Neighbors' Dogs Pooping in My Yard

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  • We recently moved in. I have never owned a dog. Our contractor has a dog and brought it here while he worked. I was trying to be nice and welcomed the dog but didn't think that our newly laid lawn which we spent thousands of dollars so that our kids can run and play bare foot will become a luxurious doggie bathroom. Now it has several dirty bald patches where dog pooped and then there are knats that bite aggressively and bugs swarming over the yard. I have more than dozen bug bites. Over the holidays, the dog had pooped and someone stepped on the poop and then the lawn got mowed over the poop. When we came back from the trip, I put on latex gloves and tried to pull off the smeared on, sticky poop as much as I could but it's no use. I think I made it worse. 

    Now, we have a poopy yard with dog poop lodged and smeared on grass and I can't have the dream backyard with kids roaming free anymore after spending $$$.

    Does anyone know of a way to hit a restart button on the lawn other than strip the newly laid sod and re-sod? 

    I read about putting lime power on the lawn to dissolve the poop. I put the lime power but then I can't find instructions on what to do next. Do I just leave the powder on? Do I hose it down after a certain number of days? If it rains again, do I put the power stuff again? It's nasty and burns skin and I accidentally inhaled it and my throad is burning. :-(

    If you have an idea of how I can clean and sanitize our backyard so that my kids can run free, please help! Thank you. 

    Your contractor should never have allowed his dog to poop on your lawn and if it happened accidentally somehow he should have picked it up immediately. Every responsible dog owner picks up the poop RIGHT AWAY.  Having said that though—I'm not sure I entirely understand your panic about it. The remnants of dog poop disappear relatively quickly once you pick it up. If it's particularly runny (sorry, gross, I know) just spray it with the hose or wait for a few days of rain. That plus slugs, ants, and the other garbage-eating parts of nature will get rid of it within a week or so. 

    And I'm not sure a "sanitized" backyard is really possible even if you did re-sod. Cats will poop in it, skunks, raccoons, and rats will poop in it. There's no way to prevent this. But if you let the bugs, rain, etc. do what they do naturally your backyard will be perfectly okay for children to play in.

    Dog poop disappears very quickly. A good rain will take care of it, or you could just wash it off with a hose. It'll be fine! 

    I don't see how there could possibly still have been dog poop in your lawn weeks after the dog visited (if I understand the chronology correctly - the holidays were over a month ago). The dog poop is not the only thing that would cause bald spots on your perfect lawn, and as the other poster said, you can hardly keep birds, cats or other creatures from doing what they do on your lawn. I also do not think that the dog doo drew in all the bugs and gnats you imagine. I think you need to readjust your expectations about your perfect yard, and do your best to keep it up, not start over. Keeping a perfect lawn is a high effort activity. Lime could make things worse, if your soil is already high in alkaline. Good luck.

    First of all, bald patches are usually due to dog urine not poop (I have 2 dogs, 2 kids and some ugly grass). Secondly, if your kids have ever played in the grass at a park there's a very high chance an animal may have pooped there at some point. Poop remnants will dry up and essentially disappear within days, especially in warm weather. And if you're watering the grass it should be washed away by now anyways. Your kids will be fine, a sanitized yard does not exist and it's actually healthy to expose them to germs and bacteria in the natural environment. Birds, cats, rodents and worms are probably pooping in your yard on a daily basis! Don't stress about this. Do not put lime powder on the lawn. Just have your kids wash their hands before eating and rinse their feet or bathe before bed. I'm not sure what kind of bugs you have but just make sure there is no standing water that could be breeding mosquitos.  Now go play outside :)

    It would be a valuable lesson to your kids to teach them to watch where they're running - they'll need this skill to avoid dog poop for their entire lives! In all kinds of settings!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions & Advice

Neighbor's dog is running free, pooping in our yard

Feb 2015

BPN community - I'm seeking advice on how to deal with a neighbor who refuses to contain their dog. We have adjoining back yards that are not fenced, and they repeatedly let their dog out unleashed to do its business. We have spoken several times about this, they have acknowledged it is a problem, have vowed to train the dog to stay in their yard, but the problem continues. What have other people done in similar situations? Trying to be reasonable

Putting up a fence seems like a sensible solution!! Most people feel free to let their dogs into their own backyards unleashed. A secured fence (no holes, can't jump over) will keep their dog on their side of the fence and in their yard. respectfl dog owner w/ fenced yard

Whether or not your neighbors are irresponsible and thoughtless, it seems as if simply putting in a fence would be the easiest option. As the saying goes, good fences make good neighbors. Good Luck.

