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.
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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)
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Excelerator7 months ago

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!

Great one! Like kids, "that's a mean ole person's house, let's no go there!"
CarlesCastle3 months ago

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.

CarlosE24 months ago

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

dojers9 months ago

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) 9 months ago
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
bgipson19 months ago

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

David6812 months ago

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.

Slim491 year ago
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.
rendermatt5 years ago
Grammer needs work and divining rods have been proven to be fake
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.
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
I would be very interested in seeing any information you have on oil companies spending money on people using divining rods.

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"...
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.

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.
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 suezq3 years ago
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?
You spelled grammar wrong. :o
l8nite5 years ago
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 l8nite3 years ago
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.
I'm not a water witch but I've held the divining rods and found the waterline. It worked for me (period).
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.
AmyLuthien5 years ago
I don't know if this works or not (I've my doubts, I can see my Lab who loves plastic bottle running away with them.)  But the best way I've found to keep dogs from pooping on your lawn, is to put a fence around it.
gcrdcn (author)  AmyLuthien5 years ago
I cannot believe how lazy people are.  Also, if the do not believe it, they will never try it.  
  How hard it it to fill the bottles with water and place them as mentioned?  It is a lot easier than installing a fence.
  My free advice is never taken seriously, cause its free, people see no valve in it.   If did an infomercial, claim I am selling a magic formula at half the price, they will make me a lot of money.
  By the way, the area pictured is still free of poop, I don't know if the dog died.
There is a saying.  You get what you pay for. ;)  I wouldn't get too worked up about people not liking your free advice.  It's not like anyone here is demanding monetary compensation from you if they try it and it doesn't work.

Please watch who you are calling lazy.  I'm not calling you names, you've no reason to be calling me names.  And somehow, I think installing a fence around your yard is significantly less lazy than filling plastic bottles with water.  Filling plastic bottles takes a few minutes and very little effort, a 6 yr old could do it.  A fence is hours to days of back-breaking labor.  Not exactly lazy to go that route.

But I will, for the sake or experimentation, set out some water-filled plastic bottles, and see if it keeps my dogs from pooping in a given area.  I will even set them out in the area of the yard they use to force the issue.

I meant no offense in my original comments, I'm just expressing my belief on the matter as there is a complete lack of any test data, or any-other evidence as to the efficacy of your bottle fence.  You'll have to forgive me, but I do not know you, and I do not tend to take the word of a complete stranger just because they said-so.  Especially if they are saying something that sounds so completely outlandish.  Again, no offense is meant, but you have to admit, placing water-filled bottles around a perimeter and claiming it acts as a barricade IS very difficult for anyone to believe without proof.
gcrdcn (author)  AmyLuthien5 years ago
 Thanks for your nice reply.  You are not lazy, others may be.  These claims ARE outlandish and has no scientific proof.  Even Google has no good answer.
Even if it works for you dogs, they will destroy the jugs, so they can poop where they want to.
Thanks gcrdcn :)

I did set out the bottles as you had described, and it pretty much went how I figured it would.  Both my dogs were highly interested in what I was up to, and the sniffed the bottles (and knocked them over a few times as well!)   The older dog (who is 8) got bored with it all and went back inside, the younger one (who is 1) thought it was all great fun!  A little later I saw him running around the backyard with one of the bottles, spraying water everywhere and having a grand old time (that's Labs for you!)  Both dogs "did their business" in the bottle-fenced area later however (I had to replace the bottles a couple times, the younger one really likes playing with plastic bottles.)

The only explanation I can figure why it may work on some dogs but not others, is that some dogs are "picky poopers" (so to speak lol.)  Any changes to their "place of business" make them nervous (lets face it, pooping is a position of extreme vulnerability for dogs and humans!) so they may decide the area isn't safe.  But I don't think this would hold true to the majority of dogs out there. 

I haven't tried this on cats, but neighbor across the street lets her cats run in my garden and eat my pond fish so I may give it a go.  I've been seriously considering getting one of those motion activated sprinklers to scare the cats away from my pond (koi are far too expensive and valuable to be continually feeding her cats with them, and she refuses to control them, so it's "my problem".)  But I've been hesitating because the walkway to the front door of the house curls around the pond . . . I'm pretty sure visitors will not appreciate getting drenched.  Perhaps I could get one and invite my neighbor over  >:D
Amy: It does little good to actually perform experiments based on the advice of people like this. He will most certainly write off yours (and every other person's) results as an anomaly, and continue to believe that because one time it worked (when the neighbors moved away) that this is real science, and somehow fairies are involved.
Once upon a time everyone knew that the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. That was until people experimented.  They did the math, they opened their eyes to see what was out there and they got into boats and sailed around the world.  So rather than assuming I know everything, no matter how outlandish the claim, I experimented and posted my findings.  As I first stated, I didn't think it would work, but I kept an open mind and gave it a try.  I found out that my first assumption was correct and that it doesn't work.  It cost me nothing but spending some time with my dogs and now we know for a fact that on large dogs at least, this doesn't work.  Someone else is free to experiment on small dogs and cats if they so desire. ;)
Amy, I'm a cat owner who keeps her 3 cats indoors ONLY, and I can't stand people who let their cats run free any more than I can stand the people who walk their dogs without a leash, so the dogs can lag behind and poop on our lawn and they are none the wiser. But I have noticed that since they built a big apartment complex across the alley, where there used to be some open garages for stray cats to shelter, and since the last of the few tom cats have passed away or otherwise disappeared, we have been having a LOT of sightings of rats around our townhome complex! Exterior only, luckily, but it goes to show you how even in the city, we have functioning bio systems. But I'm really writing to tell you about a device that a homeowner down the street has. They have a little brook and pond with mosquito fish and small koi or goldfish. Around our coastal town near LAX, we have racoons, opposums, and especially herons, who love to fish for dinner. This homeowner has a little box that emits a high pitched hum. I thinks the sound repels animals and birds. I like to lean over and watch the fish, and it certainly bothers me when I get too close! This little pond is behind a retaining wall at the sidewalk and is almost chest high for me. I think if it was at ground level, a human would never notice the sound. Sorry I haven't got actual info on the device, but maybe you can Google for it. Good luck!
 kill the cat, then it wont eat your koi!!!

please dont try this!!!
its a joke!!
Trust me, the thought has occurred to me.  (Not joking, I detest cats with a passion.)
Javin007 gcrdcn3 years ago
Perhaps your "free advice is never taken seriously" because it involves bottles of water littering your yard to keep dogs from pooping on it, divining rods, and other bits of "advice" that are provably poor advice? Maybe it's "never taken seriously" because those that are not taking it seriously have some common sense?
pammyz110595 years ago
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
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.
bigtedster6 years ago
This one is a waste of time, this does not work and is an urban myth.

Pointless article which needs to be removed.

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.
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.
hey bigtedster stop being a partypooper
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