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Dog going beserk at hoover/broom/mop, any advice?

(13 Posts)
AnnainNZ Sat 27-Oct-07 08:00:46

We have an 11 month old Shetland collie who is generally absolutely lovely. Listens to us, obeys commands, etc. Still has lots of puppy energy but is generally very intelligent and responsive to commands etc.

However he goes manic when he sees a hoover/brush/mop/anything with a long stick or stem on it. Apart from the obvious jokes that as a male he just doesn't like housework, anyone have any advice about this? He barks continuously when I hoover, jumping up and down as he does so. I can't work out if he is excited and thinks it's a game or if he's scared. I have to shut him out of the house or he would just make it impossible to hoover, but he looks in through full length windows, sees/hears hoover and goes just as mad outside.

Our first baby is due in 5 days and I really don't want him doing this while the baby is asleep (hmm, maybe I should have looked into getting this sorted out a few months ago, not 5 days before giving birth!)

I have been vacuuming/mopping etc while dh has taken him to the park for walks, but I don't feel I should "give in" to the dog this way. He is very intelligent and there must be a way to teach him not to do this. I try to ignore his jumping/barking so as not to give him any attention for this behaviour but he still does it.

Anyone got any ideas?

ShaunOfTheThread Sat 27-Oct-07 08:19:14

I think it would help to acclimatise him very very gradually. Start off by putting the mop into the middle of the floor (before he is in the room). Then let him in and just completely ignore the mop. Praise/reward him when he is ignoring the mop too.

When you have done that enough times for him to totally ignore the mop, graduate to briefly touvhing the mop yourself, and praise him for not reacting.

Then very gradually progress to acutally picking up the mop; then gradually to moving it around, etc.

After you've done all that with the mop, do the same with the broom, etc.

(Leave the hoover til last because the noise of that is prob horrible for a collie.)

Of course with a baby coming soon you won't have much chanceto do any of that training. So for now it might be best to just keep cleaning to a minimum and do it while he's out of the house if poss.

[smil]

bluefox Sat 27-Oct-07 08:21:53

Our dog (sadly no longer with us) was exactly the same. He had a lovely temperament but for some reason felt the need to "attack" the hoover when it was on. He actually used to bite it. He wasnt scared of it - he just hated it with a vengeance. The only answer for us was to put him out while we hoovered. I dont think there was anything we could have done to get him to like the thing so sorry - no advice but good luck!

hercules1 Sat 27-Oct-07 12:20:49

We had the same problem with our dog and I fixed it in a few minutes. Every time he did his thing I gently growled at him. After about 3 times of doing this he stopped and has been completely unbothered by it since.

AnnainNZ Sat 27-Oct-07 20:13:13

Thanks for the advice, I will give it all a go

(Once I've got this giving birth and looking after a newborn stuff out of the way grin)

nickToD Sun 28-Oct-07 15:25:10

I too have a sheltie puppy (4 & 1/2 months and yes they are a lovely breed grin) who like yours goes spare every time the hoover is on. She also loves to attack any broom or mop I am using . My old sheltie used to do the same thing ( he was also v. intelligent and obedient)and a dog breeder told me it was a dominance thing. Apparently dogs like to protect their rear end ( which is why less dominant dogs offer their rear end to other dogs when they meet) He suggested one person using the broom and as the dog runs towards them, another slide a set of keys or can filled with nuts and bolts along the floor towards his back end. This is supposed to give you the upper hand. It only took a few times for him to stop doing it. Sounds a bit wierd but it worked for us. Good luck with the new baby.

AnnainNZ Sun 28-Oct-07 22:47:16

Shelties are lovely lovely dogs aren't they. I've never had a dog before and wasn't that keen on getting one, dh had to talk me into it. I now love him to bits. Dh says he has heard of that can of bolts thing somewhere else so we will try that.

LittleB Mon 29-Oct-07 09:40:50

I've got an 8mth old toller who does this with the hoover, and will bite it, but he's gradually getting better, while I'm hoovering, I'll tell him 'off' if he attacks it, and when he backs away or is quiet I give him alot of fuss and cuddles, while leaving the hoover on, he's getting the idea, its easier than shutting him out, as like your he goes mad at the patio doors then. I just have to keep my dd (2.5) out of the way.

ShaunOfTheThread Mon 29-Oct-07 09:44:01

My old dog was so laid back around the hoover, that I acually used to hoover him to get rid of the loose hairs. grin

My current dog is wary, and could easily have gone down the route of hoover-madness.

AnnainNZ Mon 29-Oct-07 09:57:21

Oh I'd love to see the dog's reaction if I tried to hoover him. He'd probably explode with horror. It would be quite funny but I really shouldn't...grin

flowerybeanbag Mon 29-Oct-07 10:00:01

My dog is scared of the hoover but intrigued by it. If I'm hoovering he will sneak up behind to watch carefully then if I turn it round towards him he runs off all scared. Wimp! He goes bonkers barking at the lawnmower though, which I would have thought would be much more scary.

throckenholt Mon 29-Oct-07 10:06:23

I have a 10 year old collie who is the same with the hoover - doesn't mind the broom or mop though.

FIL made it much worse by "playing" with her with the hoover when she stayed with him once when we were on holiday. "playing" involved chasing her with the hoover. I curse him every time I hoover now.

I think collies are particularly bad with this type of behaviour because they are intelligent.

I think the desensitising method described earlier is good. Another option is to rattle a can of pebbles every time he attacks or growls at the hoover/brush - apparently it distracts them because they don't know where the noise is coming from and breaks the pattern of behaviour over time.

Will have to try those myself.

ShaunOfTheThread Mon 29-Oct-07 10:53:30

The dog that I used to hoover would invariably be lying in the way when I wanted to hoover a stretch of carpet. I would tell him to get up and move, then he would lie down a yard further on, so that I had to hooover one square yard then yell at him again ... ad infinitum.

He was a spinone btw -- a gundog breed. I think that gundog types are way more tolerant of hoover noise because they were bred to be tolerant of loud gunshots.

Collies on the other hand have exceptionally acute hearing so that they can respond to complex whistled and shouted commands across a couple of fields. So loud hoovers might sound horrifying to them.

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