Is My Dog Anxious or Bored? How to Help Stop The Scratching
Are your walls or doors getting scratched while you're away from home or maybe even while you're in the other room? Based on the size of the scratches, you likely aren't wondering who the culprit is. But, is this a natural or learned behavior? Is it because your dog is anxious or bored? Even more, hoow do you stop the destructive behavior that stems from it? And, what can you do in the meantime to prevent your dog from causing damage?
Dog Anxiety is Generally the Cause
Most types of destructive behavior are a sign that something is wrong. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most important thing is for you to do is identify the root of the problem.
So, let's get to the bottom of it: what are the most common reasons your dog may be destroying your walls?
Anxiety can play a significant role in this situation. Because dogs have a natural desire to feel secure in their surroundings, they will attempt to alleviate tension by scratching at walls, doors, and floors, digging, or biting (or chewing) them to release the stress they experience.
This can occur when they grow overly reliant on you and are unable to cope with being left alone for a period of time. It doesn't have to be for long, even.
Sometimes, simply walking in the other room is sufficient for a dog who needs you near them to feel secure. Quitting your job is not a viable option, so make certain that your furry best friend learns how to appreciate his or her alone time at home appropriately.
If your dog isn't experiencing anxiety, this leads to the next most common cause: boredom. There are certain breeds that are especially prone to boredom especially if they aren't receiving adequate exercise. Border Collies, German Shepherds, and Vizslas are a few breeds who need vigorous exercise on a daily basis to remain calm, happy, and healthy. Most dogs in the Working Dog group are the same in this aspect.
Training Your Dog Not to Scratch the Walls
There are several methods that can be employed when attempting to prevent wall damage. If they’re scratching them while you’re around, and you notice, redirect their attention to a more appropriate outlet for their boredom. Be sure to praise your dog when they play with appropriate toys. Kong toys, heavy chews, and other permissible objects can be utilized for this purpose.
You should also evaluate whether or not your dog is receiving the right amount of exercise each day. Ask yourself, how many walks are we going on each day and how long are they? What activities are we doing? What can I add to their routine to increase their physical and mental stimulation?
Training A Dog With Positive Reinforcement
While you’re working on positive reinforcement training, you obviously don’t want the walls to continue being damaged. That’s where CLAWGUARD’s Universal Scratch Shield comes into play. Perfect to use on doors, walls, screen doors, railings, gates, windows, glass and more. Designed to match any décor and to keep your home interior beautiful.
Want to learn more about positive reinforcement training and the best kinds of toys for your pet? Looking for some additional training resources? Free Will Animal Training is based in Charlotte, NC, but provides remote training options for clients all over the country. Visit Free Will Animal Training.
Written by Amber Drake