6 Tips to Keep Dogs from Pooping on Your Lawn

If you put a lot of time into looking after your garden, having your neighbors’ dogs using your lawn as their pooping area can be a real bone of contention. We’ve all heard the stories of times when emotions run high and events get out of hand – sometimes with serious consequences.

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However, there’s no need to let things spiral out of control, even if your neighbors seem reluctant to keep their animals under control. There’s plenty you can do to protect your prized lawn without going to extremes – here we will give you several useful answers to the question of how to keep dogs from pooping on your lawn.

If you want some tips about how to clean up when it does happen, check out this video for some ideas!

1. Barriers

The simplest and most instantly effective solution is to erect a barrier that will prevent local dogs from accessing your land.

Your first option is to put up a fence around your garden. While some fences may be a little pricey, you can also find some more inexpensive options. Once in place, unless the dogs are particularly determined to find a way in, this will resolve the issue immediately.

Perhaps the biggest downside is that not everybody will be happy with having to build a fence around their property. You might not like the aesthetics, or it may make you feel like you’re under siege from the dogs. If this is the case, you might prefer to try something else.

Another option is to put up a living barrier in the form of a hedge or a line of dog-proof plants or shrubs. Such an option does not create such an impenetrable barrier as a fence, but it will perhaps be enough to deter the dogs from using your yard as their go-to bathroom.

You could also try to build a barrier on the ground by laying a line of something that dogs don’t like walking on.

A ring of sharp gravel may be enough to keep local canines at bay since it will hurt the pads of their feet to walk on it and they will prefer to stay off.

2. Sprinklers


If you prefer not to fence or barricade yourself into your own home, another choice might be to train dogs to avoid your lawn by using a sprinkler.

Lawn sprinklers exist that are activated by movement in a similar way to a motion detecting lights. After a few soakings, dogs will soon learn that your lawn is somewhere to be avoided and will seek out another place to do their doggy business.

3. Create a “poo zone”

If you have a dog of your own or you don’t mind other dogs coming into your garden, you might prefer a solution that will simply keep the dogs from using your lawn as a toilet.

In this case, you can try to train your dog or other local dogs to use a certain designated area rather than just going right in the middle of your finely manicured lawn.

Create an area for dogs to use, perhaps an area with sand, and encourage the dogs to go there instead. If it’s your own dog, it will simply be a case of training it the same as housetraining a puppy.

Also, make sure you remove any dog feces you find on your lawn or in any other areas you don’t want the dogs to use since if other dogs see this, they will assume these are acceptable places to go.

4. Use smells

Everybody knows that dogs have an incredibly acute sense of smell, and this can be used to deter them from using your lawn to answer the call of nature.

Dogs are sensitive to new smells. If an area smells familiar, they will feel comfortable returning there over and over again to do their thing.

On the other hand, if an area smells new and strange to them, they will be more wary of entering.

To use this against them, you can try a simple trick like changing the lawn fertilizer you use. If they don’t like the unfamiliar odor, they will give your yard a miss.

An important point to note is that some scents will attract them rather than repel them. You may be using a commercial scent to repel rabbits, deer, skunks or racoons, but these often contain coyote urine – something that will draw in all the dogs in your neighborhood.

Also, if you do find any poop on your lawn, don’t be tempted to throw it in your composter or compost tumbler. It will continue to smell bad and may spread harmful bacteria.

5. Use repellents

dog repellents

There are several DIY dog repellents you can try, although success with these is variable.

Recipes for homemade dog repellents include garlic, olive oil or almond oil. Something that is generally very effective is vinegar – dogs seem to hate the pungent, acrid smell of vinegar, and its application in a few strategic locations may do the job.

Another popular – although sometimes controversial – option is cayenne pepper or strong chili powder.

Dogs who come sniffing around anywhere you have spread cayenne pepper will certainly think twice about returning. However, cayenne pepper can cause serious irritation to a dog’s nose, and many people would argue that this method is not particularly humane.

6. Training is key

As we all know, dogs are highly trainable creatures, and with many of the techniques we have suggested, the key is training.

For example, with the sprinkler method, once a dog understands he is going to get a drenching in a particular yard, he will stop visiting that yard, regardless of whether the sprinkler is still in place.

The same is true for the “poo zone” or even cayenne pepper methods. Your focus should be on teaching a dog not to use your lawn as a toilet, and once the lesson is learned, you won’t need to keep reinforcing the lesson forever.

