Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?
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Thread: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

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    Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    He's a Shepherd/Shar-Pei cross, very large for 5 months...well just going into his 5th month anyways. He's completely scratched/eaten off the weather stripping on the side of the door.

    Is there a way to get him to stop scratching to be let in?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    Don't let him in when he scratches. If he's chewing, when you replace the stripping make sure you coat it in bitter apple. Try to let him in before he scratches, and if he is scratching, go open the door just enough to get his collar, tell him 'enough' in a firm voice, and shut the door again. Wait a bit then let him in.

    You can also start having him sit to come in, just stand at the door and wait for him to sit, the second he does, open the door. If you're consistant with the door never opening for him to come in unless he's sitting, he'll soon start doing it all the time.

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bordermom View Post
    Don't let him in when he scratches. If he's chewing, when you replace the stripping make sure you coat it in bitter apple. Try to let him in before he scratches, and if he is scratching, go open the door just enough to get his collar, tell him 'enough' in a firm voice, and shut the door again. Wait a bit then let him in.

    You can also start having him sit to come in, just stand at the door and wait for him to sit, the second he does, open the door. If you're consistant with the door never opening for him to come in unless he's sitting, he'll soon start doing it all the time.

    We have tried not letting him in when he scratches, but he gets incessant. I have opened the door a smidge and said NO! and he stops, sometimes he will continue to play with his outdoor toys or whatever, then come back and scratch and whine some more. We haven't replaced the weather stripping just for this reason. Even if he's incessant do we still continue to tell him NO! and close the door?

    A few times lately he will give a peep and be sitting at the door to be let in, otherwise he scratches and scratches and scratches and whines and so forth lol

    Maybe coating that part of the door in bitter apply spray will deter him?

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    My suggestion is similar to Bordermom's, but if you have a window in your door or right next to it I have an additional suggestion. Teach a hand signal for sit, when your dog is scratching do the hand signal and once he sits open the door
    Of course if there isn't a window, or scratching allowed (which I don't blame you at all!) how do you know when he's done? You could teach an alternate behaviour, like ringing a bell to come inside....That might land you in an unfortunate trap though, one that I had with our cats when we used to let them out. They stand at the door and yowl so I let them out, they turn around and stand in front of the door outside and yowl to be let back in. Annoying possible side effect, but its a thought.

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    You probably won't like my advice, but I wouldn't let a 5 month old puppy out in the yard by himself to begin with. There are several reasons:
    - if you are watching your puppy (and he's still very young at 5 months) you will KNOW for sure when he's peed/pooped, and can let him in with more peace of mind that he's not going to have accidents inside.
    - you can make sure he's not eating plants that might be toxic to him.
    - you can make sure he's not eating acorns, which are bad for him (we have TONS of acorns, so I have this problem myself)
    - he won't scratch at the door to be let in if you're out there with him.

    There are more: depending on your neighborhood, you could have a stray dog here or there that come by and bother your dog, or even get into your yard and fight with your dog, or your dog could be stolen (happened in my parents' neighborhood).

    Anyway, it's just my own opinion.

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mizbhyvn74 View Post
    We have tried not letting him in when he scratches, but he gets incessant. I have opened the door a smidge and said NO! and he stops, sometimes he will continue to play with his outdoor toys or whatever, then come back and scratch and whine some more. We haven't replaced the weather stripping just for this reason. Even if he's incessant do we still continue to tell him NO! and close the door?

    If you open the door, say NO and he stops and goes off to play, but then comes back after a while to scratch.... let him in when he's playing with his toys, BEFORE he has to come scratch to get in. Is there a reason you want him out that long? If not, then just let him in quicker so it's not part of his day to destroy the door to come in. He's still young and likely not too comfortable outside by himself just yet. If Kilt is in the dogrun/pen by herself, she will go out to potty and then come right back in to sit inside. She doesn't often choose to be outside alone, but if the adult dogs are out she'll be out there for longer....

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post
    You probably won't like my advice, but I wouldn't let a 5 month old puppy out in the yard by himself to begin with. There are several reasons:
    - if you are watching your puppy (and he's still very young at 5 months) you will KNOW for sure when he's peed/pooped, and can let him in with more peace of mind that he's not going to have accidents inside.
    - you can make sure he's not eating plants that might be toxic to him.
    - you can make sure he's not eating acorns, which are bad for him (we have TONS of acorns, so I have this problem myself)
    - he won't scratch at the door to be let in if you're out there with him.

    There are more: depending on your neighborhood, you could have a stray dog here or there that come by and bother your dog, or even get into your yard and fight with your dog, or your dog could be stolen (happened in my parents' neighborhood).

    Anyway, it's just my own opinion.
    Well for starters, I live in Northern Alberta, and there isn't anything in the yard but snow. And when there isn't snow, it's a yard full of grass. He's also on a tether line or whatever it's called because we don't have a fenced yard, and I don't want him running off into the street. It gives him plenty of room to roam and do his business.

    He might be 5 months old, but he's the size of a lab. He's house trained, and has been since he was 3 months old. I don't think I really need to watch him while he's out there. And we don't have acorn trees, or any other trees like that, so no worries there either.

    As for scratching at the door if we are out there with him, he does that also. Regardless if it's my husband or my kids or me.

    The dog is never out that long, the only time he's out longer is if it's his choosing, and then he plays with him toys for like 10 minutes and comes in.

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    Re: Can I teach my dog not to scratch at the door to come in?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bordermom View Post
    If you open the door, say NO and he stops and goes off to play, but then comes back after a while to scratch.... let him in when he's playing with his toys, BEFORE he has to come scratch to get in. Is there a reason you want him out that long? If not, then just let him in quicker so it's not part of his day to destroy the door to come in. He's still young and likely not too comfortable outside by himself just yet. If Kilt is in the dogrun/pen by herself, she will go out to potty and then come right back in to sit inside. She doesn't often choose to be outside alone, but if the adult dogs are out she'll be out there for longer....
    Only problem is, he's started cutting up his paws scratching at the door. I tried telling him NO yesterday, and now we have blood on the door. His paws are fine, I inspected them, but I don't want him bleeding on the carpet or ripping up his claws. So I don't know what to do now.

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