dogs out of garden

How to Keep Dogs Out of Garden: 10 Effective Tricks

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If you’re interested in learning how to keep dogs out of the garden, this post is for you.

After all, our pet dogs are incredibly skilled and wholeheartedly believing that the world revolves around them. Sometimes that may be true, but not when it comes to the garden. We are, in fact, not creating a wonderful playground for them every spring when we begin to till the soil and plant our fruits and veggies for the season. 

Nonetheless, they sometimes don’t get the message, and the garden quickly attracts them into mischievousness. On top of that, some stray dogs or neighbor dogs may contribute to the problem.

If this sounds like a problem you have been experiencing, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled some of our favorite solutions for pet owners. So keep reading to learn about ten practical ways to keep the dog out of your garden beds. 

What Attracts Dogs to the Garden?

Dogs are curious. They like to explore. When it comes to outdoor spaces, the garden is one of the most fascinating places which is why it’s not that easy to dog proof your garden. But why are dogs so attracted to the garden?

  • Their humans – dogs are loyal creatures. If their human is in the garden, then, of course, they want to be there also.
  • Curious smells – there are all sorts of curious smells that can draw your dog into the garden. It may be the plants or the leftover smells from visiting wildlife.
  • Tender plants – believe it or not, dogs like fruits and vegetables. Younger plants especially make for easy pickings and afternoon snacks for your dog. 
  • Digable dirt – dogs love digging holes to gain access to the cooler depths of the soil, especially during hotter weather. The smell of the soil and the sensory pleasure they receive from digging can be irresistible.
  • Contrary stubbornness – Dogs can be stubborn. Your dog may be rummaging around the garden simply because you’ve told them not to. This may take some time, training, and maturity to counteract. 

How Do You Stop Dogs From Getting Into Your Garden?

We love our dogs. However, they can be pesky nuisances sometimes. Especially when they are younger and untrained. Their rambunctiousness can sometimes translate into trampled plants, holey garden beds, and out-of-place poo and pee.

Stopping dogs from getting into the garden can be a tricky affair. It depends on the dog and the relationship they have with their human. Patience and consistency go a long way in communicating to your precious pet that the garden is a nono zone. 

The tips we have to keep your pooch out of the garden revolve around four important elements that you should consider when devising a plan.

  • Consistent training
  • Physical barriers
  • Stinky scents
  • Scare-tactics

Consistent Training

Training your dog to stay out of the garden can be a frustrating experience. It tends to take time and consistency in order to get the message across. However, thoughtful training is the most effective way to help your dog want to stay out of your garden in the long run. 

Physical Barriers

A wide selection of physical barriers may help keep your dog out of raised garden beds. The types of obstacles you put up will depend on the severity of the problem, the amount of space that needs to be protected, and the level of stubbornness your pup is portraying. 

Stinky Scents

Dogs have super sensitive olfactory systems. They can smell things that do not even register to human beings. That’s why they always are drawn to the smelly deliciousness you cook up in the kitchen. There are plenty of smells that dogs dislike too. When it comes to repellents, incorporating stinky scents into your garden may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Scare Tactics

When it comes to scare tactics, it’s all about finding humane and gentle ways to incentivize your dog to stay out of the yard. We are not recommending scary intimidation. Tactics that involve startling your dog to remind them that the garden is not where they want to be can be beneficial. There are plenty of other spaces around the yard that they can enjoy instead.

dog in garden

10 Tips to Keep Dogs Away from Your Vegetable Garden

Here are some expert-backed tips to help keep your dog out of the vegetable garden and flower beds.

1. Consider Gardening In Containers

Gardening in containers or raised beds is a simple option for keeping your puppies out of the garden. The extra protection your plants get from being raised up may be all they need to stay out of reach of dogs, especially the smaller breeds.

If you cannot get behind the idea of transitioning your entire garden into containers, we recommend just planting the most dog-affected plants into containers first. Who knows, you might enjoy bending over less when you tend to your garden!

2. Create A Path For Your Pooch

If your garden has become a thoroughfare for your dog on their way to their favorite potty spot or playground, then we recommend creating a path for your puppy. You can create a pathway with a layer of mulch or gravel to help show them a better way that doesn’t involve trampling plants. Then, when they use the pathway, you can show excitement to signal to them that they did a good job.

3. Train Them To Respect Boundaries

Creating boundaries for your dog is so important. When you allow puppies left unsupervised outdoors, it can be quite a mess because they can destroy your precious plants. It can be difficult at first, but most dogs begin to enjoy having boundaries with time.

