Success for community dog fouling study

Erskine Community Garden had become so frustrated with the dog poo problem in their area they decided to take action. They designed dog bag dispensers and added them to commonly used dog walking routes in the hope of encouraging dog owners to pick up and reduced the incidents of dog fouling.

With our support, the group were able to measure how effective the bags were in the area so that other groups could replicate their efforts.

Although it might not have been a very pleasant job, over the course of seven weeks the group counted dog fouling incidents in areas before and after they put in place the bag dispensers.  The group valiantly picked up every single dog poo after counting – in the first week before they placed dispensers, they collected a staggering 164 dog poos. 

Positively, they found that dog fouling reduced when the dispensers were available. 

The group picked three different problem areas to target for this intervention. In the first few weeks, they counted all the dog poos in the areas to understand the baseline average of incidents in the area.  Once they had an average for each area, the group put up their dog bag dispensers.

Each week they went back out to count the number of incidents. The week following the installation of the dispensers, there was a decrease in the number of incidents in each area. The group maintained the dog bag dispensers to make sure there were always bags available. However, they found that where there had been a lack of bags there was an increase in incidents

The average number of incidents found at the areas before installing the dog bag dispensers was 28, and after installation was 11. Therefore, there has been a decrease of in dog fouling incidents in the sites by 60% over this intervention period. A great outcome!


Heather Clisset, the valiant volunteer and designer of the bags, said:

“I think what makes the difference - and something the local authority are already doing - is getting local people to lead the initiative of the dog bags. 

People can be negative about something council led, so there can be resistance to even a good and helpful act such as giving out bags. 

However, if it’s their neighbour, friend or family who does it, the time and effort is appreciated.”



Great example of a simple ‘nudge’ intervention helping to reduce dog fouling in an area. Interested in trying this out for yourself or would like to find out more - get in touch with us: cleanup@keepscotlandbeautiful.org ? Find out to make your own dog station here.


04 June 2018


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