Dog Pooping on the Driveway? Learn Why & How To Stop It

A close-up shot of a pug with a guilty look on his face.

Dogs are creatures of  habit, just as we are. However, their bathroom habits differ significantly.

Tales of dogs pooping on the neighbor’s lawn, on the back deck, or even on the bed are fairly common, but pooping on the driveway seems absurd.

Believe it or not, it’s really not that unusual. They poop once on the driveway, and this becomes their go-to spot.

Why does my dog poop on the driveway? Dogs may poop on the driveway for several reasons: they may be attempting to mark their territory or cover up scents from other animals, they may have had a previous unpleasant experience with grass or your yard, they may not be feeling well, or the behavior may have simply become a habit.

If you are having trouble with your dog pooping in the driveway, you’ll want to gain control of this behavior quickly as the longer it continues, the harder it will be to break. 

The first step in controlling this behavior is learning why it happens. There’s no cause for alarm as many preventative measures exist to end this habit. 

Reasons Why Dogs Poop on the Driveway

Driveways are typically made of concrete, making the surface unusual for dogs to want to poop on.

Therefore, finding dog poop on your driveway should spark curiosity to find out the cause of the problem. 

Marking Territory

Every dog wants to mark their home as a way of establishing territory. The majority of the time, dogs pee on surfaces to mark their territory; however pooping signifies a dire need to establish boundaries. 

Threats from other dogs or creatures may influence this need. New surroundings or a sudden change in circumstances may also trigger this behavior.

A survey shows that 72.5% of dogs routinely display some form of anxiety. Tense situations caused by fear of other dogs may make your pup mark their territory more than usual. 

Bad Habit

Although pooping on the driveway might result from anxiety and boundary issues, your dog could also be pooping there simply because it has become a habit. 

Perhaps one day it was too cold or rainy to venture to his usual bathroom area, or maybe something beyond the driveway scared him late at night and he decided that the driveway was the only safe place in the yard that he could “go.”

Dogs are habitual. Thus, some dogs poop in unusual areas, like the driveway, and continue to poop there despite being correctly potty trained. 

Negative Experience With Grass

Dogs need to be comfortable where they poop.

Any negative experiences with your lawn and yard could cause your dog to associate pooping there with discomfort and could explain why he is choosing the driveway to relieve himself.

Examples of possible negative experiences include:

  • Being bitten or stung by something in the lawn.
  • Grass that is wet/slippery, frozen, prickly, tall enough to poke him while squatting, littered with thorns or broken glass, etc.
  • Strong odors from fertilizer or pest-control products.
  • Being yelled at or scolded for walking across a certain area of the yard.

Slowly reintroduce them to the lawn by first checking for anything that might hurt them or make them uncomfortable, and then making every trip outdoors a very positive experience for them.

Remember to praise your dog profusely when he “does his business” in an acceptable area.   

Attempting To Cover Up Other Odors

Dogs’ protective and territorial nature means that they do not like to tolerate other smells in their territory. 

If cats, raccoons, or other critters defecate in your yard or anywhere close to your house, your dog will instantly pick up the smell.

Without thinking about it, he also will defecate to mask that smell with his own. 

Dogs consider this “cleaning up” since their territories should only smell like their scent.  

Gut Issues 

More often than not, sick dogs poop in undesignated areas. These areas include your house and driveway.

Gut issues such as indigestion and other stomach maladies can sometimes cause the sudden change of elimination behavior. 

Examine if there are other areas with dog poop. Random pooping may indicate a lack of bowel control. You should visit the vet if you suspect such issues. 

How To Stop Dog From Pooping on the Driveway

A red dog lying down with one paw covering his nose.

 

Stopping your dog from pooping on the driveway requires you to first determine the cause of the habit. 

Every reason has its own solution, and no two dogs are quite alike. However, here are the general solutions to get your pup back to pooping in their designated spot. 

Potty Train 

If you have had your dog for a significant period, you know when they want to go. 

Whenever your dog shows that they need to poop, take them outside to the designated location and stay there until the mission is accomplished.

Encourage your dog to poop in the right place by remaining calm so as not to cause him anxiety. 

Reward him with praise and/or a special treat (these yummy morsels are the perfect size) when he gets it right.

You can potty train dogs of all ages. All that’s needed is a bit of patience and love.  

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Use White Vinegar 

Spray vinegar on your driveway. Dog’s hate the smell of vinegar. White vinegar is a natural and non-invasive method to deter your dog from pooping on your driveway.

Vinegar is also an affordable product that you probably already have in your pantry. Its powerful scent may be enough to encourage your dog to go elsewhere.

Try Dog Deterrents 

While this may be a slightly more costly option, deterrent sprays can be an effective solution. My recommendation would be Liquid Fence as many similar products are only available in granular form.

For best results, spray the entire driveway liberally, and reapply weekly. 

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Purchase Pea Gravel 

If your dog had an unpleasant experience with grass, he might choose to never poop in a grassy spot. 

Pea gravel is a great alternative. It has small, smooth pebbles that will be comfortable for your pup to poop on and will not hurt his paws. 

Changing the pooping surface will correct the habit of pooping in the driveway. 

Related Questions:

What Smells Do Dogs Hate To Pee On?

Dogs generally prefer their pee areas to be neutral in smell so that the area is easy to mark as “theirs.”

Not being able to pee on certain smells is more of a territorial issue than anything else. Most dogs prefer not to pee on:

  • Vinegar.
  • Ammonia.
  • Hot peppers. 
  • Essential oils. 
  • Citrus.

Why Does My Dog Poop in the House After Going Outside?

Some severe issues might lead your dog to poop in your house even after going outside. The most common reasons for such habits include:

  • Medical issues.
  • Substrate preferences.
  • Poor potty training.

However, house-trained dogs may have such accidents due to stress or a change in environment. 

Conclusion

Constantly finding poop on your driveway is disappointing. If you have carried out proper potty training, there might be more profound reasons for such behavioral changes. 

Anxiety, behavioral, and boundary issues are typical in dogs. It would be best to get to the root of the problem before searching for an effective solution. 

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 02:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API