for your dog to act naughty sometimes. After all, your puppy is a Labrador Retriever. Being inquisitive and energetic is inherent in your its genes. Just because it loves doing some ‘freestyle’ gardening doesn’t make it abnormal or mentally disabled.
What you need to do is just work on your pup’s behaviour and obedience. We will advise you to work on these skills at your dog’s puppy stage itself. Besides that, using some dog barriers or deterrents will provide an additional shield to your beloved flower or/and vegetable garden.
The upcoming sections will give a more detailed description of how to protect your garden from your pet dog’s wrath. But before that, let us chalk out a list of methods that can be used to prevent your pup from entering your garden.
Various Methods to Prevent Your Dog From Destroying Your Garden
Now that you are sure that nothing is wrong with your pup, you must be wondering about the most effective method to save your beloved paradise from your hyperactive dog’s wrath.
After all, you cannot be biting your nails all the time thinking that your strawberries, rhubarb or other rare plants are safe or not. Right? You may have many different jobs to do rather than watching your dog’s movements like a hawk.
Well, do not be stressed. We won’t make you wait any longer.
Here is a list of some of the most effective methods to deter your dog from entering your garden.
1. Change the design of your garden.
This is the first and one of the most useful options you have, to prevent your dog from destroying your flower and vegetable garden. Why we call this method beneficial is because it tries to address the root cause of the problem in hand, and that is boundaries.
The most prevalent issue with canines is that they do not understand where to stop. If they find something exciting and fun, they run after it unless the thing is wholly destroyed.
The same goes for your garden area whose soft and digable soil allures your dog. Consequently, your dog keeps on digging unless you come to the spot and drag it out of your now non-existent paradise. Therefore, if you wish to preserve your beloved garden, make raised platforms or place rocks and stones to make your dog understand that it cannot cross these boundaries.
You can also consider tub and container gardening. This way, your dog won’t find enough space to place even a paw on your beloved flowers and vegetables.
2. Sow some plants to keep your dog out of the garden area.
You can consider it an eco-friendly way to prevent your pup from creeping into your garden premises. There are specific plants whose smell or odour dogs do not like at all.
Sowing these plants as your garden’s boundaries will make your dog remain miles away from your garden.
And do not be stressed. These plants won’t harm your dog in any way. They are just for repelling your pup.
Some of the distinguished plants that can be sowed as boundaries to repel your dog include:
- Chilli peppers
- Citrus trees
- Common rue
- Lemongrass (citronella)
Among these plants, you have to be a bit careful with common rue. Even though these plants keep pests like cats, dogs and ants out of garden premises, they are harmful to humans.
Therefore, ascertain that your kids do not go near these plants. Another variety of dog repellent plants can be the prickly ones. You can sow these plants to define the edges of your garden.
Because your dog’s paws are sensitive, it will not like to get pricked by those plants. Consequently, you will find your pup avoiding those spaces of your garden that has been bordered by such prickly plants. Some of the prominent examples of these plants and trees include:
It is quite apparent that this method is climate-specific. Not all of the plants mentioned above will grow in your climatic conditions. Therefore, we will advise you to pick your dog repellent plants accordingly.
3. Work on your dog’s behaviour and obedience.
Dog repellents and barriers are well and good. We will discuss plenty of them. But how about schooling your dog on how to behave? That is definitely something you need to contemplate.
After all, why should your garden make all the efforts to protect itself from your dog? Your dog should also behave appropriately. Right? However, it is not that easy to drill your dog on how to behave around your beloved garden. In fact, it is a lot difficult than teaching your dog the commands of obedience.
You have to devote some of your time daily to make your dog understand the areas in your backyard that are off-limits. So, here you go.
To start this drill, you need to construct a boundary around your garden area. The border can be a rope or a marking or the like. As you begin with your training session, ascertain that your dog’s collar is attached with a leash. Now, make your dog see the barrier and throw the treats within a defined area where you want your pup to move.
