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Stop Dogs from Using Your Lawn as a Bathroom

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Deterring the dog

In conversations with friends about the topic of owners not cleaning up after their dogs, I ran into some amazingly strong feelings on the subject. And while it ticks me off too, I don’t recommend shooting at the dog with anything other than perhaps a high-powered water gun. The dog is only doing what comes naturally; it’s not personal. I admit however, to being intrigued by the idea of shooting the dog with a paintball gun to be able to identify him to the dog officer.

Dogs are attracted to smells and surfaces that have the right “paw feel” when looking for a place to do their business.  If you also own a dog, other dogs will be attracted to your yard, drawn by both the smell and the intrinsic desire to “mark” a territory. Not only do you need to clean up really well after your own pet, you may need to use deterrent products around the perimeter of your yard.

  • The dogs may be attracted to the kind of fertilizer you use in your flower and vegetable beds, so you may want to periodically change it up. Dogs can be attracted to both organic and chemical fertilizers.
  • If you have lawn sprinklers, vary the time of the watering. Dogs don’t tend to go for wet areas when there are dry ones around.
  • Also, be aware of keeping attractive areas, such as garbage cans or compost bins, as clean and tidy as possible.

Related: Dogs: Worse for the Environment than SUVs?

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Read more: Dogs, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, Pets

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10:42AM PDT on May 11, 2013


10:19PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

I don't like to see so many dog's poop on the streets, specially when I step on it! Unfortunately, despite the laws we have, people keep "forgetting" it. But being aggressive is not a good solution. I have a question for the author: Do you have or ever had a dog?

In my neighborhood there are a man who screams at people who let their dogs go onto his building lawn. It doesn't matter if they poop - he just screams. It's annoying! And honestly I don't think that being a lawn guardian is worthy. There are more things to be done in life then scream at people because something so small.

10:04PM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Annamari L, I loved your comment!! Unfortunately, care2 only aloud us give one per day, and I did it already.

9:22AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

All i want to say is please don't hate on the dogs or blame them. Take out your frustrations on the ignorant guardians if poop is left on your property/garden!! Thank you

11:11AM PDT on Jul 28, 2012

I live on a moderately busy street and have worked hard to make my yard look nice. It does irk me to find a dump in the middle of my vegi's. One of my first experiences with a rude dog owner was when I looked up from my weeding and saw this huge dog, on a leash, dumping in the middle of my iris'. I yelped and asked the woman please don't let him go on my plants. She replied, "What's the matter? Don't you like dogs?" - I replied, "No, not when they are pooping on my garden!" She looked at me in disgust. I don't blame the dogs I blame their owners.

10:02AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

Thank youf or the article - but I am not so sure about the solutions. First I don't think that it is such a big deal if someones dog uses my gras. We all should not even have these manicured nightmares of pesticide infected lawns in our front yards!
There are leash laws everywhere - and if talking to the pet owners does not help - well I am not punishing the dogs and cats. There are probably much more roaming cats than dogs.

Please sign my petition:

4:48AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

12:58PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

People can be so rude

12:06PM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

Of course, Howard - you are certainly right. And thank you for your course of action. Excellent.
I do think sometimes people just like to annoy others and it is of them we vent our frustration of their behaviour toward us and the rest of our community, because that is what it feels like, when they deliberately dont have respect for everyone else. :-)

5:04PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Chaya, I have read your post with interest. I always clear up after my dog, I also often clean up after other people's dogs. You may think that I am strange doing this - may I tell you why? I spend my working life counselling people who have lost their sons/daughters/spouses in conflicts overseas - Iraq/Afganistan. Dog poo pales to insignificances against the loss of a loved one, picking it up takes seconds and protects those who might be harmed by it. There will be always be those who aren't as thoughtful as we might wish they were, accomodate them, you never know, maybe they are forgiving of some of the things you do. There are very, very few of us who don't do something that annoys others!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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