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If you have a dog, you may have had to deal with door scratching. It’s one of the more common problems that pet parents face. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also lead to damaged doors and injured dogs.
There are a few different reasons why dogs scratch at doors. They may be trying to get your attention, they may be bored, have separation anxiety, or they may simply enjoy the sensation of scratching. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to stop your dog from scratching at the door for several reasons.
First, door scratching can lead to damage. If your dog scratches hard enough, they can break through the door itself or damage the frame. This can be expensive to repair and it’s also a safety hazard.
Second, door scratching is annoying! It’s something that you’ll have to constantly deal with if you don’t take steps to stop it.
Finally, door scratching can be a sign of other behavioral problems. If your dog is bored or anxious, they may start engaging in other destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture or urinating inside the house.
There are a few different ways that you can stop your dog from scratching at the door. You can use physical barriers like door guards or gates, you can train them not to scratch using positive reinforcement techniques, or you can provide them with alternative activities that will keep them occupied and distracted from the door.
The bottom line is this: stopping your dog from scratching at the door is important.
If you let down your guard for even a second, there’s your adorable puppy, once again making another long scratch on your door.
Dogs scratch doors for several reasons. Regardless, it’s a problem because it damages the doors and might injure your dog.
It is possible to keep your dog from scratching the door if you put some time and effort into breaking their habit. You first have to determine the cause of the action. This will help you figure out how to keep your dog from scratching the door.
This article discusses why dogs scratch doors and methods to address their needs while preventing further damage.
Why Do Dogs Scratch Doors?
If you wish to find a way to keep your dog from scratching the doors, it is essential to figure out what they need. Usually, when a dog scratches at the door, they want to be let out.
But different dogs have varying temperaments and behavior. Nevertheless, apart from signifying that your dog is in a playful mood, behaviors like scratching or chewing doors can also indicate the following:
Like humans, dogs are also curious creatures. Moreover, they are always excited to investigate everything around them. Similarly, your dog might want to see what is on the other side of the door.
If there is a foreign noise coming from outside, it is a natural tendency for dogs to want to investigate it. Therefore, to sate your dog’s curiosity, you can install dog doors in your house or provide a clear path to the other room.
Additionally, your dog might be scratching at the door because he needs to go potty.
Dogs can experience separation anxiety when they are away from their owners. Correspondingly, if your dog becomes stressed when you leave him for some time, it is likely that he might have separation anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety become restless when their owners are away, causing them to exhibit unusual behavior like barking, howling, or scratching at different surfaces.
Door scratching is a common problem for dogs with separation anxiety. For management, it is best to visit a veterinarian if you suspect your dog suffers from the condition as they can help.
Another common reason puppies scratch at the door is to find something to beat boredom. If you leave your dog without much to do, they will likely take it upon themselves to find entertainment.
Moreover, dogs usually scratch the door when they want to go out and play. To prevent this, you should take your dog on regular walks, provide mental stimulation, play together in the backyard, give them chew toys (we love KONG toys!) and give your dog exercise to keep them occupied.
Dogs like to be showered with love by their owner. They thrive on attention and love social interaction. Therefore, if your dog is scratching the door, he may want to get your attention.
If this is the case, spending quality time with your dog is the best way to prevent this behavior. Also, training, walks, and playing together are activities that you can enjoy together.
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How to Avoid Damage From Dog Scratching
Even though it can be adorable to look at your puppy scratching at the door, the damage it leaves on the door can be exasperating. Also, your dog can potentially hurt himself from the rough surface.
There is a high risk that your dog might crack or break his nails or wood splinters might wedge in his paws. Dogs may also gnaw or chew at the door, which can chip their teeth, leave wounds on their gums, and even seriously injure their intestines if the wood is ingested.
Meanwhile, damage to your door can create insect and pest problems. Hence, if your dog uses door scratching as a means of communication, it is best to teach him other methods. A few ways to stop your dog from scratching the door are as follows:
For pet parents, installing a doggie door is the great way to curb scratching at the door to go potty. However, ensuring that your area does not have wild animals like raccoons, foxes, and coyotes that can sneak in is essential. It’s a pet door only!
This really is only an option of you have a fenced backyard to ensure your dog does not run away, though.
Another viable option to prevent your dog from scratching door behavior is to install a baby gate that will keep the dog away from the door.
However, the barrier will be as much of a hurdle in your way as it is in your dog’s. It can also feed your dog’s habit by giving them something new to scratch.
Create a Routine
If your dog scratches at the door to be let out to play or to go potty, it is best to keep track of his schedule. Once you’re aware of the timing for his bathroom needs, you can be ready to let him out before he begins scratching.
Understanding your dog’s needs will help you train them to follow a routine and keep them from scratching at the door.
Another excellent method to stop your dog from hurting themselves while scraping their paws against the door is to use a door protector. Irrespective of your dog’s training, if he experiences separation anxiety, he might still claw at the door.
Rico has struggled with it since he was first rescued, and since we’ve moved so often it always tends to resurface when we’re in a new home. As a result, I have to be extra careful with the bedroom door.
While we’re working on this, I added sandpaper to the door protector. At least it’ll help keep my dog’s nails smooth!
Door protectors can come in handy while you train your dog and while you are away. A door guard/protector can go a long way in protecting your door while you work on helping your dog understand not to scratch.
Dog owners can choose door protectors that shield their doors from scratch marks and protect their dogs from injuries.
A Heavy-Duty Door
A better but more expensive alternative to door protectors is a heavy-duty door specifically made to be durable, so it’s more dog-friendly. These doors are sturdier and liberate you from worrying about damage from your dog’s scratching habits.
A metal door will prevent damage like wood door can get, but keep in mind that it doesn’t solve the underlying issue of stopping your dog from being stressed and exhibiting the bad behavior in the first place.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Rewarding good behavior is key to helping your dog stop scratching at the door. When you see signs that your dog typically shows before they start scratching, give him a treat or pat on the head or distract them with a play session.
This will help him learn that scratching at the door is not a good thing, being calm is a much better option because they get treats and play time, and they’ll learn to do the positive behavior of being calm and not scratching.
Getting your dog to break his dog scratching habits can be challenging. Therefore, you must invest time and patience during the process. Keeping a positive attitude is the first step toward ending this unwanted behavior.
However, it will be best to consult a vet if you suspect your dog has separation anxiety. Positive reinforcement, preventative measures like dog doors and door protectors can help you protect your door from damage while you help your dog adjust to more positive behaviors.