''Good fences make good neighbors.'' It would be extremely difficult to train a dog to only relieve themselves in half of adjoining back yards. It could be done (with some dogs), but not by somebody clueless enough to have let this situation get where it already is. Fence fan

Can you build a fence in your yard? Good fences make good neighbors

build a fence. dog lover

Sorry to hear about your inconsiderate neighbor, who sounds passive-aggressive. At the very least he should come over and clean up after his dog. No dogs are to be loose on the street, so call the Richmond cops and ask for advice. Perhaps they can stop by when the neighbor is home, or leave him a notice, about keeping the dog in or walked on a leash. This is not a matter for Animal Control. I hope the dog is neutered, with a collar and microchip, but I suspect that's not the case. Good luck. ew

Build a fence. no hassle solution

Build a fence. You cannot change other people's behavior, only your own. Lindsey J

Neighbor's dog is pooping in our front yard

Sept 2013

We recently bought a house, and already several times found dog's poop in our front yard. We don't know whose dog it was because almost all my neighboors (except us) have dogs. I am tired of cleaning poop!! What should I do to stop it? anon

Three possible options:
1. Set up a security camera to identify the culprit.
2. Build a fence.
3. Spread a large amount of ground hot chili pepper (Mexican grocery stores in cellophane packets) in the area where the dog likes to relive itself.
Good luck! Dog Hater

I would start by putting a small but noticeable sign on a stake in the area where you find the dog poop with a courteous plea to please scoop the poop PLEASE. Maybe laminate the sign so it survives the weather. Maybe tie some plastic bags to a pole near your yard with another sign indicating their purpose. If that doesn't work, get a spy cam and nail the miscreant. Responsible Scooper of My Pooch's Poop

I have 2 dogs and nothing burns me up more than finding dog poop from someone's wandering dog or even irresponsible dog owner's dog on a leash in my yard. I have a sign that I painted that says ''If they poop then you must scoop'' with a picture of a pooping dog and attached a bag holder full of bags on the fence so there is no excuse. most people appreciate it but there is always someone who lets their dog poop or lets their dog out to poop anywhere unsupervised. I have a few suggestions. If you catch the dog in the act, frighten it away while it is pooping. This will create an unpleasant association and it might not do it in your yard anymore. Or you could hang a note around it's neck with your phone number or a message that the dog is doing this. OR you could get a motion activated item for your yard to scare it away, like a sprinkler, or put a sign up in your yard with the no pooping symbol (find it at ACE) I'm partly being funny, but I am also serious. Just once I'd love to catch the great dane sized poop perpetrator and hang a sign around it's neck. Poop weary

Put up a little sign, saying 'Please pick up after your dog. Thanks.' Buy some dog poo bags and hang them from the sign. Chloe

Nothing will work as well as a simple fence around your front yard. I've noticed people are much more respectful of fenced in front yard than they are of a yard open to all. Anon

Neighborhood dogs pooping in yard

Aug 2011

OK, so we just moved into a house that had been empty for more than a year - it is at the end of a cul-de-sac. Well, I have seen the neighbors walk along and just let their pup dump in my yard, make NO attempt to clean it and then they just walk away. I want to put up a ''no dog pooping, please'' sign, but there are only a few folks and they will KNOW I am ''talking'' to them. Doesnt really matter, but I kind of want to keep the peace, ya know? It is a very small cul-de-sac. Welcome your thoughts, ideas, etc. poop weary

You have a couple of options: talk to your neighbors or put up the sign. I would go with the former if you are interested in building relationships, and there ways to approach it that might make it less onerous. If you see one of the offenders on a non-pooping occasion, walk over and say hi. Maybe ask a question about the neighborhood or their kids or whatever. Have a brief conversation. Then introduce the topic of the poop in a non-personal way, maybe blaming the dogs For instance: ''I think the neighborhood dogs got used to pooping in our yard while the house was vacant. I don't think YOUR dog is necessarily guilty, but just in case, could you keep a special eye out next time you walk him/her? I would appreciate it SO much.'' Etc. The sign is OK, too, I think. People should get a little buzz of shame for what they're doing, and I don't think it will reflect badly on you. cat lover

The sign would obviously be aimed at a specific individual. Many of them are. You could also put up a fence or simply talk to the people to start. Sorry you have uncivilized neighbors. Anon.

