12 Strategies to Stop Dogs From Pooping in Your Yard

If you’ve ever made the unfortunate discovery of someone else’s dog’s poop in your yard, you know exactly how frustrating and violating it feels. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of clever yet non-confrontational and harmless ways to put a stop to the behavior and protect your lawn from Fido’s feces. 

Read on to find the best method to deter your particular pooping pup (or pups) below, whether it’s your neighbors’ dogs, local strays, or even your dogs you’re struggling with.

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Use A Spray Repellent Around Your Yard

One of the most popular solutions many homeowners use to keep dogs from pooping on their lawns is spray repellents. 

These products typically utilize specific bitter or otherwise unpleasant smells and/or flavors dogs dislike to deter them from sniffing around (and pooping in) certain areas. 

Fortunately, these products typically aren’t harmful but rather irritating to most dogs, so you won’t feel guilty about using them.

Repellent sprays range from products designed to be sprayed onto your lawn as a sort of barrier to products meant to be sprayed at or near the dog as a sort of training assistant. 

Since some dogs are more resistant to certain smells, the results from these repellent sprays are sometimes a bit hit or miss, but it’s still absolutely worth considering. 

Alternatively, there are also “attractant” sprays used as deterrents, but they work a bit differently than standard repellent sprays. 

Attractant sprays are great if you already have an area of your yard you want to direct your or your neighbors’ dogs to poop in instead of, perhaps, your garden, driveway, or flowerbeds.

Regardless of the type you choose, these sprays are a simple and inexpensive solution–plus, they don’t require any sort of unpleasant confrontation with the offending dogs or their owners. 

Just spray them around the area you want to keep them away from and quietly go about the rest of your day.

This Nature’s Mace dog repellent does a great job without breaking the bank. 

Put Up A Sturdy Fence To Keep The Neighbors’ Dogs Out

One of the more obvious and effective yet costlier solutions to keeping dogs off your lawn is to simply put up a tall, sturdy fence around the perimeter of your yard. 

If you live in an area with many strays or have a seriously disrespectful neighbor who just won’t listen to reason, this option is worth considering as a last resort. 

Most dogs won’t bother attempting to dig under or hop over a sturdy chain-link or picket fence just to get into your yard and will simply move on to another place to do their business.

Setting up a fence doesn’t necessarily have to be solely to keep dogs and other animal pests out of your yard, either–think of it as a potential landscaping project to have a bit of fun with. 

An attractive fence is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal while keeping your home and lawn safe. 

In addition to keeping dogs off of your lawn, it’ll also serve as a deterrent to potential burglars, unnecessarily nosy neighbors, or instances of vandalism.

It’s also a great tip for keeping your dog off the yard if you’ve just used pesticides; click the link for more ideas and info.

If your dogs are the ones pooping in a spot where they aren’t supposed to, you also have the option of fencing off a designated area for them to go in. 

This requires far less fencing and limits the mess to a small, centralized area, so you don’t have to go on the worst scavenger hunt ever every time your dog poops somewhere you don’t want them to.

If a neighbor’s dog pooping is a specific problem, check out these other ideas at the link.

Use Vinegar As A Repellent

Vinegar is another substance dogs tend to loathe both the smell and taste of, and it’s gained a spot on this list because it’s harmless and dirt cheap yet surprisingly effective. 

Simply fill up a spray bottle with five parts water to one part white vinegar, and you’ve got possibly the simplest and most inexpensive solution to deterring dogs from pooping on your lawn. 

Apple cider vinegar will also sometimes work in a pinch, but it tends not to be as bitter or outright repulsive to most dogs, so it isn’t quite as effective.

One potential downside to this option is that it washes away quickly and needs to be reapplied often to impact. 

If you have an idea of roughly when the local strays or your neighbor’s dogs come sniffing around each day, then just spray the vinegar solution around the areas they frequent.

It acts as a barrier around your yard, in general, a half hour or so before they make their appearance.

Dogs learn best through repetition, so if the dogs pooping in your yard notice the vinegar solution more than once, they’ll be more likely to avoid your lawn altogether. 

Being a bit persistent with this option will significantly boost its efficacy.

