How to Stop Dog Pooping on Your Lawn (6 Foolproof Ways)

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  • Post published:July 25, 2021
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If you’re tired of finding dog poop on your lawn every morning, you’re not alone. Many homeowners struggle with this annoying and unsanitary problem. Dog poop not only ruins the look of your lawn, but it also damages your grass and exposes you to health risks. That’s why you need to know how to stop dog pooping on your lawn once and for all.

You may have tried various methods to deter dogs from using your lawn as their personal toilet, but nothing seems to work. Some of these methods are based on myths and misconceptions that have no scientific basis. Others are just plain ineffective or impractical.

In this article, I will debunk some of the most common myths about keeping dogs off your lawn and share some proven tips that actually work. You’ll learn how to make your lawn less appealing to dogs, how to scare them away, and how to deal with the owners of the offending dogs. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to enjoy a poop-free lawn that looks great and smells fresh.

How to Stop Dog Pooping On Your Lawn

How to Stop Dogs Pooping on Your Lawn - how to stop dog urine from killing grass naturally

Common Myths About How to Stop Dog Pooping on Your Lawn

Plastic bottles

The practice of placing filled water bottles on the lawn as a means to deter dogs from defecating in the area has gained popularity among some gardeners, although it is important to examine its rationale critically. The theory suggests that dogs perceive the presence of water in the bottles as an indicator of freshness, thereby avoiding that particular spot.

However, it is necessary to address this concept with a skeptical lens, as research and evidence have conclusively proven it to be a myth. Engaging in such a practice based on this unfounded belief can lead to disappointment and frustration.

It is worth considering the visual impact of using water bottles in this manner. Even if the idea were effective, one must question whether the aesthetic trade-off is worthwhile. A small amount of dog waste that naturally breaks down over time may be less visually obtrusive than a collection of plastic water bottles strewn across the lawn.

This would only serve to create an unsightly mess reminiscent of a post-party aftermath. In fact, the introduction of such unnecessary clutter might even give the impression that the area is being treated as a dumping ground for waste.

As responsible gardeners, it is important to base our practices on sound principles and evidence-backed methods. While the idea of deterring dogs with water bottles may seem appealing in theory, practical experience and reliable information have demonstrated its lack of effectiveness.

Instead, focusing on appropriate training techniques, proper waste disposal, and maintaining a well-maintained garden environment are more sensible approaches to addressing the issue of dog waste in outdoor spaces.

Placing fake dog poo

The notion of using a fake dog poo as a deterrent on your lawn may seem like a plausible idea, but upon closer examination, its effectiveness becomes questionable. While it may momentarily startle a dog upon sight, it is unlikely to deter them from venturing onto your lawn or prevent them from causing any damage.

Dogs primarily rely on their sense of smell to navigate their surroundings, with their sight serving as a secondary sense. Consequently, a fake poop on the lawn may be mistaken by a dog as a toy or object of interest, potentially drawing them closer rather than deterring them.

You might also like that: 16 Tips on How to Keep Cats Out of Plants or Pots

Sticking a dog’s nose in its feces

It is crucial to approach dog-related issues with empathy and understanding. Resorting to punitive measures, such as rubbing a dog’s nose in feces, is not only ineffective but also inhumane. It is important to treat animals with respect and kindness, recognizing that punitive actions have no constructive impact on their behavior.

Similarly, shouting or scolding a dog using derogatory language is not a fruitful approach. While it may cause a temporary reaction, it does little to address the underlying reasons behind a dog’s behavior. Dogs are sensitive to their environment and may return to your lawn as soon as you are no longer present.

Instead of relying on ineffective deterrents, a more productive approach involves identifying the factors that attract dogs to your lawn in the first place. Consider factors such as privacy, grass quality, or texture that might be more appealing to dogs than neighboring lawns.

By experimenting with changes to your lawn, such as adding fences and hedges or modifying the grass condition, you may create an environment that is less enticing for dogs to visit.

Ultimately, fostering a harmonious coexistence with dogs and finding humane solutions to address their behavior is the key.

how to stop dogs pooing or urinating on your lawn or yard - dogs pooping in my yard
How to stop dog pooping on your lawn

Practical ideas to prevent dogs from soiling your lawn:

Make Your Lawn Less Attractive to Dogs

One of the best ways to stop dog pooping on your lawn is to make your lawn less attractive to dogs in the first place. Dogs are attracted to certain smells, textures, and sights that make them want to mark their territory or relieve themselves. If you can eliminate or reduce these factors, you can discourage dogs from choosing your lawn as their spot.

