You spent all spring getting your lawn to look just perfect. But now your dog is threatening to tear it all apart again. Don’t worry! We know you love your dog – and your lawn, too. Below are easy ways to make your yard a place both you and your pet can enjoy.
Create Spatial Cues for Your Dog
Help your dog understand the areas of your yard that are off-limits by creating boundaries. This can be achieved by spacing plants close together in areas where you don’t want your pet to go. Leave the rest of your yard free and clear of barriers so your dog understands that these areas are fair territory.
Plant Tall Shrubs and Trees
Another way to keep Rover out of certain areas of your lawn is to plant shrubs and small trees instead of smaller and more delicate plants and flowers. Great shrubs for this purpose are bluebeard, lavender, and potentilla. They add great color to your landscape and they each grow a little over 12 inches tall, so it will be tough for your dog to get around or over them. Trees that work include small firs and Bay trees. They have low profiles and add interesting shape to your landscape.
Give Your Dog a Place to Dig
It’s in a dog’s nature to dig, so why try to fight it? Instead, just as you might install a sandbox for children to play in, consider installing a digging box for your pooch. You can fill it will soil or a mixture of soil and sand. Place a boundary around it that will serve as a visual cue for your dog. If your dog tries to dig outside the box, show him the box and encourage him to dig there. Bury his favorite toys and bones in the box to make it even more fun. Eventually your dog will get the picture and limit his digging to the box.
Create a Space for Your Dog to “Go”
Dog urine is not great for healthy grass as it contains high levels of nitrogen. To keep your dog from going on the lawn, create a space with mulch or gravel where you’d like for him to do his business. As with any kind of training for your dog, reward him when he uses the correct area, and reprimand him when he does not. He will soon get the idea that he is to use his own special area for his business.
Understand the Occasional Maintenance
Even if you take all the measures above, having a pet will take a toll on your yard, so accept that you will have to perform regular maintenance. Fill in spotty areas of grass with seed or sod, keep to a regular watering schedule and fertilizer your yard every season to keep it healthy.
Monitor His Behavior
Your dog will need time to adjust to this new routine, so training and monitoring is key. If you are not home during the day, keep your dog inside until your are home so that you can keep watch of his backyard behavior. Offer rewards when he follows the rules and let him know when he doesn’t.
By following these tips, and with your diligent training early on, your best friend will eventually learn to stay in the appropriate areas and you’ll have a yard that you both can enjoy with minimal fuss!