repellent for dogs

ilmbgNovember 5, 2011

I live in a condo where people, two in particular let their dogs urinate on my tea roses everyday. I have talked to them nicely explaining that my hands are touching rhe roses often for maintainance and that I would appreciate them not letting their dogs urinate... well, you know how effective that was.:( grrrr The dogs are both uncut Chichuahua's and neither owner even tells them to stay away from the plants(I have many flowers/plants). Don't even suggest calling the HOA- they are worthless, and I would rather the not have hard feelings with these neighbors- I have to see them daily.

What have you found to be the best repellent? A commercial one or a homemade one? PLEASE let me know! And if there is a forum with more traffic, please tell me so I can ask my question there.


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jerijen(Zone 10)

In our collective experience of some 60 years of dog training, DH and I have never seen a repellant that repelled anything other than US.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 4:17PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Any way you can put some low fencing/a physical border there to make it harder for these little dogs to hit the mark?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 2:51PM
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caldonbeck(UK (8))

Put a short 'pee pole' in front of the roses - they will pee on them and miss the roses. Forget trying to stop them and try to change them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 4:57PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

It is difficult for me to think of Chihuahuas as dogs, though technically I suppose they are.

There are some commercial products that seem to work somewhat, but you need to apply them very frequently: after every rain or irrigation.

I'm just wondering how a Chihuahua can aim high enough to hit a bloom, though I know roses are shorter in colder areas of the country than they are here.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 6:35PM
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The plant is not tall- maybe 12-14 inches. It is at the bottom of the steps from upstairs- an area about one square foot- there isn't room to 'fence it in'. I think I will have to try commercial getting d#^med tired of rude people- tired of picking up trash, cigarette butts, people taking tomatoes off the plants, cutting roses, taking hot peppers....:(

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 4:23AM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

Install a small electric fence, let um pee on
Maybe try the pee-pole idea that caldonbeck mentioned.
I've never seen a repellent for dogs that was very effective either.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 9:33AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

The only thing that has kept my two large dogs out of the garden is fence, and it has to be tall and sturdy enough to keep them from jumping over or bowling through. It sounds like you have a very challenging spot to garden in, any time your plants are in a place where the public has access they are vulnerable. I recently installed a new garden along the street in front of my home and since it's been finished I've had to pick litter out of it every day.

I have seen 'cat deterrent spikes' that you put on the ground to poke their feet so they don't poop in your soil, chihuahuas are small enough that the cat spikes might do the job.

I wish you luck!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 10:04AM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

One of my biggest challenges is guarding my roses against my own dog. I can tell you that I've not found anything that repels her; only raised, fenced beds or pots are effective.

Unfortunately, this isn't a dog problem, it's a people-problem. Since you have to see them every day, I think you have to decide which option is easier to deal with; their opinion of you or your sanity. Reasonable folks wouldn't have any problems with your request. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:46AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I have to agree with flaurabunda. These people aren't reasonable and I'd quit worrying about their feelings. Don't be rude but stand your ground. Their dog should not be using your area for it's toilet. It should be using theirs!

I can sympathize with the rest of your problems too. I'm on a very busy street a block from a 7-Eleven and I have to pick up trash constantly. And now that I've put a rose bed out near the street people have been helping themselves to my roses as well. I was heart sick when someone cleaned me out just days before my only local fall rose show this September. I do not understand this thinking that you are entitled to just help yourself to other peoples things! I've put a 3 foot high fence up and a sign that says to "Please STOP picking the Roses" but it hasn't really done all that much good. Less were taken but I've still lost several blooms. I may just electrify it and see what that does!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 4:20PM
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My husband's dogs would dig holes to China in my cutting garden (because I kept them very moist). I can't tell you the number of times I literally cried over the damage they did. I bought one of those little battery operated kits for an electric fence and enclosed the cutting garden. The enclosure can be as big or as small as you need it. Believe me, they didn't get in it after the first time. Some people may think that's cruel, but I shocked myself with it to see how bad it was, and it wasn't that strong a shock. It was the only thing that worked with those two dogs. They found someplace else to dig their holes to sleep in. We live on acreage, so they had plenty of other choices, but dogs seem to love to get into what you've spent hours and hours working on.

My 89 year old father has an avocado tree at the end of his driveway. Last week some man sat in his truck and blew his horn over and over. My father, thinking something was wrong, went as fast as his old legs would carry him to the end of the driveway. You know what he wanted? If he could have all the avocados on the tree. I can't imagine what people are thinking sometimes, but I guess after reading some of the other posts, my father was lucky the man didn't just strip the tree.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:51PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

The electric fence is a good idea. I'd try that.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 6:54PM
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stlgal(south z5)

I'd be sorely tempted to go the electric fence route, particularly if I had to deal with people stealing roses like seil has...Amazon sells a kit:

They'd think twice before invading your beds again!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:54PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Thanks, stlgal! And it's not even too expensive. I may just invest in that!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 11:45PM
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Well, thanks for the idea, but an electric fence won't work- the area is only about a foot wide, and right at the bottomof the stairs- too close to the stairs and might shock the people (which in reality I really 'don't give a d##m', but it just doesn't have enough room. I haven't gotten to the store yet- I think I'll try some VERY hot pepper too....

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 1:30AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Replace your rose with a rugosa. If not a rugosa, make it a very thorny one. Or you could try a fence of hardware cloth around the outside of the rose. A temporary fence might get the message to them-- especially if you put something there that may block where the dogs pee. If they come at the same time everyday, you could set out some sprinklers.

