How to Keep Dogs Out of a Garden

Your dog will enjoy his own area in your yard, and he won't bother your garden.
Dog in the grass image by Jan Černý from

Allowing your dog the freedom to roam in your yard gives him the chance to get some needed exercise, but if he tends to dig or leave his droppings in your garden, you may be reluctant to let him use the yard. You can protect your garden areas from intrusions by your own dog and neighbors' dogs with humane, nontoxic repellants. Teach your dog to avoid the area, or use measures to prevent him from accessing it, to keep your garden looking its best.

Your Dog

Step 1

Construct or install a kennel or dog run for your dog that excludes your garden. These come already assembled, and many include a roof to provide shelter for the dog. When you let your dog out, he can have his own area to run and play in, without having access to your garden.

Step 2

Set up an electronic fence around the garden area. These systems consist of a cable that you place around your garden and a collar that gives the dog a small shock if he gets to close to the perimeter.

Step 3

Command the dog verbally to keep out of the garden area, and reward him with a treat when he turns away in response or uses other areas of your yard to play, dig or to eliminate. Consistent training will teach him to avoid the area.

Other Dogs

Step 1

Place an ultrasonic motion-sensing deterrent in the garden. These devices have a sensor that detects the presence of an animal in the area and they emit a high-pitched alarm that only dogs can hear. The sound scares them away from the area.

Step 2

Enclose the garden or yard with at least a 4-foot fence so that dogs cannot access it. Bury chicken wire a foot under the fence to prevent a dog from digging his way in. Usually, dogs will have no particular motivation to access the fenced area. The wire will help keep out rabbits, as well.

Step 3

Spray a canine deterrent spray around the garden to discourage dogs from approaching the area. These sprays can be purchased in gardening and pet supply stores.

Step 4

Place motion-sensing sprinklers around the garden. These sprinklers will turn on if they sense a dog entering the garden. An added benefit is that if the dog has urinated in the area, the sprinklers wash the urine away, helping your plants.

Step 5

Put pine cones around the garden. The texture of pine cones discourages dogs from walking or digging in the garden and does not harm their feet.


  • Never use inhumane methods such as thorny branches or toxic poisons to protect your garden from dogs. These are considered animal cruelty and can result in legal action.


  • Attach a specialized GPS system to your dog's collar. These systems allow you to designate an "off-limits" area, such as your garden, using your computer. If your dog goes into the banned area, you receive a text message and can go remove him from the garden.

  • Prevent digging by burying bricks in any holes a dog has dug in your garden. Dogs do not like the feel of the bricks and won't dig there.

  • Wash away urine scents from the garden to prevent dogs from wanting to mark the spots again. Mix 1 part dish detergent with 2 parts water, and spray the mix around the garden. The mix also repels some harmful insects.

  • Place your plants in raised garden beds to discourage dogs from digging or walking around in them.

  • If your dog is digging for cool ground in your garden, give him his own digging area with a small child's pool to play in and keep cool.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog kennel
  • Electronic fence
  • Dog treats
  • Ultrasonic motion sensor deterrent
  • Fence
  • Chicken wire
  • Dog deterrent spray
  • Motion-sensing sprinklers
  • Pine cones


About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Photo Credits

  • Dog in the grass image by Jan ÄŒerný from