How Do I Stop My Dog From Scratching The Door?

Posted by Robbi Hess on

You may wonder why your dog is scratching the door and how you can stop your dog from scratching the door. It’s something that pet parents have long struggled with: They love their homes, but their dogs are scratching the doors and destroying the doors and the door jambs and how can they stop the damage and protect their homes?

Before you can stop your dog from scratching the door you need to understand why he is doing it and help him modify his behavior -- in a positive way.

Why does my dog scratch the door?

When your dog scratches the door, when he’s outside, he is scratching to get your attention and be let back indoors. As pet parents we know that most of our day is spent letting our dogs out, only to let them back in a few moments later, then let then back out… you get it!

If your dog is inside and is scratching at the door he could be scratching for these reasons:

  1. Because he wants to go outside
  2. Because he hears someone or something outside the door and he wants to get to whomever or whatever it is
  3. He is bored
  4. He is anxious and suffering separation anxiety
  5. He is trying to get your attention for any number of reasons

A dog who “communicates” by scratching at the door needs to be given other communication methods that don’t involve him damaging the home. Damaging the home is one of the issues when your dog is scratching, but your dog could also hurt himself when he’s scratching. He could crack his nails or get splinters of the scratched wood in his paw pads. If he has scratched enough of the door he may also be able to gnaw on the wood and if he swallows it, he could damage his intestines.

Scratching the house is annoying, that’s for sure, but more importantly your pet could get injured because he’s scratching.

How can you get your dog to stop scratching?

  1. Understand why he’s scratching. If he has to go out to go to the bathroom, you need to teach him other ways to communicate that -- ringing a bell, or coming to you and barking then running toward the door. It’s up to you to show him a different method of communication.
  2. Install a doggy door. A doggy door isn’t an ideal option for all dog owners, especially if you live in an area of the country where racoons or coyotes or other wildlife could use the door to get in the house. Also, if your doggy door doesn’t lead out into a fenced in yard, your dog could get run away and get lost.
  3. Put up a barrier -- a baby gate or other obstacle that prevents your dog from getting to the door. This is not ideal because it will make it problematic for you to get to the door. The obstacle you’ve placed in your dog’s path could simply become another item for your dog to scratch on in order to get to the door.
  4. Get on a routine. If your dog scratches when he has to go outside to go to the bathroom, make note of his routines and anticipate his needs to go outside before they arise. Take him out before he feels the need to scratch.
  5. Install a CLAWGUARD door protector. Sometimes you’re not home and your dog is scratching the door because she suffers separation anxiety. When this happens you need to find a way to protect the door and stop the damage while you uncover ways to help your dog and her separation anxiety. The door shield will protect the home and protect your dog from getting harmed if she scratches while you’re away. Talk with your vet to come up with a plan to address your dog’s separation anxiety and help her relax while you’re away.

With time, patience and understanding you can help your dog stop scratching the doors and protect him and your home.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from dog damage and cat damages. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  Check us out on Amazon and read our many FIVE STAR reviews!

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