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How to Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard: 7 Humane Ways

Oliver Jones

By Oliver Jones

german shepherd leaning over the fence

Watching a neighbor’s dog poop in your yard, making your home messy and stinky, can be frustrating, especially if you want a pet-free yard.

Dogs are man’s best friends, so occasional pop-in wouldn’t be a problem as it could be accidental. But you wouldn’t want to clean after another dog’s mess, even if you own dogs too, or keep up with a threatening pup that is off-leash all the time.

If you decide to take action, you can do it humanely, without harming the dog, your neighbor, or yourself. Here are some methods you can try to keep neighbor dogs out of your yard.

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The 7 Tips on How to Keep a Neighbor’s Dog Out of Your Yard

1. Talk to Your Neighbor

Most dog parents don’t know that their pets stray to other people’s yards, as the pets can escape when they are at work or busy with other matters. This behavior endangers their dogs if the animal comes into a threatening situation like speeding cars, poison, or other violent animals.

So, it would be best to approach your neighbor before you raise hell on them or move to more drastic measures.

Assume that the pet owner is unaware of the situation and let him know you want to resolve the issue amicably. Let the neighbor know your concerns and safety threats without making threats like legal actions.

They may even be mortified to learn that their animal is a neighborhood nuisance. If the neighbor responds aggressively and it doesn’t work, move on to other options. At least you tried.

Neighbors standing at the fence talking
Image Credit: Koldunova Anna, Shutterstock

2. Review Local Rules Regarding Roaming Dogs

Sometimes you don’t want to get here, but you have to train your neighbor to deal with their roaming dog. Most neighborhoods have pet regulations and leash laws, and you can check with local animal control agencies to ask them for help.

The agencies will send someone over to explain the laws to your neighbor nicely or pick up the animal when it’s on your property. Your neighbor will have to pay before picking the pet from the animal shelter.

Beware, though; you may have to live with the consequences as this move can strain your relationship with the neighbor.

3. Get Creative with the Garden

There are ways to make a yard unfit for dogs without losing its attraction. Try using dog deterring techniques by planting certain crops like citrus trees that these animals consider smelly. Planting thorny bushes in strategic areas like entryways and the pet’s favorite spot can do the trick too.

Better still, use plant-based fertilizers to keep your yard healthy without attracting the dogs. Avoid certain fertilizers like bone meal and fish emulsion as the scent from animal-based fertilizers attracts dogs.

Image Credit: Shell brown, Pixabay

4. Remove Dog Attractions

Do away with objects that arouse a dog’s curiosity. A pup may wander to your garden out of boredom and curiosity and keep coming back after it finds something that interests it.

You may have to eliminate any water sources, as dogs tend to drink plenty of water. These sources include a child’s pool, water bowls, standing water, or a birdbath. Similarly, a dog’s keen sense of smell can’t allow it to overlook food and potential food sources like BBQ grills, open garbage cans, and other animal food.

It also means you should avoid animal repellants such as blood meal and bone meal. Remember not to leave small toys lying around the yard. Put the outdoor playthings in a garage or shed, including your kid’s toys.

Also, consider spaying and neutering your dog, especially if it’s female, so she doesn’t attract male pups. You may also want to clean up your pet’s poop and urine immediately as it may signal other dogs to the area to investigate.

5. Try the Water Technique

Regular sprinklers help maintain your lawn and yard, but motion-activated water sprinklers have different purposes; to prevent animals from getting to your yard.

A dog’s movement will trigger a motion-sensitive sprinkler to spray water towards the approaching pet within the area it’s covering. A sudden water rush will scare the dogs and prevent other animals like rabbits and cats from entering your yard.

The good thing is that these sprinklers can also work as regular sprinklers. However, they are motion-sensitive, and this feature does not exempt you, the mailman, your neighbor’s kids, or your children. It’ll spray water on you, something that no one would appreciate.

garden sprinkler
Image Credit: bluebudgie, Pixabay

6. Use Dog Repellants

You can also keep dogs away from your yard using commercial repellants. Dogs have good noses and can smell even the faintest odors from afar.