Some of the things you can do to make your lawn less attractive to dogs are:

  • Remove any food sources or trash that may attract dogs to your lawn. Dogs may smell food scraps or garbage and come to investigate. They may also associate your lawn with food and use it as their toilet. Make sure to keep your trash cans closed and secure, and clean up any spills or leftovers on your lawn.
  • Trim or remove any plants or flowers that may attract dogs to your lawn. Dogs may be drawn to certain plants or flowers that have strong or sweet smells, such as roses, lavender, mint, or citrus. They may also like to chew on them or dig them up. You can trim or remove these plants from your lawn or replace them with plants that dogs don’t like, such as marigolds, coleus, or rue.
  • Add some barriers or obstacles to your lawn that may deter dogs from entering. Dogs may be discouraged by physical barriers such as fences, gates, hedges, or rocks that block their access or visibility. They may also be deterred by visual barriers such as flags, signs, or statues that make them feel unwelcome or threatened. You can also use some natural barriers such as pine cones, thorns, or prickly plants that make your lawn uncomfortable for dogs to walk on.

Maintain secure boundaries:

Keep your gates securely closed, and regularly inspect your fences for any holes or gaps. It is not uncommon for dogs to find their way onto your lawn through openings in shared fences or gates that have been inadvertently left ajar. By ensuring that your boundaries are intact, you can minimize the chances of unwanted canine visitors.

Adjust your fertilizer:

Animals are often sensitive to scents and odors left behind by other animals. If you have been using organic fertilizers, you may want to try a chemical-based one temporarily or vice versa. This change in fertilizer may help deter animals from being attracted to your lawn due to scent markings left by other creatures.

Modify watering times:

If you have noticed a pattern in the time when the dog visits your lawn, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Ensure that your sprinklers are already in operation when the dog typically appears. Even having the lawn wet before the dog arrives can act as a significant deterrent.

Consider motion-activated sprinklers:

Install motion-activated sprinklers in strategic locations around your lawn. These sprinklers will activate only when an animal triggers their sensors, creating a startling effect. The unexpected spray of water will startle and deter dogs from approaching your lawn, leaving them with negative associations that discourage future visits.

These suggestions provide a starting point to address the issue, but there may be other creative approaches that suit your specific circumstances. It is important to identify the underlying reasons why dogs are drawn to your lawn and make changes accordingly.

With those effective strategies, you can create an environment that discourages dogs from using your lawn as their preferred spot for relief. Remember, understanding the root cause and making appropriate adjustments will be key to resolving the issue in the long run.

How to Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers or Other Devices to Scare Dogs Away?

One of the most effective ways to stop dog pooping on your lawn is to install motion-activated sprinklers or other devices that will scare dogs away. These devices are triggered by the movement of the dogs and spray them with water or make a loud noise. Dogs hate being sprayed or startled, so they will quickly learn to avoid your lawn.

There are many types of motion-activated devices that you can choose from, depending on your budget and preference. Some of them are:

  • Motion-activated sprinklers: These are sprinklers that turn on when they detect motion and spray water at the intruder. They are easy to install and can cover a large area of your lawn. They are also eco-friendly and can help water your lawn at the same time.
  • Motion-activated ultrasonic repellents: These are devices that emit high-pitched sounds that only dogs can hear when they sense motion. The sound is unpleasant to dogs and will make them run away. They are battery-operated and can be placed anywhere on your lawn. They are also humane and won’t harm the dogs.
  • Motion-activated alarms: These are devices that make a loud noise or flash a light when they detect motion. The noise or light will startle the dogs and make them flee. They are also battery-operated and can be placed anywhere on your lawn. They are also safe and won’t hurt the dogs.

You can find these devices online or at your local pet store or garden center. Make sure to follow the instructions on how to set them up and test them before using them. You may also want to adjust the sensitivity and range of the devices to avoid false alarms or unwanted spraying.

To install motion-activated sprinklers, you will need;

  • A motion-activated sprinkler unit
  • A hose
  • A faucet
  • A stake or a tripod
  • Batteries

How to install them properly?

  1. Insert the batteries into the sprinkler unit according to the instructions.
  2. Attach the hose to the faucet and to the sprinkler unit.
  3. Place the sprinkler unit on a stake or a tripod and position it where you want to cover your lawn.
  4. Adjust the angle and the distance of the spray nozzle according to your preference.
  5. Adjust the sensitivity and the duration of the motion sensor according to your preference.
  6. Turn on the faucet and test the sprinkler unit by moving in front of it.
  7. If everything works well, you’re done. If not, make some adjustments until you’re satisfied.

