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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

Puppy (just shy of 1 year) keeps pawing/scratching at closed doors. Pretty much any closed door that he comes across, the spare bedroom door most frequently. But will also paw at the bathroom door, closet doors, cabinet doors, he hasn't done any damage to any of them but it's super annoying. He's managed to get the spare bedroom door open a few times (it's a sliding barn door) and this has definitely seemed to reinforce the fact that if he keeps trying he'll get in eventually. Currently have that door blocked off with his old play pen so he can't get to it.

Any ideas on what I could do to get him to stop?
 

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We trained our dogs to ring the bell that hangs on the door handle so that they wouldn't scratch at it. But that would only solve the problem for the one door to go outside.

Not sure how to use positive reinforcement to teach the behavior you want. The pennies in a soda can would work to stop the unwanted behavior. Hopefully someone has a better idea because I think that should be a last resort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Surprisingly the front door is pretty much the only door he doesn't paw at. He doesn't fuss around with pawing at the door when he wants to go out. I've gotten to know his cues pretty well and he mostly follows his schedule, but if he needs to go out at an off time he lets me know.

I think that he's just constantly on the search for rogue socks (favorite "toy") and thinks there is a treasure trove behind each closed door. lol.
 

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I would say this can stem from 2 things. A high "risk-reward" component and lack of mental stimulation.

Addressing the first is harder. It would mean being vigiliant and giving him a redirect or a negative consequence---like crate time, being banished to one room, etc.

Addressing the mental stimulation is much easier. I believe in making dogs work for their food. Treat dispensing balls and food puzzles are an excellent way to do this. This will make sure his mind gears towards the great reward of a food ball rather than the disapointment of a cabinant full of TP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He already gets most of his food from a kong wobbler, treat ball, or puzzle games. He gets plenty of exercise, play time with me and with other dogs, a couple training sessions a day and has a bunch of toys and chews always available to him so can't imagine he's bored.

He's always been quite the explorer so I've always just chalked it up to him wanting to get somewhere that he can't and figured that he'd stop once he figured the pawing wouldn't get him access, unfortunately the fact that he did manage to get in a couple times has really thrown a wrench in that. The last few weeks he's started pawing at the elevator door as well, which seems to be causing more 'rewarding' of the behaviour, obviously I don't have much control over when that door opens so I suppose I'll have to reign him in quite a bit, watch him constantly and go with redirecting and time outs. And here I thought the super vigilant hawk like days of supervision were done when he finally was house trained. :/
 

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Sure sounds like the lure of 'forbidden fruit' -- lol! "There must be something really good behind those doors, otherwise they wouldn't close it." Perhaps the cheapest method, short of keeping the doors open, is to put up webbing in front of the door - although he may try to rip it down. :-( - or get those inexpensive baby gates to discourage him until he gets over it. :) good luck!
 

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Lots of Puppy's paw at doors, mine did too, but they seem to get over it later on..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sure sounds like the lure of 'forbidden fruit' -- lol! "There must be something really good behind those doors, otherwise they wouldn't close it." Perhaps the cheapest method, short of keeping the doors open, is to put up webbing in front of the door - although he may try to rip it down. :-( - or get those inexpensive baby gates to discourage him until he gets over it. :) good luck!
I've blocked off what I could and he's not doing any damage to the doors. The sound of him pawing at the door is what gets annoying. Last night I used a bit more redirection than normal and every time I caught him heading in the direction of the doors I would call him back and we would play or do a bit of training, that helped but definitely tired me out by the end of the night. lol
 
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