How To Get A Dog To Stop Scratching The Door?

Dogs are notoriously known for being curious creatures. They will explore their environment and everything in it, including scratching the doors of your home. Dogs scratching the door can be both frustrating and entertaining.

It can be frustrating because your dog is trying to get your attention, and you may not have time to let them in. It can also be entertaining because it’s cute to see your little pup try to get what they want.

Regardless, there are other reasons why a dog scratching the door can be a problem. Scratched doors can damage and even invite pests like bugs and raccoons into your home.

Thus, today, we’ll discuss the causes of a dog scratching the door, how to stop them from doing it, and ways to train them not to scratch again.

So, let’s get started!

How to get a dog to stop scratching the door?

Prevent the habit in the first place

One of the best ways to stop your dog from scratching the door is to prevent them from doing it. You can do this by following these ways:

  • Keep their nails trimmed regularly. Long nails can get caught on things and start to split or break. This can be irritating for your dog and cause them to scratch more.
  • Provide them with a scratching post or toy. This will give your dog an outlet to scratch without damaging your door.
  • Rub their paws with a pet-safe lotion or balm. This will help keep their nails healthy and moisturized, which can prevent splitting and breaking.

Ignore the unwanted behavior

You can also stop your dog from scratching the door by ignoring the behavior. This means that you don’t let them in when they scratch, and you don’t give them any attention when they do it.

Dogs are notoriously known for being creatures of habit. If they’re not rewarded for the behavior, they’ll eventually stop doing it.

Of course, this takes some patience on your part. You’ll need to be consistent in Ignoring the behavior, and it may take a little while for your dog to catch on. But eventually, they will learn that scratching the door doesn’t get them what they want.

Keep these things in mind when ignoring their behavior

  • Don’t shout at or scold your dog when they scratch the door. This will only give them attention, and they’ll think you’re rewarding them for the behavior.
  • Don’t let them in when they scratch, even if it’s just for a few seconds. This will only reinforce the behavior.
  • Be consistent in your ignoring. If you sometimes give in and let them in when they scratch, they’ll just keep doing it because they know there’s a chance and get what they want.

Create healthy separation more often

A tired dog is a satisfactory dog, and they're less likely to get into trouble when they're tired.

Another amazing way to stop your dog from scratching the door is to create healthy separation more often. This means that you provide them with a safe place to stay when you’re not home, and you make sure they have plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied.

This can be done by crate training your dog or providing them with a dog-proofed room in your home. You can also offer them puzzle toys and chew toys to keep them occupied. The more separation you can provide, the less likely they are to scratch the door.

Follow these instructions when creating healthy separation:

  • Make sure their crate or dog-proofed room is comfortable and has everything they need. This includes a bed, toys, water, and food.
  • Don’t leave them in their crate or dog-proofed room for too long. They should only be in there when you’re not home, and you should let them out to stretch their legs and use the bathroom regularly.
  • Give them plenty of exercise before you leave them alone. A tired dog is a satisfactory dog, and they’re less likely to get into trouble when they’re tired.

Use a heavy-duty dog door

You can also stop your dog from scratching the door by using a heavy-duty dog door. This door is made specifically for dogs, and it’s much sturdier than a regular door. It can be installed in your home so that your dog can come and go as they please.

Of course, this is a big investment, and it’s not for everyone. But if you’re struggling to stop your dog from scratching the door, it may be worth considering.

when using a heavy-duty dog door, follow these instructions:

  • Make sure the door is installed correctly. This is a big investment, so you want to ensure to do it right.
  • Teach your dog how to use the door. This may take some time and patience, but eventually, they’ll get the hang of it.
  • Be prepared for some messes. A dog door will let dirt and mud into your home, so be prepared to clean up after your dog.

Why does my dog scratch my door?

Boredom

One of the most common reasons dogs scratches the door is because they’re bored. Dogs are notoriously known for being creatures of habit. If they’re not given enough to do, they’ll find ways to entertain themselves, even getting into trouble.

Providing your dog with a bunch of exercise and stimulation is the best way to prevent boredom. You can do this by taking them on walks, playing with them in the yard, and giving them puzzle toys to keep their minds busy.

They like to see what’s going on behind the door.

We know dogs are always curious to know what’s going on and one of the things they like to do is see what’s behind the door.

So, if your dog is constantly scratching the door, it’s likely because they want to see what’s going on in the other room. To control this, provide them with a clear view of the other room. Thus, try installing a dog door or keeping the door open when you’re home.

They Want To Go Outside.

If your dog is scratching the door, it’s likely because they want to go outside. This is especially true if they start scratching when they see you getting ready to leave the house.

