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How do I keep dogs out of my garden?

Dogs can dig up plants and soil, contaminate gardens with urine and feces, and generally wreck havoc on delicate landscapes, unless trained otherwise. Besides fencing, there are a number of ways to discourage dogs from your garden.

Many sprays and powders made to deter dogs are commercially available. Similarly, numerous home remedies, usually containing mustard powder, cayenne and similar ingredients that dogs find irritating, can be sprayed around your garden. Most topical solutions have to be reapplied regularly, however, especially after rain. Alternatively, ultra-sonic barriers and motion activated sprinklers can help keep dogs and other animals away.  Unfortunately, such devices also discourage more desirable wildlife from entering your garden.

Another approach that some find successful is the “water bottle method.” Most dogs instinctively choose not to relieve themselves near clean water sources. Placing half full water jars or plastic bottles around your garden may encourage dogs to do their business elsewhere.

Finally, you can try cleansing your garden of scents that dogs find attractive (i.e. other dogs). Mix 1/3 eco-friendly dishwasher solution with 2/3 water and spray the mix liberally where dogs have been active. The spray will not harm plants, and has the added benefit of killing some insect pests.