How to Keep a Dog From Destroying Your Outside Flowers

by Amy Hunter
    Allow your dog to enjoy the outdoors on the end of a leash.

    Allow your dog to enjoy the outdoors on the end of a leash.

    Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

    Some dogs find the loose, cool soil around flowers irresistible. Digging provides a reward, with a cool spot to lay and bugs to chase, making this a challenging behavior to stop. Just remember, your dog isn't destroying your flowers to bother you. He probably started digging out of boredom or to burn excess energy, and the digging then developed into a habit. With some attention and training from you, he can learn that this is not acceptable behavior.

    Step 1

    Tell your dog to get away from your flowers. When your dog gets near your garden, give him a command, such as "out" while leading him to another area of the yard.

    Step 2

    Put your dog outside for short periods of time. If your dog spends hours at a time outside, he is likely to develop some unpleasant habits, such as digging. While you are teaching your dog to stay away from the flowers, stay outside with him while he is out if possible. If he is out unsupervised, keep the periods of time short.

    Step 3

    Exercise your dog several times a day. Rather than going for one long walk, take a shorter walk in the morning and evening, and spend some time after work tossing the ball or playing tug-of-war. Don't count yard time as exercise unless you are outside with him engaging him in an activity.

    Step 4

    Build your dog a sandbox. Some dogs just like to dig. Use landscape timbers to build a small box that you can fill with sand. Locate it in a shady spot where he will enjoy hanging out. Encourage him to get in the sand to dig or lay, and praise him when you see him in it.

    Step 5

    Sprinkle alum powder or a commercially available animal repellent around your flowers.

    Step 6

    Create separate zones in your yard. Use fencing to protect your flower beds or create a run for your dog. By separating your dog and your landscaped areas, you won't have to worry about your pup destroying your outdoor flowers. Lightweight fencing material, such as chicken wire, should be enough to keep your dog from digging around your plants, or you can use invisible fencing to create a boundary your dog will not cross in your yard.

    Items You Will Need

    • Landscape timbers
    • Sand
    • Alum or commercial animal repellent
    • Chicken wire or invisible fencing

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

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