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Teach Your Dog to Behave in the Garden

Gardening is one of your great passions. You enjoy cultivating the soil, planting your vegetable seedlings, and tending them until it’s harvest time. Perhaps you’re a devoted flower gardener, tweaking your foliage and blooms until they develop striking shapes and colors. Because your golden retriever Bailey enjoys the great outdoors, maybe he’d like to share your satisfying hobby. Perhaps surprisingly, training your canine companion to behave in the garden will help strengthen your dog-owner bond. Ask your veterinarian for expert training advice during your dog’s next physical checkup. Meanwhile, here are some tips:

Rest and Relaxation

First, give Bailey an opportunity to practice his obedience skills. After leading him to a shady spot, issue a firm “Down-Stay!” command; and monitor his behavior. Provide him with cool water so he can stay hydrated while he relaxes.

Bathroom Break Spot

Because Bailey might need a potty break, establish an acceptable bathroom spot somewhere in the garden. Cover the area with pea gravel or wood chips. Train him to only complete his important business there; and praise him when he does that. If he chooses a different location for his puddle or poop activities, perform some retraining work.

Canine Garden Assistant

If your active companion seems itching to get moving, teach him to perform some garden tasks. Perhaps he can retrieve your kneeling cushion, tool bag, or sunhat. If he’s a strapping, strong pooch, he might enjoy pulling a small garden cart with seedlings or weeds for the compost pile.

Dedicated Digging Destination

Maybe Bailey has developed a garden excavation obsession. Clearly, he can’t continue that unacceptable behavior. Instead, give him a personal “digging spot” that’s separate from the rest of the garden. Fence off the area if necessary. Bring in his favorite toys so he feels comfortable there.

When he creates an impressive hole in “his” spot, praise him profusely. If he switches the operation to a forbidden area, piling bricks in the hole might discourage him from finishing the job. Provide appropriate correction as well.

Landscaping Materials Solution

If Bailey stages a rebellion and tears wildly through the garden, consider scattering decorative rocks or pinecones throughout your green space. If these obstacles don’t disrupt his actions, perhaps the densely planted foliage will discourage him. Raised garden beds might deter your canine delinquent.

For more help acclimating your dog to the garden, contact your veterinarian.

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