If you’ve ever had a rampant dog in your neighbourhood who enjoys nothing more that to spoil your manicured lawn in a defecating kind of way then you will have undoubtedly tried almost everything to stop him in his tracks. Vandalism of this nature can bring out the worst in any gardener. It’s hard enough to see a disrespecting youth throw their cigarette butt in your camellia hedge than have to endure this as well.
I think I’ve just about seen everything when it comes to remedies for keeping dogs at bay. So I hope to unveil some of the common ones and give some tips for effective ways to keep dogs doing their doo doo’s on their own lawns. In fact, it may make a good story for Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage.
- Filled bottles of water laid on the lawn – and the rationale for this is? Apparently the idea is that dog’s won’t do defecate an area where there is fresh water. They see the water in the bottles and judge it to be fresh and therefore will leave your lawn alone.
This is the most stupid theory but there are many gardeners who still practice it. As if a dog could tell whether there was fresh water, salty water or pure ether in those bottles. Results have proven conclusively that this is a myth. In this forum where it is discussed one commenter accurately states,
Even if the bottle idea did work wouldn’t a low profile dog doo doo that will break down in a day or so, look better in your front yard than a heap of plastic water bottles. Would make the place look like there had been a huge party the night before. Might as well just throw all your rubbish out there.
- Keeping a fake dog poo on your lawn will deter any dog. Deter them from what? It certainly won’t stop them from messing up your lawn. Dogs primarily use smells to navigate while sight is a backup sense. If a dog saw a fake poop lying on the lawn it may mistake it for a toy and head straight for your lawn.
- If you can catch the dog stick his nose in it. Ever tried rubbing your nose in your own faeces? No. I didn’t think so then don’t do it to a dog. Could you imagine your Mum rubbing your nose into a poop that missed the toilet? Family and Children’s Services would sue her.
This is no more effective than shouting cursory names at a foreigner. The dog will scoot but only while you’re around. The moment you’re not at home they’ll be back.
So, if none of these ideas work what will?You need to find out why the dog prefers your lawn over your neighbours. Perhaps the dog has some privacy from fences or hedges. Maybe the grass is greener or softer. Whatever it is try and experiment with changes to your lawn that may deter it.
- Change your fertiliser some animals react strongly to other animals smells and odours. If you’ve been using organic fertilisers try using a chemical one for a short period and vice versa.
- Change your watering times if the offending dog is consistent in the time he or she turns up to relieve themselves make sure the sprinklers are already going. Even having the lawn wet prior to the animal presenting itself may be a huge deterrent.
- Keep gates closed and check for holes in fences we found some dog poo on our back lawn last week and we always keep our gates tightly closed. However, we found a hole had been dug on one of our shared fences and the neighbour’s dog had tunnelled through.
There are some other more immediate responses you could make but I’m sure your imagination can concur those without my help.
The moral of the story – figure out why the dog is using your lawn and change it.