You are much nicer than I would be. It drives me CRAZY when I see people letting their dogs nonchalantly crap wherever and then just keep walking. I know you want to keep the peace with your neighbors, but it really does seem like they need a reminder about basic courtesy. A (gently worded) sign, to me, seems like the best way to handle things unless you want to park yourself out front and talk to your neighbors while they're in the act. I wouldn't worry so much about them knowing that you're talking specifically to them. They apparently NEED it. You could also try setting up a supply of plastic bags for your neighbors to use until they figure out how to bring their own. I will say that my neighbor a few houses down has an extremely hostile (and entertaining) sign on his lawn directed towards these offenders...and his yard is always spotless. Best of luck to you! Cara

I had this problem, as I have the only native plant, hence alot of bark/wood chips, on my block. Even thought I build a 10'' wood barrier, idiots will allow their dogs to walk over the barrier and do their business. I didn't want to hurt the dogs with cayenne pepper, etc., as I am a dog person myself. I found these 12x12 plastic squares that they sell at pet stores that are for pets who jump on the furniture. The squares have these PLASTIC spikes sticking up that are VERY uncomfortable on the paws....I know this because I inadvertently stepped on one barefoot. I placed them in the areas where the suspect dogs were doing their business and this cut down on the problem greatly. I covered it up with wood chips. Dogs are creatures of routine and you need to halt the routine... and my 2 cents, a sign is fine, your neighbors should know better now that you reside there. dog mom

Wait, you're concerned about good relationships with people who let their dogs defile your yard?? WHY? You're worried about some rude stranger's anger but have none of your own while they're being rude to you? Why would you care that they know YOU are the one asking politely in a posted sign that they not be rude? And why do you think they know how many other people let their dogs do the same thing and why is that relevant? Don't you think they know there is only one identifiable individual or family in the house, and that doesn't bother them. I see absolutely nothing wrong, while you're standing there witnessing this, with you walking out in person, introducing yourself nicely, and reminding them that the house is inhabited and asking them politely not to do that any more. Why is it so hard for so many of us to be minimally assertive when people are dumping on us!? I have a lot of questions today. anon

Honestly, I think it'll only be effective if the culprits KNOW you are talking to them. You don't have to be mean. Here's your new sign to post on a stick prominently in your front yard: ''We'd greatly appreciate if you'd prevent your dog from pooping in our yard when possible and pick up after him/her when not. Thank you.'' anon

I hear ya. I was out last night with my neighbor as she walked her dog, and she didn't pick up the poop after her little doggie went on the neighbor's yard. I told her that the neighbor would probably get mad, but she said ''I'll come by tomorrow and pick it up''. Yikes! Of course you should always pick up the poop right when it happens, and dog owners should carry enough bags to be able to do it. I used to walk my dog with so many bags, because it seemed like a contest between me and the dog; if he could outpoop my number of bags!! Anyway, in the interest of keeping the peace, I would suggest making the sign VERY friendly, with a big Please, and a Bigger Thank you so much, and a smiley face or whatever. Hopefully, that will work. Otherwise, you might have to plant a bunch of roses to border your property! Good luck!

Dear ''New to the Neighborhood'', I have been in your shoes! We inherited my in-law's house that is in a very affluent area. The house had been unoccupied for a year. After we moved in, the neighbors continued to park in our driveway (WTF?!?!) and let their dogs use our front lawn as a toilet. And they knew we had moved in! I had to personally remind each neighbor that we lived there now and it wasn't OK. I think they were just used to it. It is not unreasonable to let people know that you live there now and to please not let their dogs relieve themselves in your yard. I am guessing they aren't being inconsiderate on purpose. They just need a gentle reminder. Good Luck! Been There!