I prefer the rugosa rose. It really can be thorny.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 6:56AM
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Campanula UK Z8

air rifle. catapult if you feel humane.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:08AM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

How about one of those motion activated garden statues (short) that sprays water. Chihauhuas, I'm sure, wouldn't like getting wet.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 9:48AM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

How about a scat mat? They lay on the ground and shock animals that step on them, your space is pretty small but they have several different sizes so you might be able to make one work. You also might want to concider purchasing a sign, I saw one that says 'Please don't water our plants, curb your dog' and has a peeing dog with a red circle and slash, if you get it and put it right in front of the rose it can be both a deterrent sign and a pee pole.

Perhaps a combination of methods will be most effective.

seil - I was stopped at a red light recently admiring someone's great rose bush when, just as the light turned green, I was horrified to see a group of hooligans come along and start tearing the blooms off, I couldn't believe they would just do that. I am continually shocked by the things people will do, it makes me very glad that I have a 6' fence in my front yard, I don't care how many landscape design rules it breaks!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 10:10AM
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stlgal(south z5)

Another possibility would be a short solid border for the bed, even 2 foot tall might prevent the little dog from peeing directly on the rose and there are several attractive possibilities commercially available.

I have the beds on the side/back of the house which limits people from messing with them. I've never followed a bloom to find it missing (which would really tick me off). I'd been thinking it would be nice if more people could appreciate them but now I'm seriously reconsidering that. I sometimes stray into stranger's yards to see whether the rose they are growing has pretty/fragrant blooms, but I can't imagine harming it

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 1:06AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I've never had a problem before we put the bed out by the street. I do have a hunch that it's the school kids going by that are doing it. They are not just torn off and left though. They are completely gone. I can't imagine what they're doing with them and if I were a parent and my kid came home with a handful of roses I didn't grow I'd sure as heck want to know where they got them! But times have changed and people don't seem to think anything of taking other peoples things. "I'm entitled!" is the attitude. As a little kid my Mom would slap my hand if I even went to touch someone else's flowers let alone pick one. And when I take walks in the neighborhood I do go up and look and sometimes photograph some of the neighbor's gardens but they all know me and my camera quite well. It would never occur to me to pick anything!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:23PM
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Well, today I went to Lowe's and found something by 'Havahart'. It is supposed to deter deer, dogs, raccoons, etc. We'll see how it works....I liked your ideas, but mostly (I guess you'd have to see the layout), I can only consider a 'border'. But then the dog will still pee on the border:((. That leaves urine smells on top of the fact that I handle the plant and the urine makes the plant wilt. I just can't imagine people's brain's...I would LOVE to go upstairs (these people live above me), and let some dog pee on their porch chairs while they are sitting in them... :)) I wonder how they would appreciate that??
seil- Is it possible that deer are taking the whole flower/plant??
Methinks it is the human animal, though. Disgusting...

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:56PM
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seil zone 6b MI

No there aren't any deer here...yet. There are some a few miles north of us but there are some forested areas there. I'm in a very densely built area and they haven't come this far. I would say rabbits except that the one was well over six feet high on Graham Thomas. Don't know of any 6 foot tall bunnies...except maybe Harvey!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 5:03PM
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alameda/zone 8

Home Depot has some inexpensive wire border/edgers, like a little fence. You can spray any color you want, have seen them in brown and dark green. They could prevent the dogs from actually going up to the flowers to pee. If they were very small dogs and could somehow get thru the border to the plant, you could get a little roll of chicken wire or hardware cloth [have seen this at Lowes, am sure HD has it too] and cut and zip tie it to the border. The border has wire that sticks in the ground - little dogs cant jump over it. If they pee on it, it would be easy to wash off with the hose.

Also, is there a leash law? If so, and they let them run loose - you can report them. What about your condo management, could you complain to them? If they are in violation, perhaps there are fines in place to take care of that. Hitting them in the pocketbook is a sure way to get action. Or maybe get a huge bottle of cayenne pepper from Sam's and sprinkle it where they go....maybe make them think twice about going near the flowers. Good luck. I have never understood why some people think they are entitled to infringe on the rights of others. If the shoe was on the other foot, bet they would be squealing like stuck pigs.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 11:36AM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

In my experience, dogs usually sniff around before they urinate. In addition to the product you bought, it's cheap
enough to sprinkle some black pepper around that area.

Wouldn't hurt the plants or dogs but might make them sneeze a bit and deter them from coming back to that spot.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 2:35PM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Nothing stops dogs short of a physical barrier. I've been gardening with dogs for decades. Chemical deterrents, cayenne pepper, stuff like that, useless. Especially when you're dealing with intact male dogs already in the habit of using your plants as their marking post.

When I had a very large male dog, I had to put sheets of plexiglass in front of plants to keep him from peeing on the plants and killing them. This was a 120lb bullmastiff and he could kill smaller plants by peeing on them. Currently I have a 35lb male boston terrier mix and he doesn't kill things, but he does kill branches and grass and things can stink in dry weather.

You need some kind of barrier. Scat mats are great, look in to those. Chicken wire can be enough of a barrier with most dogs. I lay it on the ground where my dogs have been digging and they don't like to walk on it, and they're way bigger than Chihuahuas. A pee pole would be good too if you had space - they're going to pee in this area anyway no matter what you do so you just try to deflect them off your plants. And, I've noticed that my dogs do not like to walk on beach glass, no matter how well eroded and rounded it is - can you mulch with glass? I know crushed rounded glass is available for using in paving. They don't like barnacles either, or lots of broken shells, when we're on the beach, maybe you could get your hands on mussel or oyster shells.

In my own yard I have to use fencing to keep plants from being trampled. It's the only thing that really works with dogs.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:03PM
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