Stop Dog From Digging
And Save Your Summer Garden!

So you want to stop your dog from digging? - believe me, I feel your pain. Being an avid gardener myself, I know you don't want to see a hole in the ground where your prize petunias, or that bush of ripe tomatoes used to be. Aarg!

Unfortunately, summertime usually means that Rover is outside for longer periods of time.

And while he's wandering around the yard, there's nothing quite like a lot of loose dirt around an attractive flower bed or a luscious vegetable garden to get his attention. It may even have a strong aroma from being a recent application of compost.

It's just second nature to him to explore all the fragrant aromas and interesting veggie shapes, not to mention the compost!

Puppy looking muddy while digging in the grass

Before you know it, the dirt is flying. Well you really can't blame him now, can you?

But this behavior and natural bent for digging, especially if you have terriers, can become a bone of contention between you and your dog.

Unless of course you use some devious means to discourage his gardening activities. So listen up.

Stop dog digging - Strategies

To keep pets out of garden areas you want to protect....

  • Place a portable sprinkler in these areas. Then, sit back in your lawn chair near the water faucet and turn on the sprinkler when your pet approaches the "no-go zone". Doing this a few times should become a deterrent, plus your dog won't know that you were involved in the plot!

You could also achieve a similar effect if you used a cheap toy water pistol, but only if you can be discreet enough to hide where the "squirts" are coming from.

  • Another valuable device you could use in your mission - and by far one of the best, as well as being a humane deterrent to keep animals out of areas you want to protect, is a motion activated sprinkler like the one shown below.

In my mind this is one of the best options because it's a "set it and forget it" solution that works whether you are there or not. It also removes you as a suspect in the "no-dig" campaign!

Plus, it can deter other unwanted intruders that may happen into your unattended garden. So you get a two for one punch.

motion activated sprinkler

Not only does this stop your dog from digging and ruining your victory garden, but he is also being protected from other varmits that often show up in these areas - moles, mice, gophers, snakes and the like.

Other Dog Digging Solutions

You may have noticed that your dog gets into his digging mischief at a fairly predictable time of day. If this is the case - lucky break - you now have an opportunity to break the "dig" cycle by choosing this time to take him for a walk. A long walk. Tired dogs are less likely to have the energy for, or need of, more adventures.

  • If long walks aren't always an option, you can try a remotely activated spray training collar. Using the remote control, owners can cause the collar to emit a gentle lemony spray at the exact time the unwanted behavior is occurring.

The odor of the spray is Citronella based and is one that most dogs don't like. This tool is not a punishment, but a diversionary deterrent and is very effective in preventing unwanted behaviors in addition to digging.

Yet another solution, is to set aside an area of your yard where you dog can indulge in his digging pastime to his heart's content.

vegetable gardenPuppy Eyeing the Garden

Lastly, if Rover likes to play games, you can divert his earth doggy activities by offering him the alternate stimulation of a game, a training session, or a treat dispensing toy.

Some dogs just get into unwanted behaviors out of boredom. And once they start, one crime usually leads to another.

Other dogs may have a high prey drive and will try to burrow under a fence to chase down an intruder that is wandering by. In this case, some chicken wire buried shallowly along the fence line is an ideal impediment. I tried using bricks once, by my terriers were not slowed down by them one bit. So, top choice is chicken wire.

It can be challenging to stop dogs from digging, but with my tried and true tips to experiment with, what are you going to do? Try them out for gosh sake and send me some of those great veggies you've saved from destruction!

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