How to Clean Up Dog Poop and Repair Your Lawn

Even if you manage to stop dog pooping on your lawn, you may still have to deal with the aftermath of the previous incidents. Dog poop can leave unsightly stains and unpleasant smells on your lawn, as well as damage your grass and soil. That’s why you need to know how to clean up dog poop and repair your lawn.

To clean up dog poop, you will need the following:

  • A plastic bag or a pooper scooper
  • A garden hose or a bucket of water
  • A disinfectant or a vinegar solution
  • A rake or a shovel

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Pick up the dog poop with a plastic bag or a pooper scooper and dispose of it properly. Do not leave it on your lawn or throw it in your compost bin, as it can spread diseases and attract pests.
  2. Rinse the area with a garden hose or a bucket of water to remove any residue and odor.
  3. Spray the area with a disinfectant or a vinegar solution to kill any bacteria and fungi that may harm your lawn.
  4. Rake or shovel the area to loosen the soil and aerate it.
  5. If the area is bare or brown, you may need to reseed it with grass seeds or sods. Follow the instructions on how to plant and care for them.

To prevent dog poop from damaging your lawn, you should clean it up as soon as possible. You should also water your lawn regularly and fertilize it with organic products that are safe for pets and plants. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals or pesticides that may harm your lawn or the dogs.

How to Talk to the Owners of the Dogs and Ask Them to Be Responsible?

Sometimes, the best way to stop dog pooping on your lawn is to talk to the owners of the dogs and ask them to be responsible. Most dog owners are reasonable and respectful people who don’t want to cause trouble or inconvenience to their neighbors. However, some dog owners may be unaware, careless, or defiant about their dogs’ behavior. In either case, you can try to communicate with them and resolve the issue amicably.

To talk to the owners of the dogs;

  • Identify the owners of the dogs. You can do this by observing the dogs, asking your neighbors, or checking the tags or microchips of the dogs.
  • Approach the owners politely and respectfully. You can do this in person, by phone, by email, or by leaving a note. Avoid being confrontational, accusatory, or rude, as this may make them defensive or hostile.
  • Explain the problem and its consequences. Tell them how their dogs are pooping on your lawn and how it affects you and your lawn. Be factual and specific, and avoid exaggerating or emotionalizing the issue. You can also show them some evidence, such as photos or videos of the dogs or the poop.
  • Ask them to take action and offer some solutions. Ask them to keep their dogs on a leash, to pick up after their dogs, or to avoid your lawn altogether. You can also suggest some alternatives, such as a nearby park or a dog waste station. Be reasonable and flexible, and try to find a compromise that works for both of you.
  • Thank them for their cooperation and follow up with them. Express your appreciation for their understanding and willingness to help. Give them some time to implement the changes and see if the problem improves. If not, you may need to remind them or escalate the issue to a higher authority, such as an animal control officer or a lawyer.


Dog poop on your lawn is not only a nuisance but also a health hazard and a lawn killer. You don’t have to put up with this problem any longer. You can stop dog pooping on your lawn by using some of the methods we discussed in this article.

You can make your lawn less attractive to dogs by removing or changing the factors that draw them in. You can use natural or commercial repellents to keep dogs away from your lawn. You can install motion-activated devices to scare dogs away from your lawn. You can talk to the owners of the dogs and ask them to be responsible. And you can clean up dog poop and repair your lawn if it has been damaged.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a clean, green, and poop-free lawn that you can be proud of. You can also have a better relationship with your neighbors and their dogs. And you can avoid any potential conflicts or lawsuits that may arise from dog poop on your lawn.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. And if you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family who may also benefit from it. Thank you for reading, and happy gardening!

How can I tell which dog is pooping on my lawn? 

If you don’t know which dog is pooping on your lawn, you can try to catch them in the act by setting up a camera or a motion sensor. You can also look for clues such as the size, shape, color, and consistency of the poop. You can also ask your neighbors if they have seen any dogs roaming around your lawn.

Is dog poop good for my lawn?

No, dog poop is not good for your lawn. Dog poop contains harmful bacteria, parasites, and pathogens that can contaminate your soil and water. Dog poop can also burn your grass and create dead spots on your lawn. Dog poop can also attract flies, rodents, and other pests that can damage your lawn.

How can I train my own dog not to poop on my lawn?

If you have a dog and you want to train them not to poop on your lawn, you can;

Designate a specific area for your dog to poop, such as a corner of your yard or a patch of dirt. Make sure it is away from your lawn and other plants.

Take your dog to the designated area every time they need to go. Use a leash and a command such as “go potty” or “do your business”.

Praise and reward your dog when they poop in the designated area. Give them a treat, a toy, or a pat on the head.

