How To Stop A Dog From Scratching A Door? Top Tips

Scratches on your doors can be a disheartening result of owning a dog. This destructive behavior is often triggered by anxiety, boredom or simply the need for attention. Our guide provides expert insights on understanding and preventing door-scratching habits in dogs, through careful training practices and pet-safe deterrents. How to stop a dog from scratching a door?

Let’s dive into these tips to keep both your pooch happy and your doors scratch-free.

how to stop a dog from scratching a door

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs scratch doors for reasons like separation anxiety, boredom, and attention – seeking behavior.
  • To prevent door scratching, establish a routine for your dog and provide alternatives like toys or scratching posts.
  • Use deterrent sprays to discourage door scratching, and consider installing a doggy door or creating a barrier with baby gates.
  • Train your dog not to scratch by using firm correction methods and managing excitement levels through exercise and mental stimulation.

Understanding Why Dogs Scratch Doors

Dogs scratch doors for different reasons, such as separation anxiety, boredom, or attention-seeking behavior.

Separation anxiety

Your dog may scratch doors because it feels alone. This is called separation anxiety. It can be hard for your dog when you are not there. Dogs love their owners a lot. When the owner leaves, some dogs feel scared or sad and start scratching doors to show they are upset.

They hope this will bring their owner back to them.


Dogs may scratch doors because they are bored. When dogs don’t have enough mental and physical stimulation, they can get restless and start looking for things to do. Scratching doors might seem like a fun activity for them.

To prevent this behavior, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and playtime. Take them on walks, play fetch, or engage in interactive games with them. Providing toys that challenge their minds can also help keep boredom at bay.

By keeping your dog entertained and engaged, you can reduce the likelihood of them scratching doors out of boredom.

Attention-seeking behavior

Some dogs may scratch doors as a way to get attention from their owners. They might want you to play with them or give them treats. To prevent this behavior, it’s important to teach your dog that scratching the door won’t get them what they want.

Instead, ignore the scratching completely and only give attention when your dog is calm and not engaging in this behavior. By doing so, you’ll help your dog learn that there are better ways to get your attention without damaging the doors.

how to stop a dog from scratching a door

How to Prevent Dogs From Scratching Doors

Prevent dogs from scratching doors by establishing a scheduled routine, using deterrent sprays, and providing alternatives.

Establish a scheduled routine

Creating a scheduled routine for your dog can help prevent them from scratching doors. Dogs thrive on structure and having a consistent daily routine can provide them with a sense of security and stability.

Set specific times for activities such as feeding, exercise, playtime, and bathroom breaks. This will help keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated throughout the day, reducing their boredom and anxiety levels.

By sticking to a regular schedule, you can minimize any potential triggers that may lead to door scratching behavior.

Use deterrent sprays

One effective way to prevent your dog from scratching doors is by using deterrent sprays. These sprays are designed to have a strong smell or taste that dogs find unpleasant, which discourages them from scratching or chewing on surfaces.

You can easily find these sprays at pet stores or online. When applying the spray, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and apply it to the areas where your dog tends to scratch the most.

The unpleasant scent or taste will help deter your dog from scratching those areas and redirect their attention elsewhere. Using deterrent sprays can be a helpful tool in training your dog to stop scratching doors and protect your home from damage caused by their behavior.

Provide alternatives

Instead of scratching doors, it’s important to provide alternatives for your dog to express their natural instincts. Give them appropriate items they can scratch and chew on, such as sturdy toys or scratching posts.

This will redirect their behavior towards these designated areas instead of your doors. You can also try using interactive puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys to keep them mentally stimulated and entertained.

These alternatives will help fulfill their needs while preventing them from damaging your doors.

how to stop a dog from scratching a door

Training Your Dog Not to Scratch Doors

There are several effective methods you can use to train your dog not to scratch doors. From firm correction techniques to managing excitement and distractions, these tips will help you prevent this destructive behavior in your furry friend.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading!

Firm correction method

To prevent your dog from scratching doors, you can use the firm correction method. This technique involves firmly and calmly saying “No” or “Stop” when you catch your dog in the act of scratching the door.

You should also redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior, such as playing with a toy or going to their designated scratching post. Consistency is key with this method, so be sure to reinforce the correct behavior every time your dog tries to scratch the door.

Remember, positive reinforcement is always better than punishment when training your furry friend.

Manage excitement method

One effective way to prevent dogs from scratching doors is by managing their excitement. When dogs get too excited, they may start scratching at the door out of anticipation or restlessness.

To manage their excitement, make sure to give them plenty of exercise and playtime throughout the day. This will help tire them out and reduce their energy levels. Additionally, provide mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzles to keep their minds occupied.

