Why Do Dogs Scratch Carpets? And Can Be Done About It

Actionable Steps to Protecting Your Carpets and Rugs

Wondering why dogs scratch carpets? Looking for how to prevent dogs from scratching carpets? This is an article for you.

This article covers:

Dogs with Anxiety
How to Calm Down an Anxious Dog
Dogs Trying to Bury Something
How to prevent dogs from burying things
Dogs That See Out of Windows
How to Prevent Dogs Seeing out the Windows

For information on the following subjects, click the link below:

How to Protect Your Carpet from Pet Scratching
How to Fix Damaged Carpet Cheaply

Five Reasons Some Dogs Scratch Carpets


Just like humans, dogs can get anxious or nervous. Sometimes dogs will bite themselves, run around, whine, and yes this may also contribute to why anxious dogs scratch flooring. Sometimes scratching helps to release energy build up – other times it is because the dog has an instinct to get out of the house.

Actionable steps to calm down an anxious dog:

Move them away from stressing noises. Like humans, dogs handle stress and anxiety differently. Sometimes a dog may be stressed from noises – if this happens you should remove the dog from the room that the noise is in.

Pet the dog to calm it down. A dog may be stressed from neurological or nervous system related disorders. Or perhaps they just have a phobia (similar to human phobias). If this happens you may try petting the dog and be helping it calm down. This is also beneficial for dogs that are seeking attention from clawing at the carpet.

Distract the dog. For dogs that are hysterical or heavily energetic, try distracting the dog. Throw an object near the dog to startle them or catch their attention. This will lead them away from scratching the carpet or at least temporarily break their concentration.

Designate a calm safe space for the dog. Kennel training a dog can have a load of benefits. First, it gives the dog a space they are familiar with and is self-enclosed. For this reason, many dogs prefer an open kennel to a traditional dog bed.

Designate a light distracting punishment for scratching. Although it may seem cruel or counter-intuitive to punish a dog suffering from anxiety, punishing the dog is not the goal. By putting the dog into “time out” or a similar light punishment you are actually distracting their anxiety and putting them into a safe place that they can calm down in. Just make sure to give your dog plenty of love once they calm down so you know that you are not mad at them.

Dogs trying to bury something in your carpet

Why do dogs bury bones, treats, and toys? The answer is history and instinct. Wild dogs used to have to protect their food from other dogs and animals. As a result, they bury their food in order to store it for later.

Even though (most) dogs are not worried about wild animals stealing their food they still have the instincts to protect their food. As a result, dogs will often try to bury their treats or toys into your carpet, bed, or upholstery.

How to prevent dogs from trying to burying something in your carpet

If your dog is notorious for trying to bury bones, the answer might be as simple as giving the dog another type of treat. If this is not desirable, train the dog to eat the bone outside or on a tile floor. The goal here is to dissociate treats, toys, and bones from your carpet. Get creative!

Scratching triggered by something out the window

If a dog sees something out of the window and cannot chase after it, oftentimes they will begin scratching. This can trigger the scratching because the dog is attempting to get out of the house or it may be because they cannot perform an action (chasing an animal) so they put the energy into another (scratching).

How to prevent dogs from scratching after seeing something out a window

The only way to prevent this type of triggered scratching is to close the blinds or otherwise prevent the dog from seeing out the window.

You may be able to get transparent blinds that limit your dog’s ability to see out the window. This will not prevent the dog hearing something outside or smelling it but it can help a little.

Hope this helps you a little!

Learn about how to physically prevent scratch damage and how to fix carpet cheaply here.

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