Is your dog afraid of vacuum cleaners? Don’t panic; it’ normal. Think about it – how would you feel if you saw a giant, noisy, unknown machine coming towards you? A dog afraid of vacuum cleaners is perfectly natural, but it results in an upsetting situation for everyone involved. See how you can help a dog afraid of vacuum cleaners overcome their phobia in our guide below.
Dog Scared of Vacuum Cleaner
We have identified 3 main ways to help a dog scared of vacuum cleaners. We recommend following the instructions below if your pooch dashes away when you turn your vacuum on.
Keep Vacuum in Plain Sight
You can greatly support a dog scared of vacuum cleaners through familiarization. In other words, let your dog see, smell, and generally get used to the vacuum when it’s not in use. Instead of storing your vacuum away in a closet, keep it in plain sight for a while. By leaving it out for your dog to observe and interact with, you’ll increase their chances of becoming accommodated with it.
Expose to Vacuuming Gradually
Now, here comes the harder part. Just like with any other fears, a dog afraid of vacuum cleaners needs to confront their phobia head-on. However, don’t do so by forcing them to stay in the same room with you while vacuuming regularly. Instead, gradually expose them to the vacuuming process.
If your vacuum has suction settings, adjust it to the lowest level at first. Then turn on the vacuum for 30 seconds or a minute at a time, as much as your dog can handle. Repeat the process every time you vacuum, adding another minute or two.
If you want to make this stage even easier, start by running a smaller vacuum in their presence. For example, you can use a handheld vacuum or a robot vacuum cleaner to begin with. Once they’re used to that, you can move on to full-sized vacuums.
Comfort Dog Afraid of Vacuum with Treats
Associating certain items, events or experiences with treats can greatly help animals with phobias. You can place a treat on the vacuum cleaner when it’s off, before you start using it. In addition, you can give them a treat normally before you get started with vacuuming. Consequently, they’ll learn to associate the machine with treats, therefore reducing their fear.
Dog Attacking the Vacuum Cleaner
On the other hand, a dog afraid of vacuum cleaners may attack them out of fear. If your four-legged bestie lunges at the vac to bite it, try the tips below.
Rehearse Vacuuming Movement
Accommodation is key to helping an aggressive dog afraid of vacuum cleaners. The object itself, together with the associated noise, can be the ultimate trigger for your pup. Help them see that there’s nothing to be afraid of by mimicking vacuuming noises with the machine off.
Test the Noise
After that, without moving the vacuum in any way, turn it on. Allow your dog to observe the noise without the machine in motion so they can get used to the sound. Seeing that it isn’t a direct threat (even if it is loud) will soothe their nerves.
Vacuum in Opposing Direction
Finally, the last effective tip for a violent dog afraid of vacuum cleaners is technique-related. If your dog notices a large and loud machine coming their way, of course they’ll be tempted to attack it. As a result, try vacuuming in the opposite direction (away from your dog). They will see that it’s not coming for them directly, so they’ll gradually get rid of the instant to fight back.
To conclude, having a dog afraid of vacuum cleaners doesn’t have to be a permanent source of distress. With love, care, and lots of patience, you can guide your pup in eliminating their fear of the terrible noisy monster. Also, as a dog owner, we strongly recommend that you take a look at our selection of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair.
Have you learned any other tips by having a dog afraid of vacuum cleaners? Did your doggo react well to any other training techniques? Do help other readers by sharing the lessons you learned from your experiences in the comments below.