When it comes to off-limits areas outdoors, you can employ many of the same training tactics you utilized when training your dog to avoid certain areas indoors, like the kitchen countertops and living room sofas. Remember, patience is critical for this type of training!

4. Reward Good Behavior

There are tons of aromas and flavors that dogs dislike. However, you can utilize these scents to your advantage to discourage dogs from your plants. Hot chili peppers, garlic, mustard seed, ammonia, vinegar, putrefied eggs, citrus, and coffee grounds are all great examples of spices and aromas that dogs tend to avoid. You can sprinkle these items around your garden or create a spray solution to create an odor barrier that will fend off little Fido.

5. Install A Motion Activated Sprinkler

Motion-activated sprinklers are a humane way to give your dog a startle and to incentivize them to avoid certain areas. Plus, your plants will enjoy the extra watering they are receiving. However, we must admit that this strategy has been known to backfire. Some dogs adore water and may learn to play with the sprinkler instead of avoiding it.

6. Use Spices And Other Stinky Aromas

There are tons of aromas and flavors that dogs hate. However, you can utilize these scents to your advantage to keep dogs out of the plants. Red pepper flakes, garlic, mustard seed, ammonia, vinegar, putrefied eggs, citrus, and coffee grounds are all great examples of spices and aromas that dogs tend to avoid. You can sprinkle these items around your garden or create a spray solution to create an odor barrier that will fend off little Fido. 

There are also plants you can incorporate into your landscape to help keep dogs away. For example, pungent herbs like lavender and rosemary are disliked amongst dogs (and cats). Prickly plants, like roses, are good at keeping dogs away also. When you prune plants, you can use the twigs to create pokey barriers around heavily-trafficked areas.

7. Create A Barrier Around Your Garden

If odor barriers do not work, we recommend trying a physical barrier. Hiring professionals to install fencing around your garden can be a very expensive solution. However, it is effective, especially for small dogs. The good news is there are also lots of DIY-oriented fencing solutions that you can try out. We also recommend looking into recycled materials to save money while creating a fence. 

8. Install Solar Powered Lights

If dogs utilize the cover of darkness to frequent your garden, installing lights in the garden may help ward off pesky nighttime visiting dogs. Motion-activated lights can startle dogs and incentivize them to go elsewhere.

If your dog is braver than that, there may be a better solution. Nowadays, there are even solar-powered LED lights that mimic the eyes of a predator lurking in the darkness that can scare your dog away from the garden. With time, they’ll choose to be in safer, less scary places around the yard instead of the garden. 

9. Use Chicken Wire To Protect Sensitive Areas

If you want to avoid an expensive fence, you can also consider protecting certain plants or areas. Chicken wire is an example of an affordable material that can be utilized to protect certain areas and sensitive plants.

For example, a layer of chicken wire on top of the soil will prevent digging while also leaving room for plants to mature. Placing wooden stakes into the ground around sensitive areas is another way to keep dogs from eating or trampling certain plants. 

10. Create A Better Area For Them To Be

Dogs like to spend time in the garden for various reasons. What if you created an area that was way more fun to be in than the garden? For example, if digging is the problem, you can try creating a separate sandbox for them to dig in. If they are attracted to the water in the garden, you can provide them with a different area to swim and play in the sprinklers. 

What is the Most Effective Dog Repellent?

The most effective dog repellent is one that is used in combination with other dog-prevention strategies. A multi-pronged approach towards keeping dogs away from plants is typically the most effective. 

For example, practicing consistent dog training, along with applying a homemade repellent remedy of hot chili peppers around your plants for extra incentive, could be a viable combination. Or perhaps, a fencing upgrade with motion-activated water sprinklers would repel dogs effectively.

It’s all about experimentation when keeping dogs out of flower bed and garden. With time, you’ll find what works best for you, your garden, and your pesky (but adorable) pet.


What scent will keep dogs away?

Citrus, vinegar, and certain essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus are scents that can deter dogs. These scents are generally unpleasant to dogs and can help keep them away from specific areas.

How do I stop my dog from destroying the garden?

To prevent your dog from destroying the garden, try providing alternative activities like chew toys such as rawhide or bully sticks, or designated digging areas. Additionally, supervise your dog when they’re in the garden and use positive reinforcement training to redirect their behavior towards appropriate activities.

What is a natural repellent for stray dogs?

Natural repellents for stray dogs include substances like vinegar, citrus peels, and ammonia. These scents are often disliked by dogs and can be used to create boundaries or spray in areas where you want to deter stray dogs from entering.

See more: How to keep cats out of my yard

*image by viclin&zannaholstova/depositphotos

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