For this reason, the trainability of dogs is your primary tool for deterring them from doing their business on your beautiful lawn.

Of course, if your dog has urinated on the lawn, your lawn may burn soon. Here is the guide for Treat Dog Urine Lawn Burn.

Patience and perseverance will help

Perhaps the most important thing in a situation when a neighbor’s pet is regularly causing a mess is not to let things get out of hand. The best option may be to speak to your neighbor to see if you can work together to solve the problem. After all, a diplomatic solution is far better than allowing tensions to escalate and relations to deteriorate beyond repair.

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42 thoughts on “6 Tips to Keep Dogs from Pooping on Your Lawn”

  1. There’s no such thing as talking “diplomatically” to someone who allows their dog out to use another peoples lawns as their toilets.
    People like that know exactly what they’re doing, and the fact that they allow their dogs to do this, clearly sends a message that have no respect for others. That said, the only way to deal with lazy, inconsiderate people like that, is to protect your own lawn. Cayenne pepper does the trick, and If that results in a trip to the vet with a huge bill. Maybe that’s enough insentive to stop people like that from allowing their dogs out to defecate on others lawns. End of story!

    • 100% agree with Liz. Another thing is worms. All dogs have worms and after they are treated, or even if they’re not, they poop out the worms which when dries, actually ruins your soil. I learned that from the vet when I owned a dog at 13. Unfortunately, my neighbors let their dog poop in our yard & the neighbors. They will do it with us sitting on the porch looking and won’t call the dog until we say “can you get your dog.” I think I’ll try the Cayenne pepper. Sorry for the dog.

    • Amen sister, these dog owners are either really dumb or completely irresponsible. Diplomacy with these people is typically returned with an eye roll and “I pick it up” or “the rain washes it away” responses.
      Its not just the ‘deposits’ these owners think comes out of their beloved companions backsides….

    • How do i use the cayenne pepper?
      Im very interested in this.
      Setting up a camera & will report to animal control when i have the footage.
      But if i can get as little revenge beforehand it would make me very happy. Lol

    • I agree. I have shit on three pair of shoes and now my carpet. I do not own a dog. I will be coming home with a giant container of cayenne pepper tomorrow.

      • I didn’t shit on the shoes. That came out completely wrong, but I think everyone will understand what I meant 😊

    • Liz – I agree with you 100%. I am literally surrounded by very rude, irresponsible dog owners. who watch their dogs crap in my yard, and NEVER pick up after them – leaving filthy piles of disease all over for ME to see, smell, step in. The lazy dog owners are home all day, every day – refuse to walk their dogs, refuse to clean their poop, and are well aware that from 5 AM to 2AM the dog is on a long rope that extends into my yard. Everything they do violates county animal nuisance policies, but these rules are not enforced. The victim has to sue in civil court, and if you can get an entire neighborhood to testify about the noise and pooping nuisance, they might suffer a small fine. The dogs bark and howl incessantly, and come into my yard to take their dumps. My family is startled awake every morning – not only by the nonstop scream-barking, but by the disgusting stench of fresh dog crap outside our bedroom windows. If I were rich, I’d move to a home with a private yard, or at least install a tall fence (which would not help the disturbing noise, but maybe keep them from using my yard as their personal toilet. I might try your Cayenne suggestion. It’s MY yard – if the smell doesn’t appeal to Fido – too bad. That’s the point – maybe he’ll crap in his owner’s yard for a change.

      • We use m80 firecrackers, doesn’t hurt the dogs and they don’t like the sound. I guess if you threw those out everytime they barked then the neighbor can’t say anything about that noise either. Lol!!! I’d also use the cayanne pepper in the area of my yard the rope reaches.

      • A Super barker breaker can be purchased to deter barking. Place in the closest window behind the screen. Set the sensitivity. Every time the dog bark, it’s loud and they don’t like it. As far as the pooping, I’ve used mothballs with some success. It works best to train the owner.

  2. I need help!!
    We have a cabin up North. My family has a total of 4 dogs, which are very well trained and listen to us. And they stay on our yard,we all clean up after them outside.
    Our neighbors have 3 dogs and more when family comes. They open the door and let the dogs out to do there business and the come straight to our yard and do the business. We have asked and told them to keep your dogs on your own yard for 3 years now.
    I find poop on my hostas as I’m weeding they pee in my flower beds and park sometimes park and group at me when I’m outside and they come over!
    We mostly go up North on the weekend, as we work yet. The neighbors live there permanently.
    So disrespectful for they had us shut off our lard light because they didn’t build a home to have a street light. Like good neighbors do, you do something about it and we did. And they literally poop on us!!!