Make your dog understand that you will reward it if it remains away from the line. If it traverses the barrier, do not give it anything and pull the leash and go to the other side of the garden. Every time your dog achieves success, give it a click or its favourite treat. When it traverses the designated boundary, give the command “No” or make a sound like “Eh.”
Keep repeating this process unless your dog discerns the area or space within which it can move. As your dog grows accustomed to this process, the subsequent step is to do this drill without the harness and then, from varying distances.
The utility of this drill
Even though this drill is useful, we won’t suggest that you should rely solely on your dog’s obedience training. Such a stunt is not only dangerous for your garden but also your dog. Always monitor your dog’s movements when they are in the backyard. Who knows when someone or something triggers your pup’s curiosity, and it lands up in some kind of danger?
However, if you are too busy to watch out for your dog’s every step, ascertain that your backyard is protected with wired fencing and your garden is protect with dog barriers and repellents.
4. Protect your garden with a charming fence.
This option may demand some additional hard work. But you will find this pain absolutely deserving when you will see your beautiful flower and vegetable garden flourishing like a mini Eden. If your dog is a small one, a 16-inch barrier will suffice your need to protect your seedlings from your pup’s merciless paws.
In contrast, if you own a large and energetic dog like that of a Labrador Retriever, we will advise you to enclose your garden within a chicken cage having an enclosure on the top. It will also keep deers and rabbits away from your vegetables.
However, you must check the condition of your fence at least once a month. Who knows? Your dog may have created a hole in your barrier or dug out a secret channel to enter your garden. If you don’t want to confine your garden, you can choose to build a fenced playground for your dog. The playground should have lots of treats and toys.
Ascertain that the treats you give your dog mainly comprise of chews like bully sticks and rawhides. It is because your dog can bury bones if it has a digging habit.
5. Use animal decoys to keep your dog out of the garden.
Dogs are afraid of critters. Although their body contains predatory genes; but what happens when they encounter someone more powerful than them?
No. We are not asking you to bring another predator to your home. We are just recommending you to prepare and install a dangerous looking animal decoy in your garden to scare off your inquisitive and mischievous dog. You can either buy these decoys, or you can choose to prepare them at home itself. Such animal decoys are not very expensive if you wish to purchase them.
Spending just $20 or even less can get you a terrific animal decoy with two red solar LED eyes. If you don’t find a suitable animal decoy in the market, you can always choose to make a decoy of your own. Just purchase a mini solar panel, two red LED lights and a sensor and build that perfect decoy to scare off your pup.
6. Put balloons in your dog’s digging areas.
This trick may seem to be a bit weird and harsh, but do not get stressed. It is absolutely safe. In fact, this method was once recommended by the LSPA.
The technique is simple. Just hide some balloons in places where your dog has a tendency to dig. This way, whenever your dog starts digging that particular spot, the balloons will burst and startle your dog.
The abruptness of the event will make your dog associate an unfavourable outcome with the act of digging. Consequently, your dog will give up drilling and hiding things altogether.
7. Prepare a dig pit to satisfy your dog’s digging needs.
There can be a variety of reasons behind your dog’s digging habit. Some of these reasons include:
- Fear and anxiety
- Preparing a place for the puppies
- To escape from the scorching heat
- Predatory instincts
- Just for fun
Among the reasons mentioned above, if the last one is the principal cause of your dog’s digging habit, we will advise you to accept this tendency of your dog with open arms. Accordingly, dedicate a portion of your backyard for your dog’s digging habit and prepare a dig pit. It will enable your dog to dig as much as it wants and therefore, save your beloved flower and vegetable garden from your pooch’s wrathful paws.
8. Sprinkle spicy solutions in your garden.
Our taste buds differ from pets. Consequently, what we may consider tasty may not even suit our dog’s taste buds. One of such things that your dog may not even dare to taste is spicy food. Then, why not take advantage of this limitation of your dog to keep it away from your mini Eden? So, here you go.