You can prevent it by taking them out for a walk before you leave so that they can relieve themselves. You can also try training them to stay in their crate or dog-proofed room while you’re gone.

They have separation anxiety.

You don’t know, but there are chances that your dog might have separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is a condition where a dog becomes anxious and stressed when they’re away from its owner. This can cause them to bark, howl, whine, and scratch at the door in an attempt to get to you.

If you’re sure that your dog has separation anxiety, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can help you develop a plan to help your dog feel more comfortable when you’re away from home.

They Want Your Attention.

Dogs like to be social, and they thrive on attention from their owners. If your dog is scratching the door, it’s likely because they want your attention.

To prevent this from happening, give them plenty of attention when you’re home. You can do this by playing with them, taking them for walks, and training them.

How to stop a puppy from scratching the door?

Now you know the reasons why your dog scratches the door, it is pretty easy to stop them. Here are some of the renowned methods that can significantly help you to control your dog’s behavior.

Dangers of Dogs Scratching Doors

While it may seem harmless, some dangers are associated with dogs scratching doors, such as:

Cracked nails

One of the dangers of dogs scratching doors is that they can crack their nails. This can be painful for your dog and lead to infection. Thus, it’s essential to trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent it.

Splinters in their paws

Another danger is that your dog could get splinters in its paws. If the door is made of wood, there’s a chance that your dog could get splinters in their paws from scratching it. 

Bloody paws

If your door is constructed of heavy wood, it can also cause your dog to have bloody paws. This is because the door is too heavy for your dog to push, and they scrape their feet on it.

Loose teeth

If the door is made of metal, there’s a chance that your dog could bite down on it and loosen its teeth. This is extremely dangerous for your dog and can lead to them choking on their teeth.

Damaged and bloody gums

If your dog scratches with teeth, it can cause their gums to bleed. In some cases, this can also lead to an infection.

How to train a dog not to scratch the door?

The Manage Excitement Method

The Manage Excitement Method

This method is based on dogs’ ability to scratch doors when they’re excited. The best way to prevent this is to manage their excitement levels.

You can do this by teaching them to stay calm when they’re ready to leave the house. You can also try creating them or dog-proofing a room in your home. Here are some steps to ménage their excitement:

Step 1. Keep your attitude cool.

When you’re ready to leave the house, don’t make a big deal. This will only excite your dog and make them more likely to scratch the door. Thus, keep your behavior calm and relaxed so that he doesn’t get too worked up.

Step 2. Train him to be alone.

Another efficient way to control his excitement is getting him used to being alone. This means that you need to increase the amount of time he spends by himself gradually. Start with short periods of time and then slowly increase it as he gets more comfortable.

Step 3. Leave him with distraction.

Leave him some toys or bones to keep him occupied while you’re gone so that he doesn’t get bored. This will keep his mind off of you and prevent him from getting too excited.

Step 4. Stay cool

Don’t say goodbye to your dog in an excited voice. This will only make them more anxious, and they’ll start scratching the door. Instead, say goodbye in a calm voice and give them a hug or pat on the head.

The same goes for when you come back home. Instead, ignore your dog for a few minutes so that they can calm down.

Step 5. Create training

Crate training is also an ideal way to control his excitement levels. This involves teaching him to stay in a crate when you’re not home. This will help to keep him safe and secure while you’re away.

Step 6. Don’t take him for a walk immediately.

When you come home, don’t take him for a walk immediately. This will only exhilarate him and make him more likely to scratch the door. Instead, wait a few minutes so that he can calm down before taking him for a walk.

The Distract and Deter Method

The Distract and Deter Method

If your dog scratches the door because of boredom, this is the best method to prevent him. Here are some steps to distract and deter your dog from scratching the door:

Step 1: Give them a toy

The best way to distract your dog from scratching the door is to give them a toy to chew on. This will help keep their minds off the door and prevent them from getting bored.

Step 2: Spray The Door With A Deterrent

If your dog is still scratching the door, you can try spraying it with a deterrent. This will help deter them from scratching the door and provide a distraction. Try using a spray made of vinegar and water.

Step 3: Head out for a serious walk.

If your dog is still scratching the door, you may need to head out for a serious walk. This will exhaust them out and prevent them from getting bored. Make sure to walk for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4: Make more of your walk.

If you’re still having trouble, try making your walk more interactive. This could involve playing fetch or walking in different directions. This will help keep your dog’s mind distracted from the door and prevent them from getting bored.

Step 5: Leave the television on.

Leaving the dog with the television on can provide a distraction and help to keep them from getting bored. Try leaving the television on at a low volume so that it doesn’t bother you.

