Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor?

Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor

Dogs are the most loveable pets present on the globe. However, when they exhibit a lot of odd behaviour or give signals that none of us can perceive. For example, you may have seen your dog running madly after their own tailor should point to a more awkward behaviour. You must have seen your little friend scratching the floor before going to sleep. The action is manifested in the night and during the daytime though less common during sunlight. This scratching may also make you scratch your head too. You may wonder why your dog is scratching the floor as if a sign of its sleep.

So, why do the dogs scratch the floor? Why do they show such repetitive scratching behaviour before sleep?  After a lot of dog behaviour analysis and looking into the lots and lots of related stuff, we found a multitude of varied opinions from dog owners and vets and pets experts. You can say digging or scratching is in canines DNA, as it links directly to the wild dogs. So it’s their natural instinct to scratch apart.

So, suppose you are among those who are interested in the cause behind this behaviour. In that case, you need to read this article to the very end. Let us dig into this together to know what it may indicate and what is the root of this awkward behaviour.

As told before, dogs behaviours can be traced back to their wild ancestors. Even after tens of years of living among humans and experiencing modern culture generation after generation, the instincts still remain active. They can be activated from time to time. It is like the things and behaviours are hardcoded in their genes.

Before dogs attended human cultures, they lived in wild fending to get shelter, food, and ultimate survival. So, why does your dog scratch the floor? There can be the following answers:


If your dog is bored and finding n place to emit out their energy, they would be more likely to dig and scratch. We mostly give toys instead of other activities to pets to kill boredom. However, they are kind of more excited and get a boastful kick by scratching the floor. So, you can say the most straightforward reason behind the scratching is entertainment. The delight they experience by grind, which incites their natural instincts is incomparable to the toys they are presented with.

If your dog is full of energy and needs to dissipate it somehow, there is nothing better for him than scratching the floor. Digging or scratching may also come in the class of stress reliever for puppies. It is same as looking for multiple ways to release excess energy or do some exercise out of boredom. The simple solution to this is more exercise. You can also give your pup treats to occupy them more. You can look to Amazon for hundreds of boredom buster games and objects.



We all understand floors are not the most comfortable part to lie and sleep—especially the tiled floor of our house. So, now you can think that why does my dog scratch the floor. Scratching will make the ground more comfortable and homely. It will help them assume a better snug position.

Wild dogs used to scratch out the ground to make their bed as a kind of den or nest. This helped them to sleep comfortably. Thus you can say that the dogs tend to scratch a place for comfort.

Aside from creating a better snuggling position, scratching also helps to achieve other aims. For example, scratching maintains ground temperature. It will not only help to preserve floor temperature but also that of the dog.

For example; if the area is colder for the dog to sleep comfortable, he will dig or scratch the room to make up the sides of the place that will create warmth. Moreover, the energy dissipated during the process and continuous body motions help to generate heat and warm the body by thermogenesis. Similarly, in warm weather, when the ground is too hot to sleep, the dogs tend to scratch the upper part to expose the colder portions from underneath.



Nesting is taken as the sign of near birth in pregnant bitches. They tend to prepare their very own den or nest to make their own area to give birth and raise their puppies. It is to prevent their little pups from lethal predators. Nesting helps them mask their young ones and give them good privacy which will protect their puppies who are not young enough to defend their selves from deadly attacks. It is also because pups need shelter from the essential elements. However, you cannot restrict nesting to pregnant female dogs. Dogs usually love to have their very own personal space which they can claim. You can relate it to humans who love an area quieter and darker which is only theirs. The nest for dogs is their safest place where they can go to sleep or hide when they are feeling frightened, scared or overwhelmed.

Spot Claim

Spot claiming is another reason for scratching the floor by dogs. Dogs use marking as a thing to claim their territory. Dogs use to sweat from their paws and release particular secretions having a specific smell. This unique scent is enhanced when your dog scratches the floor. This scent helps other dogs recognize them and also their place. So, you can say the dogs scratch the place to spread their territorial marks. The scent is a way of communication with other dogs. You can think it of the same way as affidavits and verbal talking in humans. It is a signal of telling other dogs to move away. Otherwise, it will lead to an open fight. Dogs have the behaviour of territory claiming in their genes. You can relate this behaviour to the one in which they need to pee of every blade of grass and tree in the house and park to claim them theirs. The scent keeps away other dogs, and the place is recognized as theirs. It is one way of making their den or safe spot and can be related to nesting.

Encouraging The Dog Behavior

Now you know why your dog is manifesting such behaviour. You will, now, question if you need to stop this behaviour for good and how can you prevent such action.

Unfortunately, the answer to such a question is obscure. You can simply work on the following suggestion to control the extent of the behaviour:

  1. If your pup is causing a lot of damage to house or lawn due to this habit, try looking for parts he is scratching.
  2. Look if he is rubbing some specific material or some particular area. In this way, you may have an idea if it is doing for fun or some type of spot claim.
  3. Ensure that your dog has the best den and the most comfortable position to sleep. As it is mentioned earlier, the behaviour is best manifested when the dog is uncomfortable about its sleeping place. From studies, it is observed that the dog-like more round beds than the raised ones. Round beds feel more like nests or their natural dens. It is the same thing they are trying to get from scratch. So, providing the most comfortable bed and appropriate climate for pups to snuggle is the best way to avoid such behaviour.

3. Ensure to give your pup a delicious treat and praise them a lot whenever they lie on the new bed. Positive reinforcement like this will help them assume that this kind of obediency makes you happy. Moreover, they will then sleep in the same place you will want them to sleep.

4. If you think it off just out of boredom, then you can try giving it some extra play toys and your more attention and company. Most of the time, this attitude will help your dog get rid of this habit. Give your little friend extra attention so he can fight with his mental illness if any, very well. Moreover, additional exercise and release of surplus energy will help with the destructive behaviour and manage it effectively.


Other Solutions And Considerations

If your pup is scratching or digging too much, it can be an indication of physical or mental illness. It can also be the symptom of some other underlying diseases, a symptom more destructive one in its nature. The best thing you can do if you suspect that the behaviour is linked to physical or physiological abnormality is connecting directly to your vet. He will then examine your pet thoroughly and determine the root cause. 

Emotional issues are reported the most, which cause such destructive behaviour by pets. Dogs may be scared of some object in their surrounding. It can be as simple as vehicles, storm, larger pets nearby, something irritating them, some figures causing the fear or strangers present in your house. Dogs if encounter such situations persistently want to escape to a very safe place to protect themselves. So, to create an exit point, they start scratching the ground.

Make sure you tell your vet about all the behaviours and changes you observed recently in your pet. Also, ask him about all the ways to comfort your anxiety or fear in your little friend.


So, after the whole debate now you know that dog scratching can be considered as usual of canine behaviour or somewhat out of disease or other abnormal situation. If we summarize the whole discussion, then the main reasons why your dog is scratching the floor are:

  1. Your pet is bored.
  2. It is manifesting such behaviour for comfort.
  3. It is a result of some type of anxiety or stress
  4. It exhibits nesting
  5. Territory claim is one of the fundamental reason.
  6. There can be some medical issues.

Now if you determine that dog is manifesting some of its primal instincts, then you can simply ignore this behaviour and stay calm. However, suppose it is a destructive behaviour that is linked to some sort of medical condition. In that case, you need to address it right away. Fortunately, the issues, even if medical, are not lethal or extensively dangerous for your pet. However, suppose you ignore it for a long time or don’t look into the root cause. In that case, the behaviour can become intensely severe and dangerous for the pet itself.

In normal conditions, you can simply watch them, play with them and enjoy the fun quirkiness in their instincts.

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