BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Dogs Pooping in Yard
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Pets > Dogs Pooping in Yard
We recently bought a house, and already several times found dog's poop in our front
yard. We don't know whose dog it was because almost all my neighboors (except us)
have dogs. I am tired of cleaning poop!!
What should I do to stop it?
Three possible options:
1. Set up a security camera to identify the culprit.
2. Build a fence.
3. Spread a large amount of ground hot chili pepper (Mexican grocery stores in cellophane
packets) in the area where the dog likes to relive itself.
I would start by putting a small but noticeable sign on a stake in the area where you find
the dog poop with a courteous plea to please scoop the poop PLEASE. Maybe laminate the
sign so it survives the weather. Maybe tie some plastic bags to a pole near your yard
with another sign indicating their purpose.
If that doesn't work, get a spy cam and nail the miscreant.
Responsible Scooper of My Pooch's Poop
I have 2 dogs and nothing burns me up more than finding dog poop from someone's wandering
dog or even irresponsible dog owner's dog on a leash in my yard. I have a sign that I
painted that says ''If they poop then you must scoop'' with a picture of a pooping dog and
attached a bag holder full of bags on the fence so there is no excuse. most people
appreciate it but there is always someone who lets their dog poop or lets their dog out to
poop anywhere unsupervised. I have a few suggestions. If you catch the dog in the act,
frighten it away while it is pooping. This will create an unpleasant association and it
might not do it in your yard anymore. Or you could hang a note around it's neck with your
phone number or a message that the dog is doing this. OR you could get a motion activated
item for your yard to scare it away, like a sprinkler, or put a sign up in your yard with
the no pooping symbol (find it at ACE) I'm partly being funny, but I am also serious. Just
once I'd love to catch the great dane sized poop perpetrator and hang a sign around it's
Put up a little sign, saying 'Please pick up after your dog. Thanks.' Buy some dog poo
bags and hang them from the sign.
Nothing will work as well as a simple fence around your front yard. I've noticed people
are much more respectful of fenced in front yard than they are of a yard open to all.
OK, so we just moved into a house that had been empty for
more than a year - it is at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Well, I have seen the neighbors walk along and just let
their pup dump in my yard, make NO attempt to clean it and
then they just walk away.
I want to put up a ''no dog pooping, please'' sign, but
there are only a few folks and they will KNOW I
am ''talking'' to them.
Doesnt really matter, but I kind of want to keep the
peace, ya know? It is a very small cul-de-sac.
Welcome your thoughts, ideas, etc.
You have a couple of options: talk to your neighbors or put
up the sign. I would go with the former if you are
interested in building relationships, and there ways to
approach it that might make it less onerous. If you see one
of the offenders on a non-pooping occasion, walk over and
say hi. Maybe ask a question about the neighborhood or
their kids or whatever. Have a brief conversation. Then
introduce the topic of the poop in a non-personal way, maybe
blaming the dogs For instance: ''I think the
neighborhood dogs got used to pooping in our yard while the
house was vacant. I don't think YOUR dog is necessarily
guilty, but just in case, could you keep a special eye out
next time you walk him/her? I would appreciate it SO much.''
Etc. The sign is OK, too, I think. People should get a
little buzz of shame for what they're doing, and I don't
think it will reflect badly on you.
The sign would obviously be aimed at a specific individual.
Many of them are. You could also put up a fence or simply
talk to the people to start. Sorry you have uncivilized
You are much nicer than I would be.
It drives me CRAZY when I see people letting their dogs
nonchalantly crap wherever and then just keep walking. I
know you want to keep the peace with your neighbors, but
it really does seem like they need a reminder about basic
courtesy. A (gently worded) sign, to me, seems like the
best way to handle things unless you want to park yourself
out front and talk to your neighbors while they're in the
act. I wouldn't worry so much about them knowing that
you're talking specifically to them. They apparently NEED
it. You could also try setting up a supply of plastic
bags for your neighbors to use until they figure out how
to bring their own. I will say that my neighbor a few
houses down has an extremely hostile (and entertaining)
sign on his lawn directed towards these offenders...and
his yard is always spotless. Best of luck to you!
