Dogs defecating on the porch is not uncommon. While they're technically using the bathroom outside, it's not exactly an ideal place for them to go. Dogs will continue utilizing that area without some redirection and proper cleaning. Understand how to keep a dog from pooping on the patio with these professional tips.
Learn Your Dog's Routine
Learn about your dog's behaviors and routine. Many dogs urinate, at a minimum, a few times per day, even as adults. Because they wait to go outside, housebroken indoor dogs are the easiest to train not to use the bathroom on the patio, because they already know the basics. The first several hours after feeding are typically when dogs have to defecate. To train your dog not to use the bathroom on the porch, you should learn their normal patterns. Does your dog have to go potty after eating, sleeping, or playing? Or, perhaps it's all of those listed.
Utilize the Leash While Training
When your dog is ready to go outdoors, put them on a leash and lead them past the patio. Bring your dog to the new location you want them to use. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood until they do their business, if necessary. If the dog is hesitant to walk on a leash, take them off and wait at the bottom of the porch stairs to prevent entry.
Allow entry to the porch or inside the home when the dog is done going potty. If you have a hard time preventing your dog from entering when they're supposed to, consider a gate for the porch while you wait so you're not in a battle on who gets to be on the porch.
Advice from an Expert
According to Kelly Roper, dog breeder and exhibitor, "I don't know what inspired the first dog to poop on the patio instead of in the yard, but I'm not surprised everybody else is joining in. The material that makes up your patio floor is likely somewhat porous and has absorbed the scent from your dogs' soiling. This will continue to draw them back."
Roper continued to explain if a dog is pooping on the patio, it likely needs a good scrub to remove lingering scent, then a sealer should be applied to make the patio less appealing, and the yard more appealing.
There is a product called a Pee Post that is infused with pheromones that are supposed to attract your dog to that spot to potty. Just stick it on the ground in the spot you want them to use the bathroom and introduce them to it. Once they start pottying there, they will probably continue.
If all else fails, you may have to build an actual kennel run for the dogs in order to keep them from abusing your patio. If you own a dog house shelter, you are already halfway there.
You aren't going to get anywhere by punishing or scolding, and if you were to, it would hinder the bond you share with your dog. You don't want them not to go potty on the patio because they are scared of you. Remaining patient, calm, and providing positive reinforcement is critical. Positive reinforcement involves praise or providing your dog with a healthy treat when they go potty in the desired area.
When you apply positive reinforcement, your dog will begin to gain an understanding of the correlation between that particular area and goodies. A dog's goal is to please you, especially if your bond is strong. If they notice they are pleasing you by going potty where they receive their goodies, they are more likely to continue going there.
It's important to remember why dogs need to be trained on where to go to the bathroom. If they weren't in your home, where would they go potty? Where do their ancestors use the bathroom? That's right. Wherever they choose. They aren't hard-wired to understand they aren't supposed to use the bathroom in certain places, but with some training, they will learn what is expected.
Also, keep in mind that dogs do not like to go to the bathroom in a confined space where they sleep, such as a kennel. You can use this to your advantage through kennel training your dog from the time they are a puppy. Just be consistent and make sure you rely on positive reinforcement to achieve the desired results.
Using the Techniques Recommended
If your dog has soiled the patio before, it's likely the scent is still there, even if you can't smell it. This is encouraging to a dog and can result in them going potty in those spots. It's not anything against you. It's instinctual. Remove the scent as recommended and apply the techniques discussed. Above all, remember to be patient. You will get there. All training is a process and it may just take some time.