Commercial dog repellants produce odors and taste that dogs find filthy. However, the product’s effectiveness may depend on the dog’s disposition and breed. You’ll want to apply the chemicals regularly for them to be effective.

These products can be granules or liquids, and you can apply them around the perimeter or at the affected place. Just be sure that the repellant is safe for humans, dogs, and plants, and be careful of unintended side effects.

7. Erect a Physical Boundary

The neighbor dog could have found a through pass because your fence isn’t strong enough, or it has several entryways. You can stop this behavior by filling up the holes under your fence or add a height to your fence to make it hard to climb. Repairing the whole fence, putting up a new one, or using locks can also be helpful.

back yard fence
Image Credit: Davgood Kirshot, Pixabay

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Why Dogs Go into Other People’s Yards

It would be best to find the root cause of a problem if you want to resolve it. In your case, it’s best to understand why your garden is attracting neighborhood dogs in the first place.

Here’s why dogs go into your yard.

To Explore

Dogs are generally curious animals, and they can take it too far when their typical environment gets too familiar and boring. You would be curious about how the outside space looks, too, if you were confined in a small space in your home.

These animals may explore the yard because it has something that interests them, such as food, water sources, or preys like squirrels and rabbits running around. Unfortunately, if your neighbors didn’t train their pup adequately, the urge to explore can be difficult to control.

thai bangkaew walking in the garden
Image Credit: golfyinterlude, Shutterstock

To Look for a Mate

A dog could find itself in another yard searching for love, something it is unlikely to find in its home. Both unneutered male and female dogs in heat may wander searching for mating partners and find themselves in your yard.Divider 3

The 6 Reasons Why You Should Keep Dogs Out of Your Yard

1. Dogs Can Threaten Your Security

A dog can be all cute and friendly, but that doesn’t mean it cannot bite. Even well-mannered and well-trained dogs can behave differently when outside their homes, so it’s not very safe to assume that a dog that wanders to your yard is harmless. You should even be more careful if you have small children and or pets.

Dog angry
Image Credit: simonocampo999, Pixabay

2. You Don’t Want Dog Poop in Your Yard

If you tolerate a wandering dog in your yard, it will turn the place into its playground and toilet over time to mark it as its territory. Bet you wouldn’t feel great cleaning up after another person’s dog or seeing the grass in your yard grow unevenly.

3. Dogs Might Dig in Your Yard

Maintaining a yard can be expensive and demands a lot of effort. Unfortunately, a dog that likes to dig can ruin your well-kept lawn in just a few days by digging holes in your yard. The dog may target places with soft grass or dirt just for fun or hide its toys.

4. Dogs Can Chew on and Destroy Your Property

Every dog likes to chew on things they find interesting, and it gets worse, especially if it’s a puppy. Don’t be surprised to find your neighbor dogs chewing on and destroying items in your yard, items you may still need. Unfortunately, some pups can go to the extent of chewing on the siding of a house!

5. Dogs Can Stress Your Pet

Dogs have prey instincts, and any small moving animal can trigger even the calmest dog. A neighbor’s dog can frequent your yard because it’s targeting your outdoor cat, chicken, hamster, or pet rabbit, maybe not to eat them but because it enjoys chasing them down.

It could be fun on the dog’s end, but this habit can leave your pet anxious, stressed, and fearful in your own outdoor space.

Image Credit: ASSY, Pixabay

6. Dogs May Bring Pests and Bacteria to Your Yard

Dog waste attracts insects like breeding flies, which spread to your yard and transmit diseases to other pets. Plus, an infected neighbor’s pup can carry diseases, bacteria, and germs through their feces which puts your household at health risk if you contact the mess.

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You may love dogs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them roaming in your yard and leaving you with issues to deal with. None of these methods are foolproof, so you may have to implement every one of them until you find the one that works. Whatever you do, be humane!

Featured Image Credit: Nate Tribbs, Pixabay

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