How to repair dog scratches on a door?

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Our do sleeps in our bathroom at night. When he wakes up in the morning he scratches the door to let us know he wants out. The door is a solid pine 6 panel door and he has made deep groves in the molding around it and the lower right hand side of the door. Any repair or prevention ideas for the door?

  7 answers
  • You can try installing a kick plate on the door to prevent further damage. Why is the dog banished to the bathroom? Does he or she have a bed in there?

    • See 1 previous
    • Gotcha! I have a house full of pets myself. The remaining carpet is horrid, but I have a few seniors in my bunch and will wait for them to pass before spending thousands on new flooring. I like the idea of a pet gate that GK suggested, it might help in the long run.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Feb 14, 2019

    Hi Sue,


    You may have to replace the molding if it cannot be filled and painted over. The actual door itself may have to be replaced if it cannot be filled and sanded. Sounds like a beautiful door. The product is plastic wood, can be sanded when dry, available DIY stores.


    Another option is diamond patterned metal sheets on the door, or maybe plexiglass?


    An idea for prevention would to put the dog in a cage where it cannot scratch anything & put his bed in there. If you insist he sleep in the bathroom, leave the door ajar so he can easily get out and not make more damage.

    • Sue Sue on Feb 14, 2019

      We tried a cage, but he cried so much that we could not sleep. We give him a treat to eat and he is happy to go in the bathroom and sleep. It is just when he wakes up in the morning he needs to go out. Even in the length of a minute he has managed to mar the door. Thanks for you suggestions!


  • Gk Gk on Feb 14, 2019

    Rather than closing the door you could put up a child gate. He will be able to see you and hear you. You can purchase different heights.

  • Cindy Cindy on Feb 14, 2019

    Hi Sue. I'm Cindy. You might be able to save the door. Sand down the scratches either by hand or by using an orbital sander. Then wipe the door down with a tack cloth. Use a putty knife and fill any remaining scratches with wood filler. Be sure to smooth off any excess. Allow the putty to dry according to directions. Then sand the wood filler until it is smooth. Again, wipe the door down with a tack cloth. Then stain or paint to match the rest of the door. Good luck Sue.

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Feb 15, 2019

    A child gate might work. But if he's had nighttime accidents in the past, and is holding it when in the bathroom, (area likely functions as his "den" since it's relatively small and holds his bed) I expect he's scratching in the am because he really really has to go very urgently. You don't say how large your dog is but if he's made deep grooves in the door with his nails, I'm assuming kind of large. My experience with pressure gates and large dogs is that they can and will pull them down if they get at all frantic. And you probably don't want to install a more permanent gate in a bathroom entry :) I'm sure you let him out the very last thing every night but I wonder if you could train yourself to wake up before he does? Kind of a pain I know but you could always go back to bed after he's had his break. My experience with trying to make doors scratch-proof has not been good. Anything that works just means the dog will scratch the frame or the wall instead. I'm a big dog lover but haven't always loved their "communication" methods! I've used crates but have never used them for long periods--more just for temporary containment. So I'm not surprised your dog didn't like being caged at night. It could he would tolerate it better if the cage/crate was in the bedroom with you. Good luck!

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 07, 2021

    Woodc fill then paint it and don’t lock the dog in the bathroom it’s cruel

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