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How Do I Stop My Dog From Scratching The Door?

By :Amber Johnson-Drake Posted Apr 09, 2021
How Do I Stop My Dog From Scratching The Door?

You may be wondering why your dog is scratching the door and how to stop him from doing so. It's a problem that pet parents have faced for a long time: they love their homes, and of course pet parents love their dogs beyond belief. But, their dogs are scratching and damaging the doors and door jambs, and they don't know how to stop the damage and protect their homes.

Until you can stop your dog from scratching the door, you must first find out why he's scratching the door. Then, you can move forward with positive training to prevent further damage. It's a win-win; your dog gets what he wants without having to continuously scratch at the door for awareness and your home remains damage-free.

Why Do Dogs Scratch Doors?

If your dog scratches the door when he's outside, he's trying to get your attention so he can return inside. As dog lovers, we know that we spend the majority of our days letting our dogs out, then letting them back in a few moments later, then letting them back out... you get the picture.

If your dog is inside and is scratching at the door he could be scratching because:

  • He wants to go outside to go potty
  • She hears a noise outside she wants to investigate
  • He’s bored
  • She’s experiencing separation anxiety
  • He wants attention

A dog that communicates by scratching at the door should be taught other ways to communicate that do not include him causing damage to the house. When your dog scratches, he can cause damage to your home, but he may also injure himself in the process. He could break his nails or get wood splinters in his paw pads. If he scratches the door enough, he will be able to gnaw on the wood, which may cause damage to his intestines if swallowed.

Scratching the house is inconvenient, but more importantly, your dog can be injured as a result of his scratching.

Prevent Door Damage

You'll see why he's scratching. If he has to go to the bathroom, teach him other methods of communication, like ringing a bell or approaching you before running toward the door. It's your responsibility to determine what works best for both you and your dog to communicate. Also, if you don't already understand his methods of communication, it's important to learn about body language so you can understand what he has to say.

Doggy Door

Install a doggy door if you have one. A doggy door isn't ideal for all dog owners, particularly if you live in an area where racoons, coyotes, or other wildlife might use the door to gain access to your home. Or,  if your doggy door does not lead to a fenced-in yard, your dog can run away and get lost, so this may not be a viable option for you.


Construct a barrier. A baby gate or other barrier preventing your dog from reaching the entrance can prove helpful. But, one of the main drawbacks to this option is it makes getting to the door more difficult for both your and your dog. And, the barrier you've put in your dog's way could just become another thing for him to scratch in order to get to the door. 


Create a schedule for your dog. If your dog scratches because he has to to go outside go outside to go potty, keep track of his habits and anticipate his need to go outside before he begins to scratch. 

You would be surprised at how far a simple routine can go. And, not only will a routine help you understand when your dog needs to go outside, but it also lets him know when time to go outside is coming up. Dogs can't tell time of course, but they do understand routine.

Install a CLAWGUARD Door Protector

A CLAWGUARD door protector is an excellent option while you're training your dog and learning his methods of communication. Even a trained dog may scratch at the door if he or she experiences separation anxiety. So, a CLAWGUARD shield can come in handy both while training and while you're away from home.   

The door shield will protect both your home and your dog from harm if she scratches. If your dog is experiencing severe separation anxiety, you should consult with your veterinarian and/or a Canine Behaviorist to determine a strategy for reducing anxiety and boredom. 

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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