Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where Should Dogs Pee and Poop?

(After you read the post, be sure to read the opinions of my other visitors in the comments section at the end.)

Back in the good ol’ days (or were they?), Fido had his own dog house in the fenced in back yard, where he chose his toilet area. Occasionally, his owners would let him inside to explore the big house, but he knew not to purge while visiting. He hadn’t done that since he was a baby, peeing and pooping on the newspapers, spread out on the kitchen floor.

A lot of dogs still live this life, while others have moved inside their owner’s home, dictating a change in the elimination process. (By the way, now Fido has a human name - Max.)

I live in a large subdivision of about eight hundred homes, divided into lots ranging from about a quarter acre to an acre. I’m guessing at least a third of the neighbors have a dog – or two, or three. Of the sixteen houses on my street, ten homes include fourteen dog residents!

Many of us do not have a fenced yard, although some have invisible fences. Soooo…what do we do when Miley or Max have to pee?

We put them on a leash and walk outside to the yard, where sometimes they’ll just “do it,” be happy, and come back inside.

What do we do when they need exercise and/or their favorite pooping area is beyond the confines of the yard?

We get our plastic bag (the long slim bag that the newspaper comes in is perfect for the job), put Miley or Max on the leash and WALK – until the feeling “moves” them.

The problem.

Sometimes the feeling “moves” them in a neighbor’s yard, and some of the neighbors DO NOT like dogs peeing and pooping in their yards. A few neighbors have a small sign near their mailboxes that indicate “no pee and poop zone.”

One neighbor comes out of his house screaming, “DON’T LET THAT DOG GO ON MY YARD!”

I’ve heard there are others who come out, too, when catching Max in the act, but with a “nicer” warning. “Would you NOT let your dog go on my yard please?”

One day, little Miley ventured "close" to the yard of the screaming man, when my dear friend (Miley’s owner) became a victim of the screaming man…or…is the screaming man the victim? It is his yard and dogs have used it; and I suppose some owners have not cleaned it up.

My friend and I had a discussion about this issue, comparing the various places where we allow the dogs to “go.” We feel okay when our dogs pee or poop along the street edge grass of a “safe” yard (the neighbors who also have dogs) as we walk in the street. After all, we do have our trusty plastic bag. Mostly, my dog Layla will go in the narrow strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk.

But, in our discussion, we realized that some dog owners still prefer not to have dogs peeing and pooping in their yards, regardless of the trusty plastic bag. One joked that his nice grass will not continue to be nice if little Miley keeps peeing in it (hint, hint). Typically, these neighbors have fences and their dogs go in their back yards. I asked my friend, “Does the pee hurt the grass?”

She didn’t know.

Another friend who’s been yelled at, said, “I guess once a dog goes on a yard, others smell the scent and it becomes their favorite place to go, too.”

Before I had a dog, I was not bothered by dogs using my yard as long as their owners picked it up. I figured it came with the territory of living in a large dog-owning, dog-walking neighborhood.

We concluded our discussion with a decision to put more effort and patience in getting the dogs to “go” in our own yards, even when they’re ready to walk, and to be more aware of where they “go” when we’re walking them.

Ps. I always scoop it up, even at night with the use of a flashlight.

Are you a dog owner? Where does your dog pee and poop?
Dog owner or not, does it bother you when a dog goes in your yard?


Unknown said...

I live with a very tiny yard but there is grass in the back and I clean up after them. I would be pissed off if someone let their dog do their business in my yard and didn't clean up after it. It's just plain ol disrespectful.

Nicole said...

I'm a dog owner and I always pick it up. When someone wants to get upty I suggest they get a fence...

Kasie said...

we don't own any dogs yet.
We live in a townhouse community and there are a lot of dogs in our area. There is usually always someone out walking their dog (we even have a lady across the street who walks her cat.. but that's another issue)... Thankfully the community provides little doggie stands with plastic bags for picking up the poop.

Even if we had the option to tell people not to let their dogs poop in our yard I really wouldn't mind... as long as they picked it up. Good for us... they always do & we've never had an issue.

Judy Thomas said...

Repeated doses of dog pee will cause a patch of grass to turn yellow, then it might die. One pee by one dog is not a problem, even a few pees.
I always clean up after my dog, and don't mind if someone else's dog does their business by the street- as long as the owner cleans up too. About people who go ballistic at a dog peeing on their yard- do they go crazy about the squirrels, rabbits, birds and various other animals who pee in their yard too?

yonca said...

You probably know that I had a dog. She died when she was 14. I always picked it up. I didn't let her go someone's yard. I walked her all the way side walk.I would be pissed of too, if someone let her/his dog poo in my yard and didn't clean up.My sons plays on the grass and to get dog poo off the bottoms of sneaker is not easy.
Great topic Anita!xo

Sohailah said...

