How to Stop Dog Pooping on Deck and Patio [10 Quick Steps!]

As a pet owner, it can be incredibly frustrating to find your dog pooping on the deck or patio. This behavior is not only unsanitary but can also disrupt the enjoyment of your outdoor spaces. This guide will provide you with a 10-step solution to this messy problem.

We’ll take you through an understanding of why your dog may prefer the deck to the grass, and provide effective deterrent strategies. Additionally, we’ll discuss how to clean up after such incidents, including those tricky winter months when everything is frozen solid. We’ll even delve into sudden changes in behavior from older dogs.

If you’re ready to reclaim your deck and patio, just keep reading below!

How to Stop Dog Pooping on Patio and Deck

How to Stop Dog Pooping on Deck

To stop your dog from pooping on the deck and patio:

  1. Know your dog’s schedule so that you can monitor them when they might need to go.
  2. Take them outside on their leash and lead them directly to the grass.
  3. Reward them with pets, praise, and a small treat when they go on the grass, or in another designated spot.
  4. Prevent your dog’s access to the deck until they’re in the habit of going only on the grass.
  5. Clear your deck off, then sweep it well.
  6. Rinse it down with water using a hose.
  7. Make a mixture of a 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to a gallon of water. Brush your deck with this mixture (which is safe for composite and wood).
  8. Allow it to air dry for 6 hours to 2 days, depending on how sunny it is.
  9. Any smell will go away once it’s dried, but your dog will still be able to detect the scent and will be deterred.

These steps will get your dog to stop pooping on the deck, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (anxiety or training difficulties) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary and they’ll just find other places to go that they shouldn’t.

“So, how do I make them last then?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog poops on the deck and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog pooping on the deck ever again!

Dog Poops on Patio Instead of Grass

how to stop dog pooping on patio

If your dog is choosing to poop on the patio instead of the grass, it might be due to a simple preference for the surface. Dogs can develop preferences for where they do their business based on the texture under their feet, the smell, or even past experiences.

Patios often have a solid, smooth surface, which some dogs might prefer over the feeling of grass. If your dog was trained as a puppy to go on concrete or paper, they might be more comfortable going on the patio.

Here are a few more reasons why your dog might be pooping on the patio instead of the grass:

  1. Grass aversion: Some dogs don’t like the feeling of grass on their paws. This can be especially true for dogs with sensitive feet or breeds that were not exposed to grass when they were puppies.
  2. Cleanliness: Many dogs might not like the idea of going to the bathroom where they play or hang out, which might be in the grassy parts of your yard.
  3. Bad experiences: If your dog has had a negative experience on the grass, like being stung by a bee or encountering an aggressive animal, they might avoid the grass and choose to poop on the patio instead.

If you want to encourage your dog to poop in the grass instead of the patio, you can do so by using positive reinforcement techniques. This involves rewarding your dog for going in the grass and gently discouraging them from going on the patio.

If you’re struggling with this issue, go back to the first section of this article now. We’ll explain step-by-step how to help your dog through this issue. A failure to do anything will just lead to their problem appearing even more frequently and in more areas.

You’ll find that your dog is pooping in your barn, pooping in your shed, and maybe even going into your house and pooping on your bed or in your closet too. I’m sure you can see now why you want to take care of this issue as soon as possible.

Dog Pooping on Deck: Why Do They Go There?

If your dog is pooping on your deck consistently, you might be wondering why they’ve chosen that spot. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help in addressing it effectively.


Sometimes, the deck is simply the most accessible place for your dog. If the deck is closer to the door or easier to reach than the yard, your dog might choose to go there out of convenience.

Comfort and Security

Dogs often choose to go to the bathroom in places where they feel secure. Your deck might feel safer or more comfortable to them than the yard, especially if the yard is large, open, or has a lot of foot traffic.

Weather Conditions

Your dog might also be choosing the deck due to weather conditions. If it’s raining, snowing, or very cold, your dog might not want to venture out into the yard, and the deck provides a more sheltered spot.

Training Issues

In some cases, a dog might poop on the deck due to training issues. If they were not properly trained to go in the yard, or if they were previously trained to go on a surface similar to your deck, they might be confused about where they should be going.

Addressing the Behavior

To address this behavior, ensure your dog has easy access to the yard and feels comfortable going there. You can do this by adding a doggie door or making sure to regularly let them out. If weather is a factor, create a sheltered spot in the yard for your dog to use.

If it’s a training issue, you should go back to the first section of this article now where we’ll explain in easy-to-follow steps how you can address this.

Remember, patience and understanding are key when dealing with behavioral issues. It might take some time, but with consistent effort, you can help your dog understand where they should be going to the bathroom.

What Deters Dogs From Pooping on Your Deck or Patio?

If your dog keeps pooping on the deck or patio, there are several deterrents you can try to discourage this behavior. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Citrus: Dogs generally dislike the smell of citrus. You can scatter orange or lemon peels around your deck or patio, or use a citrus-based spray, to keep your dog away.
  2. Vinegar: Another scent dogs tend to dislike is vinegar. Spray a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water around the area to deter your dog. Make the mixture no stronger than 1:1 so that it doesn’t dry out or discolor your wood. The smell will go away after about an hour.
  3. Spices: Some dogs are deterred by the strong smells of certain spices, such as cayenne pepper or chili powder. Sprinkle these around your deck or patio to deter your dog. Be careful, though, as these can irritate a dog’s nose and eyes.
  4. Commercial Deterrent Sprays: There are also commercial sprays available that are designed to deter dogs from certain areas. These often contain smells that dogs dislike.
  5. Training: One of the most effective ways to stop your dog from pooping on your deck or patio is through consistent training. Teach them where it’s acceptable to go and reward them for going in the right place. Go back to the first section of this article now to learn how.

