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How to Stop Dogs from Scratching Doors: Effective Training Tips

How to Stop Dogs from Scratching Doors: Effective Training Tips

Dogs scratching at doors behavior that all dog breeds do that can damage your home and even create a frustrating environment. I will talk more about the effective training tips to help your dog stop scratching doors.

Understanding the Behavior

Before addressing the scratching behavior, it’s important to understand why dogs scratch doors. They might do it out of boredom, anxiety, or to get your attention. Identifying the underlying cause is the first step in curbing this behavior.

Top 7 Tips to Keep Your Dog My Scratching the Door

1. Give Your Dog Outlets for Energy

Some dogs scratch because they have excess energy. Regular exercise is very important to keep your dog calm and also reduce destructive behaviors. Taking your dog for long walks can help channel their energy positively and reduce the tendency to scratch doors.

2. Prioritize Playtime

Physical exercise is very important, but mental stimulation is equally more Engage your dog in playtime and training sessions to tire them out mentally. Activities like fetch, tug-of-war, and even puzzle games can stop boredom and also reduce door-scratching behavior.

3. Redirect the Behavior

Dogs learn through positive reinforcement. If your dog scratches at the door to get your attention, redirect their behavior by providing an acceptable alternative like a scratching pad. Reward them when they use the alternative, reinforcing good behavior over time.

4. Leave Them With Fun Distractions

Provide distractions for your dog when you’re not home. Hiding treats around the house or giving them puzzle toys can keep them occupied and less likely to scratch doors. Make sure the toys are soft and safe for unsupervised play.

5. Don’t Reward Bad Behavior

Accidentally rewarding scratching can reinforce the behavior. Instead, wait for your dog to stop scratching before giving them attention or treats. This teaches them that scratching doesn’t lead to rewards.

6. Don’t Punish the Behavior

Punishing your dog for scratching can increase anxiety and worsen the behavior. Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior and redirect their energy to acceptable activities.

7. Identify Underlying Causes

Scratching can be a symptom of deeper issues like separation anxiety. If your dog shows signs of anxiety, such as pacing or excessive panting, consult a veterinary behaviorist for a comprehensive behavior modification plan.

Additional Training Tips

For dogs with severe anxiety or persistent scratching behaviors, additional training and environmental management strategies might be necessary. This can include crate training, using barriers to limit access to doors, and creating a calming environment with music or aromatherapy.


Training your dog not to scratch doors requires patience and consistency. By understanding the reasons behind the behavior and using positive reinforcement techniques, you can protect your doors and improve your dog’s behavior. Remember, addressing the underlying causes, providing mental and physical stimulation, and avoiding punishment are key to success.


  • Q: How long does it take to train a dog not to scratch doors?
    A: The time varies depending on the dog’s age, temperament, and the consistency of training. It can take some weeks to many months.
  • Q: Can scratching be a sign of a medical issue?
    A: Yes, sometimes scratching can be related to allergies or skin conditions. Consult a vet doctor to rule out all medical causes.
  • Q: Is crate training effective for preventing door scratching?
    A: Crate training can be effective ifdone properly. It provides a safe space for your dog and can reduce anxiety-related scratching.
  • Q: What if my dog scratches doors only when I’m not home?
    A: This could indicate separation anxiety. Providing distractions and seeking advice from a behaviorist can help manage this behavior.
  • Q: Should I use deterrent sprays to stop my dog from scratching doors?
    A: Deterrent sprays can be a temporary solution, but they should be used in conjunction with positive training methods for long-term success.
  • Q: What if my dog scratches when left alone?
    A: Separation anxiety might be the cause. Consult a veterinary behaviorist for a tailored behavior modification plan.

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