I had this problem, as I have the only native plant, hence alot of bark/wood
chips, on my block. Even thought I build a 10'' wood barrier, idiots will allow
their dogs to walk over the barrier and do their business. I didn't want to hurt
the dogs with cayenne pepper, etc., as I am a dog person myself. I found these
12x12 plastic squares that they sell at pet stores that are for pets who jump on
the furniture. The squares have these PLASTIC spikes sticking up that are VERY
uncomfortable on the paws....I know this because I inadvertently stepped on one
barefoot. I placed them in the areas where the suspect dogs were doing their
business and this cut down on the problem greatly. I covered it up with wood
chips. Dogs are creatures of routine and you need to halt the routine... and my 2
cents, a sign is fine, your neighbors should know better now that you reside
Wait, you're concerned about good relationships with people
who let their dogs defile your yard?? WHY? You're worried
about some rude stranger's anger but have none of your own
while they're being rude to you? Why would you care that
they know YOU are the one asking politely in a posted sign
that they not be rude? And why do you think they know how
many other people let their dogs do the same thing and why
is that relevant? Don't you think they know there is only
one identifiable individual or family in the house, and that
doesn't bother them. I see absolutely nothing wrong, while
you're standing there witnessing this, with you walking out
in person, introducing yourself nicely, and reminding them
that the house is inhabited and asking them politely not to
do that any more.
Why is it so hard for so many of us to be minimally
assertive when people are dumping on us!?
I have a lot of questions today.
Honestly, I think it'll only be effective if the culprits
KNOW you are talking to them. You don't have to be mean.
Here's your new sign to post on a stick prominently in your
''We'd greatly appreciate if you'd prevent your dog from
pooping in our yard when possible and pick up after him/her
when not. Thank you.''
I hear ya. I was out last night with my neighbor as she
walked her dog, and she didn't pick up the poop after her
little doggie went on the neighbor's yard. I told her that
the neighbor would probably get mad, but she said ''I'll
come by tomorrow and pick it up''. Yikes! Of course you
should always pick up the poop right when it happens, and
dog owners should carry enough bags to be able to do it. I
used to walk my dog with so many bags, because it seemed
like a contest between me and the dog; if he could outpoop
my number of bags!! Anyway, in the interest of keeping the
peace, I would suggest making the sign VERY friendly, with
a big Please, and a Bigger Thank you so much, and a smiley
face or whatever. Hopefully, that will work. Otherwise,
you might have to plant a bunch of roses to border your
Dear ''New to the Neighborhood'',
I have been in your shoes! We inherited my in-law's house that is in a very
affluent area. The house had been unoccupied for a year. After we moved in, the
neighbors continued to park in our driveway (WTF?!?!) and let their dogs use our
front lawn as a toilet. And they knew we had moved in! I had to personally
remind each neighbor that we lived there now and it wasn't OK. I think they were
just used to it. It is not unreasonable to let people know that you live there now
and to please not let their dogs relieve themselves in your yard. I am guessing
they aren't being inconsiderate on purpose. They just need a gentle reminder.
I was going to advise returning their dog's poop to them (hi
neighbor, I saw you dropped something so I just wanted to
make sure you got it back) or dumping your childs dirty
diapers in their yard (what?? I didn't think you cared), but
as you want to be a good neighbor, you could buy a scare
crow motion activated water sprinkler to keep dogs off the
property, put moth balls along the edge of the yard so dogs
don't sniff and go, a wood fence or razor/barb wire also
Old Wise Guy
I really don't understand why you are concerned about
''keeping the peace'' when your neighbors are being so
obnoxious. I think the straight forward approach is best.
Just put up one of those signs. It has a dog pooping on it
with a red circle and slash. Alternatively, you could do a
little work in your front yard. Put in a short hedge and
some flowers. The hedge will discourage entry to your yard.
Then add the sign. Then it looks like you are just being
overly protective of your new plantings. But really, people
who don't pick up after their dog deserve some punishment.