Not a dog owner. Not a fan of poop or pee in my yard, but not going to exert the energy to "go after someone." Fortunately, I've never stepped in dog poop in my own yard. Had I... there would be some serious frustration...

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

OK- I am not going to be very popular here -but I have to say I absolutely hate dogs. Hear me out and you might understand. Here in Saipan there are no leash laws, no fence laws, no poop or pee laws no laws period when it comes to animals. There are hundreds of dogs running around everywhere-loose. I guess it all started during WWII when US soldiers brought dogs over as companions. Most of these dogs were let to run loose. They had puppies and those puppies had puppies and all of them owned by no one. So, we have hundreds of what we call "boonie dogs" running around semi - wild. THEN to top if off- we have people that have some of these boonie dogs as pets. They rarely ever fence or chain them and they run wild all over the place-pooping and peeing where-ever they want. To make matters WORSE it is a normal thing to see packs of them in the road, parking lots...everywhere. They also mate, constantly , in public and it just make me sick. We lived in an apartment where the owner collected about twenty of these dogs for "pets". He never put any of them on a leash or anything. they chose to poop and pee right in front of our door. Our ONLY door-that led into the kitchen. We had a very small concrete patio there and EVERY morning, as we left for work, we literally had to make our way through at least ten or more huge piles of horrid, stinky dog poop. Sometimes dog diarrhea. I would literally wretch. WE had to clean all that up-every day. I could not open the kitchen window because the entire place back there stunk to high heaven, no matter what we did. I spent so much money on dog repellents- none worked. Even talking to the landlord was useless-so finally,we moved. Now, I can't stand even the slightest whiff of "dog". The almost five years we suffered being buried under dog poop took any love I ever had for dogs, right away.I will be happier in Japan. They have laws there.

MissKris said...

I just wrote about this myself a few days ago. Instead of going in to a long spiel, here's a link so anyone can go read about it, HA!

MissKris said...

Oooooops! Anita brought it to my attention that I left the wrong link so here goes again (It's been a LONG day):

Unknown said...

We live in the country where it is not an issue, but when we travel we always clean up after our dogs and let them "go" in designated areas whenever available. I think some people have too much time on their hands to get worked up over their grass. Sorry. Just me.

Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Arlee Bird said...

I have been devoting my blog week to a dog theme. My debate day topic today touches upon the issue you've raised here. I'd love to get your opinion expressed.

I don't own a pet and probably never will as long as I live in a highly populated area. I don't like animals eliminating theirselves in my yard, but if they do I appreciate it when owners clean up. I've stepped in **it more times than I've liked and it can be a hassle cleaning it off, especially when you're in a hurry to go somewhere.


Tossing It Out

Betty W said...

I guess that´s why it´s good to live in the "country". Dogs here get to poo and pee wherever they want. And there is enough room to do so, without anyone watching their every move/pee..... :)

Just Two Chicks said...

First of all, I love your blogs! Now, I DO have dogs... 3 little ones. Much like yours, the homes in our
neighborhood have no backyard fences. We live on a natural spring that we've built into a type of riverwalk that runs behind all of our homes. I'm sure we have more dogs than children in our area because I always see people out walking their dogs, but rarely see people out walking their children. :) I really never noticed dogs using our yard for their own pottying pleasure, but I suppose they must and I'm guessing the owners clean it up. I will tell you that I assume it's a natural fertilizer and really don't see how on earth it can hurt the grass. Grass has been around way longer than us, right? Not to mention the wild animals that venture into our yards. I mean, they have potty issues too I would think.

Since our dogs are small, we head outdoors several times a day (with a leash) and get potty time done in our own backyard. The grass has never been greener ;) I do admit to using bad doggie manners when I watched my friends dog though. She has a bigger dog than mine and with more energy than my 3 put together. I figured I would walk the dog to make it tired... this female dog marked every single yard all the way around the block. She decided to poo too even though I made sure she did that in our yard before we left! I was horrified because I had nothing with me for clean-up. The next day, I again made sure she did her business fully (I thought) before I walked her and AGAIN she pooed in the same yard. I didn't walk her the rest of the week. ;)

Anonymous said...

Verrry interesting post. You've raised good points and asked great questions.

Our dog (aka furry child) mainly does her business in our backyard. On our walks, I carry a plastic bag just in case. Yes, my dog wants to mark bushes and pees like a boy dog, sadly. When outside the backyard, my girl is only allowed to pee on the bushes at the park where all the dogs go. It didn't take long for her to learn not to pee while walking in our neighborhood.