Buy An Ultrasonic Deterrent

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Ultrasonic deterrents on the market are pretty varied nowadays, but they all have in common use certain sounds and frequencies only dogs can pick up. 

Some of them are explicitly marketed as “anti-barking” devices, but they’re also very effective at keeping dogs away from a particular area. 

These products are very diverse, from motion-sensing devices that let off high-pitched sounds to fences and collars and even remote control devices controlled with the simple push of a button. 

Which one will work best for your situation mostly depends on your personal preferences regarding what is easiest and most effective for you to use, as they all primarily function in the same way.

What’s more, many of these ultrasonic deterrents keep not only dogs away but lots of other common lawn pests like cats, raccoons, and squirrels. 

They’re also discreet, so if you don’t want any kind of confrontation with your neighbors or the owners of the offending dogs, these products won’t tip them off right away. 

Some ultrasonic deterrents, like JL JIA LE’s Ultrasonic Solar Powered Animal Repeller, are so small and inoffensive you’ll be able to easily hide them behind lawn decorations or plants. 

Don’t write these off because of their unassuming appearance, though, as they are one of the most effective options on this list!

Put Up A Security Camera To Catch The Poopetrator

Perhaps the offending dog isn’t a collection of strays but a single specific dog owned by a single specific person, and you’re just waiting to catch them in the act. 

This option isn’t the most pleasant, as it sometimes means you’ll need to confront the owner of the dog to persuade them to leave your yard alone, but if other methods aren’t working, having evidence will at least give you the upper hand.

Security cameras are smaller, cheaper, and more discreet than ever, so you won’t have to set up some huge eyesore of a device just to catch a dog pooping in your yard. 

Many of them even have apps that you’ll be able to link to your smartphone or other devices to check on them within seconds, no matter where you are! 

This means you’ll be able to monitor the cameras from work, school, the grocery store, or even your bedroom.

We highly recommend using something like this WYZE Cam v3 with Color Night Vision

It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, it records in stunningly high-quality, and it works for indoor and outdoor use, so no matter where you need to set it up, it’ll catch everything you’re looking to get on camera.

Aside from being a surefire way to catch who’s making a stinky mess of your lawn, security cameras are also incredibly useful for, well, security

Waiting on a package to show up and are worried about thieves in your area? 

Have there been reports of burglaries in your neighborhood? 

Ever had a stalker? 

There are so many potential situations where having a reliable camera system is helpful and potentially life-saving!

Set Up A Complimentary Poop Bag Station For Easier Disposal

Suppose you live in a busy area with many pet owners and/or also have dogs. 

In this case, you’re constantly cleaning up after, perhaps setting up a little poop bag station for disposal would be a helpful solution for not just you but your surrounding community. 

A simple setup with bags, a sturdy trash can, and perhaps hand sanitizer is all you need, but an encouraging sign or two to direct people to it might also be helpful.

You don’t even necessarily need to build it by hand–there are plenty of pre-made stations from online retailers for sale which look great and provide a simple and painless solution to those nasty little piles in your yard. 

This sleek and clever Outdoor Dog and Pet Waste Station by Flybold has everything you need at a reasonable price! 

It won’t rust or fade over time in the rain, so you’ll be able to place it wherever you need to in your yard. 

All you need to do is replace the bags every so often and empty the trash receptacle inside as necessary. 

Perhaps if your neighbors notice the helpful setup, they’ll even be willing to contribute to cleaning it and replenishing it, too!

Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers As A Barrier For Your Yard

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Water is a surprisingly effective dog deterrent all by itself if you know how to use it! 

More specifically, setting up a few motion-sensing sprinklers is an excellent way to keep dogs and other animals away from your lawn. 

Though they are one of the more pricey and involved options on this list, motion-activated sprinklers are a worthwhile investment, especially since you’ll also be able to use them to water your lawn.

In addition to being motion-activated, some sprinklers will even allow you to set them to go off at certain times or intervals. 

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, many sprinklers also are able to sense activity even at night! 

If you’re thinking about setting up a sprinkler of your own, we highly recommend using something like the Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer Motion-Activated Sprinkler

It’s small, inoffensive-looking, and has a ton of helpful features to keep dogs and other animal pests from sniffing around and pooping in your yard. 