    • Turn the light back on for sure!! Then add a brighter bulb or another light to add to the one. I think id have a blast with this one since id be gone most of the time, it irritate the hell out of them wondering why the lights need to be on.

    • Use a rake or something to flick it back into their yard or collect it in a bag and leave it on their porch. Then, put out mothballs on the property line… lots of them. And hope the breeze is going toward their place

  3. I am so angry .now the dog is pooping in another spot after I put down pepper spray.the owner is doing it on purpose.i would like to blow the owners head off. the dog does not know better.

  4. Which repellant is the most effective in keeping stray dogs off my always-clean court yard?The litter every where with shit every day.I need help pls

  5. Pick up and save the dog’s poop until you have a fairly large bag full of it. Then take it over to their yard and dump it all over their lawn. When they ask you what the hell are you. 🙂

  6. Has anyone tried vinegar? Does it work? There is a stray dog that likes to potty in my yard at night and I can’t keep it out but do not want to use the pepper because of my own dog

    • I’ve tried white vinegar – it discolored and killed the grass, and did not deter the dogs one bit. Probably too much rain. I have not tried the Cayenne, but read that you’d have to use it every day – as it will quickly dissolve in rain and dew.

  7. I have very Irresponsible neighbor who owns a pit she doesn’t have control over the dog I was once out side doing something in my back yard when the owner walks by and the charges the gate I head inside because I was scared that it would jump the gate and maul me the neighbor also allows her dog crap on my property her child throws their candy wrappers and juice bottles and boxes up my driveway or on my lawn I am fear saying anything to her because she is about 400 pounds and I don’t her mind set.

    • At 400lbs shell not move quickly and if barely off balance will prob fall and have hell getting back up. The id grab a chair and have a while she struggles to get up. And if shes just not receptive , throw the cayenne pepper on her 400lb

      • I had the same result. I have read white vinegar was supposed to repel ants from ruining garden plants and repel dogs from using yard as toilet. All it did was ruin the grass and made it look like it had been bleached. I followed the advice of a vet who said dilute cayenne in lemon juice, as the scent of citrus and pepper are supposed to deter potential POOPERS before they get close enough to ingest or step in it. But it hasn’t seemed to work either. Once they smell their own shitzke, they will return to the same spot. My neighbor dogs, like their owners, are disrespectful slobs who dump their trash and excrement whenever and wherever the mood hits – and it ‘s never in their own yard.

  8. I have an issue with my neighbors 4 dogs who never walk the dogs and continue to use the front and back yard for their toilets. It’s sickening, I’m new to this area and I feel like this has been going on for a while now. I’ve knocked on the door to ask can they clean behind the dog’s.. long story short I’m putting the peppers everywhere the association and rental office are aware and still haven’t done anything… So off with their nose we go and it’s not anything personal with the animals it’s the owners… I have a dog too..

  9. I live in a cudasac, in which my landlord owns all six house’s. One neighbor let’s her dogs 3 of them crap & pee on everything in the rest of the neighbors yards not her on. Landlord told me to just pick it up, how do you pick something up when you done stepped in it!!!! The rest of us don’t own any dogs, I’ve watched her let them do their business not in her yard but everyone else’s!!!! All the neighbors have voiced their feelings to her about it and she doesn’t do anything about it!!!! So I figured it’s best for me to move, cause if the landlord want do anything then he has no respect for me either!!!!

    • I live in a new subdivision where the surrounding homes are rentals. This is a huge problem, and I can’t understand why any property owner would tolerate the expense of having filthy neighbors who trash their homes and lawns, but obviously do not care, or they’d stop renting to people who do not properly care for their children or pets. Despite my city’s leash laws and chronic barking laws – they are not enforced. It is such an epidemic, the people who are suffering should figure out a way to stand-up for our right to peaceful and shitzke-free living conditions.
      In 20 years, I have never had a landlord that said or did one thing to enforce the lease when it comes to “every tenant has the right to enjoy their home in peace,” this means free of the noise nuisance of chronic barking, and dog owners must pick-up their dogs’ feces from the grounds. They never do. They walk around with plastic bags to give the impression they intend to clean their dog poop – but they refuse.
      People disturbing the peace and destroying property are the ones who should have to leave, but in my experience that is never the case. It’s always the decent, kind, polite, clean, considerate, mature, responsible tenants who are forced to move, in order to get away from crappy crapping neighbors.

