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sandyq
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Location: Bolton UK
Joined: Oct 2012
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25-08-2013, 08:09 AM

Why does my 13 month old keep scratching the carpet ?

Hi. My 13month old cross breed pup has started scratching the carpet quite regularly, even after being told 'no' she carries on. She gets two walks a day (approx. 1 and a half hours). Plenty of play time with toys etc. Can anyone tell me why she does this and is here an easy way to stop it (before I have a carpet with bald patches !!) ? Many thanks
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Nippy
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Location: South Devon
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25-08-2013, 08:13 AM
I don't really know Sandy but I bet someone will tell you in a minute.
Pepsi scratches her blanket and pulls it around as if making a nest, maybe that is what your pup is trying to do.
Perhaps a blanket would give her something else to scratch
Good luck.
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Meg
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25-08-2013, 09:04 AM
Hello Sandra scratching the carpet is I think similar to digging, it can also be bed making before settling down both normal if irritating forms of canine behaviour which some dogs have. Terriers in particular have an urge to dig.
Saying 'no' means very little to a dog who is just doing something which comes naturally.

The alternatives are work with the problem rather than trying to stop it by providing a bed with a blanket where the dog can 'bed make' and when the dog scratches the carpet direct it to the bed not as a punishment with a cross voice but with a bright voice. Hide treats in the bed which will make it more appealing.

Provide a sandpit (a child's paddling pool is good for this) where toys can be hidden to give an outlet for the urge to dig.

My dog scratches the carpet but in her case I think it is a displacement activity because she only does it very rarely when frustrated because she is prevented by circumstances from doing something she wants to do.
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Trouble
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25-08-2013, 09:13 AM
It could be for a number of reasons, depending on when she's doing it. If it's before she settles for a snooze it could be just nest making. If it's at other random times it could be something under the floor, even water pipes. A dogs hearing is far more acute than ours. One of mine used to do it before settling down and I used to tell him to "leave it" but also put a thick shaggy rug down in front of the sofa to avoid damage to the carpet, it's easier and cheaper to replace than an entire carpet. Also if it's nest building it's not really so different from some dogs who turn around 5 or 6 times before settling down, just more annoying.
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Tang
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25-08-2013, 11:01 AM
My old GSD used to 'make her bed' to the extent that she managed to make holes in a heavy wool stair carpet (she slept on the big square turning stair part way up.)

We'd put pads down and she had her old sleeping bag bed but still scratched and turned and scratched and turned every day. As it seemed like natural or instinctive behaviour for her and she only did it to her 'bed' I never thought of trying to stop her. I used huge marker pens to colour in the bits where the light floorboards showed thro!

My tiny minpin 'heaps up' scatter rugs. She loves a rug but always scrapes the sides in before lying down on it - I started folding them in half before putting them down - makes them more 'solid' and less likely to trip me up and kill me on the marble tiles (of course the latter might be what my dog has in mind!)
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