Every time we leave the house the dog is scratching so much at the carpet at the front door he is pulling it back and tearing it. He is not just scratching at the front door. Any help on how I can prevent this would be greatly appreciated.
By Stacey from Akrotiri, Cyprus
I don't know what kind of dog you have, but he is having separation anxiety. If you give him a long walk (lots of exercise) every single day, especially before you leave the house it would help a great deal. In addition, you could get a kong toy, stuff it with peanut butter around the inside edges and freeze it. Give it to him just before you leave the house. This will keep him occupied for quite some time licking the peanut butter out of the kong. But, exercise is usually the key to most behavior problems.
I speak from experience of having many dogs over many years. I currently have 3 dogs who require much exercise, and it's a pleasure spending time with them walking or getting exercise we both need.
If all else fails, your vet can give you med for separation anxiety, but try the exercise and kong first. Some breeds require more activity than others, and some breeds need to be with their owners more than others. For instance, a guarding dog like a German Shepherd will be nervous if they are separated from their owner for any length of time as it's in their DNA to guard and protect. Also a few other breeds. Good luck.
Several options: Lots of exercise when you're home -- and this means everyday; Crate training - all my dogs are crate trained from puppies; The peanut butter idea is good as are the plastic cube toys that have a maze in them. You put dry dog food pieces in and the dog has to work to roll around and get the food out; Another dog as a playmate.
I have a female Boxer who would do that when I left and then eventually she turned to breaking windows to get out. I thought the same as everyone else here that she was having separation anxiety, she was already getting lots of exercise and attention, so I got her special toys and finally another playmate. She just taught him how to do it. I ended up putting her in a crate when I left which works fine. She is 4 year old now and has out grown this problem.
We had the same problem with a cat. We finally had to pull up the carpet around the entrance of the door and put down ceramic tile in about a 12 sq foot area. Turned out to be the best thing for all of us - no more carpet to pull at and saved me from cleaning the entry carpeted area constantly!
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