My wife and I were living separately until about 3 months ago. She has a dog and has always given it a lot of attention.

Since the move, it has been woken up earlier, because I tend to wake up at about 8am, whereas my wife wakes up later. I open the back door so it can defecate but it doesn't get any other attention until about 11am when my wife wakes up.

The problem is, I work from home sometimes. We have a home office, which we agreed the dog would stay out of. I close the door and start working and about 10 minutes later, the dog whines and scratches at the door.

My wife says that she is working on making the dog a bit more independent but that hasn't really happened. I don't like dogs and just want to get on with my work without being disturbed. I am not interested in anything that needs a lot of time - but equally, shock collars and similar "inhumane" options are out of the question.

I started to read up on repelling dogs and recently sprayed the bottom part of the office door with vinegar. It seemed to work at first but the dog seems to have got used to it.

Can anyone recommend something?

2 Answers 2


You could try setting up a baby gate to keep the dog from approaching the door, but you may then find that the dog sits behind the gate and barks instead, but it's worth a try.

You could let the dog into the bedroom with your wife when you get up. He'd probably prefer being with her to being with you, assuming that he's not allowed access to the bedroom at the moment.

You could give the dog something to chew to keep him occupied away from the door when you get up, although I suspect finding something that will keep the dog busy for four hours is asking a lot of any chew.

Bully sticks or beef trachea are perhaps least likely to cause problems, assuming that the dog can digest beef. Rawhide chews are popular, but really dogs need to be supervised when eating it because if they eat too fast and don't chew it properly it can cause serious intestinal problems. Cooked bones are a bad idea, and I suspect you don't want to get into feeding raw bones since they tend to be messy.

It may be that the only answer to this is for your wife to get up and walk her dog.

  • Sadly I think this is just going around the issue in a lazy way rather than addressing it. A pet in the house is everyone's pet, especially a dog. Not just 1 person's responsibility. Oct 10, 2016 at 15:04
  • But it's not his dog. He clearly doesn't like or want to take responsibility for it, and why should he? I have two dogs and foster regularly for a rescue. My husband is not a dog person, so he does not walk, train or feed my dogs or my foster dogs and I don't expect him to.
    – Victoria
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:19
  • Because if his wife is out to work and the dog is alone with him, it becomes a problem he should address. How else are you going to improve the situation? Oct 13, 2016 at 13:15
  • Adding to that, if this is something happening while his wife is in the house as well then that's entirely her problem to deal with indeed. Oct 13, 2016 at 13:22
  • Good answer. +1, Additionally, buy some earplugs and never react to the scratching/barking/whining. The dog will give up after some time. Dec 28, 2017 at 11:50

You won't solve things like this without putting in some time. The dog needs training, and repetition to actually understand that what he's doing is not the right thing. Like it or not, either you or your wife will have to put time and effort into getting him to stop that behaviour.

I had a similar situation where as soon as I left a room and the dog couldn't follow me to the next, he would start barking or whining. I just went into the seperate room, and as soon as he started barking or whining went back in, firmly said "No!" (or whatever words you use to indicate bad behaviour) and told him to go to his spot. (his basket in this case.). I would get him to stay and go back in the other room.

I just repeated this process until the dog understood that whenever he barked or whined I'd come out, and make him go back to his spot, which ofcourse he didn't want to.

As with any animal, if you want to change behaviour, you need to invest time.

Don't look into repelling, but just correct unwanted behaviour. It'll be better for both yourself, and the dog.

  • 1
    This will work only if you are dealing with the small subset of dogs who have already been trained to 'go to a spot' and consider that to be a bad thing but will do it anyway. Many dogs will not do it, and those who have been trained to like going to their spot will not consider it a bad thing. I'm glad it worked for you, but I can tell you from personal experience that it worked because you happened to get lucky with one individual.
    – Victoria
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:23
  • Must have been very lucky to have worked on 3 different dogs. Oct 13, 2016 at 13:17

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