One famous idea: take a bag of dog poop over to their home
after they have gone to bed, put it on the porch, hit it
with a match, ring the doorbell, and run. If all goes well,
they will stamp out the fire and you will have a good laugh.
I'm laughing just thinking about it. I wish I had the nerve
to do it!
Good for your for wanting to ''keep the peace'' in your new
neighborhood, but it isn't an act of war or rudeness on
your part to expect some consideration from people who are
treating your yard like a public litterbox.
Why not put up a sign saying something like: ''We're glad
to have moved into this neighborhood. Please help us enjoy
our new property by cleaning up after your dog. Thank you!''
This will help remind everyone, in a friendly way, that
there is a home here now, not just a building and grass.
If the guilty parties know you are talking to them --
good! I have a feeling you'll soon see better manners from
the humans (it's not the dogs' fault)!
Don't let them ''poop'' all over you
I believe that straightforwardness is the best policy. The
next time you see the dog dropping a load in your yard, go
tell the owner face to face that it bothers you. Don't be
mean, just tell them that you want them to pick up the
poop. If they are offended, then they seriously have
something wrong with them. If you are shy, write a note
signed with your name and phone number. If that doesn't
work, scoop it up, bag it, and put it by their front door.
-Don't take it.
after looking at the city of berkeley's web site, it wasn't
clear to me what action, if any, one could take to get their
neighbors to clean up after their dog. here's my problem:
on a regular basis, our neighbors leave their dog's poop on
the sidewalk and the grassy area between the street and
sidewalk in front of their house. i've left a couple nice
notes asking them to please clean up after themselves.
first one helped curb the problem, but now it's back.
i sent a query to the city of berkeley's animal services
regarding this and am waiting to hear back. since that might
be a while, i thought i'd ask if anyone had any advice.
the city's ''rules & regulations'' regarding dog ownership in
berkeley say that dog owners must dispose of waste when on
public city property. this would apply to sidewalks. maybe
i should leave the neighbors a note with the city's ''guide
to owning a dog in berkeley'' . . .
anyway, thanks for responding to this question if you've got
some advice or had this stupid experience.
Looks like your neighbor is violating a Berkeley City Code;
Section 10.04.091 Carrying instrument for removal of dog
feces and actual removal of such feces
A. Any person having custody of a dog while on public
property, including any easements, and public
parks, and private property not owned by such person shall
at all times carry an instrument suitable for
removing and disposing of any feces which may be deposited
by said dog and shall remove any such feces
which may be deposited by such dog while on such property.
B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs
being used by the blind as guide dogs, or
service dogs that are assisting disabled persons who are
unable to remove such feces. (Ord. 6627-NS Â§ 1,
2001: Ord. 6568-NS Â§ 1, 2000: Ord. 6467-NS Â§ 2, 1998: Ord.
5205-NS Â§ 3, 1979: Ord. 4372-NS Â§ 13.1,
From the City Of Berkeley Website;
'Any person having custody of a dog while on public property
shall at all times carry an instrument suitable for removing
and disposing of feces which may be deposited by said dog
and shall remove any such feces deposited by such dog while
on such property (BMC 10.04.091). The provisions of this
section shall not apply to dogs being used by disabled
individuals as service animals.'
You may want to share this info. If they don't want to
comply they could get cited for not removing poop.
We just moved into our new house, and noticed our front lawn is
littered with dog poop from the dog next door. It seems the
neighbors let their little dog out to run free early in the
morning and late in the evening, don't follow it outside, and so
it has found a lovely spot right on our lawn unsupervised.
I am very hesitant to make a 'stink' about it, because we just
moved in, and we want to have good relationships with our
neighbors. At the same time, YUCK! My husband and I don't want to
have to clean up dog poop constantly or have our 2YO daughter
Any nice ways to address it? Or should I try to discourage the
dog directly (and how exactly would I do that)? Can I be
passive-aggressive and put bags of dog poop on their porch until
they get the hint? (I am joking about that one...)
not anti-dog, just anti-poop
It is really important to get off on the right foot with
neighbors, which is why I think it would be important to address
this right away, in a friendly tone. When my downstairs neighbor
moved in (I am in an apartment) I realized to my dismay that she
uses the television at night to fall asleep. And then leaves it
on all night. The volume was pretty high and it was keeping me
awake with inane sounds. So I went downstairs. I introduced
myself, gave her my phone number in case she needed anything, and
just chatted for a bit. Then I mentioned that I was embarrassed
to have to say anything, but I had noticed that she seemed to use
the television to go to sleep? She was embarrassed herself and
immediately offered to turn it down. Which solved the problem.
