Introduction: How to Keep Dogs & Cats From Pooping on Your Yard

Picture of How to Keep Dogs & Cats From Pooping on Your Yard

In the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles there are bottles of water on the lawns. The bottles keep dogs and cats from pooping on the lawn. During the 70's I worked a lot in Venice California. At the time there was unenforced dog leash laws. I always bought smooth sole shoes, because every once in awhile I would accidentally stepped on the stuff. In areas with lots of dogs, there was lots of bottles of water, also lots of roofs of cars were dented from kids escaping from the dogs.

Step 1: Just Start With 4 Bottles

Picture of Just Start With 4 Bottles

I got 3 bottles and one plastic container. 3 are Costco 1 gallon and the 4th is a plastic Lychee Nut Jelly container. Just fill them up with plain old water. The cap just keep it from spilling.
You don't need any additive in the water.

Step 2: This Is the Area Where They Use to Do Their Business

Picture of This Is the Area Where They Use to Do Their Business

Here is the area where they pooped. You can see three of the water jugs.

Step 3: Location Is Not Too Critical

Picture of Location Is Not Too Critical

I located the bottles in the 4 corners of the area I wanted to protect. They can be partially buried for aesthetics reasons.
I had one friend who did not want the dog to poop all over the back yard. So he placed them all over. The jugs did work for a while till the dog tore up all the bottles

Step 4: Why It Works?

Picture of Why It Works?

Nobody seems to know. My theory is that it creates lines of force that disturbs animals. I can measure the lines of force with my coat hanger divining rods( that will be another Instructable)


Excelerator (author)2014-08-21

Save your bacon grease, then pour warm bacon grease on the poop by using a zip lock sandwich bag (like icing a cupcake). I did this after repeatedly (and politely) asking my neighbor to stop his dog from pooping on my yard. Neighbor repeatedly stated "wasn't my dog" so I "treated" the dog poop. The dog gleefully recycled the new bacon treats and magically poop disappeared from my lawn!

JasonS390 (author)Excelerator2016-09-15

Haha! That's disgustingly genius!

herreemi000 (author)Excelerator2015-11-07

Ewww but coool ???

FredZ4 (author)Excelerator2015-10-27

Vegetable oil and cayenne pepper or Tabasco. Drizzle it around and in the area. Problem solved without the hocus pocus

Tightmike (author)Excelerator2015-03-18

Great one! Like kids, "that's a mean ole person's house, let's no go there!"

CamillerM (author)2016-06-22

I like cats and dogs but I don't like smelling their excrement, spray, etc. I've tried lot of things to deter animals from using my yard as a bathroom. For cats, I've found that 12" bamboo sticks spaced a few inches apart work well in the flower garden. Ground cover works well. I've placed 2 foot boards through my raised bed veggie garden which serve as a place I can step as well as a block for the cats. I've placed chicken wire on open areas where sticks would be in the way and I spread coffee grounds everywhere. It seems to be working so far. And, I put a jar of water in the flower garden amongst the bamboo sticks. I don't know if the water jar works, I think it's probably more likely that the sticks are a better deterrent.

For the dogs, the only problem I have is dog crap on the parking strip, which has grass and a tree; they love to crap near the tree. The only thing that has worked for me is to place a water dish out for the dogs. Even if the bowl is empty, the dogs don't seem to want to crap near the water bowl. If dogs did come into my yard, I'd put up a fence or hedge.

JeffB150 (author)2016-04-14

I love the irony of you writing an incomplete sentence while scolding someone on his/her grammar, and you spelling grammar wrong on purpose. It's a double joke! I get it! Bravo! That was funny. Thanks for the laughs. Thanks for the info on the lightning rods too.

StevenL107 (author)2016-04-12

Mucho gusto!!! I can't wait to try this one!. I don't care if the dog gets sick, and I hope it works like the mother of all laxatives while the dog in inside its own home!

CarlesCastle (author)2014-12-17

Apparently, Italians country folks have used this practice for years by placing glass bottles filled with water around the plants/ flowers to keep away these animals. What's suggested is that the water inside the bottle creates a shimmer that just don't settle right with cats and dogs and they leave the area for that reason. So, placing the glass bottle directly under the sunlight is crucial.

