How To Keep Dogs Off Your Lawn

Dogs are a great addition to any family, but they can also be a nuisance when it comes to your yard. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending time and money on your lawn, only to have your dog or a neighbor’s dog ruin it all by peeing on it.

Dealing with dogs pooping and peeing on your lawn is a frustrating problem. But, there are ways to keep them from doing it. In this blog post, we’ll give you tips on how to keep your dog off of your lawn and protect your investment. By following these tips, you can maintain a beautiful lawn while keeping your furry friends happy and safe. Let’s get started! Whether you’re looking for a short or long-term solution, we’ve got you covered.

Why Are Dogs In Your Backyard?

Dogs can wander into your backyard for many reasons. For example, they might be looking for a place to relieve themselves, bored and looking for something to do, escaping from an unfriendly neighbor’s yard (or escape route), or following their nose somewhere interesting.  We’ll discuss different solutions you can implement that will work in each of these situations.

Tips To Keep Dogs Out Of Your Yard

Follow these simple tips and tricks to keep your neighborhood dogs out of your yard. If your own dog is the cause of your lawn problems, then you should work on a training routine to teach them to stay out of the yard.

Ask The Dog’s Owner

The first step you should take to avoid having a neighbor’s dog wandering into your yard and garden is to politely ask their owner to keep them leashed when on a walk, or inside during the day. Many dog owners are friendly and would gladly try to accommodate any requests you could make of them.

Perhaps they would be willing to clean up after their dog if they use your yard as a bathroom, or willing to go another route for their daily dog walk.

If this step solves the problem, then you won’t need to take any further action!

Remove Any Attractions

Next, try to remove anything that might be attracting the dog. If your yard is a popular spot for neighborhood dogs to sneak off and eat food (or worse,) then you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing of interest. If they can’t find anything, they won’t come back!

Remove any standing water, like a pond or small pool, that they might like to drink from, and be sure to always clean up any left-behind poop. The smell of poop will tell them that it is okay to poop there again.

Build a Fence

The most efficient way to keep a dog out of your yard is to build a fence. A fence will not only keep dogs from wandering into the yard, but it will also keep them from digging under or jumping over it.

Most people who have trouble with their neighbors’ dogs find that building a simple wooden fence around the yard solves the problem. Even a mesh or wire fence will work, as long as it is high enough for dogs to not jump over.

Natural Dog Repellents

If none of the solutions presented above are working out for you, try these dog repellents. They will make your lawn unappealing to dogs, and eventually they will stay away altogether.

Ammonia Or Vinegar

Ammonia and vinegar are two of the most effective home dog repellents. They really dislike the smell, and will avoid it at all costs, and your lawn alongside it.

Only spray your garden in strips and not the entire mixture of vinegar or ammonia on your plants. Otherwise it can be overwhelming for dogs, and consider that overusing ammonia and vinegar on your grass may harm it.


Dogs find citrus odors repulsive, so some homeowners use orange, grapefruit, or lemon peels as dog repellents. While these fruit peels are natural and readily available, tumbling them around your backyard may appear like a garbage bag exploded, so you might want to keep them out of sight in your front yard. Even after that, you must remain vigilant since fruit peels might attract rats into your garden, and any citrus should be treated with care, since it might be harmful to dogs.


Certain plants are really unpleasant for dogs. A great example is lavender, which is an annoying smell for dogs but smells great to people, so it would be a perfect plant to plant in your garden. Other examples are citronella, the mosquito plant repellant, and the Scaredy Cat plant, as dogs also dislike the smells of these, while both are mild to pleasant smelling for humans.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensing equipment is a great dog repellant. For example, you can place infrared or ultrasonic sensors on the property line and this will be activated once it senses any motion, so if a dog’s barking or pawing at the ground near it, then you might want to think again before getting too close!

You can also use a motion sensor sprinkler. The hard water that it sprays out, in addition to the sudden noise that it makes while it’s in operation, should be enough to spook dogs off of your land, and after enough times they will learn to avoid it forever.

Commercial Dog Repellents

You can buy dog repellents in pet stores and online. There are a wide variety of commercial dog repellents that provide extra dissuasion from your lawn, such as the ones available at Petco. Some products, such as Critter Ridder, are not harmful to animals or humans, and they use all natural ingredients.

Repellents That You Should NOT Use

You might have heard or seen a recommendation to use cayenne peppers or chilies to keep dogs out of your lawn. While this will work, it also harms the dog by burning their paws or their mouths when they try and eat it.

Similarly, you should not put out coffee grounds, moth balls, garlic powder, or detergent. These are all harmful to dogs and you could seriously hurt them.

Ending Thoughts

While there are many ways to keep dogs off your lawn, the best way to deal with the problem, and the first solution you should seek, is to ask the dog’s owner. If that doesn’t work, removing any attractions for the dog and building a fence are good solutions. Finally, if all else fails, or you don’t want to permanently change the look of your lawn, you can use natural or commercial dog repellents.

It’s important to consider the needs of both you and your neighbors when choosing a method, as well as how much time and effort you want to put into it. By working together we can ensure everyone enjoys their backyard – both people and pets!

Also, please contact us below if you have any questions or comments about local dogs in your lawn or garden. Have you had success using one of these methods to keep dogs off your lawn? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.