If it seems like Fido's mission in life is to tear up your flowerbeds, you're probably not a happy camper. Digging and exploring comes naturally to dogs, and although your pet companion might do it because it's fun, he also might misbehave because he's trying to tell your something -- he might be bored, craving attention or in need of a cool, shady spot. Start investigating and make adjustments to find out what's triggering Fido's behavior. Before you know it, he'll stop misbehaving and leave your flowers alone.
Surprise your dog with an area in the yard that's just for him. Fence off the area to show your dog his boundaries clearly. Fill a child's pool with sand or soil and put it in the area. Bury dog toys and treats in the sandbox to encourage your pet companion to dig, and regularly hide new toys to keep the area interesting. Place a dog house in the doggie zone, and during warm weather, put a child's pool filled with water in it so your dog can wade and cool down.
Block your dog's access to your flowerbeds. Grow your flowers in raised beds surrounded with borders of timbers, rocks or prickly bushes, such as hollies and barberry. These will discourage your dog from going near the flowers. Place small stones, bark mulch or pine cones on top of the soil in the raised beds to make the surface unpleasant to your dog. Alternatively, grow your flowers in heavy-duty flower pots or install a fence around the beds.
Spray the flowers with a commercial repellent that's geared toward deterring dogs, and that's safe to use on plants and flowers. Your dog will dislike the repellent and will stay away from the area.
Supervise your furry friend when he's in the yard. When he starts to tear up an off-limits area, clap your hands to startle him and stop him in his tracks. Redirect him to his doggie zone and pretend to dig for a toy in his digging pit. When your find a toy, show it happily to your furry friend and bury it again to encourage him to start digging. When he joins in on the fun, praise him and give him treats to reinforce the behavior. With consistency, he'll forget all about your flowerbeds and will dig in his digging pit instead.
Exercise your dog and spend quality time with him every day, because pent-up energy and lack of attention might trigger him to tear up your flowerbeds. Go for walks with your dog at least twice a day. Play a game of fetch with him so he can run, and practice obedience training for up to 10 minutes per day. Always make sure your pet companion has a variety of toys, such as chew toys and food-stuffed dog toys, to keep him busy and entertained.
Items You Will Need
- Child's pool
- Dog toys
- Dog treats
- Dog house
- Timbers, rocks or prickly bushes
- Small stones, bark mulch or pine cones
- Flower pots
- Dog repellent
- Don't punish your dog after discovering he's destroyed your flowers. He won't understand why you're upset and might get scared or anxious, which might worsen his undesired behavior.
- The Humane Society of the United States: Dig This -- How to Get Your Dog to Stop Digging
- Rancho Coastal Humane Society: Dog Digging My Yard… Ask a Trainer
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip -- Garden Tips for Dog People
- University of Vermont Extension: Department of Plant and Soil Science: Controlling Animal Pests In the Flower Garden
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images