I was going to advise returning their dog's poop to them (hi neighbor, I saw you dropped something so I just wanted to make sure you got it back) or dumping your childs dirty diapers in their yard (what?? I didn't think you cared), but as you want to be a good neighbor, you could buy a scare crow motion activated water sprinkler to keep dogs off the property, put moth balls along the edge of the yard so dogs don't sniff and go, a wood fence or razor/barb wire also works wonders. Old Wise Guy

I really don't understand why you are concerned about ''keeping the peace'' when your neighbors are being so obnoxious. I think the straight forward approach is best. Just put up one of those signs. It has a dog pooping on it with a red circle and slash. Alternatively, you could do a little work in your front yard. Put in a short hedge and some flowers. The hedge will discourage entry to your yard. Then add the sign. Then it looks like you are just being overly protective of your new plantings. But really, people who don't pick up after their dog deserve some punishment. One famous idea: take a bag of dog poop over to their home after they have gone to bed, put it on the porch, hit it with a match, ring the doorbell, and run. If all goes well, they will stamp out the fire and you will have a good laugh. I'm laughing just thinking about it. I wish I had the nerve to do it! anon

Good for your for wanting to ''keep the peace'' in your new neighborhood, but it isn't an act of war or rudeness on your part to expect some consideration from people who are treating your yard like a public litterbox. Why not put up a sign saying something like: ''We're glad to have moved into this neighborhood. Please help us enjoy our new property by cleaning up after your dog. Thank you!'' This will help remind everyone, in a friendly way, that there is a home here now, not just a building and grass. If the guilty parties know you are talking to them -- good! I have a feeling you'll soon see better manners from the humans (it's not the dogs' fault)! Don't let them ''poop'' all over you

I believe that straightforwardness is the best policy. The next time you see the dog dropping a load in your yard, go tell the owner face to face that it bothers you. Don't be mean, just tell them that you want them to pick up the poop. If they are offended, then they seriously have something wrong with them. If you are shy, write a note signed with your name and phone number. If that doesn't work, scoop it up, bag it, and put it by their front door. -Don't take it.

Neighbor doesn't clean up after dog

Aug 2011

hi there, after looking at the city of berkeley's web site, it wasn't clear to me what action, if any, one could take to get their neighbors to clean up after their dog. here's my problem: on a regular basis, our neighbors leave their dog's poop on the sidewalk and the grassy area between the street and sidewalk in front of their house. i've left a couple nice notes asking them to please clean up after themselves. first one helped curb the problem, but now it's back. i sent a query to the city of berkeley's animal services regarding this and am waiting to hear back. since that might be a while, i thought i'd ask if anyone had any advice. the city's ''rules & regulations'' regarding dog ownership in berkeley say that dog owners must dispose of waste when on public city property. this would apply to sidewalks. maybe i should leave the neighbors a note with the city's ''guide to owning a dog in berkeley'' . . . anyway, thanks for responding to this question if you've got some advice or had this stupid experience. signed, grossed out!

Looks like your neighbor is violating a Berkeley City Code; BMC 10.04.091

Section 10.04.091 Carrying instrument for removal of dog feces and actual removal of such feces required.

A. Any person having custody of a dog while on public property, including any easements, and public parks, and private property not owned by such person shall at all times carry an instrument suitable for removing and disposing of any feces which may be deposited by said dog and shall remove any such feces which may be deposited by such dog while on such property.

B. The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs being used by the blind as guide dogs, or service dogs that are assisting disabled persons who are unable to remove such feces. (Ord. 6627-NS \xc3\x82\xc2\xa7 1, 2001: Ord. 6568-NS \xc3\x82\xc2\xa7 1, 2000: Ord. 6467-NS \xc3\x82\xc2\xa7 2, 1998: Ord. 5205-NS \xc3\x82\xc2\xa7 3, 1979: Ord. 4372-NS \xc3\x82\xc2\xa7 13.1, 1968)

From the City Of Berkeley Website;

'Any person having custody of a dog while on public property shall at all times carry an instrument suitable for removing and disposing of feces which may be deposited by said dog and shall remove any such feces deposited by such dog while on such property (BMC 10.04.091). The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs being used by disabled individuals as service animals.'

You may want to share this info. If they don't want to comply they could get cited for not removing poop. Good Luck!! Anno..

New house, neighbors dog poop

Aug 2009

We just moved into our new house, and noticed our front lawn is littered with dog poop from the dog next door. It seems the neighbors let their little dog out to run free early in the morning and late in the evening, don't follow it outside, and so it has found a lovely spot right on our lawn unsupervised.

