My dog ​​has a problem with the vacuum cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is a device that a lot of dogs really hate. They bark at the vacuum cleaner, bite at it, it drives you crazy. So your dog only in the garden when you vacuum? Then when he comes back in under the mud, you can start all over again. To drive you crazy! Why do many dogs react to a vacuum cleaner this way… and more importantly, can you possibly do something about it?

Why is your dog acting so crazy?

The vacuum cleaner makes noise and moves. Those are 2 stimuli that most (young) dogs respond to. Attacking and chasing the vacuum cleaner, biting into it, that is normal play behaviour, which is of course often rewarded by the vacuum cleaner and the boss. But it is also possible that your dog was not socialized with a vacuum cleaner as a puppy. Then your dog will try to ‘bark away’ the scary device.

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Why does your dog keep barking and snapping?

The snapping and barking is constantly rewarded because the vacuum cleaner keeps moving. And often, as a bonus, your dog also gets attention from the boss…
Sometimes the boss even joins the game and puts the vacuum cleaner mouth on the dog. For some dogs, this is a confirmation that it is a great game, which they play together with the owner.

There are also dogs that are startled by this and then the playful snapping and barking turns into barking and snapping out of fear. Not really an improvement…

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What can you do to calm your dog?

When it comes to a dog that sees the vacuum cleaner as a fun game, you can teach your dog a “place” exercise. Then your dog learns to stay in a certain place while you vacuum. Reward a lot in the first months of practice, you really want to build a mega strong behavior.

So first learn the ‘place’ without the vacuum cleaner, then with a stationary vacuum cleaner, then with a vacuum cleaner without sound and then ‘for real’. And after vacuuming, have a fun play session with your dog. Because playing with the boss is allowed (even has to), just not with the vacuum cleaner!

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What if your dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner?

Train, train, train. But not like many people train, so ‘just vacuum, he just has to get used to it’. If your dog is really anxious about it, it may well be that he will get used to it, but it is equally possible that he will become even more anxious. And it can also be done quite easily.

Here are some tips that you can use for vacuuming: training is of course always tailor-made, so choose what is feasible for you.

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The vacuum cleaner is just there

The vacuum cleaner may always be present during the training period. That will be your new interior accessory! Just put the vacuum cleaner in a corner of the room and you won’t do anything with it if your dog is in the room. This step will help you get used to seeing a vacuum cleaner.

What you should NOT do is lure your dog to the vacuum cleaner with treats, or walk up to the vacuum cleaner and tap it. I know, that’s well-intentioned, but that’s what makes the vacuum cleaner ‘a thing’. Just do it, that’s special enough!

dog vacuum cleaner

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Vacuuming is also necessary

Yes, especially with a dog in the house, vacuuming is a necessary evil. When you vacuum now, move your dog to a different room. A garden is of course ideal because you don’t have to vacuum there. If you don’t have a garden, a bedroom or utility room is also fine. And when you’re done in the room, your dog can go into the room and you can vacuum the other room. And then your Miele goes back into place in the corner. The dog hears the vacuum cleaner, but does not see it.

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Vacuuming without sound

At a certain point, if these 2 steps go without voltage, you will start vacuuming in steps without sound. Your vacuum cleaner can go from the corner to the center of the room. If your dog is completely OK with that, then your vacuum cleaner can go to another place. And so the vacuum cleaner is allowed to move more and more through the room.

If this also no longer causes tension (you don’t see big eyes, tongues, ears back, growl, squeak, bark, low posture), then you start vacuuming, but without the plug in the socket. You can start with half a square meter, reward your dog, done.

get used to vacuum cleaner

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Real vacuuming

If the above step is really perfect (you can go through the whole room with a silent vacuum cleaner, your dog gets tasty rewards in between, there are no problems) then it’s time to switch on your vacuum cleaner.

However, on minimal noise, so if you have such a suction power regulator, set it to its softest. And preferably leave the vacuum cleaner a little full, that also makes them quiet. And now you start just like with vacuuming without sound, with half a square meter, reward, done.


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