How to Stop a Dog From Scratching at the Door (+Why They Do It!)

Looking for how to stop a dog from scratching at the door, especially if it’s becoming a problem when you’re trying to leave the house or during the night? It’s a behavior that can cause damage to your doors and distress for both you and your dog.

We’ll explain why dogs scratch at the door, including separation anxiety or a simple need to go outside. We’ll then teach you how to stop your dog from scratching the door, with tips also covering when you’re at home and about to leave. Keep reading!

How to Stop a Dog From Scratching at the Door

How to Stop a Dog From Scratching at the Door

Stopping a dog from scratching at the door is crucial for preventing damage to your home and ensuring your dog’s paws remain unharmed. This behavior may stem from anxiety, a desire to join you, or simply wanting to go outside. Understanding the underlying causes and addressing them with consistent training and preventive measures can effectively reduce or eliminate this behavior.

Dog Scratching at Door at Night

If your dog is scratching at the door at night, it may indicate separation anxiety or a need to go outside for a bathroom break. To address this, ensure your dog has a comfortable and inviting sleeping area near you to reduce anxiety.

Additionally, establishing a consistent nighttime routine, including a final bathroom break, can help alleviate the need to scratch at the door.

Dog Scratching Door When I Leave

When a dog scratches the door as you leave, it often signifies separation anxiety or boredom. Consider leaving your dog with engaging toys or treat-dispensing puzzles to keep them occupied in your absence.

Training your dog to become comfortable with your departure through gradual desensitization techniques can also significantly reduce door scratching.

How to Stop Dog Scratching Door

  • Apply a clear, protective film to the door to prevent damage from scratching.
  • Use deterrents such as double-sided tape on the door to make scratching less appealing.
  • Train your dog with a “leave it” command to get them away from the door or other objects. Start with a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it, then close your hand around the treat. Say ‘leave it.’ Wait until your dog stops sniffing and nibbling at your hand. As soon as they back away, praise them and give them the treat. Practice regularly.
  • Provide ample physical exercise and mental stimulation to reduce excess energy and boredom, which can lead to scratching.

Stopping your dog from scratching at the door involves understanding their needs, employing protective measures, and engaging in consistent training. It’s important to remember, however, that the underlying behavioral issues (separation anxiety, boredom, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present.

And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog scratching the door and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog scratching at the door ever again!

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Door?

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Door?

Your dog is scratching the door due to various reasons, ranging from wanting to join you on the other side, needing to go outside for a bathroom break, to experiencing anxiety. This behavior can also be a sign of seeking attention or responding to external stimuli, such as hearing another animal outside.

Why Do Dogs Scratch the Door?

Dogs scratch the door because of desires or needs that are not being met. This can include the need to go potty, the urge to explore or play outside, or the desire for social interaction with you or with other pets outside the home.

Additionally, door scratching or even trying to open doors can be a learned behavior if they consistently result in the desired outcome, like being let outside or receiving attention. Learn a few tips and a command that will all help by going back to the first section now.

Why Does My Dog Keep Scratching the Door at Night?

Your dog keeps scratching the door at night possibly due to discomfort, anxiety, or the need to use the bathroom. Nighttime scratching can also be a sign that your dog has not expended enough energy during the day and is restless.

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine, ensuring they have a comfortable sleeping area, and providing adequate exercise can help control this behavior.

Why Does My Dog Scratch the Door When I Leave?

Your dog scratches the door when you leave likely due to separation anxiety or boredom. This behavior indicates distress over being left alone and can be accompanied by other signs of anxiety, such as whining or barking. To help your dog cope, consider gradual desensitization to your departures, leaving them with engaging toys, and ensuring they’re well-exercised before you leave.

In conclusion, addressing the reasons why your dog is scratching the door requires a multifaceted approach that includes meeting their physical and emotional needs, behavioral training, and sometimes modifications to their environment.

You’re probably ready to get going now that you have all of your questions about your dog scratches at the door answered, so I’ll let you begin. Good luck, and thanks for reading our article “How to Stop a Dog From Scratching at the Door (+Why They Do It!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.