Discourage and correct your dog when they try to poop on your lawn. Say “no” or “leave it” and lead them to the designated area. Do not yell at or punish your dog, as this may make them afraid or confused.

Be consistent and patient with your training. It may take some time for your dog to learn where to poop and where not to. Keep reinforcing the positive behavior and correcting the negative behavior until your dog gets it right. google news follow button

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Martina

    Dogs have “substrate preferences” they prefer to poop on certain kinds of stuff. My two girls like nice fresh grass (especially that in our back yard) or clean, dry sand (but only at the beach). One way to keep dogs from pooping on your landscaping is to change what is there to something that doesn’t appeal to them. Maybe a hedge of salvias along the curb, or replacing part of the lawn with thyme, which has a very different paw-feel.
    My method is slightly simpler: I’m planting a pooping area along the “hell strip” between curb and sidewalk. I know when I take my girls for a walk I’m grateful for an obviously clear place for dog functions (and of course I always clean up after my dogs, although some of my neighbors seem to find it too difficult).

  2. C. Neron

    I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but whether you pick it up or not, I still don’t want your dog crapping on my lawn. You don’t pick up the stink, and you don’t pick up the bacteria, and you don’t pick up all the crap. It attracts other dogs, some of whom nobody picks up after. Here’s an idea: LET THE DOG CRAP IN YOUR OWN YARD. One of my moron neighbors actually picks up after her dog then throws it in MY garbage can! Thanks. After a week of 90 degree heat, that smells real nice. What’s wrong with you disgusting dog people?

  3. Gena L.

    Your yard is teaming with bacteria of all kinds and the dog poop is adding very little to the situation. Generally speaking, if the poop goes away, the smell will too. I’m sure most owners would be fine with their dog pooping in their own lawn, unfortunately, you can’t always control when or where your dog does its business. Maybe if you focused on solving some real problems, these little things wouldn’t bother you so much.

  4. Dog owner

    How about you train your dog that it DOESN’T GET TO GO FOR A WALK UNTIL IT POOPS IN YOUR OWN YARD!

  5. Ricky m.

    Yes, absolutely… train your dog that it DOESN’T GET TO GO FOR A WALK UNTIL IT POOPS IN YOUR OWN YARD

  6. No name

    if it on a leash with a responsible owner it would’nt.Apparently your not.

  7. Mohammad

    Why can’t you control where and when they poop?
    Try using a leash!! Duh!!!!

  8. Claire


  9. Vilad

    Nuri, you are severely tempting my anti-dog sentiments. I will refrain from writing my solution for this problem.

    1. Bill

      What do you mean?

    2. Stue

      Vilad – could I “take a stab in the dark?”

      1. Dudette

        If you know where the dog lives. Shovel the poop and fling it back over into the neighbors yard. Surly that will help the owner to pay more attention.

      2. Vilad

        “Stab in the dark”? Oh no, nothing as tame as that! In fact, it involves a mini explosion set off by the interaction of a special chemical yet to be invented, when coming into contact with the offending material.
        Well, you did encourage me!

        1. Stue

          Inspirational Vil. Pure genius.

  10. Michael Lae

    This is a problem that I think has affected nearly every homeowner. Ultimately, it is the responsiblity of the dog owner to clean up after their dog(s), but we all know how seldom this actually happens. I solved the problem by installing a fence. Expensive, but it worked.

  11. Sharon

    I live in a neighborhood where the homes are very close together. I take my small dog for long walks to wooded areas where no on resides so he doesn’t poop or pee in my yard or in the common areas. I just had a neighbor move next door and she deliberately let her large dog poop in my yard and didn’t get it up. Any recommendations on handling this issue?

    1. mck

      Unless you own the “wooded” area…your dog is still crapping on someone elses property, be a decent person and clean up after YOUR pet

      1. Edii

        OMG…that is the best idea! I have two hugh bottles of the stuff, gonna hope it does the trick!

    2. jORGE DI.

      Bacon Grease .. from your BBW collecting bottle works best .. but A1A sauce is also great . Just sprinkle it all over the dog poop .. and in no time their owners will stop bringing them to your lawn cause they will start eating the poop. If the dog is allowed to run free in your yard .. hey .. now you may come out ahead on the deal … nothing like seen the owner of the dog trying to pull him away … “no no .. don’t eat that .. no .. ” .. nothing like the satisfaction of seen that ..