I think the key was to make it a neighborly conversation. You
could act as if they might not know where their dog does his
business (of course they do, but): ''Oh, and by the way -- you
might not realize it, but Sparky has gotten into the habit of
relieving himself in our yard. Do you think you could keep an
eye on him and make sure he uses his own lawn?'' Or words to that
effect. Unless they are real jerks, they will be moved to do the
While I am not an advocate of allowing dogs out unsupervised,
or not picking up after them, it's possible your neighbors did
so thinking no one was living in the house, so...who cares?!
Are they nice people? Meet them first so you have a first
friendly interaction. Then let them know that now that the
house is occupied you'd appreciate if they'd pick up after
I wonder if they realize how dangerous it could be for the dog
to let it out unattended!
You could also put up a fence.
respectful dog owner
They sell pepper smelling spray that deters dogs and cats (and
racoons) from coming on to your lawn/in to your garden...it is
organic, non-toxic, etc. I can't remember the brand we use,
but it works well...you just spray a ''border'' around your
lawn. We got it at Ace Garden Center on Grand Ave in Oakland.
Yes - be passive aggressive, but not in a way that will offend
the neighbors. Instead of putting bags of dog poop on their
porch, go to the pet store and ask about sprays or powders that
keep animals off of your lawn, but will not poison them. Also,
have an honest conversation with your neighbors. They obviously
like having a nice lawn (that's why they let the dog poop
elsewhere), so if you tell them you've been trying to keep your
property clean, but you keep finding poop everywhere. You can
even fake not knowing where it came from. Let them come clean,
apologize, and fix it.
Responsible dog owner
That dog is used to it by now, and your lawn is part of his/her territory. It needs a big
shift in routine...
You could try
a) coyote urine (available some places)
b) catching it a few times in a row and really scaring it away: yell, go towards it
aggressively, throw things at it....be VERY confident and don't let it come close.
c) plant things at the edge of yard that grow densely
d) try talking to your neighbors-it may be a cultural/race difference which can be a
hard gap to close in things like that
e) call animal control and/or trap the dog
i am a rescue dog owner and dogs are great, but people can be clueless or just plain
rude with their dogs. fight back.
Hi. Yeah, me, too. I've struggled with the neighbors and their
irresponsible habits. First of all, if you have proof that it's
their dog, then, yeah, I'd go introduce myself and my family and
just let them know that you are concerned for your child about
their dog's poop. If you haven't seen the dog actually poop on
the lawn and/or you are assuming but don't have any proof, then,
that's not the best way to start a relationship. Perhaps you
can introduce yourself, start some friendly conversation, and
take it from there. In the future if you see their dog, bring
it up in a friendly manner. If you don't speak up, they won't
know. But if you are accusing without actually seeing the dog,
that can bring along problems. It's a toughie. Good luck. In
my situation, neighbors got angry that I was fed up with their
teen-ager bringing their dog to my house but now it's not an
issue. The girl has gotten older and has other interests than
to antagonize me. I wish I could have handled the situation a
little better but oh, well. I hope things work out good for
you, and I hope the owners are responsible dog owners.
I'm a big fan of solving these kinds of problems with creative
gardening. Create something lovely in front of your house that is
uninviting for a small pooping dog. I would suggest a little
boxwood hedging ''fence''. You would not need to confront anyone -
You are simply beautifying your house. Tricking the dog into
moving on to poop somewhere else is just a bonus.
You might want to apply the aphorism ''good fences make good
neighbors.'' Put up a white picket fence. Depending on
how ''little'' the dog is and how well it can jump, you might be
able to get away with something quite low, certainly no more
than waist height.
