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    Stop a Dog Scratching

    Articledog training guidesWednesday 18 May 2011
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    One of the greatest frustrations for any dog owner carrying out puppy training is the challenge involved when you try to stop a dog scratching.

    Learn more about how to nip this problem in the bud in the guide below.



     



    Scratching: How to Curb this Dog Behaviour



    The only way in which you can overcome this behaviour is to examine the probable cause. Excessive scratching can often be caused by five major factors, some of which may require veterinary assistance to eradicate. They are as follows:



    1.    Environmental Factors

    This tends to be the most common cause of scratching. The scratching behaviour may have been brought on by something the dog has been exposed to in the local area, for example when digging or exploring in the local park. The dog may have skin that is sensitive to different grasses or plants, directly causing the scratching problem. Try and retrace your steps over the last few weeks with the dog and think about any unusual circumstances – this can inform you as to how you can limit the problem in future.



    2.    Nutritional Factors

    Malnutrition or an imbalanced diet may be a primary cause of excessive scratching. If you fear this to be the case, consult with the vet and plan an effective feeding programme. Whilst a poor diet may not be a direct cause of the problem, it can significantly weaken the body’s ability to fight the infections that can often cause scratching.



    3.    Allergenic Factors

    As the name suggests, the scratching may be a by-product of an allergic reaction; investigate this possibility with a vet, as there may be a medical remedy that can curb the problem.



    4.    Infection/Parasitic

    Bacterial, fungal and yeast infections are all fairly common, and can cause a dog plenty of discomfort if an open wound becomes infected. Ticks and fleas can exacerbate the problem further, and any sensitive skin needs to be treated with specialist creams and lotions until any lesions begin to heal.



    5.    Neurogenic

    Sadly, this is the most troubling cause of them all. Neurogenic effectively refers to an inherited trait that has no relation to any of the factors listed above. It may also simply be a behavioural instinct that needs expert training to be combated effectively. In some cases, it may be impossible to fight this dog behaviour – think of the scratching as a nervous twitch which the dog has no ability to control.

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