By keeping your dog physically and mentally engaged, you can help prevent excessive excitement that leads to door scratching.

Distract and deter method

One effective method to prevent dogs from scratching doors is the distract and deter approach. This involves redirecting your dog’s attention away from the door and providing them with an alternative activity.

When you notice your dog starting to scratch or show interest in the door, quickly distract them with a favorite toy or engage them in playtime. You can also use treats or puzzle toys to keep their focus on something else instead of scratching the door.

Additionally, you can deter your dog from approaching the door by using pet-safe deterrent sprays or blocking off access to that area with a baby gate. These methods help teach your dog that scratching doors is not acceptable behavior and provide them with more appropriate outlets for their energy and curiosity.

Additional Tips

Install a doggy door for easy access outside, create a barrier with baby gates or barriers to keep dogs away from doors, use pet-safe deterrents such as bitter apple spray, and provide mental stimulation with dog enrichment toys.

Install a doggy door

Installing a doggy door is a great way to prevent your dog from scratching doors. With a doggy door, your furry friend can easily go outside to relieve themselves or play whenever they want, reducing their need to scratch at the door.

This gives them the freedom and independence they crave while also protecting your doors from scratches. It’s important to choose a sturdy and secure doggy door that fits properly in your home.

By installing this convenient door for your canine companion, you can minimize their desire to scratch at the main doors of your house.

Create a barrier

To prevent your dog from scratching doors, creating a barrier can be an effective solution. This means placing a large, sturdy object in front of the door to keep your dog away from it and prevent scratches.

You can use items like a baby gate or furniture to block off access to the doors. This physical barrier acts as a deterrent and serves as a visual reminder for your dog not to scratch the doors.

It’s important to choose something that is stable and won’t easily get knocked over by your dog. By creating this barrier, you can protect your doors from damage and train your dog to develop more appropriate behaviors around them.

Using natural pet-safe deterrents such as citronella oil, citrus, essential oils, and vinegar can also help discourage dogs from scratching specific areas or surfaces. These scents are unpleasant for dogs and they tend to avoid them.

Applying these natural deterrents near the edges of the door frames or on any areas that have been scratched before may help redirect their attention elsewhere and deter them from scratching again.

Use pet-safe deterrents

To prevent dogs from scratching doors, you can use pet-safe deterrents. These are products specifically designed to discourage your dog from scratching or damaging doors. They usually come in the form of sprays or repellents that have a scent that dogs find unpleasant.

You can apply these deterrents on the areas where your dog tends to scratch, such as the door frame or bottom of the door. The smell will help deter your dog and teach them not to scratch those surfaces.

It’s important to choose pet-safe deterrents to ensure they won’t harm your dog or any other pets in your home.

Try dog enrichment toys

To keep your dog from scratching doors, try using dog enrichment toys. These toys are designed to provide mental stimulation and entertainment for dogs. They often involve puzzles or treat-dispensing mechanisms that require dogs to use their problem-solving skills and keep them occupied for longer periods of time.

By keeping your dog mentally stimulated and engaged, they are less likely to become bored or anxious, which can lead to door scratching behavior. Dog enrichment toys also provide a healthy outlet for their natural instincts and energy, helping them stay calm and content.

how to stop a dog from scratching a door


In conclusion, preventing dogs from scratching doors is possible with a few simple tips. Establishing a routine and providing alternatives can help redirect their behavior. Training techniques like firm correction and distraction can also be effective.

Remember, prevention is key, so start implementing these tips today to protect your doors from scratches!


1. What are some tips to prevent dogs from scratching doors?

To stop dogs from scratching doors, you can use natural dog repellents, ignore unwanted behavior, or redirect their scratching instincts to another place.

2. Why do my dogs scratch the doors at night?

Dogs may scratch doors at nighttime due to separation anxiety or excitement. Training techniques and behavioral modification can help manage this behavior.

3. How does ignoring my dog’s door-scratching habits help stop it?

Ignoring your dog when they scratch the door teaches them that this action won’t get your attention. This method helps in preventing destructive behavior in dogs.

4. Can I train my dog not to scratch the doors?

Yes! Using effective methods such as alternative behaviors and positive reinforcement can teach appropriate scratching behavior and discourage door-scratching habits.

5. Are there solutions for protecting my door from scratches made by my pet?

Yes, you can take practical steps like using physical barriers on the doors or applying repellents to keep your pets away and prevent damages.

6. How does managing excitement in dogs reduce door scratching actions?

By dealing with emotions such as over-excitement, fear or nervousness that cause a dog to scratch the home’s entrances, we effectively curb this common daytime and nighttime habit.

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