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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14826
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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How do I stop my dog from scratching the carpet

Resolved Question:

How do I stop my dog from scratching the carpet?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 5 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello. I'm sorry to hear that your fella is scratching your carpet. When is this occuring? Is he playing at the time or is he getting ready to lie down and sleep?

Customer:

He may be ready for a sleep, but it seems to be when we are sitting around with him on the floor nearby and he goes mad digging at the carpet

Dr Kara :

Thanks. If he's getting ready for napping it's normal behavior for dogs to "dig up" their bed and circle to make it more comfortable. If this is what he's doing then offering him a place with his own blanket or bed to dig up may be an alternative. Spraying the new sleep area with DAP or leaving things with his scent on it will help direct him there. use positive reinforcement when he uses his thing (you can even hide a treat in his blanket to encourage him to dig there, not your carpet. When he digs at your carpet have a can filled with pennies to throw near (not at) him to startle him out of that behavior then redirect him to "his" place.

Dr Kara :

If his behavior is an invitation to play (some dogs will crouch their front and put their rear in the air, then dig as an invitation to play) then throw the can of pennies to startle him and leave the room. If you are continually giving him negative reinforcement (the loud noise form the can of pennies) and not giving him positive reinforcement (ignoring him, not playing) that should help break his habit.

Dr Kara :

This will not be an easy habit to break, expect it to escalate before it improves, because he is performing a natural, instinctive dog behavior.

Customer:

Thanks. What's DAP? Could it rerally be that simple. ? He gets angry if we try to stop him and he's a nice little dog really. Would the scraping be that frantic if he's just tired. He does run about a lot. No he doesn't want to play at that stage. he seems possessed by it! Can I get back on this when we've tried it?

Dr Kara :

DAP is dog appeasing pheromone. It's a synthetic analog of a pheromone produced by nursing mom dogs. It's quite effective.

Dr Kara :

Here's DAP's website with lots of great info. : http://www.dap-pheromone.com/ The frantic scraping is a "habitual" behavior that is likely settling for him for sleep. Just like some kids need a pacifier or a blanky. He can still do it, we're just redirecting him to his own spot. And like I said it might get worse before it gets better but this redirection should work.

Customer:

OK Thanks for the help. We'll try anything!

Dr Kara :

I'd love it if you got back to me. My frustration with this is I hardly ever hear back. I assume no news is good news for the most part.

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