How to Keep Dogs from Pooping in Your Yard: 11 Solutions

This post may contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Dogs are a real blessing.

When they’re cute and cuddly, we love them to pieces – THEY’RE JUST SO CUTE AND SOFT!

But when they empty their bowels all across the garden – WE WISH THEY WEREN’T OURS!

The blessing stops there.

Unless you learn how to keep dogs from pooping in your yard…

It doesn’t matter if it is one or several dogs, its breed, its age, or even its health. There are certain things you can do to prevent dogs from pooping in your garden.

And guess what – we’re going to tell you ALL OF THEM below!

Why is it Wrong for Dogs to Poop in a Yard?

You may think dog feces in your yard are not wrong.

Everyone lets their dogs go to the bathroom there, right? How bad could it be?

Well, you’d be surprised…

Here are some reasons why dogs pooping in the yard is wrong:

  • Aesthetics – Do you want people visiting to see your dogs’ feces in the garden? That lush green lawn with brown spots is certainly not attractive.
  • Smells – It doesn’t matter how cute, and expensive your garden looks if there’s a lot of poop around that smells like, you know what… Your garden won’t be so pleasant when that scent fires up.
  • Damage – Gardens, and lawns love organic material to feed on. But your dogs’ poop and pee are not that. The waste can actually be damaging, sometimes even killing the plants and grass around.
  • Dangers – If you have children (mainly babies and toddlers), you’ll know how their curiosity is the strongest of traits. And this curiosity could take them to awful places (like your dog’s poop!).
  • Diseases – Last but not least, poop carries bacteria, viruses, and microbes. All these things can infect other animals, or even worse, infect you or your family (AND YOU DON’T WANT THAT!).

So, would you keep leaving your dog to poop in the yard? We certainly wouldn’t…

That’s why we’ve come up with EFFECTIVE methods to keep that from happening

What Stops Dogs from Pooping in Your Yard?

Let’s say you’re already TIRED.

The dog(s) don’t want to poop anywhere else apart from your yard. It’s awful.

You tell them the same thing over and over again. But they’re dogs – they don’t understand…

How can you feed that?

Well, lucky you. We know exactly what you need to try – in order.

Here are some tips to consider:

1. Take Food and Water Away

The most common reason dogs use your yard as a bathroom is because you feed them there.

If you leave their food and water plate close to the yard, guess where they’re going to release it all?

That’s why setting up feeding areas away from the yard is such an effective solution.

Your dog will have to find a different place to poop on. And more likely, it will be the area closer to their food (or wherever they have access to).

EXTRA TIP: Take your dog out on walks a couple of hours after they eat. This could let them release their bowels and put them somewhere else instead of your yard (BUT BRING POOP BAGS SO YOU CAN PICK IT ALL UP FROM THE STREETS).

2. Set Up A Barrier

Set Up A Barrier

Is there any better way to keep dogs from pooping in your yard than simply blocking it?

Adding a barrier, like a garden fence, will keep your dog from going there. Even if the dog has been using the same area for months or years – a simple fence they can’t climb or go through will suffice.

Other yard barriers to consider include:

You can come up with pretty much any structure to block the path to the yard and keep your dog from pooping there. Sure enough, it is costly – so going for cheaper obstacles could be a better choice…

3. Add Ground Obstacles

If blocking the entire area feels like way too much work, money, or inconvenience, then you can always come up with simple obstacles.

This could be ANYTHING that prevents the dog from walking there—things the dog won’t like to step over (preferably without causing damage).

Here are some obstacles to consider:

  • Lava Rocks – While they are harmless, they’re annoying to dogs. Especially the tiny and sharp ones are often surprisingly irritating to them.
  • Pebbles – Just like lava rocks, pebbles MAY prevent your dogs from pooping because they’re annoying.
  • Mulch – Once again, few things irritate dogs as much as mulch. Spread over the area where they tend to poop and pee may fix the problem once and for all.
  • Chicken Wire – If you want to go a step further, chicken wire will cause mild damage to the dog as it walks over. While not ideal for everyone, it could be the last choice (the most effective).
  • Mouse Traps – Small traps that could catch mice but barely scare your dog will also work. Your dog won’t want to get close to that place as soon as it realizes the danger.