Take some crushed mustard and powdered-dried pepper. Mix them in equal amounts. Now, take this mixture and scatter it all over your garden bed. Consequently, whenever your dog tries to dig and put its devil of a mouth on your beloved vegetables and flowers, it will find its tongue burning because of the spices you have sprinkled all over your garden. However, you must note that this method is useful only in dry climatic conditions. Moisture can diminish the potency of the spices.
9. Create a separate path for your dog.
This option is for the comparatively well-behaved dogs who just like to sail through the garden rather than diving into it. Well, you may not believe, but some dogs do exist who just want to enjoy the pleasant smell of a beautiful flower garden rather than cause a hurricane within it. Besides that, they can also desire to reach a location through the garden bed, which is otherwise unreachable.
If you think your dog has any of the ibid reasons to enter your garden, you don’t have to do much but create a separate path for it. To create a different track for your dog, you can use mulch, carpets or raise the particular area by adding some more soil. This way, your dog will be able to stroll through your garden without causing any damage to the fruits, flowers and vegetables.
10. Play ‘hide and seek’ with your dog.
As mentioned earlier, there may be a variety of reasons behind your dog indulging in destructive activities like digging. One of them is boredom. In fact, boredom may be the most probable reasons behind your dog creeping into your garden and engaging in its own style of gardening.
However, there is no requirement of scratching your head as the solution is inherent in the problem only. What you have to do is engage your dog in some constructive games like ‘hide the treat.’ You just need some interactive treat toys to play this game with your dog. Hide them in your backyard and teach your dog to find them.
This kind of games will enhance your dog’s cognitive skills and present them with a fair amount of physical exercise. Consequently, your dog will remain busy for hours and will not get distracted by your beautiful garden. However, we will advise you not to allow your dog to go away from the vicinity of your eyes.
It is because you can never know when your dog gets bored with its treat and start creeping towards your garden.
11. Use ultrasonic repellents to protect your garden from your pup.
The ultrasonic dog repellant is primarily a box-like structure (square or rectangular) placed on a spike that can be stranded by embedding in your garden bed. The main logic behind such ultrasonic dog repellants is that unlike human beings, animals can hear sounds more than 20,000 Hz. In other words, your dog can listen to ultrasounds, but you don’t.
Consequently, when you press the on-button of these devices, you won’t be able to hear anything. But your sensitive dog will be able to listen to the extra loud sound and won’t go near your garden due to the discomfort caused by the device. Because you can’t hear that loud sound, you may start questioning the efficacy of such devices.
To be frank, your queries are very much justified because the vast ranges of researches that have been conducted on these devices have produced mixed results. Still, to prevent you from making a wrong purchase, we will suggest you the following ultrasonic dog repellents.
They have received the best reviews, and some of them even come with red LED lights.
It is a typical ultrasound dog repellant with a”box on spike-like” structure. There is a solar panel to recharge it with a bonus of LED lights to scare off the animals and other pests.
BestGreen 2 Pack-Solar Powered Animal Repeller, Waterproof, Light, Solar Mole Rodents, Snake. Protects Home, Field, Livestock
This one is also solar-powered and has energy-saving LED lights. What makes it distinct is that it is impervious to water. Therefore, you won’t have to be stressed about the sudden downpours.
12. Apply water repellents in your garden.
This option is specifically applicable to those dogs who don’t like water. If your dog is one of them, you must try this one. The structure is quite similar to the ultrasonic dog repellents. The only difference is that it sprinkles water instead of ultrasounds.
Besides that, it comprises a motion sensor which can detect your dog’s movements and drench it with some heavy showers when your beloved pooch tries to intrude into your paradise.
Fortunately, the market has plenty of these motion-sensing sprinkler systems. Therefore, you won’t face much problem in finding a suitable one.
13. Use smelly dog repellents to build an invisible barrier around your garden.
This one is also a useful option, but there are two limitations.
