Canines are fun pets. But their affinity for ruining your furniture and calling it ‘play’ does require a degree of patience and some strategic tactics to outsmart them out of this frustrating behavior. With a bit of understanding and following these helpful tips, you should be able to stop your furry friend from scratching your carpet, while keeping him happy and entertained at the same time. It’s a win-win!
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How To Cease It?
As frustrating of an experience as it can be, it only takes a few simple steps to cease your pet from further scratching and damaging your valuable carpets.
Find the cause: There’s probably a good reason why your pet is doing it, and finding that reason is the first step in pointing you in the right direction towards ceasing their destructive behavior.
Your canine might be doing it as a response to a primitive drive of theirs to create a comfortable spot to lay on. You see, back in the days when canines still lived in the wild, they used to dig concave into the soil to create warm and comfy resting places on which to retire. And rest assured that their scratching on your carpet is more of an expression of their latent instincts, than a reflection on the quality of your carpet.
Another reason might be related to their pedigree and breeding. Canines like the dachshund and terrier types were commonly used for hunting out vermin, which is why they’ve got sensitive olfactory senses that can identify mice and rats a mile away. Which means that all their scratching around may be a sign that you have rodents somewhere in the house, and they’re just hunting them down.
Remove the Cause
The most obvious course of action to take after you’ve determined the cause of the scratching is to remove the cause. In the case of having vermin hunting breeds, you can employ the services of a pest remover to fumigate the house and remove any pests that might be present.
Once you’ve removed the enticing agent you should avoid future infestation by fixing any leaking pipes or faucets (rodents love wet and damp areas), fix any holes or cracks where mice might fit in and regularly set out traps to bring out any remaining rodents.
Give Your Canine a Pleasing Replacement
If your pet is still scratching your rug even after you’ve removed the threat of mice and other rodents, you should try introducing a new plush canine bed or blanket that’ll serve as a replacement for the carpet. And to reinforce the replacement, you can simply place your pet near their new comfy abode every time they start scratching your rug as a way of getting them used to this new alternative moving forward.
Be Stern and Consistent
If your canine still insists on choosing the rug scratching to their comfortable replacement, then it’s time to practice some tough love. An example of this would be to instruct it using trigger words like, ‘STOP IT’ in an authoritative tone every time they they do it. And then reward them with a treat every time they pause and listen, to reinforce the good behavior and lead them towards the replacement instead. Pretty soon it will understand the correlation and start acting accordingly.
Reward For Good Behavior
All canines are different. While some enjoy a good treat as a reward, some care more for play time and others just appreciate your presence and feeling loved and/ or appreciated through petting and cuddling. So reward your pet according to their personality for good behavior and watch them transform before your eyes, one day at a time.
Understanding Why It Scratches The Carpet
As mentioned earlier, there’s a variety of reasons why canines do it. Some are silly while some may be serious and beneficial to you in the end. Either way, understanding the reasons behind your pet’s behavior is always a good place to start in fixing the behavior. Here are some of the more common reasons behind most dogs’ carpet scratching antics.
OCD aka Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Canines enjoy being outdoors and playfully running in wide open spaces, and might end up feeling constricted and cramped when not taken for regular walks, and this often leads to OCD behavior. Other signs of OCD include constant chewing, licking and pacing around. And the obvious remedy for this is to make time to play with, and take your pet out for walks in the park more often.
- To Mark Their Territory: There are certain glands on the underside of its paws which carry a particular scent used by canines to mark their territory. And this scent becomes intensified when your pet scratches with his paws, which might explain why they enjoy the behavior so much. They’re just marking their territory.
- Just For Fun: It might be scratching its paws on your mat because it’s fun. It’s a type of enjoyment for them and they’re just having a good time with it. And the best course of action in this instance would be to substitute with a new, more enjoyable toy to distract them with, which will hopefully make them forget about the carpet altogether.
- To Obey Natural Instinct: You’re likely to notice that it enjoys digging on the ground during the summer to create a comfy resting spot for himself. That’s because he’s obeying his natural instinct, to dig troughs in the ground creating cool and cozy spots to retire on.
- To Release Pent-up Energy: Modern domesticated animals are often kept in confined spaces like apartments that leave them feeling bored with lots of pent up energy to release. One way to avoid or remedy this is to obviously take it on walks and play with them more frequently.
- Stress or Nervousness: Canines commonly exhibit unusual behavior like this, when they’re experiencing fear or distress. Weather storms and lighting or trying to flee from some sort of harassment are just some of the stressful situations that might cause them to react by scratching on your carpet.
So be sure to consider this if your dog has been through a particularly distressing incident lately. And do take the necessary precautions like reassuring him/ her with petting and hugging gestures, and even consulting a dog trainer to get them used to being home alone again.