A dog can be a man’s best friend, but it can’t be the best friend of a garden.
The truth is, dogs are as threatening as rodents and vermins are to your garden. And, if you want to protect all the flowers and vegetables you’ve grown, use the following tricks.
The Reward-Punishment Technique
There are many effective ways you can use to keep your dog out of the garden and we’ll be discussing each of them. However, instead of repelling him, what if he himself agrees to behave the way you want?
This can be achieved if you use the reward-punishment model. Just like how you train your dog not to bark at your family members, similarly, train him –using the reward-punishment model –to stay out of the garden. For instance, in the beginning, you can train him using verbal affirmations –the point is to give verbal, tactile and oral rewards when he does well. You can then substitute with a treat or a game. Sometimes, a mere act of affection such as rubbing the head can work even better. And, if you have a really, really strong relationship with your dog, he will want nothing more than to get your approval.
When it comes to the “punishment” part, try not to use anything that can come as unkind to your dog. If he’s always running into the garden and destroying your flower beds, try to stop the behavior using a firm but soft voice. You can have him sit and say no. Do this every time and then reward him once he gets it. Unlike the common perception, dogs are surprisingly smart. And, even when you are not yelling or throwing things at him, he will know when you are simply displeased with certain behavior.
Wear your dog out
If you want to prevent a dog from destroying a garden, you need to “think” like the dog. What’s the reason behind a dog running around a garden, destroying flower beds and digging up the soil? The answer is boredom!
When a high-energy dog doesn’t get enough exercise, he might progress into a lifetime of destructive behavior. Luckily, there are lots of activities that can wear out his energy and prevent your gorgeous garden from being turned into a horrible mess.
So, here are some great ways to exercise a high-energy dog:
- Regular walks
- Dock Jumping
- Scent Training
- Field Trials
- Earthdog Trials
- Playing Frisbee
- Play Fetch
Create a Spiky Barrier
There are some dogs that can be disobedient and rebellious like how most teenagers are during the puberty phase. And, in those cases, the only way to keep them out of the garden is by creating an extra layer of protection in your garden –one that includes cactus, rose bushes, twigs and chicken wire.
Dogs, like most animals, don’t like to be poked or get stuck with spiky things like thorns. So, why don’t you use this to your advantage and add some reinforcement to your garden?
Spice Things Up
Humans always seem to crave spicy food and many of them have somehow built up a tolerance toward these kinds of food. However, unlike us, most mammals like dogs are intolerant of spicy things.
So, if you want to protect your garden, sprinkle some red pepper chili flakes or some mustard powder around. Once your dog approaches the outdoor area, he will smell the spice and thus will be “forced” to stay away from the garden.
Spread Nasty Odors
Other than spices, dogs also seem to hate the smell of vinegar and ammonia. So to keep your dog away from your garden, pour some white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into a bottle and spray it around.
Another option involves spraying a mixture of coffee grounds with bitter orange pills in your garden. This is a classic deterrent known for keeping dogs out of the garden.