The Q&A Archives: Pets in Flower Beds

Question: My 9-year-old dog, who thinks she owns our property, has taken to sleeping in my flower beds, right on top of my flowers, killing them in the process. The only thing she is afraid of is being sprayed with the water hose. When I get out the hose, she will get out of the flower beds, but as soon as I look the other way, she is right back in again. Is there anything else I can do to keep her out of my flower beds?

Answer: What a fun game she has discovered! Perhaps you could make her a spot where she is invited to sleep that has all the amenities of the flower bed -- softly worked earth, a nice cushion of mulch, and perhaps some nice spring sunshine? (I once had a dog who preferred a spot in the shade to dig holes into the cool earth on hot days.) Then you could praise her for settling in there and scold her for sleeping in the beds. Other possibilities are a small fence as a visual reminder of where she shouldn't be, thorny branches strewn on the beds to make them uncomfortable, and then possibly the repellent sprays applied to the garden such as "GetAway" Animal Repellent for deer, rabbits, squirrels, dogs, and cats. Some gardeners have also reported success with home made garlic and/or pepper sprays. Good luck with the training!

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