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So I've got a situation.

We wallpapered our corridor and our 8 month Labrador Retriever decided to scratch off one part of that wallpaper (it's next to the door to bathroom).

I've fixed it couple of times and she repeatedly does it over and over and does scratch off that exact part only, nothing else.

She's got a crate and is left there for up to 5 hours when we're working. However this time she scratched it off when I was showering and she was not in the crate.

Normally she gets a quick walk in the morning to do the business and an exhausting walk in the evening (sometimes twice a day depending our working schedule), at least 4 walks per day in total.

Also, she always tends to follow me and my wife at home, if we'll go to bathroom, she'll go to the door and lay there, if we're making food, she's going to lay next to us, etc. Doesn't beg for attention, but is a follower.

I cannot figure out the reason why she would do it. Is it (faked) separation anxiety? Attention seeking? Boredom? Something else?

  • What kind of behaviour does the dog exhibit before scratching at the wall, or is this done when you're not around? – user8045 Jul 10 '18 at 8:52
  • And does this happen if you leave the bathroom door open? – user8045 Jul 10 '18 at 8:52
  • @Snow This is done only when I'm not around. I have never caught her in act. I never leave bathroom door open when I'm not around. There are too many things she can entertain herself with. – Evaldas Buinauskas Jul 10 '18 at 9:04
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You say she's a follower, so it's possible that when you're gone, she believes that you're in the bathroom and she wants you to come out again when you don't return after a certain amount of time.

I don't know how you normally leave her to go out, but it might be worth making sure she knows what door you've exited (i.e. you've gone out of the house).

8 months might be getting to be too old to be kept in a crate for long periods of time. Is it possible you can use a set room for her to relax while you're out (our 18-month-old Lab has always been happy enough in the kitchen).

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  • It could be a reason that she thinks that I'm in the bathroom. We live in a flat, not in a house, so there's just single doors that we enter or exit through (but flat door and bathroom door ar one meter apart). The thing is, that we never kept her in a crate and she was free to stay in our kitchen-living room and doesn't destroy anything at all. This started only when we wallpapered the wall and that was the reason we bought her a crate. – Evaldas Buinauskas Jul 10 '18 at 9:38
  • Huh. So it's the wallpaper she doesn't like. – user8045 Jul 10 '18 at 9:40
  • I thought so too, but I'm not entirely sure why it's that exact place every.single.time. If she didn't like the wallpaper, I assume she would destroy it at random places. – Evaldas Buinauskas Jul 10 '18 at 9:45
  • Try temporarily putting a piece of furniture/laundry hamper/something in front of that part of the wallpaper for a while and see what happens. Or remove anything tempting from the bathroom for a while and seeing if leaving the door open for a while resolves the problem. It's a matter of trying different things to break the habit. – user8045 Jul 10 '18 at 9:51
  • Yep. I'll probably try leaving door open and just move laundry to another bathroom. – Evaldas Buinauskas Jul 10 '18 at 11:42
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Obsessive behavior can be difficult to diagnosis. You may or may not be able to define the cause and change the behavior. While you are working on that, make your life easier by protecting the area that is the focus.

Get a piece of 'clear plexiglass' that is larger then the area. Drill holes in the corners and possibly other places along the edge (depends on size). Put Molly Fasteners in the wall where the hole are in the clear plexiglass and cover the area, with the clear plexiglass. It will look nice until the plexiglass gets scratched up again, but it will be much easier to replace the plexiglass, than to fix the wall.

Google 'plexiglass wall protector' for lots of products and ideas for application.

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