CarlosE2 (author)2014-11-13

Or maybe it will just work cause all animals will try to preserve they fresh water sources clean.

dojers (author)2014-06-09

Coat hanger divining rods do work - I was a skeptic until I saw my husband do it to locate our water line - I was still a skeptic until I did it myself - no, it wasn't because I saw where it worked for him, I went to another part of the yard where the line had "T"d off somewhere and we didn't know where and I found the other line - not the T but the line that came off of it. Must have something to do with the magnetic forces in nature or something.

Haven't tried the water bottle idea - my Mother-in-law hates it when her son's dog poops in her yard (although it's ok for her dog to poop in everyone else's yard) so maybe I'll tell her about it and see how well it works. Won't be as good as mythbusters but if it works, that'll be proof enough for me.

gcrdcn (author)2014-06-06

Before there was a leash law in South Los Angeles, bottles were seen everywhere. Maybe we need Myth Buster to dismiss or confirm.
Also, devining rods work for me too, it was a method to find cesspools as City Building Inspector

bgipson1 (author)2014-06-06

Gets me that instructables would publish this nonsense did have faith in their judgement, didn't know this was the Ho do magic hour

David68 (author)2014-04-01

I can't believe this is still going around. over 20 years ago Eion Scarrow a well known vet in New Zealand gave out this tip about the water bottles. No one seemed to realise the date was April 01st.

Slim49 (author)2013-11-03

I discovered 25 years ago the simplest way to keep cats & coons out from under my Trailer & crawl spaces was to toss a BUG Fogger under there every 2-3 months.
you can also, Fog the edges of flower beds & entry ways.. the smell lingers a long while .
Male cats won't stop to "TAG" you for awhile.

hotdiggidy (author)2009-09-18

Right, which is why oil companies still use men and women to find wells with diviners. Part of what you pay for gas goes to pay them a living for using rods and pendulums. Rods have been used since ancient times and if it didn't work all the low tech people who needed to see proof back then would have made being a water witch a most dangerous occupation. However the opposite is true, and what makes the rods work is not the rods but the skill of the person using the rods. Check out the book "Amazing and Wonderful Machines You Can Build" by G. Harry Stine--it's on Amazon at the time I am writing this.

chichimus (author)hotdiggidy2013-03-02

Nothing more than keeping the locals happy by tossing a few dollars at 'local' or 'traditional' knowledge. meanwhile the drilling and exploration can go on.

Sorry but have seen this lots of times

Javin007 (author)hotdiggidy2011-07-04

I would be very interested in seeing any information you have on oil companies spending money on people using divining rods.

hotdiggidy (author)Javin0072011-07-05

It's hard to find oil companies that say "hey we have used dousers to help find oil" but there are lots of dowsers out there who are able to say "hey I got paid by an oil company to help find an oil well which is why I have the money to go around doing this full-time"...

It's like congress saying "hey we are all going to work together and come up with a balanced budget, but none of us are actually accountants and only 1/3 of us are good at basic math"...

Javin007 (author)hotdiggidy2011-07-05

Interesting... Let's look at his references:

2005 - Michael Poynder (Author of "The Lost Science of the Stonage," and "The Lost Magic of Christianity."  His reference from 2005 indicates that the although the drilling had not actually started, his findings were "consistent with" a previously done geological study that would have been part of public record.

2001 - Chevron writes a letter saying they CAN'T give him a letter of recommendation, but that he was right about saying they wouldn't find stuff in a specific spot.  (Pretty sure I could toss that dart, too.)

1993 - A thank-you letter for an "interesting presentation."  Hardly a letter of recommendation, though they ARE assuming he wouldn't have been able to find geological records for the areas he presented on, so I'll give this one as close to a thumbs up as I can.

So since 1993 (that's nearly 20 years now) he has three VERY weak letters of "acknowledgement."  None of these actually say that the oil companies are using him and paying his salaries (HE might say so, but his letters say otherwise.)  Then you also have to take into account the fact that random chance says that in 20 years, he should have been right SOME times.  Probably more than this.

If anything, I'd call this guy an argument AGAINST dowsing rods, not for.

hotdiggidy (author)Javin0072011-07-05

I guess. What are the success rates and dollars spent on conventional methods? Also, wouldn't it make sense that international and publicly owned companies make light of anything esoteric--especially to shareholders?