I try to be very respectful of the time and money that people put into their yards. I believe that my dog should never damage any other homeowner's yard. Her urine damage is confined to my backyard.

I love dogs, however, I don't like people allowing their dogs to pee in my front yard and yes there has been urine damage from dogs that don't belong to me. I understand sometimes dog owners can't control a poop, just clean it up is my request, but they can control their dog peeing on my yard.

It's so sad that a homeowner would feel the need to scream at someone over poop or pee. A polite request is all that is necessary. Makes me wonder if the screaming homeowner has other "issues" and the dog was in the line of fire.

In the part of our development that is fenceless, there are homeowners that have the invisible fences so that their dogs can run, play, and potty outside. I would hate to have to put my dog on a leash and walk her every time she needed to potty.

Rebecca S. said...

I suppose I am lucky to live on the side of the street without the sidewalk. The cats do more of that stuff in our yard than any dogs. I do love dogs, and I don't think it would offend me if the occasional dog went in my yard, as long as the owner cleaned it up. However, I do agree that dog owners should put more effort into training their dogs to 'go' in common areas, their own yards, or on the sidewalk, not on people's grass. But I think it must be said - when I was a kid NOBODY picked up after their dogs and boy, oh boy, when the snow started melting in spring one had better look out for 'landmines!' So anything these days is better than that. I don't want to get overly picky about it. I really don't.

Unknown said...

I always scoop our poop, but the pee isn't as easy to handle. I just walk our dog and keep them near the edge of the street/grass. If a neighbor screams at me, I make it a point to stay away from their yard.
I had a neighbor yell at me once for my dog's pee contaminating his grass where his grandchildren play. Personally I think he's an a**hole, but I didn't say anything to him. I also think he's an idiot because grass is not sterile and neither is the dirt. And it is full of rabbit, cat, dog, fox, deer, etc. pee/poop because all of these animals are spotted in our neighborhood. Whatever. I just try to do the best I can to respect the neighbor's wishes.

Abby said...

Yes, we own a dog.
Yes, she has a dog run in the back yard.
Yes, I clean the dog run each week.
Yes, I walk her every day.
Yes, I bring plastic bags.
Yes, nearly all of my neighbors own dogs.
No, I don't care if they "use" our lawn as long as they clean it up.

Hilary said...

We have a lot of walkers in our neighborhood who are accompanied by their canine friends. So long as the owners are cleaning it up, I don't have problem with it. I would prefer that they use the strip between the street and the sidewalk-- and STILL pick it up-- but the main issue for me is picking it up.

We dog-sit for my parents and I always pick it up, even when it's soft, steaming and squishy (I just threw up in my mouth a lil bit). If I can do it, so can everyone else.

BTW, missed seeing you guys this summer. Maybe we can get together for a fall dinner?

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

I have dogs. LOTS of dogs. I do not mind if your dog uses my yard, but I do not want to step in it when I'm mowing.

We have dogs that are allowed to run loose over here and it ticks me off when I have stepped in their poop! I want to pick it up and plant it in front of their door so when they walk out the first place they step is in their dogs poop!

Bad me, huh???

BTW-thanks for stopping by my place! I always enjoy your comments!

Anonymous said...

My private pages. Send email for password to protected posts.

Stephanie said...

I have a dog. She is trained to only go is a certain area of our yard. I will not take the chance that our kids may slip in her business. Yuckers!
I get ticked off if people don't clean up after their animals. It's just comon courtesy:)

Buckeroomama said...

I love dogs, but am not currently a dog owner. When we had dogs, we never let them pee/poop in other people's property. I would prefer not to have dogs come into our yard and do their business there, regardless of whether the owner cleans up. I think dog owners should respect other people's property; it's totally the property owner's prerogative whether or not he would want other people's dogs doing their business there...

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I own 5 dogs. 3 of them run in the yard within the confines of an invisible fence. 2 of them are leash walked.

The first foot of anyone's yard from the street side shouldn't be an issue in my opinion. We all scoop.

There are always going to be ugly, short-tempered folks and I would just avoid them.

Of course, if someone had their lawn sodded and perfectly manicured, I would probably cross the street before I came up to it.

I like animals more than I like people.

Unknown said...

I never thought about it. Any dog is welcome to do it's business in my yard!

SuziCate said...

Fortunately, my dog will only go in our yard...well, she won't go while leashed which leaves it to being our backyard (which I regularly scoop). I don't mind if other dogs go in ours as long as they pick it up.

Paul C said...

My daughter lives in downtown Toronto and has a beautiful Yorkie. There is a park nearby their condo with some precious green space. I pity these dogs a little. How excited they would be on a pristine country field.

Midlife Mom said...