I am very hesitant to make a 'stink' about it, because we just moved in, and we want to have good relationships with our neighbors. At the same time, YUCK! My husband and I don't want to have to clean up dog poop constantly or have our 2YO daughter 'discover' it.

Any nice ways to address it? Or should I try to discourage the dog directly (and how exactly would I do that)? Can I be passive-aggressive and put bags of dog poop on their porch until they get the hint? (I am joking about that one...) not anti-dog, just anti-poop

It is really important to get off on the right foot with neighbors, which is why I think it would be important to address this right away, in a friendly tone. When my downstairs neighbor moved in (I am in an apartment) I realized to my dismay that she uses the television at night to fall asleep. And then leaves it on all night. The volume was pretty high and it was keeping me awake with inane sounds. So I went downstairs. I introduced myself, gave her my phone number in case she needed anything, and just chatted for a bit. Then I mentioned that I was embarrassed to have to say anything, but I had noticed that she seemed to use the television to go to sleep? She was embarrassed herself and immediately offered to turn it down. Which solved the problem. I think the key was to make it a neighborly conversation. You could act as if they might not know where their dog does his business (of course they do, but): ''Oh, and by the way -- you might not realize it, but Sparky has gotten into the habit of relieving himself in our yard. Do you think you could keep an eye on him and make sure he uses his own lawn?'' Or words to that effect. Unless they are real jerks, they will be moved to do the right thing. friendly neighbor

While I am not an advocate of allowing dogs out unsupervised, or not picking up after them, it's possible your neighbors did so thinking no one was living in the house, so...who cares?! Are they nice people? Meet them first so you have a first friendly interaction. Then let them know that now that the house is occupied you'd appreciate if they'd pick up after their dog. I wonder if they realize how dangerous it could be for the dog to let it out unattended! You could also put up a fence. Good luck. respectful dog owner

They sell pepper smelling spray that deters dogs and cats (and racoons) from coming on to your lawn/in to your is organic, non-toxic, etc. I can't remember the brand we use, but it works just spray a ''border'' around your lawn. We got it at Ace Garden Center on Grand Ave in Oakland. Nikki

Yes - be passive aggressive, but not in a way that will offend the neighbors. Instead of putting bags of dog poop on their porch, go to the pet store and ask about sprays or powders that keep animals off of your lawn, but will not poison them. Also, have an honest conversation with your neighbors. They obviously like having a nice lawn (that's why they let the dog poop elsewhere), so if you tell them you've been trying to keep your property clean, but you keep finding poop everywhere. You can even fake not knowing where it came from. Let them come clean, apologize, and fix it. Responsible dog owner

That dog is used to it by now, and your lawn is part of his/her territory. It needs a big shift in routine... You could try
a) coyote urine (available some places)
b) catching it a few times in a row and really scaring it away: yell, go towards it aggressively, throw things at VERY confident and don't let it come close.
c) plant things at the edge of yard that grow densely
d) try talking to your neighbors-it may be a cultural/race difference which can be a hard gap to close in things like that
e) call animal control and/or trap the dog

i am a rescue dog owner and dogs are great, but people can be clueless or just plain rude with their dogs. fight back. anon

Hi. Yeah, me, too. I've struggled with the neighbors and their irresponsible habits. First of all, if you have proof that it's their dog, then, yeah, I'd go introduce myself and my family and just let them know that you are concerned for your child about their dog's poop. If you haven't seen the dog actually poop on the lawn and/or you are assuming but don't have any proof, then, that's not the best way to start a relationship. Perhaps you can introduce yourself, start some friendly conversation, and take it from there. In the future if you see their dog, bring it up in a friendly manner. If you don't speak up, they won't know. But if you are accusing without actually seeing the dog, that can bring along problems. It's a toughie. Good luck. In my situation, neighbors got angry that I was fed up with their teen-ager bringing their dog to my house but now it's not an issue. The girl has gotten older and has other interests than to antagonize me. I wish I could have handled the situation a little better but oh, well. I hope things work out good for you, and I hope the owners are responsible dog owners. anon

I'm a big fan of solving these kinds of problems with creative gardening. Create something lovely in front of your house that is uninviting for a small pooping dog. I would suggest a little boxwood hedging ''fence''. You would not need to confront anyone - You are simply beautifying your house. Tricking the dog into moving on to poop somewhere else is just a bonus. anon

