Dog Behavior- Bad Habits: Scratching/Destroying Doors

That should be the first thing done and the absolute best approach to any behavioral pet problem - understand what the cause is!

Possible Causes

Separation Anxiety: The very first thing you might want to rule out, as a dog owner, is separation anxiety. Is your furry friend left alone for lengthy periods of time? How do they act upon your return or departure? Do you arrive home to find your dog has made messes or destroyed things?

Dogs often view doors, particularly the one you left from or arrive home at, as ‘gateways to their owner who has left them’, and in turn focus their aggression/anxiety on those objects. 

Help decrease Separation Anxiety by:

  • Not over-reacting before leaving the home or upon returning; instead act like nothing of consequence happened (regardless of the fuss your pup may make.
  • Don’t leave the television or radio on, and don’t call home just so your dog can hear your voice. These actions only serve to increase your pup’s anxiety!
  • Condition your dog; help it adjust by leaving for small amounts of time, gradually increasing durations.
  • Exercise your pup prior to leaving, not immediately upon returning. This can cause excess stimulation, increasing anxiety (wait a few minutes if need be).

Does your dog get enough exercise? Or is he/she bursting with energy all of the time? If the former is true, if your dog darts around the room for no apparent reason, they probably need more exercise!

Chewing Out of Boredom

The answer could be as simple as little Fido chewing to expel energy, or out of boredom! The answer here is the same as above - exercise?

  • Have you walked your dog prior to leaving them alone?
  • Have you left interesting chew toys to play with?


Just like human children, puppies teeth during development; there is no way around it. If young, developing pups can’t be watched (these fellas are like infant children- would you leave your infant unsupervised…ever?), they should be kenneled with a chew toy and no access to anything possibly harmful.

as are like infant children- would you leave your infant unsupervised…ever?), they should be kenneled with a chew toy and no access to anything possibly harmful.


Let’s assume you’ve house trained your dog; they know elimination inside is absolutely not allowed. Are they trying to tell you they need a ‘potty break’? 

Have you considered teaching your dog to swat a bell when they have to go? It’s not as hard as you think; there are many training resources available online!

Finally, if you still can’t determine the cause of your doggy door aggression, ask your veterinarian for the advice! Veterinarians are taken for granted all too often, but remember - they have gone through a lot of schooling to become Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, and probably hear about cases like yours from other dog owners all of the time!

Is your little one getting enough stimulation? Stop guessing and get the dog tracker for your dog. 


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Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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