I have a small vegetable garden and a small dog. I'm looking for advice on the best way to keep the little guy out of the veges. Advice on the following would be appreciated:

  1. Is there anything I can plant that will deter him?

  2. Is there a minimal barrier or obstruction that is known to work to deter dogs?

  3. Is a physical barrier the only sure way?

2 Answers 2


It will really depend on the dog. A lot of people say strong smelling items such as Ammonia, vinegar, and citrus oils will deter a dog from coming near the area. Others say to use Chili Pepper. Potentially some plants with strong scents will deter just the same. However, my personal experience is that my dog is NOT deterred by any of that.

I had to resort to a physical barrier. I've got a larger dog, so a decorative fence from my local hardware was plenty to keep him out. For a small dog you could use a similar fence, but attach chicken wire to it. Even some of the small fences might be tight enough to keep a small dog out.

If you are worried about the look, you can get creative by first building a raised bed, oddly shaped rocks might be beneficial. Then for additional security, add some decently thick plants around the edge of the bed. For a small dog, there is a good chance this will look like a wall that they will be scared to jump on to.

  • Thanks for the advice. I've got a mini-Schnauzer, which are supposed to be intelligent breeds. I'm in a rental so I can't make too many phyiscal changes, so I might give a small wire fence a crack.
    – rohan
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 6:02

My dog was tearing up my garden, but it turned out she was after the strips of clean socks that I used to tie up my plants. Luckily I figured this out before I put up a big fence. Of course this might not be the same situation you're having, but keep an eye out.

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