This post will show you why your dog scratches walls and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog scratch walls? Possible reasons why your dog scratches walls are that it is anxious, bored, it hears something in the walls, or that it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog does it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my dog scratch walls?
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
It could be the case that something has been causing it to feel anxious. This would be more likely if your dog does it more when it might be feeling anxious such as when you are about to leave home. It would also be more likely if it also shows other signs of being anxious such as pacing or panting heavily.
Most dog breeds are meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When dogs do not get enough exercise, they will often look for ways to stimulate themselves and it might be why yours has been scratching walls. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more before getting exercise and less afterward. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
It likes the feeling
The reason why your dog has been doing it might also be that it just likes the feeling. This would be more likely if your dog doesn’t seem to do it more at a certain time and if it has been behaving normally otherwise.
It hears something
Another possible cause is that your dog can hear things in the walls. This would be more likely if your dog seems to do it more at night when it is more likely to hear things such as mice in the walls.
Encouraging the behavior
It could also be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as extra attention, toys, or treats, after it scratches the wall, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to stop if from scratching the wall when it starts but to try to avoid giving it any more attention or rewards after that until it calms down.
Things to consider about your dog scratching the wall
Below are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog has always scratched the wall
If your dog did not always scratch at the wall, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as creatures getting into the walls, anxiety, or boredom.
If there is a certain time that your dog scratches the wall
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that your dog seems to do it more. For example, if your dog does it more at night, it would be more likely that your dog hears things in the walls or that it has some separation anxiety.
How to get my dog to stop scratching walls?
Below are a number of options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Give it distractions
The first option would be to give your dog things to be distracted by so that it is less likely to want to scratch the wall. Things you could give it could include bones or toys.
Redirect its focus
As mentioned earlier, it could be the case that your dog has learned that scratching the wall results in it getting rewards. Instead, it would help to try to redirect your dog’s focus before it starts scratching the wall so that it does not learn that the behavior is rewarded. Ways to redirect its focus could be to get it to perform a trick or to give it a toy or bone.
Give it exercise
As mentioned earlier, it might be the case that it has been doing it due to being bored. Instead, it would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of exercise that is recommended for its age and breed.
Why does my dog scratch the wall at night?
If your dog has only been scratching the wall at night, the cause would be more likely to be that it can hear things inside of the walls. Another possibility is that it has separation anxiety which would be more likely if your dog seems to become anxious when you are going to bed.
Why does my dog scratch the wall when left alone?
If your dog only scratches the wall when left alone, the most likely cause is that your dog has some separation anxiety.