Step 6. Invest in a pheromone dispenser

Pheromone dispensers can also help soothe your dog and prevent them from getting too anxious. This could be an ideal option if you’re gone for long periods.

Step 7. Be patient.

Most important of all, be patient. Dogs are curious creatures, and it may take some time for them to get used to not scratching the door. Be patient with your training, and eventually, they’ll get the hang of it.

Step 8. Consider a remote citronella collar

Try using a remote citronella collar to keep your dog from scratching the door. This will emit a citronella spray when your dog gets too close to the door. Which, as a result, keeps them away from the door and prevents them from scratching it.

The Firm Correction Method

The Firm Correction Method

This method is based on dogs’ scratching doors because they’re trying to get your attention. The best way to prevent this from happening is to provide them with a firm correction when they start scratching the door.

You can do this by declaring “no” in a stern voice or spraying them with a deterrent. Here are some steps to provide a firm correction to your dog:

Step 1: Say “no” in a stern voice.

The best way to provide a firm correction is to say “no” sternly. This will let them know that they’re doing something wrong and that you disapprove of it.

Step 2. Catch him on the spot.

Witness your dog in the act of scratching the door. This will help to prevent him from doing it in the future.

Step 3. Shut him in a room.

If your dog is still scratching the door, you may need to shut him in a room. This will help prevent him from getting to the door and provide a distraction.

Step 4. Wait for his apology.

Once your dog has calmed down, wait for him to apologize. This will show that he understands that he did something wrong and that he’s sorry for it.

Step 5. Give him a chance.

After your dog has apologized, give him a chance to redeem himself. This will help to show that you’re willing to forgive him and that you still love him.

Step 6. Practice.

Practice is the key to success. The more you practice, the greater your possibilities of success. Be patient and consistent, and eventually, your dog will get the hang of it.

How to stop a dog from scratching the door?

Install a doggie door

One of the best ways to prevent a dog from scratching the door is to install a doggie door. This will allow them to come and go as they please and will also provide a distraction.

Try to find a doggie door that’s big enough for your dog to get through but small enough that they can’t fit their whole body through.

Install a door protector

Installing a door protector can also help a lot to keep your door from getting damaged and will also provide a distraction. There are a variety of door protectors available, so try to find one that fits your needs.

Dog training

Training your dog is another efficient way to prevent them from scratching the door. Dogs are incredibly clever and can learn a variety of tricks. Try to find a dog trainer that specializes in behavior modification.

Put up a barrier

If all else fails, you may need to put up a barrier. This can prevent your dog from getting to the door and also provide a distraction. Try to find a big enough barrier for your dog to see over but small enough that they can’t fit through.

Create a routine

By setting a routine for your dog, they will know when it’s time to scratch the door and when it’s not. This will prevent them from getting too anxious and will also provide a distraction. Try to set a routine that includes going for a walk, playing with a toy, or eating a treat.

 Final Discussion – How To Get A Dog To Stop Scratching The Door?

Door scratching can be a difficult habit for dogs to break, but you can do it with patience and proper training. Start by teaching your dog to scratch the door on cue, and then provide positive reinforcement when he does so.

If you catch your dog scratching the door outside of designated times, give him a verbal correction and redirect him to appropriate behavior. 

Be sure to keep up with this training regimen every day until your dog has learned not to scratch the door at all. With consistent reinforcement, you should see results in no time! Have you successfully trained your dog not to scratch the door? Don’t forget to leave a line in the comments below.

How To Get A Dog To Stop Scratching The Door

FAQs

How to Use Positive Reinforcement to Stop Door Scratching?

If you want to stop your dog from scratching the door, you can try a few methods that use positive reinforcement.

One is to offer your dog a scratching post or mat near the door that they can scratch instead. You can also spray the door with a deterrent like citrus-scented water or double-sided tape.

Can I use Negative Reinforcement to Stop Door Scratching?

Although animals can quickly learn by the positive reinforcement method, sometimes you have to teach them negative reinforcement to show that what they are doing is wrong.

Negative reinforcement involves punishing the animal after it has performed an undesired behavior. For example, if your dog scrapes the door, you can spray them with water or say “no” in a firm voice. You can also try using a loud noise to startle them and make them stop scratching.

Why is my dog scratched only at night?

Dogs are more likely to scratch at night because they are bored and have nothing else to do. They may also be trying to get your attention or get out of their crate.

If you think this is the case, try giving your dog more exercise during the day and provide them with toys or bones to chew on at night. You can also try crating them in a different room where they can’t see or hear you.

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Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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