My neighbor owns 2 Springer Spaniels that they never leash. Our yard is divided by a low rock wall, whereas the neighbor to the other side has no such barrier. Because of this, the dogs see my yard as "outside their property" and thus, like to use it for defecation.

I've complained several times, and occasionally they'll pretend to leash the dogs if they think I'm watching, but the minute I'm out of sight, and certainly when I'm not at home, the dogs are over in my yard again laying down land mines.

I've tried growing larger plants along the wall, but the dogs just go around the wall instead of over it.

I've also tried an ultrasonic dog deterrent, but it hurts my ears, and only seems to work uni-directionally.

I've considered escalating this to the city, but we both use our yards frequently, so it seems like that solution wouldn't be worth the awkward discomfort.

  • Who picks up the dog poop in your yard? Feb 4, 2014 at 11:44
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    Have you tried a motion activated sprinkler? amazon.com/Contech-CRO101-Scarecrow-Activated-Sprinkler/dp/…
    – Zaralynda
    Feb 4, 2014 at 14:53
  • @JamesJenkins occasionally if they are home when I notice the poop, I point it out to them. The problem is that the neighbor's house is actually their vacation home so they might not be around for a week or two at a time.
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 18:32
  • @Zaralynda I have a feeling that like the sonic replant, it will catch me as much as the dogs, but definitely worth a try.
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 18:34
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    @Zaralynda I think I'm going to have to buy one of those for my neighbor - my cat loves to poop in her garden. Feb 4, 2014 at 21:24

2 Answers 2


Esa Paulasto is correct that at this point, taking it up with your local government department that handles this is probably the next step to take.

You could look into the laws in your town, I know most towns I've lived in had laws where it's required for people to clean up after their pets. Leash laws would also come into effect here if your town has those. For either of these, you can call your local police on their non-emergency number, and they'll probably send out an animal control officer to check it out.

As far as deterrents go, most deterrents that will work are also bad for your lawn. Mothballs and ammonia are two that I can think of. You could try a motion activated lawn sprinkler, but some dogs like to play in sprinklers, so it might not have the desired effect. Springer Spaniels are hunting dogs, and I would be willing to bet that they'll get over any initial shock over the sprinkler pretty quickly.

I've heard ground pepper suggested before, so if you can buy ground pepper in bulk, you could sprinkle that around. The idea is that it irritates the dog as they're sniffing for a spot, so they look somewhere else. Ashes, especially tobacco ashes, should work in the same effect too. I don't know if either would have any effect on the grass. I'd think they would also wash away in rain pretty quickly.

If you aren't too worried about your relationship between you and your neighbor, an effective way to get the message across, and to get them to at least make sure their dogs don't go on your lawn, is to send the dog's poop back to them.

  • Put it in a bag, and attach it to the dog's collar so the dog brings it back with them. (Only works if you can catch the dog)
  • Put it in a bag or a box, and leave it on their doorstep. (Passive-aggressive bonus if you leave a note saying they forgot it, extra bonus if you don't use a bag or a box.)
  • Straight up, just toss the waste back into their yard so they can deal with it like they're supposed to.

I'd start with the government officials and deterrents first though, as it's best to avoid wars with your neighbors.

  • I think your worry about habituation to the sprinkler is just as the house is on a lake and these dogs practically live in the water (which is another reason a fence isn't effective, they can swim around). Pepper sounds like a good option, but likely will need to be respread each time I mow the lawn, correct?
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 18:36
  • @virtualxtc Yeah, and everytime it rains too. So if you have a store like costco or sams' club where you can buy it in bulk it wouldn't be too bad. I'd imagine anything else that would irritate their noses as they're sniffing for a place to go would work too. Ground pepper is just the most common I think.
    – Spidercat
    Feb 4, 2014 at 19:15
  • After reading this answer I'd choose the pepper and other smell based repellants. Because I have dogs of my own it never occurred to me to actually make the yard unpleasant for dogs. :) Feb 4, 2014 at 19:17
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    @virtualxtc If you let your rabbits outside in this same yard, the same things that make it unpleasant for the dogs are going to bother your rabbits. Feb 4, 2014 at 19:39
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    The place I posted about is actually my parents house in Maine. Their cat that would probably have issues with the pepper, but my mom would prefer if the cat didn't leave the house anyway.
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 20:34

I'm tempted to suggest simply trapping the "stray" dogs and taking them to the nearest pet shelter, but this would surely hurt the relationship between you and your neighbour. On the other hand, your neighbour is already hurting that relationship by letting those dogs out free.

The dogs pooping on your yard is an issue to be taken to your local government, but I'm unsure about which department would it belong to. It is a health and sanitation related issue. Have you consulted any such department yet?

Here's how they do it in Hamilton. Quote:

...providing a community mediator who will work with participants to try to resolve some or all of the issues. We believe that an open, non-threatening discussion will assist in resolving matters and help to improve the quality of life in neighbourhoods.

Matters listed on the page include "Yard maintenance - Dog feces (accumulation in yards)"

They really care about the people and relationships between neighbours there in Hamilton, and I think you have not yet fully explored the ways of help you can get from city officials.

  • Thanks, however, the town that this property resides in provides little resources. This is actually an issue my parents have, and I agree some better communication with the neighbour might help. At one point we were at an agreement that we'd point out the 'problem spots' and they'd come fix it, but that stopped working when there was a decrease in occupancy overlap.
    – virtualxtc
    Feb 4, 2014 at 18:29

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