Its motion-sensing technology is highly sensitive, but it won’t go off whenever the wind blows, or a bird flies past your house. 

Rest assured; no dogs are going to want to come around if they get sprayed with a jet of cold water every time they squat on your lawn. 

If their owners are encouraging the behavior, they’ll be in for an unpleasant (but not harmful or invasive) surprise, too!

Use Cayenne/Chili Pepper Or Garlic As A Deterrent

While some dogs seem like garbage disposals with how voracious their appetites are, there are plenty of odors that seriously offend their sense of smell. 

Chili/cayenne pepper and garlic are two of the most offensive, yet they won’t do any actual harm other than making any dogs in your yard turn up their nose and run away.

There are seemingly endless ways to use these natural solutions, from sprinkling pepper and garlic around your yard as a barrier to dissolving it in a spray bottle full of water as a spray deterrent. 

Even whole garlic cloves placed around any problem areas where dogs frequent is an effective option since most other animals will leave them alone! If you’re on a budget, you won’t get much cheaper and more basic than this.

The only downside with this option is that it needs to be used repeatedly to make a real impact like the vinegar solution we mentioned earlier. 

Plus, it washes away quickly in the rain, and the scent fades rather promptly on particularly windy days. 

Still, if you’re willing to put a bit of effort into keeping dogs off your lawn and don’t want to bother with something elaborate or costly, keeping some garlic and chili pepper on hand is certainly worth considering.

Put Up A (Polite Yet Firm) Sign In Your Yard As A Hint

Perhaps you know exactly who keeps bringing their dog around to poop in your yard. 

Maybe you don’t like confrontation and want to keep things from potentially escalating to an unpleasant dispute with your neighbors. 

Either way, a polite yet firm hint in the form of a sign telling people to keep off is a reasonable choice.

You either have the option of making your sign by hand or simply buying a pre-made one from an online retailer or home and garden shop. 

We recommend something like these No Poop Dog Signs from the Signs Authority Store, as they provide a polite and helpful reminder without being too combative or snarky.

Of course, if you think something blunter like “NO TRESPASSING” will work better for your offending neighbor, then go for it!

Have A Polite Discussion About It With Your Neighbor(s)

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If putting up signs hasn’t worked, or you would rather go for a more direct approach, simply talking to your neighbor (or neighbors) who allow their dogs to poop in your yard is worth mentioning here. 

Most people are pretty reasonable, especially if you approach them equally and be respectful with them.

Who knows–maybe you’ll make an unlikely friend after the ordeal. 

At the very least, if you attempt to talk things out, you’ll know you tried to take the least contentious route possible. 

From there, if you aren’t able to reach an agreement, you’ll be able to escalate to a more effective solution.

Create A More Natural Barrier With Rocks, Bushes, Or Mulch

If you don’t want to shell out the money to set up a fence around your whole yard, perhaps a less expensive, more natural barrier would be a better solution to keeping dogs off your lawn. 

Planting bushes, using mulch, or even decorative rocks will not only set a clear perimeter around your yard, but it’ll also look great with a bit of a creative touch.

Think about planting certain plants dogs dislike the smell of as part of the barrier, too! 

Avoid anything poisonous, obviously, but some plants like mint, lavender, or lemongrass work well to deter dogs and other animals, as they tend to find the smell to be offensive.

Use Mothballs As A Deterrent

Finally, we come to the last solution on this list: mothballs! 

Like some of the plants mentioned above, dogs and other animal pests especially dislike the odor. 

This option is incredibly inexpensive and easy to use, but it does have a few notable downsides.

Unfortunately, mothballs lose their scent pretty quickly when left outdoors in the elements, and they’ll create a bit of a mess when you have to clean them up and get rid of them. 

You also need many of them to form a barrier, so this isn’t the best choice for very large lawns. 

However, if dogs are doing their business in a specific area of your yard, sprinkling some mothballs around the area is a quick and easy fix. 

Most dogs will avoid your lawn entirely if they notice the presence of mothballs, but there’s a chance it’ll take more than one application to deter them long-term. 

Still, this is worth a shot if you haven’t moved on to more costly solutions yet.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post, check out our other one on how to treat your yard for dog worms.