How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Garden

Members chime in with the best ways to keep dogs from destroying your garden.

If it’s a new home with new dogs, let them establish where they want to run first. Once they beat down the dirt and make their paths known, you can use that knowledge to place plants in other areas. If you put plants in their path, they’ll most likely be trampled. You’d have to put up barriers there to keep them from that area. As trainable as they are, if they get in a hurry, dogs will forget now and then, just like we would.
—Chris Behrens, Pendleton, SC

My Plott hound, Duke, likes to crawl under the front deck to lie in the shade during certain times of the day in summer. At his chosen entry point, we had to replace pretty annuals with a hardy ajuga. Ajuga leaves and flowers bounce back—even when stepped on and lain upon by a 60-pound dog.
—Val Kisamore, Morgantown, WV

I purchased a few motion-sensor sprinklers for the critters. That solved that problem.
—Bari Bishop Latiolais, Lafayette, LA

All dogs like to dig—some more than others. It’s instinctive and can’t be completely trained out of them. I think the only way to really handle dogs in the garden is to give them their own fenced-in section of the yard. It needs to be big, depending on the size of the dog; sheltered from sun, rain and wind; clean; visible from the people area; and entertaining. And it shouldn’t be used as a punishment or jail. Also, dogs dig less if they’re exercised every day.
—Richard Ruby, Silver Springs, NV