Dowsing is not scientific. It is art. One musician gets famous for singing a song and another does not. Why? You can't duplicate Elvis or the Beatles, there is no science to it at all. With dowsing, some people are able to make it work and some don't.

I am certainly no authority on this subject, although I feel that I know enough about it not to discount it 100%--like the work of weathermen and stock brokers. You may want to find someone local so you can test their skill level in person. I don't think the official documentation you seek will ever exist.

l8nite (author)2009-06-07

all over the southern states people hang plastic bags of water to chase away flies and other flyin pests, some people say to put a shiney coin in the bag as well, it seems to work to some degree.. Ive never seen the jugs used to keep away larger animals. A lot of ppl scoff at water witches but until you've seen one actually do what they do, you should keep an open mind. There used to be an old woman in west virginia ( I ran into her while installing fiberoptics underground) she could not only tell you were to dig a well and how deep you needed to go, she could also find water and gas pipes, electric lines and even cable/fiberoptics lines. It was to say the least amazing and a real eye opener

Javin007 (author)l8nite2011-07-04

See, this is precisely where I have a problem. I HAVE seen these hoaxters in action, taking money for doing nothing. They're no different than palm readers, or any other BS magician. Nothing found? Dig deeper. Eventually, their excuse is you either didn't dig deep enough (must be a RIVER really deep!) or that something "threw them off." You could throw a lawn dart out and have every bit the success they do, UNLESS they have previous knowledge of the land and already have a general idea where the pipes and wires lay.

firehorse (author)Javin0072012-01-29

I'm not a water witch but I've held the divining rods and found the waterline. It worked for me (period).

janetsellers08 (author)2011-07-17

SO, you guys, Prove what you say, document it, and report back. So far you are just whining. I've seen the bottles at homes, but if you are so sure of yourselves, prove it, don't just talk/write and complain. Thank you.

pammyz11059 (author)2009-05-16

it is the reflection that keeps the dogs off the lawn i thought everyone on our block was making sun tea i asked an old lady on the block a wise old lady indeed she said the reflection scares them away .i never heard of it working for cats icould imagine how big the reflection wood look to a dog would be a huge dog staring back at them because of the round jari used pepperika spice i sprinkeled it all on the dirt seemed to work it was a cheap dollar brand or pepper so when they sniffed it got in their nose or on the paws ..iguess they don't like licking it off the paws later

Javin007 (author)pammyz110592011-07-04

If you're that gullible, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. FYI: there's no reflection in plastic bottles of water... At all.

suezq (author)2010-02-14

I know this is way old, but if you could share with us where you got your information that diving rods have been proven to be fake, it would be much appreciated. I personally use 2 copper wires bent in an L shape. I then set each one in a 4" length of pipe that has a cap attached to one end. I do this so the energy from my body doesn't interfere with the rods and so they are able to spin freely without me touching them. When I get near the area of an underground aquafir the rods will turn towards each other and then will flex downwards. I have been able to estimate how far down to dig  by how many times the rods flex. Scoff if you want. My grandmother was a water witch and did this for many an old farmer to locate water on their homesteads back in Arkansas. This practice is still in use today. BTW this website is for individuals to derive out of it what they choose.  Some people think Wikipedia is the gospel and have no clue that anyone can change the precious information posted on it.

Javin007 (author)suezq2011-07-04

Ongley, P. (1948). "New Zealand Diviners". New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology 30: 38–54. via Hines, Terence (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (Second ed.). Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 420. ISBN 9781573929790.

Vogt, Evon Z.; Ray Hyman (1979). Water Witching U.S.A. (2nd ed.). Chicago: Chicago University Press. ISBN 9780226862972. via Hines, Terence (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (Second ed.). Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 420. ISBN 9781573929790.

Here, in two different actual studies, divining rods were found to be no more reliable than random chance.

There was also a 2004 study done in Germany with the same results. How many do you need?

bigtedster (author)2009-01-29

This one is a waste of time, this does not work and is an urban myth.

Pointless article which needs to be removed.


Lftndbt (author)bigtedster2009-01-29

I can think of another pointless thing, which could be removed. Just remember we are a community here. I could go out now and get several references through Google to support that it does actually work. Here is a bit of friendly advice, at some stage in your life try taking the side of the disadvantaged and help them validate their existance instead of spending your time discrediting them. Just my advice.

