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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Keep Dogs Off Your Lawn

Updated: Jul 2

(guest post by Valerie Smith)

We love our furry friends, but sometimes they do a number on our lawns—digging up gardens, leaving behind waste, you name it. Dealing with unwanted canine visitors in your yard can be quite the headache.

Luckily, there are several effective ways to keep dogs out of your yard. Whether you’re looking into various dog repellents or other solutions, there’s definitely a method that can help restore peace to your outdoor space. Here, we'll explore the best dog repellents for yards.

Commercial Repellents

These products are available as sprays, granules or even high-tech solutions like electronic devices, all designed to keep dogs out of your yard.

Spray and granule options often use smells that dogs find offensive but are harmless, perfect for perimeter use or spot treatments.

Electronic repellents, like ultrasonic devices, offer a harmless deterrent.

For effective sprays, look for ingredients like capsaicin or garlic. Products like Liquid Fence Dog and Cat Repellent and Nature’s Mace are popular choices among homeowners for keeping dogs at bay.

DIY Ultrasonic Dog Repeller

These devices emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant for dogs but inaudible to humans. They can be an effective deterrent when placed strategically around your yard. Try placing it in areas where dogs are most likely to enter like entrances and gates, around the perimeter of your lawn, near flower beds or gardens, along fence lines, near trash bins or around your patio.


Mothballs can help keep dogs off your lawn since they release a strong smell that dogs dislike. Place them strategically around your yard to create a barrier with their pungent odor.

However, be careful—mothballs contain harmful chemicals. Make sure to put them in spots where pets, wildlife and kids can’t get to them. Always prioritize safety and handle mothballs responsibly.

Natural Repellents

Besides commercial products, many natural ingredients can effectively keep dogs out of your yard. These natural solutions are not only effective but also safe for the environment and wildlife, making them a great choice if you’re looking for sustainable options.

Marigolds and Herbs

Planting marigolds, lavender, citronella and other aromatic herbs around your yard’s edge can naturally repel dogs with their strong scents. These plants not only keep dogs at bay but also beautify your garden. Marigolds, in particular, have a unique smell that dogs dislike, while lavender and rosemary’s robust fragrances work well as deterrents. Plus, these plants are low-maintenance and adaptable to various climates, making them a practical and attractive choice for keeping dogs away.

Vinegar, Citrus, Coffee Grounds and Pepper

Using natural items like vinegar, citrus peels, coffee grounds and cayenne pepper can be an effective and eco-friendly way to deter dogs from your lawn.

Vinegar and citrus peels give off strong scents that dogs generally avoid. Coffee grounds, while deterring dogs with their aroma, also enrich your soil with nitrogen.

Sprinkling cayenne pepper around can irritate a dog’s nose, keeping them away. You can use these substances alone or together to create a dog-repellent environment without harming them or the ecosystem.

Create Barriers & Boundaries

Physical barriers are a solid choice for keeping dogs out of your yard. Adding fences or enclosures helps block entry while keeping your space looking good. You can boost their effectiveness by integrating natural elements, enhancing both the barrier function and the beauty of your landscape.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are a great and humane way to keep dogs off your lawn. They detect movement within a set range and spray a burst of water at the intruding animal. This sudden spray startles dogs and discourages them from coming back. It’s a safe method since it uses no harmful chemicals, protecting both the environment and animals. Plus, you can adjust the sprinklers’ sensitivity and range to suit your yard’s layout perfectly.

Fencing and Borders

Fencing and borders are great for keeping dogs out of your lawn. Planting thorny bushes like roses or hawthorns naturally deters dogs with their sharp edges.

Alternatively, using chicken wire or bamboo stakes can block access effectively without standing out too much. A low fence also works well as a clear boundary that most dogs won’t try to cross, especially if it blocks their view into your yard, cutting down their curiosity.

Collaborative Measures

Finally, working with your neighbors can be a key part of the solution:

Talk to Dog Owners

Chatting with dog owners in your neighborhood can be a friendly way to keep dogs off your lawn. By sharing your concerns, you can foster mutual understanding and cooperation, encouraging owners to keep their dogs leashed or direct them to more suitable play areas. This direct communication not only builds community relations but also often leads to a respectful resolution that benefits everyone, helping your lawn stay undisturbed and keeping the peace.

Post Signage

Putting up signs is a simple and effective way to keep dogs off your lawn. A friendly but clear sign asking owners to keep their dogs off the grass, like “Please Keep Dogs Off the Lawn” or “Paws Off Please!” can work wonders.

You can use signs on their own or alongside other humane deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers or natural repellents. This approach helps protect your outdoor space while keeping things friendly with pet owners in the neighborhood.

These methods offer a humane way to maintain a dog-free yard, but after you’ve taken steps to keep dogs out, it’s time to repair any lawn damage. Consider using Lawnifi Recover Fertilizer to rejuvenate stressed grass and promote healthy growth. This specialized fertilizer delivers nutrients efficiently, helping your lawn bounce back quickly. Perfect for fixing wear and tear from pets, Lawnifi Recover ensures your grass gets back to being lush and green.


Editor's Note: Valerie Smith is content strategist for Sod Solutions. To learn more about achieving a great lawn, check out more Sod University tips here.

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