What did you think? That you will go to work, meet your girlfriend on the way back, come home and your dog will accept that you have a daily schedule and a life beyond him, no dear reader, your girlfriend might forgive you for not calling her for perhaps an entire week but your doggo knows how to get your attention in the most innovative ways possible, one of which is obviously scratching the doors producing an irritating sound leaving doors which are definitely less good looking now.
In this article we will make you understand as to why is your dog behaving in this way and what are the possible training methods by which you can make your dog stop scratching and jumping on the doors.
Why is my dog doing it? Before finding a solution to the problem you will have to navigate the cause.
Causes for this Behavior:
1. Attention –
Oh yes, you are not giving enough time to your dog interacting or playing with him, scratching the doors and other forms of destructions are just his ways to get you to him.
2. Vent out the pent up –
After you kept your dog in the crate and went out for grocery shopping after a day full of work, your dog did not get the mental and the physical exercise required. So now he is just out bursting and venting out the discharged energy here and there which also includes your doors.
3. Nothing but boredom –
Scratching often is your dog’s way of communicating, scratching signifies that he wants you to take him out on a walk or taking him out to take a dump, or to the park to play and this is one of the many cases dog owners mess up, how you should not mess up is mentioned further.
4. Separation Anxiety –
Separation anxiety is a distress condition in which your dog will tend to display often destructive behaviours which also include scratching the doors, separation anxiety in most of the cases has been seen where there is a change of ownership or the owner leaves the dog alone for a long time.
5. Something peculiar you need to observe –
Dogs get vexed by some particular noise or smell that is produced in the household which you as an owner will have to observe if it is the case, for example, my dog hates the sound of the vacuum cleaner and smell of mustard oil.
Before coming to the solution part here are some cautions that you need to acknowledge if you do not want your dog to be motivated in jumping more and scratching more and destroying more.
Don’t reward him for this behavior –
- It is great you understood that your dog scratching the door means that he wants to go for a walk in the park, or wants a snack but if you honour his demand that comes through this way of communication, you will end up motivating your dog towards more destruction.
Don’t be Impatient –
- As said your dog is sometimes looking for your attention, once you react to your dog scratching the door no matter how loud and brazen you were in your response your doggo just got what he wanted, he won the world, he got your attention.
Methods of preventing your dog from scratching the door:
Method 1 – The Firm Correction and disciplining method
- ·Firmly Yelling ‘No’ – Oh, were you expecting some innovative positive reinforcement techniques and methodologies by some animal behaviourists, well here it is. The reward theory ensures signalling your dog that you appreciate his certain behaviour, in the same way expressing your displeasure of his certain actions will allow your dog to understand your disapproval which is important for your dog to know because your dog was perhaps inherently is not aware of the price you paid for the fresh coat of paint and furniture.
- Wait for his guilt – Let your dog use all the energy that he has to destroy the world, and wait for him to finish his art work and sit with that apologetic looks and make him face your dreadful stare with eyes full of disapproval.
Method 2 – Distract and Play Method
- Give your dog the much needed attention – As said again and again that your dog tries to establish communication, to beseech you to interact with him and give him the touch he needs, so as a prevention technique, take him out for walks and runs with you.
- Buy him chew toys and food puzzles – Keeping the dog distracted and getting his day passed without allowing him to terrorize your house is the trick, after going for a run with you and playing the dog gets to vent out his left over energy over the toys.
- Play his Favourite music – going to work, buying groceries or going to the Church etc. and leaving your dog behind alone is indispensable, therefore to avoid him from feeling lonely play some of his favourite music before you leave, this will prevent him from feeling lonely.
Both the methods mentioned above are not contradictory to each other and can simultaneously be practiced but patience is the key, do not expect any instant results and do not go harsh in punishing your dog, as that will end up making him feel anxious and your efforts might go in vain.
Until your efforts bear any fruit, you can try some short term reliefs such as dog flaps or installing a heavy duty dog door by which the dog will have the freedom to come and go into rooms but I certainly would not propose this method if you reside in a neighbourhood full of racoons. Also crate training your dog will be helpful which will limit your dog’s access to the house.