How to Stop a Dog From Digging In Flower Beds

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. Try out these tips!

Tip #1 - Keep your dog outside for short periods of time. If your dog spends hours at a time outside, he's going to get bored and will 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 and supply him with puzzle and chew toys to keep him occupied.

Tip #2 - 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.

Tip #3 - 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.

Tip #4 - Sprinkle an all natural dog repellent (such as alum powder or chili powder) or a non-toxic commercially-available animal repellent around your flowers.

Tip #5 - Finally, the most obvious solution is to create separate, blocked off zones in your yard. Use fencing to protect your flower beds or create a run for your dog. Lightweight fencing material, such as chicken wire, should be enough to keep your dog from getting his paws on your blooms.

By Stephanie Dube Dwilson

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References:

Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip: Garden Tips for Dog People
Haute Dog Magazine: 8 Tips to Keep Your Dog Out of Flowers and Plants

About the Author
With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.