1Understand why they’re digging

Before we get into the other tips, the best way to protect your garden from your dog is to take preventative measures. Some dogs just dig because it’s fun, but it can also mean that there’s something wrong in your environment.

The RSPCA lists these as possible reasons why your dog might enjoy digging up the yard:

  • Boredom,
  • Trying to escape,
  • Looking for protection, or
  • Releasing pent-up energy or anxiety.

So before you try any other tips, first pamper your pup a little more. Buy a new chew toy, spend some time playing fetch, or take longer walks. Your dog might just be feeling lonely and trapped, and helping him out could eliminate the digging behaviour entirely.

If your dog doesn’t have a kennel or nook where they can feel secure, it might just feel stressed from having to constantly watch its back. Build or buy a kennel where they can relax, and see if the digging problems decrease.

Note: If a dog is digging cos he’s feeling down in the dumps, then overly punishing might only make the pup want to dig even more. Make sure it’s clear to your dog that he shouldn’t be digging, but don’t go to extreme lengths or it might lead to an endless cycle of digging.

2Spice it up

Dogs have extremely sensitive noses, and usually they can’t stand overly bitter or spicy scents. An old gardener’s trick is to mix up a concoction of water with a hint of chilli, mustard, or pepper, and spray it around your plants.

For something stronger, create a less diluted mixture and spray it around the garden bed and on leaves to also keep away aphids and other creepy-crawlies.

3Citrus and coffee

Going from the point above, if you’d prefer to reuse and recycle your own food scraps, citrus rinds and used coffee grinds are just as great at keeping the puppies out of the garden.

4Wall it off

Walls don’t have to physically be larger than your dog just to prevent them from getting into your yard! A simple, short, garden wall can be made of chicken wire or spiky posts, making it even harder for dogs to climb over than usual. Just make sure it’s high enough to stop them from getting over; some tiny dogs can actually jump remarkably high!

5Spiky bushes

You can plant some spiked or thorny bushes (like roses), or try sprinkling some branches and nubs around less defended plants. This way, your dog will have to traverse a veritable minefield just to get near the garden! They’ll soon realise that there’s not enough reward to outweigh the risk.

6Pebble it up

Ever notice how dogs won’t try to walk on semi-gravelled surfaces? Pebbles of just-the-right-size are hell for dogs to walk on as the pads of their feet get a little stuck. Throw some pebbles around your plants; it won’t be as big of an obstacle as spikes or thorns, but it’s still an extra precaution for a nosy mutt snuffling about.


Barrier plants, like hedges, have long been used to keep Fido out of floral beds. They physically lock off your plants, acting like a fence and keeping things structured while still looking more natural than fence posts. Juniper and Boxwood are two good hedge plants to try.


Marigolds are a classic barrier plant with a scent that repels animals and insects. These flowers produce chemicals that reduce risk of a nematode attack on your surrounding plants, and they look gorgeous doing it! You don’t even need to sacrifice looks for security.

9Create a safe space

Why not create a special space just for your dog to dig? Installing a sandpit or filling a shell-pit with sand can give your dog a fun alternative to digging up your plants. Bury lots of fun toys and odorous treats in the area to entice them.

If you catch your dog digging in the designated space, reward them with treats or attention. If you catch them digging outside the spot, just tell them to stop and take them over to their designated area. Don’t admonish them too greatly, however, or you’ll be sending them mixed messages.

10Cut down on the manure

Manure is a deliciously appealing scent for doggies. After you lay down the manure on your garden, make sure to not let your dog out unsupervised for a little while. If you must, then erect temporary fences around the manure to keep the dog from digging.

11Call in the experts

If none of this is working for you, try a pet/vet behaviour specialist. They could help you pinpoint what’s driving your dog to dig, and find a solution to the problem.

Some animals have an inbuilt desire to dig, and some (particularly those adopted from shelters, where their previous owner might not have been as strict) may have picked up bad habits that are too ingrained to handle on your own.

If your garden is decorated with Artisan Stone, it’s much too beautiful to be messed up by a dog. If it’s not decorated by Artisan Stone, then what are you waiting for?
Transform your garden today.