what repels dogs

what repels dogs


What Repels Dogs

1. Understanding the Dog’s Senses

You might think that dogs, with their keen sense of smell, are attracted to every scent. But that’s not the case. Just like you, they have their likes and dislikes. And it’s specifically this sense of smell, along with their hearing, that you can use to keep them away from certain areas or objects.

Dogs have an incredibly advanced sense of smell, far superior to ours. They can distinguish between a vast array of different smells. So, if there’s a particular scent they find unpleasant, they’ll do their best to avoid it.

Similarly, dogs’ hearing is also remarkably sensitive. They can hear at much higher frequencies than we can. Again, certain sounds can be distressing or uncomfortable for them, causing them to steer clear.

2. Scents that Repel Dogs

Here are some scents that dogs generally find repulsive. You can use these to deter them from certain areas.

  1. Citrus: Dogs generally dislike the smell of citrus. This includes lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and limes.
  2. Vinegar: It’s a strong smell that can deter dogs, but be careful not to use too much as it can harm their noses.
  3. Chili Pepper: Capsaicin, the element that gives chili its heat, is irritating to dogs.
  4. Mothballs: Dogs find the smell of naphthalene in mothballs unpleasant, but be cautious as they can be toxic if ingested.

3. Sounds that Repel Dogs

High-frequency sounds, often referred to as ‘dog whistles’, can be used to repel dogs. These are sounds that are beyond the range of human hearing, but can be very uncomfortable for dogs. Here are some types of sounds that can deter dogs:

  • Ultrasonic dog deterrent devices
  • High pitched whistles
  • Certain smartphone apps that emit high-frequency tones

4. Products that Repel Dogs

There are also many commercial products available that can help keep dogs away. These products are usually safe for dogs and non-toxic.

Product Name Type of Repellent Application
Boundary Spray Smell Indoor & Outdoor
PetSafe SSSCAT Motion-Activated Indoor
Havahart Critter Ridder Smell & Taste Outdoor

5. Training to Repel Dogs

Sometimes, the best repellent is good training. Teach your dog what’s off-limits by consistently enforcing boundaries. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior, and discourage unwanted behavior by redirecting their attention.


Q: Can I use essential oils to repel dogs?
A: Yes, but be careful. Some essential oils can be harmful to dogs if ingested or inhaled in large amounts.

Q: Are ultrasonic dog repellents harmful to dogs?
A: No, they’re generally safe. However, they should not be used excessively as they can cause distress.

Q: What if my dog is attracted to repellents instead of being repelled?
A: Dogs have individual preferences. If one repellent doesn’t work, try a different one, or consider seeking advice from a professional dog trainer.