How do I keep my dogs out of my flower gardens? Do dog and cat repellents really work? —M. Claudia, Memphis, TN
Dog and cat repellents work with some animals, but not all. The most effective way to keep dogs out of gardens is fencing. It doesn’t have to be 5-foot-tall stockade fencing, and can be temporary if you are also willing to put in some training time. A 2-foot-tall fence is enough to discourage most dogs. You should be out in the yard with your dogs, so you can redirect them if they charge into the fence.
Also, make other areas of the yard more dog friendly, perhaps with a doggie digging pit, some interactive play with balls or other fetch toys, a kiddie pool, and treasure hunts, where you throw out handfuls of small food treats and let your dogs hunt for them. Find a good positive trainer in your area if you want to invest the time in boundary-training your dogs.