Remember, not all dogs will react the same way to these deterrents, so you may need to try a few to find one that works for your dog. Always be mindful not to use anything that could harm your dog or damage your deck or patio.

How to Clean Dog Poop off Wood Deck or Patio

No one likes to deal with dog poop on their deck or patio, but accidents do happen. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean it up:

  1. Remove the Bulk: First, using a poop scoop or bagged hand, carefully remove as much of the poop as you can without spreading it around.
  2. Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix warm water and a gentle, non-toxic soap or deck cleaner. Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, as they can damage wood.
  3. Scrub the Area: Using a brush with stiff bristles, scrub the affected area with your cleaning solution. Be sure to scrub thoroughly to remove any remaining poop particles and stains.
  4. Rinse: After scrubbing, rinse the area with a hose. Ensure all the soap is washed away to prevent any residue or slipperiness.
  5. Disinfect: If you want to disinfect the area, use a pet-safe disinfectant. Spray it on the cleaned area and let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse again with water.
  6. Dry: Allow the area to air dry. If your deck is wood, make sure it’s fully dry before letting your dog back on to prevent slipping.

Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance of your deck or patio can help prevent stubborn stains and make the cleaning process easier when accidents do happen. To learn how to stop your dog from pooping on the patio or deck in the first place, go back to the first section of this article now.

How to Get Frozen Dog Poop off Deck or Patio

Dealing with frozen dog poop on your deck or patio during the colder months can be a bit tricky. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to handle it:

  1. Wait for Thawing: If the temperatures are fluctuating, wait for a warmer part of the day when the poop might have thawed a bit. This can make removal easier.
  2. Use a Spade or Shovel: If the poop is really frozen, use a flat-edged spade or shovel to carefully scrape it off. Be careful not to damage your deck or patio surface.
  3. Dispose of the Poop: Once you’ve scraped up the poop, dispose of it in a dedicated pet waste bin or bag.
  4. Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix warm water with a gentle, non-toxic soap or deck cleaner. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage your deck or patio.
  5. Scrub the Area: Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the area where the poop was. This will help remove any remaining particles or stains.
  6. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the area well with warm water and let it air dry. If your deck is wood, ensure it’s fully dry before letting your dog back on to avoid slips and falls.

Remember, regular maintenance and quick removal of pet waste, even in colder months, can help keep your deck or patio clean and sanitary. Learn about preventing this behavior by going back to the first section of this article now.

Older Dog Poops on Deck All of a Sudden

If your older dog has suddenly started pooping on the deck, it could be due to a variety of reasons ranging from health issues to changes in their environment or routine.

Health Issues

As dogs age, they can develop health issues that affect their bathroom habits. Arthritis or other mobility issues could make it difficult for them to reach their usual bathroom spot, and gastrointestinal issues could make it harder for them to control when and where they go.

Changes in Routine or Environment

Changes in your dog’s routine or environment can also cause changes in bathroom habits. If there’s been a recent change in their life – like a move, a new family member, or a change in their feeding schedule – they might start going on the deck as a way of coping with the change.

Sensory Changes

Older dogs can also experience sensory changes, such as loss of sight or smell, which can affect their bathroom habits. If they can’t see or smell as well as they used to, they might be confused about where they’re supposed to go.

Addressing the Behavior

If your older dog has suddenly started pooping on the deck, the first step is to consult with a vet to rule out any potential health issues. If it’s due to changes in routine or environment, try to minimize these changes where possible and give your dog plenty of reassurance and routine. If sensory changes are the cause, consult with a vet or a dog behaviorist for strategies to help your dog navigate their environment.

Remember, patience and understanding are key when dealing with changes in an older dog’s behavior. It might take some time, but with consistent effort, you can help guide them back to their normal bathroom habits.

Why Is My Dog Pooping on the Deck in the Winter?

If your dog is pooping on the deck during winter, it’s likely due to the cold and snowy conditions. Many dogs don’t enjoy the feeling of cold snow on their paws and will try to avoid it if possible. The deck, which is often cleared of snow, presents a more comfortable option for them.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and a sudden change in weather conditions can disrupt their regular routines. If the grassy areas where they usually do their business are covered in snow or ice, they might seek out the next best thing – in this case, your deck.

Here are a few more reasons why your dog might be pooping on the deck during winter:

  1. Comfort: The deck might be warmer or less uncomfortable than the snowy yard. It’s also closer to the home, which means less time spent in the cold.
  2. Safety: If the snow is deep, your dog might feel unsafe or unsure about venturing into it. The deck is a known and safe location.
  3. Visibility: If the snowfall is heavy, your dog might not be able to see their usual bathroom spots. The deck, on the other hand, is easy to locate.

To help your dog feel more comfortable going to the bathroom in the snow, you can create a clear path in the grass for them to use. You can also use positive reinforcement to encourage them to use this path. If your dog continues to poop on the deck despite your best efforts, go back to the first section of this article for more help.

Remember, changes in weather can be challenging for pets, so patience is key.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to enjoying nice days on the deck or patio without worrying about what someone might step in, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “How to Stop Dog Pooping on Deck and Patio.”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.