I would give them the benefit of the doubt that they were only
letting the dog do that when the house was vacant (not the best
manners still but..). I would also pretend you don't know who is
responsible and put a little sign on the lawn instead of talking
to them directly. Try to be visibly out working on your beautiful
front yard. Then get to know your neighbors as if nothing was
As an owner of a dog that poops in my neihbors driveway, I have
to say that you should simply ask them to clean up after the
dog. You don't have to make more of it than it is; they let
their dog out, don't pay attention and don't clean up after it.
All you need to do is ask, ''I'd really appreciate if you would
clean up after Poopsie after her morning poop break.'' You could
add that you don't want your kid getting into it, but the
obvious is that dog owners are responsible for their own dog's
poop and it doesn't matter WHY you want it off your lawn.
So to reiterate: be straight-forward and to the point. If the
problem continues, come back to BPN and we'll readdress.
The house might have sat vacant for some time before you
purchased it and they just got used to it. People can be great
at denial when it is their animal. I would go over, introduce
yourself and gently explain what is happening with the dog.
Tell them you have seen it yourself and know it is their dog.
If they don't stop it by that day, I would fling the poop in
their yard with my shovel. Why should you bag it, its not your
dog? This is disgusting and totally not acceptable.
Dog lover & owner of 3 dogs
Does anyone know the best way (or a few ways) to keep
unleashed dogs from pooping on our lawn strip, other than
putting up a fence? It/they prefer one spot on the grass
near the telephone pole. Thanks-
Perhaps you'd like to try a product called Scarecrow. It
is a motion activated sprinkler that attaches to a hose.
Consumer Reports gave it a good review for preventing deer
damage. I have not used the product, but from the
description, I would think you need a good quality hose
that can withstand long term pressure from the water line.
I'm interested to hear the answers!
The Scarecrow may work if your lawn is a regular shape where
you can aim it to cover well, but then if you go onto the
lawn you'll get doused yourself! Also, I don't know of any
hose that will hold up under constant pressure- you'd need to
turn it off some of the time.
What I'm going to try in lieu of keeping them (2 females, 1
male) off is to program my sprinklers to go on very briefly-
1 or 2 minutes- twice a day to wash the urine through. Urine
is much more damaging than feces. Once a week I'll give my
lawn a good deep watering to keep the roots from staying too
shallow. Worth a try.
I'm also in the process of putting together some attempts at
quasi-ornamental barriers to deal with kfire hydrant syndrome
on plants in the rest of the garden.
I've read the archives about how to stop cats pooping in the yard, but
I have a DOG problem. Some errant dog owner allows their dog to
poop in our front yard. I can't find the culprit, I can't build a fence
since I do not own the house, and my children can never play in the
front yard because of this. Is there any solution (a nontoxic spray?) to
keep the dog[s] out of our yard?
It may be impossible to re-train HUMAN BEINGS WHO ALLOW THEIR DOG
TO POOP IN YOUR YARD, but I have seen some houses where a bag full of
plastic bags is left in a prominent spot so that dog owners who have a degree of
social responsibility will also have the means to deal with the problem when it
I have heard that sprinkling red pepper in your yard (maybe just on the
perimeter?) will make dogs not poop in it. Haven't tried it myself.
You can buy a motion-activated sprinkler that will shoot a jet of water at the
offending dog and, hopefully, its disrespectful owner as well. I suppose you could
set it up on a timer so it turned on at times when you think the pooping is
occurring; for example, on in the evening and off at a time of day when your kids
wouldn't be likely to wander onto the lawn and get sprayed. I've seen this in a
garden or home catalog that I can't recall, but I bet if you called around to some
nurseries they would either have something like this or could refer you. I was
planning on getting this to protect our lawn from raccoons who like to tear up the
grass looking for grubs.
I have been the unfortunate recipient at times, unfortunately, to a sprinkler that
goes on if someone gets too close to it...it is designed to keep animals such as dogs
and racoons away. It works for people
too by the way. I don't know many more details than that. It sweeps around like
a lawn sprinkler, and that might be very effective at keeping dogs away from
your yard and from pooping there.
this page was last updated: Feb 7, 2014
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network