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Scratching Doors at Night
  • I rescued Lucky (10 years old) about 9 months ago. We also have 2 other dogs. Lucky has a dog bed in the living room as well as in our bedroom. At night, he is free to sleep where he wants. Our Golden sleeps on our bed and our other dog sleeps downstairs, since she can't navigate the stairs anymore. For the last week, Lucky has started scratching the bedroom door about 1 hour after we go to bed. The scratching continues all night, about once every half hour. I've tried letting him outside, that's not what he wants. I've tried putting him on our bed, he didn't like that either. Water is available downstairs, and he can access it. I'm getting pretty tired. Any ideas why he is doing this ? Or how I can stop it ?

    Beth & Lucky
  • silly question, but can u just open the door and let him show you what he wants? maybe he doesn't need to go outside but likes sleeping on a hardfloor and not the carpet?

  • The bedroom door is open and he scratches at it anyway. We now also leave the closet door open as well, in case he didn't like that door being closed. He is free to roam the house at night.
  • interesting... my thoughts:

    1) He just likes to scratch... maybe his toenails are long and he is filing them? I have seen dogs scratch at emory boards for that reason.

    2) He wants you to wake up and play with him

    Thats all i got for you... sorry =(
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @bethshop23 - There are so SO many reasons why your pup could be doing this.

    Maybe he is not comfortable being in open space at night. Have you tried a crate?

    Maybe he is bored. Have you tried upping his exercise/mental stimulation during the day?

    He could also be anxious, fearful, wanting attention, etc.
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  • koyukikoyuki
    Posts: 1244
    Our B&T Shiba does this for every reason listed above and more.... Basically he knows it will wake us up and he wants our attention for something. I then have to investigate and tell him to go to bed. I agree with Sunyata that maybe crare training is a good idea.. Our 5 dogs love the crate, we will often find them in there during the night. Sometimes we put a sheet over it too, and they love going in there to sleep
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  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
    +1 on the crate as well. 2 of our dogs are in crates while our large dog is tethered to the foot of our bed at night. We like having all our dogs near us in the case of an emergency since they will all rush outside to the front door if they hear something. It also keeps them out of trouble and they let us know if they have to go in the middle of the night by whining or scratching the door of the crate.
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Shibas love routines, as do all dogs and if I were you then I would add another activity to your evening routine to give him something else (besides annoying the crap out of you) to look forward to. Maybe an extra walk around the block after dinner or a nightly treat?

    Kira gets a bully stick for 30 minutes about a hour after dinner/before bedtime. It's part of our nightly ritual, she looks forward to it every single day. The faster you get him to stop this and looking forward to something else, the better - or he will adopt it as part of his routine. I would definitely suggest crating at night as well until he understands what behavior is acceptable.
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  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    The scratching can be one of the annoying mysteries of Shibadom, or so I think. It is clear they want SOMETHING, but what is it? I often have no idea, but both my Shibas have gone through phases like this. Bel, now passed on, would often scratch when she was anxious, but I couldn't always fix the anxiety. It was clearly not a matter of wanting to go in our out (if I opened the door for her, she looked at me like I was impossibly stupid, and then she'd walk away from the door, but not go out). The more anxious she got, the worse and more frantic her scratching would be. I ended up having to have her sleep in the large crate downstairs, and while she would sometimes still scratch on the crate, at least I couldn't hear her anymore.

    My male Shiba wen through a phase of not just scratching, but paddling with both paws frantically on the door. He was just bored, and expressing his displeasure with being separated from the rest of us (but he was separated because he didn't get along with the other dogs). A little more exercise and activity during the day stopped his paddling on the door. But he sometimes still scratches at the door at times--to go out? No, more just attention I think.

    So my solutions have been crating, and also upping the activity during the day. And luckily, it seems these phases have passed, at least in our house.

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