Do you have a dog who will scratch the door all the time? If you do, then you will want to know how to end this behavior. How to stop a dog scratching a door? Well, there are 6 steps you can take and each one is very important and effective. But, let’s start from the beginning and guide you through the whole process.
Why Does Your Dog Scratch The Door?
Before we move on to the actual steps and specifics, we need to reveal why dogs do this. At the end of a day, it comes to separation anxiety. Dogs scratch the door because they believe you will leave them and you will never come back home. We know this is not true. But they don’t. In order to learn how to stop a dog scratching a door, you need to know why they do it. Now you know the main reason.
The second reason can be to attract your attention. Every way a dog can get your attention is a good way for him. So, you can see dogs whining, scratching doors, chewing furniture and so much more. Keep in mind that some dogs will scratch the door because they want to get out.
6 Steps You Need To Take
Here are 6 main steps that work well with all dog breeds and have been more than just successful for thousands of dog owners. As you shall see, these are simple things you should do. Be patient. Your dog will not stop scratching the door in one day. He needs time to learn that this is not acceptable behavior.
Prevention Is The Key
The first thing you need to do is to try and prevent this from happening. Try to spend a lot of time with your dog, play with him and allow him to spend a lot of time outside. Certain dog breeds need a lot of physical activity so make sure you provide that. This is one of the factors you should consider when adopting a dog!
The idea is that if you make your dog happy, he will not annoy you. He won’t scratch the door and he will not look for ways to attract your attention. The more time you spend with your pet, the happier you two will be.
Install Dog Door
This can be an additional step or an option if you like. Just install the dog door that a dog can open with his ID. He will like the ability to come and go whenever he likes and he will not scratch the door. You can use this step as the last resort or the first one if you want the simplest solution.
Ignore Your Dog
The next step and the one you can use for any negative behavior out there is to simply ignore the dog. Once he is done scratching the door, you will reward him and you will allow him to go outside. The goal here is to ignore him as long as he is doing something bad. Once he settles down, you will reward his good behavior.
There is no need to add that this can be difficult but it is very effective. The best part here is the fact you can use the same tip or step for any negative behavior.
Manage Dog Excitement
This is not the same as ignoring your pet. Instead, you will have to stay calm and help him manage his excitement. For instance, you can give him a toy, you can talk to him in a calm voice and you can feed him. All you have to do is to help your pet understand that he should behave differently. Yes, all dogs will need a lot of time to understand this but some will learn faster than others. Stay persistent and don’t stop using the step here.
Teach Your Dog About Healthy Separation
In this step, you need to teach your pet that he can be alone at home and that you will always come back. The process is simple. You will leave your pet in one room of the house and leave the room. Of course, issue the command to stay and then leave.
When you come back and he is calm, reward him. After some time, you can leave your pet inside the house and you can go outside. Make sure he has a lot of food, water, and toys to play with during this process. When you come back and he acts normally, reward him.
In time, your pet will understand that he can stay home alone and that you will return. This does take a lot of time, especially for pets who have severe separation anxiety. But, in a matter of weeks, you will have a dog who will stop scratching the door and who will stay calm when you are not in the house.
Correct The Behavior In A Different Way
Some dogs will still scratch the door despite all the things you have done. The only thing you can do now is a firm correction. This means that you will have to teach your pet that you do not approve of that. The best example is also the simplest. Leave your dog in the room. He will scratch the door. When you come back, look him in the eyes and tell him ‘’no’’.
You must not hit or shout at your dog. This will make the whole process useless and you will end up with a dog who is scared of you. Repeat the practice as many times as you need and eventually your pet will understand that this is not something you will tolerate.
We must add that you should act as a leader in your home and only then your pet will obey you. Try to look strong so a dog will become submissive.
The Final Word
All of you now know how to stop a dog scratching a door within days. You need to remember that this is a simple process and can be applied to all dogs, of all ages and all breeds. It is far from something extremely complicated but it works well and it can help you. Just pay attention to details along the way.