  10. I didn’t realize until this past summer how irresponsible and disrespectful some pet owners are. We do our own lawn care and mowing and one day I found 6 big piles of poop on our lawn as I was mowing the lawn. I was like WTF!?! I had to pick them up without trying to puke. I never paid attention because I thought our neighbours would be considerate and be picking up after their dogs. Guess not! Since then I’ve been keeping my eye out and we even got cameras installed. We’ve tried many deterrents like vinegar (but it kills the grass), citrusy liquid, cayenne pepper, but nothing worked. We will be getting those small garden fences to put around our yard come this Spring. They just pee and poop on our lawn and we didn’t mind before until we realized they weren’t cleaning everything (and we have kids) so my son stepped into the leftovers. UGH!

  11. I have a big yard open I can’t put a fence because it’s a big corner but long, the problem is many dogs poop the grass and smell terrible, I need solutions please

  12. We have the same problem with a constant parade of dog walkers daily. We have addressed many who seemed “surprised.” Some pick up and some do not, most don’t even have a bag???? We have security cameras and know the abusers. We finally lined our front yard with the garden fences, it works perfectly and looks good too! Only issue is we just got a letter from the association asking us to remove them and go through the proper channels to get board approval. Somewhat annoying as we can put up solar path lights, but will fill out the request and hope for the best! Good luck out there

    • the HOA wanted me to go thur channels to, but I side stepped them, if it is not in the city law’s in the court house they can’t do any thing to you, only if it is in the court house law, one citizen can not make a law an enforce it on another citizen , I been thru that and I won, now have at it

  13. Inconsiderate neighbors are a fact of life.
    I’m gonna empty the Porta-Potti in their front yard next time we come home from camping. Boohahahaha!
    They’ll love that…..and I’ll do it at night just like their dogs do sothey won’t know who did it!!!

  14. I’ve been reading all your comments and totally feel for you all! It’s terrible how awful people can be. I have a second home closer in the city and am experiencing everything you all are saying. After about three months of dealing with dogs crapping and peeing on my lawn…I put up metal stakes and hurricane mesh/basically a fence. (this is temporary until I find a fence I am happy with and then up it goes like a fortress!) I am so annoyed that I have to go through the expense when it’s others that have no common courtesy or kindness really. By the way I made a point NOT to buy a home with an HOA and am lucky enough to have found a neighborhood where homeowners keep their homes nice. I am also the owner of 5 dogs and 9 cats. I used to run a small animal rescue. The ones I have now are all the animals no one wants. Most are seniors. And for the record, the animals are picked up after they poop. I spray an enzyme on the yard to keep things clean and germ free as possible. The dogs are bathed once a week and cats once a month. They are fed mostly a raw diet. They get plenty of sunshine and that goes for the cats too as they are NOT allowed to roam free, but have a 12 x 80 foot cat run they can go into and get sunshine and watch the birds. Pet responsibility should be enforced. When I walk my dogs, I make them go “potty” before we venture off and I always walk them in the street. If they poop, I PICK IT UP. Good luck to you all.

  15. I have 2 neighbors 4 pitbulls they want to crap on my yard along the front fence what will stop them. Big piles and im tired of talking to them. Pinesol did work short time not long enough. There dogs have worms never seen a vet no tags. I nave a Springer she 15 she stays in yard. Im tired of them letting there dogs crap in my yard. Whats the best and how often and what happens when it rains?

  16. My issue is the same here. My biggest problem is, for one I have no animals and two, all the business I find seems to be left in the middle of the night. I have a neighbor across the street I have had issues with for where she likes to leave her trash for pick up. That’s a whole other story. I thought at first it might have been her, but in the 5 years I’ve lived here, I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen her dog outside. So I’m kinda of eliminating her from the problem, but another neighbor believes I should rethink that thought. I even have a privacy fence and have found “business” in my back yard. I had heard about the pepper, but no one here seems to have much luck with it. On a real extreme level, my brother in law says a bowl of anti freeze will do just the trick. My problem there is 2 fold. 1. I am an animal lover and hate the idea of harming one. 2. There are a couple of stray cats that pose absolutely no harm that I do not want to see hurt. I will give the pepper a try and if that doesn’t work, I have no problem teaching an owner a very sad lesson. I am tired of cleaning up after someone’s else negligence and irresponsibility. Best of luck to all of you.

  17. I sympathize with all of you and I have the same problem. Anybody tried crushed garlic? It also has a pungent smell.


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