Dogs and Vaccum Cleaners
Does your dog bark at your vacuum when it’s time to tidy up? This usually happens because a vacuum is kept in the closet most of the time and is not left out like a piece of furniture that your dog sees every day. Start off by putting your vacuum in a hallway that your dog passes several times a day but don’t turn it on. You can also try feeding your dog near the vacuum or place a small treat or toy in front of it so that your dog goes close to the vacuum. After a day or so, put your vacuum in a bedroom or the basement and turn the vacuum on so that your dog hears the vacuum from a distance but cannot see it. You may want to ask another family member to help by turning the vacuum on and off for short periods while you watch your dog’s behaviour when he hears the vacuum. If he starts barking, tell him ‘quiet’ and when he is quiet, praise him and give him a small treat reward. Practise this for a few days and then put your vacuum in the living room and turn it on and off for short periods when your dog is nearby and repeat the previous routine if he starts to bark. This routine helps to slowly desensitize your dog to the sound and motion of the vacuum. Take your time, don’t rush it and be sure to praise your dog when he remains calm.