Dog Deterrents: Ways to Keep Dogs Away from Your Yard
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Dog Deterrents: Ways to Keep Dogs Away from Your Yard

They poop on your beautiful lawn, dig through your lovely flower beds, munch on the carefully grown vegetables in your garden and make noise that disturbs your sleep. No, I’m not talking about rodents, possums and similar pests. I’m talking about your average dog. Even though they’re cute and make the best friends, dogs can also be one of the biggest threat to the polished look of your yard. So, if you’ve grown tired of cleaning up every day the mess left by your dog or other neighbourhood dogs sneaking into your yard, it’s time to do something about it. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective dog deterrents that can help protect your property without harming the animals in any way.

Ultrasonic Dog Deterrents

Okay, let’s start with the most popular means of dealing with unwanted dog behaviour – ultrasonic dog deterrents. Do ultrasonic dog repellers really work or are they just a marketing ploy? Well, they are considered some of the most effective and humane ways to deter a dog from whatever it is doing at the moment – whether barking or digging in your lawn. Ultrasonic deterrents produce a sound that feels super annoying to dogs and cats, but humans can’t hear it nor are affected by it. So, since dogs hate this sound, they will stay away from your property without the need to resort to crueller measures. The only time an ultrasonic dog deterrent won’t work is if the dog has hearing issues.

While the sound produced by ultrasonic deterrents is certainly very unpleasant, it’s only 125 decibels which is enough to annoy the dog but not hurt its hearing or cause any kind of lasting trauma. In other words, these devices sound like the dog equivalent of nails scraping down a blackboard. An ultrasonic repellent can have a range of 15 – 30 meters, depending on the size of your property.

The only downside is that in order for the repellent to work, you need to activate it by pushing a button. And this means you can only deter dogs when you’re around. With that being said, ultrasonic dog repellers are best used to stop dogs from excessive barking and disturbing your quiet time. So, if dogs vandalize your property at night or while you’re not at home, you may also want to install some additional measures.

Since these devices are portable and don’t need to be permanently installed on your property, you are also free to take them anywhere you like. This can be of great help if you need to move around areas where there are strays or aggressive dogs.

dog deterrent

Sprays, Granules or Powders

While ultrasonic repellents can only work when you activate them, there are products that can be sprayed, poured or sprinkled on the ground to keep dogs away. These products help deter dogs from your property in one of two ways – by either smelling bad or having a bitter taste. However, note that these products shouldn’t be used on plants and parts of the lawn that you care about. With frequent use, they can kill vegetation since they often contain ingredients such as ammonia and vinegar. With that being said, it’s best to use these products around the perimeter of your property to form an invisible barrier that keeps dogs away.

But these products also have their downsides. For one, you need to reapply them frequently and every time after a rain. What’s more, you yourself will also likely smell the unpleasant odours emitted from these products. This can be a problem if you like to lounge in your yard or host get-togethers.

Natural repellent spray

Natural Deterrents

Some deterrents can also become part of your landscape. Plants such as holly, berry vines and aloe have thorns and sharp edges that can prevent dogs from venturing through. You can use these plants as borders around areas of your yard that you don’t want dogs to damage. Additionally, dogs avoid walking on mulches or ground covers that feel rough. Mulch derived from pine cones or large wood chips is rough and prickly which can be too much for a dog’s paws.

What’s more, there are also plants such as Coleus Canina, also known as the “Dogs Be Gone” plant which produces a foul odour that most animals don’t like. The smell is often described as something between nicotine and skunk scent. Dogs also don’t like strong odours like garlic and onion. Luckily, there are also plants that can function as scent deterrents for dogs but smell nice to use, like for instance, citrus plants. Not only do dogs dislike the scent of citrus, but eating citrus plants  can be bad for them.


Another natural deterrent for most dogs is water. If you have a dog that regularly poops in your yard at a particular time of the day, consider making that dog’s bathroom time your watering time. Just arrange for your sprinklers to turn on during the time and the offending dog wouldn’t want to get in and get wet. There are also sprinklers with motion-detector that turn on once an animal comes near. The water will startle the dog and chase him away.

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