Updated at: 28-12-2021 - By: petstutorial

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Floor?

As a dog owner and breeder, I have always wondered why my cavoodle Harlow is constantly scratching  our tiled floor.  She has done this strange behaviour ever since she was a puppy.


Scratching or digging is a natural behaviour which has evolved from wild dogs. I learnt that it is behaviour in their DNA.

While we humans might think it is odd, there are many reasons why our dogs scratch and dig. It could be a sign of boredom, nesting, security or even territorial.

A dog scratching the floor at night can mean so many varieties of things, from anxiety to a medical condition. Some dogs scratch the floors, confusing carpet or hardwood flooring with their constant digging.

However, you may want to find and treat a problem that is causing your dog to scratch your floors at night. Below are some common causes for this behavior and also some tips to help you stop this behavior.


Most of us would rather our dog play with toys. Some dogs simply get a kick out of scratching at the floor. Go figure! If your dog is bored they are more likely to scratch and dig. And if your dog has excess energy do the same thing. So the simple solution is more exercise. Or giving them a treat to keep them occupied. Like my Boredom Buster Box.


We all know that floors are not a very comfy place to lie on. But why do some dogs feel the need to scratch on them before snuggling down. This scratching makes the ground more comfy “homely” or helps them find a more snug position.


In pregnant dogs, nesting is a sign the birth is near. They need to prepare a nest/den to give birth and raise their pups.

They seek privacy because they think they and their pups are vulnerable to predators. And because the puppies need shelter from the elements.

Your dog doesn’t need to be pregnant to nest though. Our dogs like us need their own personal space. Somewhere quiet and dark with room only for them. They see their nest as a safe place for when they are feeling scared, frightened or overwhelmed.

But why a tiled /hard floor?

It could be that your dog is talking. What you say. Well it is a form of communication. When your dog scratches the floor they are claiming a spot for themselves. What I didn’t know was that the bottom of my dog’s paws has special glands that release a scent when they scratch.


The smell lets their buddies know that they need to move on because this spot is taken. Just like they need to wee on every tree and blade of grass in the park.

Now that I know that I have consulted Google and know she doesn’t have some rare illness or terminal disease, I can start my day. And always remember they aren’t just pets they are family….

Your dog builds a nest

Nesting is a major cause of dog scratches on the floor at night. They want to be in a comfortable and safe place, so they get scratched before they decide to go to bed at night.

During the day, the dogs did this in the forest and created a small cave to hide. Even if dogs are bred, it is still primitive nature for them to have this nesting behavior inside your home.

Your dog may be in pain

There are few medical conditions that can cause your dog to behave in a destructive manner and pain is one of those typical medical conditions.

Pain creates stress in humans and dogs, so if your dog is in pain he will be stressed. If your dog is becoming more stressed, he may be scratching the floor as a way to relieve this pain and stress.

How to stop dogs from scratching at night?

One of the ways to prevent your dog from scratching at night is to get them a comfortable dog bed. It has been confirmed that dogs prefer beds that have raised edges and are rounded.

A round bed mimics a nest or den as the dog tries to rebuild while scratching the floor. It is also important that you use positive reinforcements as a reward for getting your dog on its own bed. Give your dog some treats when they go to bed so they know it’s good.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of playtime during the day. You need to play with your dog and exercise regularly to bring out the extra energy.

If you play with your dog during the day and make him tired a little, he is less likely to get tired and won’t get the extra energy to scratch your floors.

If you feel you are doing everything you can to prevent scratching, an underlying medical problem may be the cause. It is important to take your dog to the vet, check them to make sure there is no pain or stress problem from the medical problem.

Should you stop your dog from scratching the floor?

Whether or not you try to stop your dog from scratching the floor depends largely on when, why, and how often your dog does.

In other words, it depends mostly on the cause.


A good way to look at this is whether or not you realize there is a problem:

Whether it will damage your floor, be it carpet, laminate, hardwood flooring, or your lawn.

Does your dog show signs of any other unusual behavior, or are they in any distress?

In general, you are advised not to try to stop them while your dog is actively scratching.

Besides, then it will be too late.

Turning them off during the action is likely to cause them more harm at the moment so instead of stopping them use a scratch protector that is specially made for dogs.

Instead, a better and somewhat safer approach is to take precautionary measures; Techniques that completely prevent your dog from needing to do so.

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