Just be aware that these obstacles are not 100% effective with every dog. But you will still spend little to nothing trying them up.

4. Bring Bushy Plants

Bring Bushy Plants

Building a barrier may feel like too much work – so why don’t plant bushes instead?

A hedge, for example, could be more than enough to keep dogs from accessing a section of your yard. Even the smallest landscape border could get the job done.

The focus is to add something that works as a barrier without necessarily being one. It will just isolate the section you want to keep poop-free.

Here are some shrubby plants to consider for that:

  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • English Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Euonymus (Euonymus)
  • Firethorn (Pycarantha)
  • Holly (Ilex)
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea)
  • Juniper (Juniperus)
  • Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
  • Pinkladies (Oenothera speciosa)
  • Rhododendron (Rhododendron)
  • Rue (Ruta)
  • Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
  • Spirea (Spirea)
  • Thuja (Arborvitae)
  • Viburnum (Viburnum)

What’s the best about adding any of these hedges or shrubs? YOU GET A GORGEOUS GARDEN!

Plus, the flowers and fruits these plants produce are often dog deterrents as well, so you get twice the effectiveness by planting these.

5. Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Don’t want to be bothered with more plants or unnecessarily large objects in your yard? Then keep it simple and install an automatic sprinkler system.

You don’t want just any sprinklers, though. You want MOTION-ACTIVATED ones.

These will turn on when the dog steps close to the sprinklers (so you need to install them strategically).

They are effective because most dogs HATE being sprayed with water. Dogs will either walk away annoyed or simply get scared.

And what’s even better, sprinklers will also scare other animals like rabbits and squirrels, snakes, and even skunks

6. Use Dog Deterrents

Use Dog Deterrents

What deters a dog? Some dogs may seem like they’re afraid of nothing. But guess what… THEY AREN’T!

For one, dogs have very sensitive noses. If they smell something strong and unpleasant, they will likely go away.

Second, they also have “avoid instincts.” Some deterrents are specifically designed to hit these instincts so the dogs won’t get close to a specific area that smells a certain way.

And finally, deterrents are also slightly dangerous. They won’t cause any life-threatening damage, but dogs will certainly get physically annoyed by them.

Here are some of the deterrents we recommend

  • Chili or Cayenne Pepper – Some of us love to taste the spiciness of pepper ON PURPOSE. But dogs don’t – they will stay away from places that smell too much like pepper, for sure.
  • Eucalyptus – Dogs look at eucalyptus like we look at radiation. It’s so toxic to them that dogs will likely get nowhere closer than 3 feet.
  • Citrus – Strong orange, lemon, lime, and even grapefruit will keep dogs from getting close to the place.
  • Vinegar – Few things annoy dogs more than vinegar. The liquid’s acidity tends to be slightly irritating to their noses, thus effective as a deterrent.
  • Ammonia – Spraying a tiny bit of ammonia in the place you want to secure can also help. Just be aware ammonia can be damaging to dogs’ noses – so you’ll want to be ultra-careful.
  • Aromatic Herbs – Peppermint and lemongrass, for example, tend to have intense smells that dogs don’t like at all.
  • Commercial Deterrents – While we recommend not using these, they also work. These could be a combination of the ones above alongside deterring chemicals.

Regardless of what you use, be aware that most of these deterrents tend to break down with water. There’s a chance you will have to reapply every few days to keep the place smelly and dog-free.

7. Change your Yard Fertilizer Consistently

Another surprisingly effective way to keep dogs away from a garden includes changing your fertilizer.

Most dogs HATE intense smells. Their sense of smell is so acute that something strange like fertilizer may scare them off.

Just be aware this is WAY MORE EFFECTIVE when you’re already fertilizing the yard but change the fertilizer. Given the new one smells differently, you will make the dog uncomfortable.

