I love dogs as much as most people do. And, I have many clients who want some creative landscape solutions for repelling dogs in San Diego landscapes. With neighbor’s pets wreaking havoc on their newly installed plantings or their freshly manicured lawns. Of course, all dogs are a reflection of their training or in other words, their owners. As our communities become more dense, more people means more dogs (and dog waste).

As more and more homeowners decide to remove their lawns, opportunities arise to hinder canine interest in your landscape. But hey, it is hard to combat an animal’s instinct to mark his territory or check out the previous wanderer and the scents they leave behind.

Getting creative, one has to think like a dog. I’ve had some clients want to put in barrier shrubs near the sidewalk. And not just the run of the mill green leafy plants, they want thorns, spikes and barbs. Think Natal Plum (Carrisa granfilora) or Fire Thorn (Pyracantha ) Barberry (Berberis ‘crimson pygmy”) and Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milli) are a few that come to mind. Other lethal plants to consider are the Agaves, such as Agave parryii (Artichoke Agave) or Agave ‘blue flame. Agave vicotoiana reginea would
also do nicely. Even some Aloes, which really are not too thorny (they only look dangerous) like Aloe brevifolia or Aloe humilis.

Repelling Dogs in San Diego Landscapes

And then there are those specific plants that have or release an odor such as Society Garlic (Thulbagia) orSociety Garlic Rosemary of which many dogs do not like. Other deterrents are ammonia, vinegar, chilli pepper and citrus, all of which can be added to a simple spray bottle and applied to the foliage of your plantings.

Some experts also suggest organic elements to gain control in repelling dogs from San Diego landscapes by adding citrus peels to your mulch. And one note on mulch, the coarser the better as dogs may not like the uneven surfaces.

Please note, never use Cocoa shell mulch as it is toxic to dogs. And while on the topic of toxicity, you may want to review which plant materials are toxic and cause harm to our four legged friends by going to www.aspca.org I am not advocating the use of toxic plants to deter dogs. Gophers may be another situation all together. See my earlier blog on compacting gophers.

Certainly most fences will do the trick. They may have to be a certain height, certain width spacing or solid, size of opening, etc. Most people will consider fencing when they want to keep a dog on their property versus keeping a dog out.

Other surfacing materials may also be a consideration. If a design adds an area of rough rock, such as hickory-creek www.southwestboulder.com “Hickory Creek” at 1-3″ or 3-6″ diameter, many canines would rather stay on smooth surfaces like the sidewalk. Of course larger boulders may only become a target for many dogs as a marking spot.

In the best scenario, I’d suggest using a combination of the above ideas to thwart those unwanted but lovable pet from running amok in your landscape.

So yes, you can be successful in repelling dogs in San Diego landscapes. For more information, contact Letz Design Landscape 619-265-1906.