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puppy scratching at door

Greg Stanford
June 25th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Good Morning, I'm new to the forum so 1st off; Hello! Secondly, I'm having pet issues & hope for help. We have a puppy, a lab mix (mixed w/ horse possibly to watch him grow) that my 3 year old son picked out at the pound. He's (the dog) 5 mths old & healthy & happy & all over everything as he should be. The dog adopted a kitten. Seriously, I don't know where the cat came from, went out to the back yard & found the dog laying in front of his dog house looking all pleased w/ himself & a ball of fur & eyes crouched inside the dog house. Managed to get the kitten into the house where he lived under a sofa for the first week, coming out to eat & running if anyone moved. Now of course he rules the house ( he's been w/ us 2 1/2 weeks). Problem is it's complete chaos if the dog & cat (& 3 year old) are in the house at the same time so the dog's been spending more time outdoors. We have a nice big yard, fenced, lots of shade. I bring the dog in, sometimes on a lead where I'll sit w/ him & sometimes in his crate so that he will get used to the idea of a cat sharing the house. I also spend a lot of time in the yard w/ the dog so he'll get the attention he needs. I think that this will eventually acclimate everybody & we'll live happily ever after. Problem is right now the dog's clawing at the back door every time he gets put out & he's going to destroy the door. Not to mention drive me insane. What can I do to get him to leave that door alone? I've tried ignoring him but he doesn't stop . . . ever. Any help is greatly appreciated.

June 25th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Welcome, Greg!
Interesting situation you've got... the dog adopted a cat... and now doesn't like it??? Or is just too excited about it?
How much exercise does your puppy get each day? He may be scratching at the door because he has too much pent up energy and wants someone to come outside and entertain him!
We would love to see some pics of your furry ones soon! :p

June 25th, 2008, 02:58 PM
is the pup put out in the backyard alone? if so, i'd venture to guess this pup is scratching to get attention - and rightfully so. a pup won't entertain itself for very long. get some really fun toys for the pup to play with outside, but realize that toys are not a solution. Toys only occupy the pup for a SHORT amount of time so you can turn your attention elsewhere when needed.

There are MANY fun interactive toys out there for dogs - some light up, some dispense treats, some move on their own (battery operated), etc.. I'd get some w/ treat spots so the pup is rewarded for playing with them. some good toys that come to mind are the Talking Treat ball, cosmic treat ball, kong toys, orka toys, busy buddy toys, even planet dog makes some GREAT dog toys.

ETA: get a few (5 or 6) toys. rotate the toys. only having 2 or 3 out at a time. this way the rotated toys always seem "new & exciting" to the pup (and you're not constantly buying new toys!)

June 25th, 2008, 03:45 PM
I don't really understand what the problem is. Clearly the dog wants to be inside with the family. Is the dog being aggressive towards the cat? If so, now's the time to do some major socializing. Anyway, would it not make more sense to leave the cat outside and keep the dog in with you?

I dunno, it just strikes me as strange. It's too much looking after the puppy, the kitten and the 3 year-old at the same time, so you shut the puppy out in the yard? Maybe with a toddler and a new puppy you shouldn't have taken on the additional responsibility of the cat as well...

June 25th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Well, our GS is 8 1/2months old. When he was oh I would say about 4-6months old he would do the same to our bedroom door so we get up and take him outside for his business. He would scratch the bedroom door and push in while he's at it and eventually open it cause it was never shut in the pin door (or shut compeletly). So I got fed up and decided to put a mouse trap. It wasnt cause we didnt want to get up. Just that he wanted to go out and play with us too. We were training him to be clean in the house which he was at the age of 4months old. Just I didnt want to start getting up at 5am on the weekend. The mouse trapped worked. Cause we used it along our wooden railing in the house cause Mr. was chewing all the wood. :wall: I remember many years ago i use to have Dobermans and in this book from Germany they said to use mouse traps if you didnt want your dog on the sofa, bed etc...YES it when our GS would see the mouse trap, he never bother again pushing and scratching on the door....

But now that our Big Boy is 88.5lbs at 8months old. He is tall enough to go OVER the mouse trap and just scratch it. So we say NO firmly and it works...but evenually you do have to get up to greet the bugger..

We also have a cat and had it a year before the dog. One day the cat showed big boy whos boss. Today our GS will try to bug the cat but knows who's boss...we just let them do their own thing and evenually one won the other one...

Try the mouse I said MOUSE and not RAT!!! once they snap it they dont like it and dont like the noise either...It wont hurt them at dont worry about that either..they arent big enough to hurt any dog..I put them in my plants in the house so the cat doesnt go dig in the earth and me that solve another problem...

June 25th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Try the mouse I said MOUSE and not RAT!!! once they snap it they dont like it and dont like the noise either...It wont hurt them at dont worry about that either..they arent big enough to hurt any dog..I put them in my plants in the house so the cat doesnt go dig in the earth and me that solve another problem...

this is a 5mth old puppy, AND this person has a THREE YEAR OLD at home, and a cat. I don't think anyone in their right mind would leave a mouse trap out in a home w/ a toddler. It's just insane. and btw, haven't we been through this before? I distinctly remember you suggesting this method before, and I also distinctly remember that no one on this board condoned it.

June 25th, 2008, 07:20 PM
they arent big enough to hurt any dog

Have you ever had a mousetrap close on your finger? Now imagine one closing on your tongue or nose.

June 25th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Mousetraps? Seriously? In addition to the obvious risk of physical harm I really don't think instilling fear in a dog is an appropriate way to train it.

June 25th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Why don't you train the dog to leave the cat alone? Can you teach him to "leave it" ?

He's a baby and wants to be with his family. As someone said, rotate some of his toys, give him a toy that dispenses his kibble. Why not take him to obedience training? Get his mind working and that will tire him for a night :)

If they can't get along, rehome the cat.

June 26th, 2008, 06:41 AM
GSD, what on earth are you thinking, OMG, mousetraps to train a dog to be clean in the house so you don't have to get up early on the weekends to let him out. :eek: I don't care how big a dog it is, it's a cruel practice and I think you should snap one on each finger of yours just to see how much it hurts.

Greg, what do you mean by it's chaos with the puppy and kitten in the house together. Are they fighting, are they playing? Mine like to chase each other around.
In my house the cats have the run of the house, upstairs, main floor and basement. The dogs are only allowed on the main floor. There's a gate barring them from the stairs going up to the bedrooms and it was easy to train them to not go downstairs, that scary dark basement I guess. :laughing:
That way if the dogs and cats start playing and the cats have had enough, they have somewhere to go where the dogs can't.
Don't leave the poor dog outside, he was used to being in with you before you got the cat.


June 26th, 2008, 08:02 AM
There is a kitten and a puppy and a 3 year old. I'm thinking you thought about the responsibility of getting a puppy long and hard before you got this little guy, seeing as you already knew your toddler was still in need of constant supervision.

The puppy and kitten are young enough to where they can learn to get along. I've known a few people who have dogs and cats in the house who get along well. And as CLM suggested, sectioning off a part of the house would be a good solution, that way if things got to crazy for the cat, it could go elsewhere away from the dog.

I don't think, as suggested here already, putting the cat outside is a good idea either. It is possible to have everyone get along without having to resort to anything as drastic as rehoming anyone.

June 26th, 2008, 09:19 AM
I would say you have a lonesome dog in your backyard who is trying to tell you that he wants to be part of the family. That's all.