- Have some side-effects in the surrounding environment.
- Doesn’t last long. You have to apply this method quite frequently.
According to some studies, dogs cannot withstand specific smells like that of the methyl nonyl ketone and cinnamic aldehyde. Even though you can have these smelly repellents ready-made from the market, we will advise you not to take a risk and prepare your ‘stink bomb’ at your home only. These are some of the home-made recipes to make your ‘stink bomb.’
Dog Repellents made with citrus fruits.
Unlike human beings, dogs cannot stand the smell of citrus fruits. So, you can just cut a citrus fruit and make a mixture of its peelings and juices. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and sprinkle it in your garden.
Your invisible barrier is ready.
Garlic and Chili Pepper Dog Repellent
This one will repel your dog’s taste buds as well as nostrils. Chop some onions, chilli pepper and garlic. Put them in a bowl and pour some warm water with liquid dishwashing soap over them. Leave the solution untouched for 24 hours and then, pour it in a spray bottle to create your invisible barrier.
Dog Repellent made with Mustard Oil
Dogs do not like mustard oil’s aroma and taste. So, just pour the oil in a spray bottle and sprinkle it in areas where you don’t want your dog to intrude.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Repellent
Most ready-made dog repellents use vinegar and apple cider. So, why bother purchasing them when the ingredients are already available at your home? Just take a spray bottle and pour in it a cup of white vinegar and two cups of apple cider. Close the spray bottle, shake it, and your smelly dog repellent is ready.
14. Use a mixture of oranges and coffee
Just like human beings, dogs do not like bitter food. So, why not use this limitation of theirs for your garden’s benefit?
Just mix some coffee grounds with bitter orange oil and pour it in a spray bottle. Following this, you have to sprinkle this solution all over your garden bed. Your dog won’t dare to come near your mini Eden, and the added coffee grounds will fertilise your garden. Besides that, this recipe is rain resistant. So, you won’t have to apply this solution too frequently.
Wait for this active phase to pass.
Sometimes, it is more salutary to wait and relax unless this active phase of your dog passes by. In fact, it is the only way by which you can behold the serene beauty of your garden while enjoying the pleasant companionship of your pooch.
As your dog goes through this active stage of its life, you can introduce some barriers or restrictions to prevent your pup from becoming an ever hyperactive dog. Even though your dog will not have that much energy to indulge in ‘freestyle’ gardening as it grows old, its mannerisms will turn exemplary only if you make it accustomed to boundaries. You must remember that the supervision of your dog should not be limited to only indoors. You have to also teach your dog how to behave when it is outside.
Just like you adjust your room and kitchen furniture as per your dog’s needs and habits, the same should be done with your backyard and garden area. The more your pup becomes accustomed to its restricted surroundings, the less it is likely to indulge in such destructive activities like trampling your garden. Hopefully, as your dog reaches the third year of its lifespan, you will be able to relax in your backyard with your dog by your side enjoying its own ‘me’ time.
Till then, try the tricks mentioned above to keep your dog beyond the vicinity of your beloved vegetable and flower garden.
Conclusion: Prevent your adorable pup from destroying your beloved paradise.
If you got a hyperactive Labrador Retriever or any other breed like Husky that loves digging, do not be stressed. Some training techniques, coupled with a variety of dog repellents and barriers, will surely solve your problem.
So far, dog barriers and repellents are concerned, you have the option of using both home-made and commercial ones. While the former will not hurt your dog or plants, you can never guarantee the latter’s side-effects, especially those of the ultrasonic ones. Besides that, using commercial dog repellents can surely dent your pocket if not make a hole in it. So, use them at your own risk.
If you ask us about the safest yet effect dog repellents, we will definitely recommend you the dog repellant plants and the home-made recipes. Boundaries made up of pines are also useful if only you have plenty of them in your area.
However, none of these tactics will prove enough unless you monitor your pup’s activities. You must remember that supervision is essential for the safety of not only your garden but also your dog.