How to Stop Dogs From Breaking Sprinklers

Fixed sprinklers can be expensive to replace; protect your wallet by teaching Fido to avoid them.
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If your dog would rather break sprinklers by digging, biting or chewing -- instead of enjoying their cooling spray -- it's an expensive problem. While portable sprinklers can simply be moved, fixed ones are easy prey. However, there are several ways to get your dog to stop his destructive behavior.

Step 1

Do not allow your dog free, unsupervised access to the sprinklers. This may require purchasing or building a dog run, or providing a way for him to run in the yard for a short period of time -- such as half an hour -- while still somewhat restrained. This could be done with a long tether, such as a length of rope tied to a clothesline for those with no fence. Remember to give your dog access to plenty of drinking water while he is restrained, as well.

Step 2

Teach your dog basic commands that can be used to halt his behavior when you catch him messing with the sprinkler, such as "heel" and "sit." Praise him lavishly when he complies to enforce the behavior of not touching the sprinkler.

Step 3

Train your dog to avoid the sprinkler. Watch as he approaches the sprinkler -- or call him over to it -- and then turn the water on abruptly. Turn it off as he backs or runs away. Do not let him see you turning the water faucet on. Repeat this step as necessary to make him think the sprinkler is activated by his approach.

Step 4

Spray the sprinkler heads with a bitter-tasting compound, such as pepper sauce or Bitter Apple, to make them unappealing to your dog's taste buds. You will need to reapply these after the sprinklers are used or it rains.

Step 5

Ease your dog's boredom, which may be why he is attacking the sprinklers. Provide plenty of toys that will engage his mind and body while he is playing in the yard alone, and rotate them so that they seem continually new. Make sure he is receiving adequate exercise -- long walks, games of fetch, and lots of running.

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