10 Ways To Keep a Dog From Pooping in Your Yard

Updated: Oct. 28, 2023

Find out how to gently and safely keep neighborhood dogs out while maintaining a good relationship with your neighbors.

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White vinyl fence
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Install Fencing

Installing a fence effectively deters dogs from entering and pooping in your yard, ensuring a clean, safe outdoor space. Fences provide a clear boundary, enhance privacy and can be aesthetically pleasing.

You don’t need to install a big, expensive privacy fence, either. Often a simple, short, decorative picket fence or something similar is enough to create a strong visual boundary.



  1. Measure the perimeter of your yard;
  2. Research local fence regulations;
  3. Choose appropriate fence height and design;
  4. Install the fence;
  5. Regularly inspect and maintain the fence.
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Close up of sprigs of fresh rosemary
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Create Natural Barriers

If you’re not up for installing a fence, choose a natural option instead. Create natural barriers along your property line with plants dogs dislike, like marigolds, rosemary or rue. (See others below.)



  1. Research non-toxic dog-repellent plants suitable for your climate;
  2. Measure your property line and plan the layout;
  3. Prepare the planting area by removing weeds and debris;
  4. Dig holes for plants, following recommended spacing;
  5. Plant bushes, hedges or herbs along the property line;
  6. Water and mulch the plants as needed.
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Using homemade insecticidal insect spray in home garden to protect roses from insects or fungus. Spray bottle with foamy liquid inside against rose bushes.
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Apply Repellent Sprays

Use repellent sprays where dogs frequently enter your yard. Purchase a commercial spray or make your own with vinegar or essential oils like citrus, eucalyptus or peppermint.

Reapply the repellent regularly, especially after rain. Some repellents may cause irritation to humans or pets, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and try not to choose anything toxic.

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Dog Sign Please Be Respectful
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Display Warning Signs

Post clear, visible signs at the points where dogs tend to enter your yard that politely yet firmly tell pet owners to keep their pups out. “Please be Respectful” or “No Dog Fouling” send the right message without being rude. Ensure the signs are weather-resistant and secure them in place.

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LED Spotlight Outdoor Solar Panel Power
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Illuminate Your Yard

Install outdoor lighting to deter dogs from entering your yard at night. Choose motion-activated or solar-powered garden lights. Well-lit spaces make pet owners more aware and conscious of their dog’s behavior. Ensure the lights do not disturb your neighbors or disrupt local wildlife.



  1. Assess your yard and identify areas where dogs enter;
  2. Choose appropriate outdoor lighting;
  3. Plan the layout for optimal coverage and minimal disturbance;
  4. Install following the manufacturer’s instructions;
  5. Test the lights to ensure they function properly;
  6. Adjust the direction and sensitivity as needed.
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Automatic sprinklers watering lawn
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Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are another effective deterrent. The sprinkler turns on when a dog enters your yard, scaring them away.



  1. Determine where dogs usually enter your yard;
  2. Install the sprinklers following manufacturer’s instructions;
  3. Connect the sprinklers to the garden hose(s);
  4. Secure hose connections with waterproof or plumber’s tape to prevent leaks;
  5. Install stakes or mounting brackets for secure placement;
  6. Adjust the sensitivity and range settings to minimize false alarms;
  7. Test the sprinklers by simulating motion in the coverage area.
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Sea stones. Pebbles. Nautical background. Texture nature background from sea pebbles.
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Lay Down Gravel or Rocks

Spread gravel or rocks in areas where dogs frequently poop. The uncomfortable surface may deter them from walking on or doing their business on your property. Choose safe and non-toxic materials like pea gravel or river rocks.



  1. Measure the area;
  2. Calculate and purchase gravel or rocks, based on the desired depth;
  3. Clear the area of debris, weeds or grass;
  4. (Optional) Lay down landscape fabric or a barrier to minimize weed growth;
  5. Evenly distribute the gravel or rocks with a shovel or rake;
  6. Compact and level the surface by walking over the area or using a tamper.
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IP CCTV wifi surveillance camera on house
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Install Security Cameras

If you’ve exhausted other options, it’s time to set up security cameras to monitor your yard and identify repeat offenders. If necessary, send the footage to local authorities. This should be your last resort.



  1. Assess your yard, identifying entry points and problem areas;
  2. Choose the appropriate security camera system (wired, wireless, or solar-powered);
  3. Install cameras, hook them to a power source and internet connection (if applicable);
  4. Test the cameras to ensure they function properly and provide clear footage;
  5. Adjust the camera angles and settings;
  6. Inform your neighbors about the security cameras to maintain community trust.
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Male neighbors having conversation outdoors
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Speak with Dog Owners

Engage in friendly conversations with dog owners in your neighborhood. Politely request they keep their pets from pooping in your yard and remind them to clean up after their dogs. Share information about local leash laws and pet waste disposal regulations. Here are a few fun ideas for gardening with your dog.

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dog poop bag dispenser
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Offer Dog Waste Bags and Add a Sign

Place a dog waste bag dispenser near the entrance to your yard, or at the sidewalk. While it won’t keep dogs out of your yard, it encourages responsible pet owners to clean up after their dogs so you don’t have to. Keep the dispenser stocked with biodegradable waste bags and consider posting a sign to remind people to use them.