Ways to Remove and Prevent Dog Scratches on Your Doors
If you’re like most Americans that have a loveable Fido or Baxter who gets let out into the backyard, chances are there are parts of your home that can testify to your canine love.
Now, for those who don’t have doggy doors (you know, those square cutouts that allow small critters to just run in and out of the home at will), you’ll probably find that your dog starts clawing on the door every time he or she wants to come back in. Over time, your door will have a bunch of scratches and claw marks.
It Doesn’t Just Happen Outside
Heck, that can even happen inside of the house, if your dog gets particularly excited about entering a certain room, and can’t hold themselves back from jumping up and down and trying to push the door open. But just because your doors are full of scratches doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way.
If your doors are already scratched up beyond repair, and they happen to be made out of wood, you can actually do some simple cosmetic repair work yourself to get them back into shape.
Removing Dog Scratches from a Wood Door
First off, place a drop cloth under the door to protect the flooring from the shavings that will be coming from your craftsmanship. Next, you’ll want to sand the scratches down by hand, or possibly by using an orbital sander (you know, something that Home Depot might sell, perhaps made by Black and Decker or Dewalt).
Now, the orbital sander is certainly the easier of the two options, but its powered operation actually gives you less control of the sanding process, which could be a considerable downside to making some minor repairs on the door. Once the scratches are sanded down, wipe off the area with a tack cloth to remove any remaining particles.
Grab some wood filler and a putty knife and put some of that gunky goodness into the valleys you’ve formed with your sandiwork (that’s a pun on handiwork). Smooth off the excess putty, and give it ample drying time, as indicated on the label. Once it’s dry, sand it down with sandpaper. After you’ve passed over it a few times with something more coarse, switch to a finer sandpaper to finish the job.
Clean it off with a tack cloth once more, and then apply stain or paint to the patch of the raw door you’ve just doctored. Once that’s all done, you’ll want to give the whole masterpiece ample time to dry, without small hands or paws getting anywhere near it, so perhaps take everyone out for a fun activity or cone off the area.
Can’t I Just Stop My Dog From Scratching in the First Place?
Of course, it would be nice to not have to do any of this in the first place, so you’re probably wondering how you can prevent my dog from scratching the door in the first place. Well, you’re in luck dog owners, because there are indeed a few ways to get your canine pal from not scratching the door.
Ignore the Behavior
One easy fix for this situation is to just ignore your dog when it scratches the door. Granted, your door might take a beating through this training process, especially if you have a spirited dog.
However, your dog should eventually learn that scratching on the door to get in does not yield the desired result of getting your attention—in fact, it makes you go away. That’s right when your dog is scratching, you can let it see you get up and walk into a different room.
Train Your Dog Not to Scratch
You can also train your dog by putting it in different rooms where it will want to scratch the door. Close the door and stand outside. Of course, your dog will probably start scratching. Just ignore it and don’t open the door until your dog has stopped scratching for at least half a minute. Try this again and again until your dog gets the idea.
Deal with Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Your dog may also be scratching because he or she has some separation anxiety. You can deal with that unhealthy (if not cute) level of attachment by getting your dog to be comfortable on its lonesome. Work on getting your dog to follow the stay command.
In fact, you should be able to tell your dog to stay and walk to the other end of the house. You can also get your pet comfortable with zones of their own, such as a cage or crate, by putting loveable, soft, chewy toys and other fun things for them to do there.
Just Say No
Of course, if all else fails, you can just use the command “no” at a sufficient level of volume to command some serious respect from the pooch. This one will be a hit or miss because most dogs respond better to positive reinforcement than negative attention. In fact, to dogs, negative attention is still attention, so you might want to speak with a qualified handler or trainer to figure out if the no tactic will work.
Don’t Let it Happen in the First Place
It’s easy to understand that sometimes you just want your dog to go out on its own and not need you there. But going out with your dog can also be a good reason to get out yourself. Consider stepping out into the yard with your pooch.
If it’s wintertime, he or she won’t want to be out there too long anyway. If it’s Spring or Summer, you could even read or do some work in the beautiful outdoors while they run around. Best of all (as it relates to this topic) you’ll be there to prevent unwanted canine scratches from occurring.
Regarding doors on the inside of your home, you could also consider placing baby gates at key points of egress to prevent your pooch from even getting to the doors in the first place. Furthermore, if you do have to put them in their own room, you can close the gate instead of the door, eliminating the possibility for scratches.
Get a Doggy Door?
You could get a doggy-door installed, but you’ll want to seriously assess this option, as they can compromise on the insulation and security of your home, especially regarding the entry of nature’s classic bandit: raccoons.
Get Different Doors
There is one more possibility to consider. If your doors are scratched up not only because of your dog but also because they’re made of wood, you might consider replacing them with something a little more durable or scratch resistant—say, like fiberglass or steel.
Fiberglass and steel doors are frequently more durable than their wooden counterparts and provide much better insulation. They also come in a surprising variety of colors and styles, so you’re sure to find something you like. When it comes to scratches from your canine, fiberglass and steel doors won’t show off deep gouges as wooden doors would.
At Feldco, we have quality and durable fiberglass and steel doors that can withstand scratches from your pets. On top of that, you’ll be astonished by the variety of styles and colors available for your entry, patio and storm doors.
Get the exceptional value and energy efficiency with Feldco. With over 400,000 delighted customers across the Midwest, you won’t find anyone that’s more trustworthy than Feldco. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.