Puppy is blocked from the door

How to Stop Your Dog From Scratching the Door?

Dogs are amazing companions, but their natural instinct to scratch can wreak havoc on your doors. 

If you’re tired of replacing doors or listening to the incessant scratching, fear not! 

There are several steps you can take to stop your dog from scratching the door.

Why Dogs Scratch Doors

Before you can address the scratching, it’s important to understand why your dog is doing it in the first place. Here are some common reasons:

1. Anxiety and Boredom: 

A bored or anxious dog may scratch at doors as a way to release energy or relieve stress.

Wanting Attention: Some dogs scratch at doors to get your attention, even if it’s negative attention.

2. Needing to Go Out: 

Your dog may be scratching at the door to let you know they need to go potty or want to go outside for playtime.

3. Marking Territory: 

Some dogs scratch at doors to leave their scent and mark their territory.

4. Hearing Something: 

Your dog may be scratching at the door because they hear something on the other side that piques their curiosity.

How to Stop Your Dog From Scratching the Door

Once you have identified the reason why your dog is scratching at doors, you can start to take steps to stop the behavior. Here are some tips:

1. Address the underlying cause: 

If your dog is scratching at the door due to anxiety or boredom, try to address the underlying cause. For example, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. You can also try providing them with a scratching post or other toys to help them release energy.

2. Ignore the behavior: 

When your dog scratches at the door, ignore them. Do not give them any attention, even if it is negative attention. This will help them learn that scratching at the door is not an effective way to get attention.

Dogs are smart and they quickly learn what behaviors get their attention. If you give your dog attention for scratching at the door, even if it’s negative attention, you’re inadvertently reinforcing the behavior.

Dr. Sarah Wooten. The veterinarian and animal behavior specialist.

3. Provide an Alternative

Offer your dog an alternative outlet for their scratching, such as a scratching post or pad. Place the scratching post near the door where they usually scratch and encourage them to use it. You can also attract them to the post by rubbing it with catnip or their favorite scent.

4. Deterrent Sprays and Products

There are several deterrents available that can discourage your dog from scratching the door. These include sprays with unpleasant tastes or scents, and adhesive barriers that create an uncomfortable scratching surface.

5. Positive Reinforcement

Whenever your dog catches themselves not scratching the door, reward them with praise, treats, or their favorite toy. Positive reinforcement helps your dog associate not scratching with positive outcomes, thereby strengthening the desired behavior.

6. Door Protectors

For added protection, consider installing door shields or protectors. These barriers come in various materials like vinyl, plastic, and wood, and they help shield your door from scratches and damage.

7. Consider a Dog Door

If your dog frequently needs to go in and out, installing a dog door can be a viable solution. This way, they can come and go as they please without scratching the door.

8. Consult a Trainer

If you’ve tried all the above and your dog still persists in scratching the door, it’s best to consult a professional dog trainer. They can help you identify the specific trigger for your dog’s behavior and develop a personalized training plan to address it.

Conclusion

With a little effort and patience, you can successfully train your dog to stop scratching the door and keep your home looking its best.

FAQs


How long does it take to train a dog to stop scratching the door?

With consistent training and positive reinforcement, most dogs can learn to stop scratching within a few weeks to a few months.

Is it okay to punish my dog for scratching the door?

No, punishing your dog for scratching the door is not recommended and can make the problem worse.

Do I need to use all of the suggestions in this guide to stop my dog from scratching the door?

Not necessarily. The best approach will depend on the specific needs of your dog and the situation.

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