Why Are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?
Visualize a situation where every time you get home from work, you see a snake in your house. It scares you to death that you immediately run into your bedroom and lock yourself in there. The fear of snakes is exactly what a vacuum cleaner is to dogs. Most dogs are nervous when they sight a vacuum cleaner while other dogs are terrified and will try anything to bolt away. Just like encountering a snake for the first time can be pretty scary and terrifying for humans, dogs are also left traumatized after experiencing the vacuum cleaner in action for the first time. Since the use of the vacuum is an everyday routine, there is a need for you to train your dog to square up to his number one adversary. So if you have ever asked yourself, ‘Why are dogs scared of vacuums?’, we will now examine the reasons behind this fear and how best you can equip your dog to overcome his nemesis.
The Origin of the Problem
To be able to solve the issue, we have to know the origin of the problem. Dogs are traditionally frightened of noisy environments. Though they are sometimes eager to know and examine their environs by trying to sniff any new smells or sounds, they are not used to. This kind of fearful behavioral is inbuilt and helps keep them safe from prey in the forest.
Why Are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?
Does your dog run to hide under your sofa at the sight and sound of the vacuum cleaner? If yes, here’s why:
- Lack of training
A domestic dog that is properly not equipped will have issues getting used to the noise of a vacuum cleaner. The dog will recognize the vacuum as a threat and slowly grow an abnormal fear or dislike for it. A well-trained dog is familiar with various sound levels or settings in your home or community.
- A naturally fearful character
Dogs such as Affenpinscher and chihuahua are fearful pets, especially when they come into contact with strangers or new objects. Generally, a normal dog will be nervous and scared when he sees strangers at your gate.
- Monsters in motion
Dogs are intelligent pets and can spot the contrast between an object and a human being. To dogs, objects should not move, especially like the vacuum cleaner moves. A moving device is a strange sight for any dog, and it is only natural that they will behave negatively to such a bizarre creature.
- Protect their territory
When dogs come face to face with intruders, certain dogs will choose to bolt while most dogs will boldly confront and protect their zones. This confrontational attitude or instinct makes them behave in a weird way when the vacuum is plugged on.
- Effects of the noise
A standard dog has a good sense of hearing different sounds at various frequencies. A vacuum cleaner has a sound output of 20 to 80 decibels, and this sound output may seem normal to humans but are very uncomfortable for dogs. Dogs tend to respond to the sound level aggressively or apprehensively.
How to Train Your Dog to Conquer Their Fear of Vacuums
The exercise aims to move the vacuum device from an enemy into your dog’s friend zone or periodic nuisance. Let’s begin.
- Changing the dog’s mindset:
To begin the exercise, let a pal assist you and after you put the treats in your pocket. Have the dog sit calmly in the room, and let your friend also sit far away. So that the dog won’t react negatively when you bring the device into the room. Next, instruct your assistant to come out with the device. The dog should be able to see the vacuum cleaner and all this while the device should be switched off. After, quickly begin treating the dog with the tasty treats. Proceed with the feeding for a couple of seconds, ensure that the dog sees the device but keep up a calm posture. Afterwards, inform your friend to take out the device and halt giving the dog the tasty delicacies. Redo the steps over and over again. The objective of this particular exercise is to let your dog feel comfortable around the vacuum. Thus, anytime the device is brought out, your dog will look forward to you treating him with treats. This expectation from your dog indicates that you’re slowly changing his mindset about the device as the dog will like the device with goodies.
- Training your dog to get conversant with the movement of the vacuum.
This process involves getting your dog accustomed to the movement of the device. Let your assistant move the device forward with the device still switched off. After, feed the dog tasty goodies and instruct your friend halt the pushing of the vacuum. When the movement of the vacuum is stopped, you must also cease giving your dog the treats. Do this process repeatedly, and in later stages, start to push the switched-off device nearer to the dog. Feed the dog with treats as the vacuum moves and check whether your dog’s demeanor or posture is calm and composed. If the dog ceases eating the goodies or behaves nervously, then it is an indication that the pace of the exercise is too fast.
- Getting your dog oriented to the noisy vacuum
The terrifying part of the session is switching the device on, thus ensure the dog is following your lead and eating the goodies in a composed manner while the vacuum is off. Then, instruct your assistant to switch on the device for a couple of seconds while you feed the dog with the treats. Cease feeding the dog when your friend puts off the vacuum. If the dog is incapable of eating the goodies while the device is switched on, it indicates that there is not enough distance between your dog and the device. Therefore, increase the distance between your assistant and you when the device is put on. Don’t be in a hurry with this session as it might require a couple of exercises before the dog is accustom to the sound levels of the device.
In summary, some people hate the sound levels and movement of the vacuum, and dogs similarly have that feeling too. Your dog needs a serene environment and comfortable home to fully protect your household as well as that small task of being your buddy when you feel lonely. Thus, it is imperative to train your buddy to get accustomed to and overcome his greatest fears. With constant practice and a lot of patience, your amigo will be pleased to unwind while you perform the unpleasant work of tidying up your room.