Encountering a vacuum for the first time can be a traumatic experience for dogs! There are many reactions to vacuums. Dogs may enter attack-mode, or they may run away in fear. The best way to help your dog is to train them and encourage positive association with the vacuum.
Why do most dogs hate vacuums? Think about it. They are big, noisy and disruptive. However, let’s not forget about the “robovac”. These self-propelled cleaners are especially frightening because they make noise, move unexpectedly, and appear without warning. It may even startle a human from time to time!
The easiest solution is to put your dog in a different room while giving them something to keep them occupied. However, the goal of vacuum training is to help change your dog’s perception of the vacuum. You will need to establish a positive association. Have a family member or friend bring the vacuum out. As it starts, give the pup some treats while letting them know it is okay. Repeat this process several times, having your helper bring the vacuum into view and holding it still while you give the dogs treats.
Next, you will need to familiarize your dog with the movement of the vacuum. Have your helper move the vacuum around the floor. Continue to administer treats to enforce positivity. Of course, the main goal is for your dog to remain calm while you use the vacuum, but it will likely take many training sessions first!