We don't have a dog now but my house was all fenced in back when we did so it was no problem. I don't mind dogs going on my lawn as long as it's picked up. I just hate to be walking along and slip in it, yuck! lol! On our last dog walk to raise money for the Humane Society I was the one who stepped in some poop even though we had passed out bags for everyone. We have a lot of dogs in our neighborhood and most everyone is good about keeping their dogs on a leash and being responsible. As for the people that yell and scream, I think they need something more important to think about! :o)

Menopausal New Mom said...

Anita, I can always count on a completely original topic here Lol!

Not a dog owner at the moment but I don't mind the neighborhood dogs doing their business in my yard as long as No 2 gets picked up. With a 4 year old playing in the yard, it wouldn't be cool to have her rolling around in doggy doo.

Sorry I haven't been around, been a crazy summer, just got rid of company - 7 people at one time! Do I need to mention the word "stressed" Lol!

Anonymous said...

OMG Hi Anita...Im glad you found this blog..I sent emails to all but some said they didnt get them...How are you...!Ive missed you ..I was gone for over 2 months...not planned that way..just so much to do..!

Anonymous said...

Our dogs only poop and pee in our yard..they get exercise there as well and extra exercise at the beach..Im not really too fussy about it with others but I certainly understand the feelings of those who don't really like it..!

Bernie said...

Timely topic! People in our neighborhood clean up after their dogs and then there is no reason to complain.

I have a dog who is a wonderful dog but he is a big dog and I do hate cleaning up after him with a plastic bag but I do it. (but I get Jim to do it most of the time)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I think dog poop in your yard is just a part of life. Sort of like deer, squirrel, fox, bird poop or whatever else happens by. When I had a dog, I did pick it up when we went for a run, although I hated jogging with a steaming plastic bag in my hand.

For those who get angry about animals in their yards? I think they need something else to do. I know many don't like kids playing in their yards as it tramples the grass. Never understood that either.

Gee, guess I didn't have an opinion about that!

Annie Z said...

We have a dog and also a fenced in backyard. When we go for walks with him we have a plastic bag. And we don't have a problem with dogs coming onto our front yard, so no worries! But if one did, it would simply be another poop to clean up amongst the others in the backyard. A poop is a poop doesn't matter which dog it comes from! Just clean it up.

I must admit though, if I didn't have a dog I would be annoyed at having to clean up such yuckies when I didn't have to!

brittany h. said...

I'd recommend looking at a wireless fence from Havahart Wireless. The radial shape one covers up to a football field in all directions and the controller lets you know if your dog escapes

Anonymous said...

Easy question: In your own yard. How disrespectful to walk your dog over to someone elses property to do their business. Doesn't matter if you clean it up or not. If this wasn't disrespectful, then no one would be talking about it.

Anonymous said...

I live in a subdivision and have two small dogs that use my front yard. However, on any given day I also have at least 7 other dogs who use my yard as well. That is a LOT of poop and pee. Some don't pick it up. I watched as one of my neighbors let his dogs pee in the yard and then gave them a training treat!! I have also noticed that some neighbors make my yard the "destination" and then turn around and go home. I am a dog owner and I still don't appreciate my yard being used as a doggie Texaco station. I feel that if you are going to walk your dogs for exercise, let them do their business at home first. Any help in dealing with this problem would SOOO be appreciated!!! Thanks

Anita said...

To Anonymous from 11/30/11:

I wish I had an answer for you. Since writing this post, I have become very aware of where my dog goes, as I have learned that people, understandbly, do not like their yards used over and over as a public bathroom, even when the owner cleans up after them.

Maybe one of my readers who have commented on this post and subscribed to follow up comments will leave a suggestion.

Or maybe a new reader will take the challenge of answering.

Unfortunately, if you take aggressive action, you may become the neighborhood snob.

There has to be a solution for you, though. Good luck!

Write back when you figure it out. :)

Poophead said...

I own a dog and a house with a fenced in yard. Of course my dog relieves himself in my yard and I pick it up. I am also a RESPONSIBLE owner that knows dogs need to be walked for exercise, neighborhood orientation and yes to communicate with other dogs by leaving scents. Of course I pick up his poop and try to deter my dog from peeing on mailboxes, flowerpots, gnomes, decor, etc,... but the first 4 feet of EVERYONE'S property belongs to the town and taxpayers. If people can't understand that they should report dog owners to police and the officers can tell them the same thing. I pay the same tax rate as everyone else and would not complain if someone's child vomited on my lawn. Dogs need to be walked

Anita said...

Poophead, thanks for commenting! And for the laugh (your ID).
Seriously... I continue to be interested in the various opinions on this topic.
I've never heard the "4 feet" rule. Interesting.