How To Stop Dog From Scratching Door And Other Dog Training Advice

how to stop dog from scratching door

Have you ever wondered how to stop dog from scratching door.  Maybe they are tearing up the carpet or the furniture as well.  Dogs can be wonderful companions but they can also destroy your home if you let them.

Hi my name is Mike and I work with dogs.  Animals have always been a passion of mine and I created this site to share that passion with others as well.  Today we will be looking into some dog behavior issues.  Specifically we will be discussing how to stop dog from scratching door and other common in home issues.  Lets get started shall we?

New Dog in the home?  Want to train them effectively?

How To Stop Dog From Scratching Door Explained

The way a dog acts and reacts to their situation can almost always be traced back to learned behaviors.  These learned behaviors or tendencies usually come about due to their direct observation of our responses to how they act or seeing other animals act in a similar manner.  The single greatest thing that can stop a dog from scratching the door or ruining other parts of your home is training.

Now many people may think that their dog is well trained for the most part and they just want a specific behavior to stop.  In order to do this, many other things need to fall into place.  A strong training foundation needs to be established and observed in your house.  This includes a rigid schedule for your dog and participation from all other members of your household.  Once a foundation is established and everyone is on board with the training, forward progress can be made.

Establishing A Foundation

As we’ve discussed in this and other articles, the foundation is key.  Setting some limits with your furry pal is crucial to them understanding their place in your home and how they fit into the day to day plan.  There are many different ways to do this.  I’m going to briefly touch on a few of my favorites.

The Tether Method

The tether method is a great way to get used to your new dog while they get used to you.  You can use this technique to build a relationship with your pet and have them get used to your body signals and cues while you do the same with them.

What do I mean when I talk about body cues?  Specifically I’m referring to things like how your dog starts to act when they need something.  For example, when my dog needs to go out, she will come and sit by my feet and stare up at me.  She will always sit in a spot that is within my direct line of site as well.  This was a learned behavior that was developed over time between the two of us that allows for this type of communication.  Your dog will have many associative behaviors as well.

how to tether

How To Tether

What you want to do is go and pick up a standard collar and leash from your local pet store.  The leash should be about 10ft in length or so.  Next you want to hook that collar and leash up to your dog.  Now for the hard part.  Keep your dog with you 24/7 for the next couple of weeks.  When your dog is not with you they are tethered to someone else or they are spending time in their crate (if you’re crate training).

During this initial period, you can directly work with and observe your dog.  They will give you different clues about how they are acting or what may be coming in the future.  You can guide their development by being in this type of close contact with them over long periods of time.

This is how you begin to set a strong foundation and get them on your schedule.  They live the life that you setup for them at this point.  Your dog will begin to instinctually understand that you are the pack leader and they need to follow your example.  You will also get good at tracking your dog’s reactions to different things and know when they will need to be fed, go out, etc.

Tethering To Training

While you have your dog tethered, you can start teaching them some basic commands as well.  Sit and stay are the most basic and are a great starting point for new dog owners.  Another thing to understand is that most dogs will tire out much faster from mental work than from their physical counterpart.  It’s still important for them to get both but an hour training with you can amount to a much less anxious and active dog after.

Most of the time, excessive energy can be the cause of a dog acting out either by scratching a door or chewing on something.  Working with them is a great way to keep them focused and on task.  It can also save you lots of clothing items in the long run!

Training Your Dog

So now that your tether has started to yield results and some basic commands have been taught, a solid foundation begins to form.  From this foundation you can branch out into many different areas.  House training your dog should naturally sort itself out during the tether process.  The key there is to recognize the body language that occurs when your dog is getting ready to use the bathroom and adjust accordingly.  Thankfully, most dogs are hardwired to expel waste outside.  Harnessing their own innate senses is a great way to build this key part of training from a young age.

I generally like to set aside about 30 minutes to an hour for skill training at the beginning.  This is a rough timetable and can be broken up into different sessions as needed.  Typically, a few times a week followed by daily reinforcement for a few months is enough to get any dog trained up in basic to intermediate skills.

When training your dog there are three basic areas that it’s important to focus on.

attitude

Attitude

You are the one leading the training and your dog should already be looking to you based on the tethering and other life events that are happening daily.  Your attitude can go a long way towards successful training as well.  Bringing a positive and patient mindset to the table is crucial when training a new dog.

Things like anger and frustration have no place here and can seriously slow down the training process.  You don’t want your dog to live in fear of you.  Respect you yes but not fear you.  A firm and positive training session with plenty of praise and treats at the appropriate times will go a long ways towards helping you accomplish this.

Another thing and I can’t stress this enough, NEVER HIT YOUR DOG!  Not only is this counter productive to your overall goal, it can also lead to other bad behaviors and acting out when you are not around.  Stay patient and positive.  The results will come.

Repetition

Repetition is key when trying to train anyone.  This includes dogs!  Daily training sessions are ideal when you are first starting out and teaching them new tricks or behaviors.  The longer you train them like this, the more your dog will understand the concept.

The level of repeating needed will vary between the individual dog and breed.  I’ve trained some dogs who only need to see things a few times.  Other dogs might take a few weeks to learn the same concept.  The main thing is to reinforce each new behavior with steady repetition.  Keep building upon the last session and don’t get discouraged if it takes more than a few attempts to get something down.

Environment

The environment you train your dog in is key.  A calm and quiet space is ideal for beginner training.  You want your dog to be focused on the situation in front of them and not the other potentially interesting things that could be going on in the background.  Ideally a one on one session with you and your dog is the best way to start off.

As your dog begins to grasp the training sessions and develop new skills, you may want to add busier environments into the mix to help them learn how to focus.  Sometimes I will intentionally add distractions and other issues as part of my training to teach my dog how to avoid and adapt to these problems.

How To Stop Dog From Scratching Door Concluded

We have covered some solid beginner dog training information here.  All of this can be used to teach how to stop dog from scratching door.  You can also use this information to correct other behaviors as well.

Another common misconception that I didn’t really get into is that older dogs can’t be taught.  This isn’t true. They may need some more attention to unlearn and correct previous behavior but that’s about it.

Teaching your dog properly really comes down to setting a strong foundation followed by some frequent training for a few months.  Once these things are put into place, your dog will be like clay in your hands.  You can mold that clay into anything!

Remember that Attitude, repetition and environment are key after a strong training foundation has been established.  Also remember that hitting or yelling at your dog should never be an option.  Patience and positivity will go a much longer way to getting what you desire in the end.

New to dog training?  Looking for a bit of help?

 

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_behavior#Social_behavior

https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/evr_dg_how-to-train-your-dog

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