15 answers

Dog Scratching Door at Night

I'm a first time dog owner with a 1-yr-old 80 lb mutt (retriever, basset and jack russell we think). We've had him since he was 3 months and he's been great. 1 week to potty train, great with kids, listens pretty well. His 'crate' is actually our laundry room and up until 2 weeks ago he was fine with it. Would spend quiet nights and most of the afternoon there.

But 2 wks ago he started scratching at the door ALL NIGHT. So far we've changed his blanket, then returned his blanket; put in a night light (we thought the bright light might have started bothering him; we ensure he's gotten exercise about two hours before bed (and before we put him in the room all he does is sleep in the hall); and of course we make sure he's gone potty. The only change that has occured in his routine is that I've not been able to exercise him in the morning like we have in the past. He still gets plenty of attention, but we haven't done the run/walk due to child illness.
Anyone have any ideas? Is this a getting older thing? Thanks for your advice.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Some of the problem is most likely that being in there he is isolated from the rest of the family. Dogs are pack animals and they crave the attention of their family. It's going to be even worse if he's in there while ya'll are moving around the house and he can hear you. Is there a reason he was put in there to begin with? Was he a chewer or destructive? Also, is there not any way you can leave him outside on nice days? As long as he has water and shade he will be just fine. He might be more content with being able to run around outside. Hope you are able to find a solution soon.

More Answers

Our dogs did better having a gate up rather than closing the door. They could see what was going on & our door didn't get messed up from the scratching. It's worth a try. Good luck. :)

We have two bassett hounds that scratch our door at the same time everyday - Bassetts like to have a routine and they don't forget it very quickly. Once you begin the walk run routine again the scratching will stop.

I would recommend putting him in a crate but then he would probably bark. We put a stake outside and a long tangle free cord with our puppy so she can be out doors in the mornings when kids are at school and chase birds and things at her free will.

Quite a combo for your puppy. If the basset is really a beagle, with the Russell, lots and lots of exercise is needed and no vacation to you. lol

My brother-in-law raised boxers and used an Ariel tie out. His dog loved that. You can buy at Walmart pretty inexpensively. Good luck.

We started having the same problem with our puppy, she is a 6 month old beagle/terrier/heeler mix we think. The issue turned out to be an opposum in the yard. She wanted out to chase the opposum and would get wound up at about 2:30 each morning which is when I guess the varmit was running around. She caught it on Saturday morning to my surprise and brought it to the back door as a present. I hope this helps you out!

Some of the problem is most likely that being in there he is isolated from the rest of the family. Dogs are pack animals and they crave the attention of their family. It's going to be even worse if he's in there while ya'll are moving around the house and he can hear you. Is there a reason he was put in there to begin with? Was he a chewer or destructive? Also, is there not any way you can leave him outside on nice days? As long as he has water and shade he will be just fine. He might be more content with being able to run around outside. Hope you are able to find a solution soon.

As a fellow dog owner and dog lover (worked with many dogs as well) I suggest you take the dog for a short walk just before bedtime (even 20 minutes helps). This takes the edge of the dog and gives him the excercise he really needs.

As Cesar Milan (dog whisperer) always says, daily walks are so necessary to help keep you pet balanced. Also gives the dog a chance to see the 'outer world'..away from backyard boredom.

You may consider a dog walker for 1x/daily walk (charges average around $15)...may be worthwhile.

We had a dog that did this when he was younger. When we inquired about what to do about it we were told the best way to train the behavior out of him would be to make some kind of unpleasant noise or action when he does it. The two ways suggested were to be out of sight of the crate and bang the crate with something, or put some pennies in an empty coke can and rattle it every time he scratches, etc. We were in a small one-bedroom apartment at the time and his crate was in our room. We tried the coke can method first and he would pause the behavior, but not stop. So we opted for the first method and kept an arsenal of shoes next to the bed and simply tossed a shoe at the crate every time he made a racket. Probably took about 4 or 5 shoes the first night, one the next and he was done.

I am not sure if I understand it corectly but if you are locking him in there all night PLUS most of the afternoon he is probably lonely and bored stiff! He is associating the utility room as punishment. He just wants to be with the rest of the family! If he is house trained and not tearing things up,I wouldn't make him stay there any longer. And,I do make my cat stay in the utility room when he stays in at night because he prowls the house at all hours! Doesn't bother him if I let him out as soon as I get up. Also,My little dachshund was crate trained and still stays in it at night. It is her comfort place! So,I guess what I am saying is,what works for some animals doesn't work for all. Good luck.

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