A WORD OF ADVICE: don’t use any natural fertilizer like manure or compost. These bacteria-rich materials are not only damaging to the yard but may also come with wastes that your dog will love to eat and poop over.

8. Veer Them Away

Veer Them Away

Dogs may go to your garden for the simple fact they feel that’s the only way to go.

Creating a pathway to a different area, for example, may fix that.

Let’s say you have an open lawn. As soon as dogs step over on the property, they will feel like there’s nowhere else to go – so they pee and poo there.

How can you fix that?

Add a concrete, stone, tile, or wooden pathway. Something that catches dogs’ attention and makes them feel like they are following the right path.

This will SURPRISINGLY work in many cases. Have you ever seen how dogs walk on walkways and sometimes even respect traffic lights? Well, the same may happen in your yard with a pathway.

TO CONSIDER: This is not 100% effective, of course. But you may find that a simple pathway may get the job done – especially in small gardens where a pathway could work as a barrier.

9. Arrange an Area for Pooping

Another way you can direct the dog to another place is by arranging a place SPECIFICALLY for pooping.

Coming up with a designated area of your yard for their necessities is as effective as you can imagine. And what’s even better, it’s a pretty easy solution.

The focus is to build something attractive for dogs. That means using materials and environmental cues that dogs will love (like sand and old poop). Then, you need to train your dog to go there (you may want to block other areas while the dog learns).

Using artificial lawn or grass for this designated area will also make it more attractive. Dogs love areas like that.

10. Keep the Yard Clean

Keep the Yard Clean

Just like you can push a dog to do stuff in a place with the smell of old urine and poo, you also need to remove these smells to keep from going there.

Cleaning the yard consistently is the best way to ensure that. This is especially true if you have several dogs – as they’re more likely to poo in the same place together.

Here are a few cleaning tips to consider:

  • Use your hands (with a bag) or water to clean the poop (raking will spread the smell).
  • Spray a dog deterrent that also cleans (like vinegar or citrus) in the area after cleaning
  • Seal the fecal matter and throw it far away from the place

These tips will help you prevent the feces from attracting your dog again to that same place.

If you repeat this every time the dog poops in the yard, there will be a time it doesn’t poop there anymore.

11. Train the Dogs

Sounds obvious, but you may not think this is a solution. And guess what, it is the BEST SOLUTION.

Training your dog to defecate in the right place is hard. It takes a lot of time and effort plus requires an incredible amount of patience.

But it is undoubtedly the best way, BY FAR.

Plus, you can train the dog and get closer to it at the same time. There’s nothing like a good training session to bond deeper with any animal, especially dogs.

To train your dog to poop in the right place, you should consider these tips:

  • Use deterrents and barriers to keep dogs from going any other place
  • Teach your dog where to pee by feeding him in a specific area
  • Take your dog to a different location whenever it’s looking to poop
  • Congratulate the dog whenever it pees/poops in the right place
  • Scold the animal whenever it pees/poos in the wrong place (without being physical)

Training is your most important tool, so use it wisely. And if you want it to be more effective, don’t hesitate to mix it with other solutions like the ones above. That should get your training to a whole new level of effectiveness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What damage does poop cause in yards?

The high number of pathogens could be dangerous to other wildlife in your garden. Nutrients in dogs’ poop (like nitrogen) could cause severe damage to lawns. Plus, their pee’s acidity tends to BURN grass and other plants.

And lastly, it may keep birds and insects from getting close to the place. This could prevent your plants from getting pollinated.

How often should a dog poop?

A typical dog poops AT LEAST once a day and up to five times a day. Dogs with issues may poop less or more than that. But in most cases, they will poop two or three times.

Does dog poop disintegrate quickly?

No. Dog poop may take over a year to decompose COMPLETELY. That’s right; your dog poop is not the most environmentally friendly thing – especially if you give the dog a high-nutrient diet.


If there’s something we would love for you to take from this blog is that: YOU SHOULDN’T LET YOUR DOG POOP IN THE YARD ANYMORE!

Now that you’re aware of how to keep dogs from pooping in your yard… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Leave a Comment