You might want to apply the aphorism ''good fences make good neighbors.'' Put up a white picket fence. Depending on how ''little'' the dog is and how well it can jump, you might be able to get away with something quite low, certainly no more than waist height. C

I would give them the benefit of the doubt that they were only letting the dog do that when the house was vacant (not the best manners still but..). I would also pretend you don't know who is responsible and put a little sign on the lawn instead of talking to them directly. Try to be visibly out working on your beautiful front yard. Then get to know your neighbors as if nothing was going on. anon

As an owner of a dog that poops in my neihbors driveway, I have to say that you should simply ask them to clean up after the dog. You don't have to make more of it than it is; they let their dog out, don't pay attention and don't clean up after it. All you need to do is ask, ''I'd really appreciate if you would clean up after Poopsie after her morning poop break.'' You could add that you don't want your kid getting into it, but the obvious is that dog owners are responsible for their own dog's poop and it doesn't matter WHY you want it off your lawn.

So to reiterate: be straight-forward and to the point. If the problem continues, come back to BPN and we'll readdress. -Pooper Scooper

The house might have sat vacant for some time before you purchased it and they just got used to it. People can be great at denial when it is their animal. I would go over, introduce yourself and gently explain what is happening with the dog. Tell them you have seen it yourself and know it is their dog. If they don't stop it by that day, I would fling the poop in their yard with my shovel. Why should you bag it, its not your dog? This is disgusting and totally not acceptable. Dog lover & owner of 3 dogs

How to keep unleashed dogs from pooping on our lawn strip?

Jan 2003

Does anyone know the best way (or a few ways) to keep unleashed dogs from pooping on our lawn strip, other than putting up a fence? It/they prefer one spot on the grass near the telephone pole. Thanks- ty

Perhaps you'd like to try a product called Scarecrow. It is a motion activated sprinkler that attaches to a hose. Consumer Reports gave it a good review for preventing deer damage. I have not used the product, but from the description, I would think you need a good quality hose that can withstand long term pressure from the water line. J12

I'm interested to hear the answers! The Scarecrow may work if your lawn is a regular shape where you can aim it to cover well, but then if you go onto the lawn you'll get doused yourself! Also, I don't know of any hose that will hold up under constant pressure- you'd need to turn it off some of the time.

What I'm going to try in lieu of keeping them (2 females, 1 male) off is to program my sprinklers to go on very briefly- 1 or 2 minutes- twice a day to wash the urine through. Urine is much more damaging than feces. Once a week I'll give my lawn a good deep watering to keep the roots from staying too shallow. Worth a try.

I'm also in the process of putting together some attempts at quasi-ornamental barriers to deal with kfire hydrant syndrome on plants in the rest of the garden. Cfl

Dogs are pooping on our front lawn

Feb 2001

I've read the archives about how to stop cats pooping in the yard, but I have a DOG problem. Some errant dog owner allows their dog to poop in our front yard. I can't find the culprit, I can't build a fence since I do not own the house, and my children can never play in the front yard because of this. Is there any solution (a nontoxic spray?) to keep the dog[s] out of our yard? Carrie

It may be impossible to re-train HUMAN BEINGS WHO ALLOW THEIR DOG TO POOP IN YOUR YARD, but I have seen some houses where a bag full of plastic bags is left in a prominent spot so that dog owners who have a degree of social responsibility will also have the means to deal with the problem when it occurs. Letitia

I have heard that sprinkling red pepper in your yard (maybe just on the perimeter?) will make dogs not poop in it. Haven't tried it myself. Lee

You can buy a motion-activated sprinkler that will shoot a jet of water at the offending dog and, hopefully, its disrespectful owner as well. I suppose you could set it up on a timer so it turned on at times when you think the pooping is occurring; for example, on in the evening and off at a time of day when your kids wouldn't be likely to wander onto the lawn and get sprayed. I've seen this in a garden or home catalog that I can't recall, but I bet if you called around to some nurseries they would either have something like this or could refer you. I was planning on getting this to protect our lawn from raccoons who like to tear up the grass looking for grubs. Christina

I have been the unfortunate recipient at times, unfortunately, to a sprinkler that goes on if someone gets too close to is designed to keep animals such as dogs and racoons away. It works for people too by the way. I don't know many more details than that. It sweeps around like a lawn sprinkler, and that might be very effective at keeping dogs away from your yard and from pooping there. hilary