There may be several causes as to why your dog is clawing at the door, but all of them usually arise from one underlying reason—their desire for attention. Yet, if you provide them with the attention they crave, they start to think that repeating the same scratching behavior will result in more attention in the future. So if you struggle with curbing your dog’s bad habit of clawing at the door, check out these four simple ways to stop your dog from scratching doors! To achieve the desired outcome, you might have to utilize a mix of these strategies.
Prevent the Behavior from the Outset
The very first step is to prevent your dog from establishing the undesirable practice of scratching at doors from the outset. Bringing them out for regular bathroom breaks, exercises, and playtime will keep them from yearning and scratching to get outside all the time. Note that breeds with a lot of energy must be brought out for more regular walks and fun activities.
It's important to have your dog sit in front of the doorway with a lead attached before taking them out. Only open the door when they have calmly sat in front of it, and afterward, they should not be permitted to dash out either but instead walk out on command.
Ignore the Scratching Whenever It Occurs
This strategy ignores any undesirable behaviors and rewards only good conduct. Chastising your dog is also a type of attention, which your dog is most certainly seeking. Therefore, if your dog is clawing at the door, ignore them till they have calmed down. You must only approach them when they have stopped scratching and are composed and relaxed. You may then attend to their needs and reward them with praises and treats for settling down. Look into getting a door-scratching protector to shield your door until this behavior has stopped.
Train Them to Be Okay with Time Apart
It’s imperative for every dog’s mental well-being to be apart from you every now and then. Teach them to sit and stay even when you pick up separation triggers like your car keys or handbags. Practice pretending to leave home but then coming back after a while, and reward them when they have obeyed the stay command. Keep repeating this and over time, your dog will realize that you will always return and cease the door scratching!
Controlling Their Excitement Levels
It’s crucial to control your dog's enthusiasm levels when you open the door to go out for hikes, fun outings, or work, as well as when you return home so that the door is no longer a trigger to them. Firstly, when heading out, avoid exclaiming dramatic “I’ll miss you”s in these moments. Instead, ensure that your dog is in a "sit" position, relaxed and at ease before opening your door.
Secondly, when you get home, your dog will likely be overjoyed to see you, but strive to project a relaxed vibe. Staying calm can assist your dog in disassociating the doorway with excitement, making them less inclined to claw at it every time they're excited. A soft greeting and gentle petting are ideal, and after they've mirrored your relaxed vibe, you can properly greet and show affection to them.