Javin007 (author)Lftndbt2011-07-04

Sorry, but I'm on bigtedster's side here. This is a site for education above all. It's a place to learn how to actually do stuff. Not a site for you to get bad information that will ultimately waste your time and accomplish little else. I'll "take the side of the disadvantaged and help them validate their existance " the next time I attend the Special Olympics. That is not, and has never been the purpose of this site. The "teachings" of this instructable are provably false, thus this "ible" is a waste of everything involved to keep it on the web.

cheesefetty (author)bigtedster2009-06-26

hey bigtedster stop being a partypooper

cmdrjameson (author)cheesefetty2011-04-10

i see what you did there!

d2j5 (author)2011-01-24

that's weird, i'll definatly give it a try though.

Tarantulady (author)2009-07-28

How do I get my two poodles to stop pooping in their water dishes? The water dishes are in the backyard and one is in their play room. The other is in the kitchen.

nuts4fiber (author)Tarantulady2010-06-17

I'd say that maybe they can't hold it until you get home, but you say one bowl is in the yard! So I think that maybe your poodles might like a catbox! Why not!? Maybe they'd even pee in the box. If so, get some clumping litter! (I sure hope they are not Standard Poodles! :) And it's a LOT easier than cleaning and sanitizing the water bowl!

Momcatter5555 (author)2009-01-30

I didn't believe in the divining thing either, until my brother-in-law let me hold the rods while he hunted the water lines...Those things really have a pull to them. I can't do it myself, but I can testify that some people can...

firehorse (author)Momcatter55552010-02-24

You have to walk with the divining rods.  As a complete novice - someone handed me rods and I felt them move as I walked over an irrigation water line.

uguy (author)2009-01-29

If all it all it took for an Instructable to be removed, was that it did not work, probably half of them would be gone. But you're right this is BS and a coat hanger devining rod is bunk aslo!

gcrdcn (author)uguy2009-01-30

I use a coat hanger to locate sewer, cable, sprinklers and water pipes. I just cannot tell which is which. I have had skeptics, but once I show them how, they can do it too. Be cool, calm and open minded.

implaxis (author)gcrdcn2009-02-01

That only works if you know where the water is. Look up "double-blind test".

gcrdcn (author)implaxis2009-02-01

I have located sewer lines for new home to be hooked up. With coat hangers or copper wire I have located them. Sewer contractors have dug across the whole front yard looking for the connection, most of the time they just did not dig deep enough. The rods would locate these bottles of water if they were buried.

Tarantulady (author)gcrdcn2009-07-28

Why are you doing that? :o

Tarantulady (author)2009-07-28

You spelled grammar wrong. :o

Doc2379 (author)2009-07-09

Lines of force? Divining rods? As a veterinarian with 35 years experience, I can safely say your theory is has no basis in fact. I know you mean well, but this is science, not mysticism.

AnqeIicDemise (author)2009-05-01

My parents lawn used to look like a dumpster dive because the local dogs and cats went there to poop. That is, until they left well placed bottles of water around in stragetic places. My guess is that the animals have gotten themselves wet at some point in time, spooked and just avoid them in the future. (Especially considering how in southern california the water in those bottles are NOT cold but can be a little warm). All it took was a few months to keep the bottles out while the new sod to stick. I guess that got rid of the smell had marked our lawn a bathroom.

bigtedster (author)2009-02-07

Well my advice sir/madam would be to be less patronising. My point is this : this website is great. However articles like this lessen its coolness as it spreads misinformation. Tedster

gcrdcn (author)bigtedster2009-02-07

Hey Big Lets have a showdown. Snopes did not call it Bunk, just not proven. Get MythBusters to call me. I will also demonstrate the coathanger divining rod too and show YOU how to use it. You may not have a dog poop problem, but I personally have proof it works!!!! You opinion is just an opinion, you would not stoop so low as to test it. When I demonstrate THESE two things, people think it is the ultimate COOL. Or, can we have a bunch of readers test it.

dan moulton (author)2009-01-30

Totally a joke. It started here in New Zealand back in the 80's , i remember many many houses had these bottles on their lawns after a local gardening expert played an april fools joke. It eventually stopped here, but i'm amazed it still happens elsewhere in the world - shows how tenacious these things are...

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