  12. Cliff

    I have the same problem as Sharon. I do not have a pet. I live on a corner lot, my neighbors let their dogs out to poop in the afternoon and at night, and My yard is the bathroom. Is there anything we can buy to keep them out of our yard. We have leash laws in our city. The problem still exsist.Essie

  13. anon

    Try a sign no dog poop

  14. Holly jo.

    Good luck! I have three “Please, no potty break!” signs placed across my yard. Unfortunately, I live on a corner lot so the necessity for three became apparent. Yet, they just simply go somewhere else where there isn’t the sign posted within three feet. I’ve even tried kindly asking the owner’s when I see and explained why I didn’t appreciate the bathroom breaks at my yard. They simply tell me that “it is okay for my dog to go to the bathroom here. There nice dogs.” I don’t know what “nice” has to do with disease, stench, burned and now dead grass, constantly being the neighborhood pet clean up crew, etc. Obviously the issue went right over their heads. I’m with others, and truly at the point where only a fence will help. However, for me not only is it very expensive to install a new nice fence, but I’ll have to move the irrigation line next to the sidewalk as well. I’ve also seriously considered bagging up the mess and leaving it at their homes as a “I’ve asked and I’ve tried, and I really don’t appreciate cleaning up after your pets.” message, but my neighbor told me that he actually did this and the same people just kept coming with their dog to do it’s business on his lawn. Unfortunately it appears that their are many dog owners who are simply rude. I understand dogs too as I’ve been a dog owner myself, but believe they my dogs were never allowed to stop and go to the bathroom in someone else’s yard, the park, or anywhere else. I wouldn’t let my children do it and I don’t let my pets either. Maybe next time were on a walk and one of the kids needs to use the restroom I should knock on one of the “friendly” dog owner’s doors and ask if they wouldn’t mind us using their bathroom, since after all we are on a walk away from home. Maybe after a few times they might get the picture.

  15. Dianne

    Corner lot here, too, with a “no signs” ordinance in my neighbourhood. Do I have to invent a sanitation station with graphics only in order to get the point across?
    I love dogs, but this is shameful.

  16. Blaize

    I hate dogs!

  17. Blaize

    I live in a condo complex and my front yard is the community dog toilet. It is disgusting and has reached the point to where it smells when I walk out my front door. I bought some stuff you sprinkle on the grass to keep the dogs away. We will see how that works.

  18. danny

    It is amazing how many pet owners don’t pick up after their dog. This is a huge national problem that many people are not aware of. We sell more no dog pooping signs than actual dog signs. Pet owners should always remember, “If your dog poops, please scoop”.

  19. kati

    We own a dog that is 15 years old and still get out of the ornemental fense we put up to keep her in and poops on the neighbors lawns. We dont know what else to do. We come home from work and she’s out. We don’t know exactly were she get out from but she somehow squeezes her chubby 15 year old body under the fence everyday. Mind you, she’s a big yellow lab. We feel horrible that we have the pet from hell. We’ve barricated areas within the yard where we think she gets out and are fingers are crossed that it will work. For all the pet owners who owns a dog like us…we are sorry for our dog’s behavior. I would recommend letting the pet owners know what their pet is doing and ask them if they can either pick up after their dog and check for poop without you having to tell them.

  20. Nuri C.

    If your dog is still getting out after barricading with fences and other barriers then I would certainly advise that you contemplate a dog containment system. These are usually constructed of harmless radio signals that deter your dog from going near the boundaries of your property and in most cases are quite successful.

  21. Dana

    Try gnat scat…it keeps mosquitoes away using lemon oil and garlic oil. I just picked up dog crap off my lawn…so I sprinkled this on my lawn. I am sure this will keep them off.

  22. Guitar Boy

    I own a shop that has a dog groomer business right behind me. So every day people go past my shop to get to the groomers. For some reason all the dogs pee on the same spot right in front of my shop. It really ticks me off. Just yesterday I saw a lady stop and made her dog pee on that spot and then she praised the dog like he was doing a good job? My shop is on the front of a shopping center, and I have customers that walk in front on the sidewalk. Right there is where the dogs pee. The pee is actually tearing appart the cement that holds the stone store front.
    Oh- and the groomers themselves have put a sign right where the dogs pee- Unfortunately, the dogs just peed on the sign and it fell off.

  23. Bill

    I just moved to a spot in an RV park that everyone takes their dog to do its business. 10% pick up the mess, so you can imagine how much crap I can see and smell. Most just do not care! Their are too many pets in the world (and people) putting a burden on the planet. And it is only worse when stupid inconsiderate people have pets! My wife and I have no pets or kids because the world does not need any more. We are making a bigger impact on saving the planet than anything else we can do. How about you?

  24. Shawn Halligan

    I am facing the same problem. I have a dog that also poops in my yard and lawn in the afternoon and at night, and my yard is the bathroom for my dog. I need to work on its feeding and dietary plan for the day. Thank you for sharing.

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