Dogs who attack vacuums

(23 Posts)
Fucksandflowers Thu 16-May-19 10:07:22

Is this always a fearful behaviour?

My dog will, if I ask her to, lie down quietly when the vacuum is on and will be perfectly relaxed, not tense or eyeballing the vacuum or anything but if not specifically asked to lie down quietly she is a nightmare when it is on!

She will follow me around, sometimes making a sort of moany whiney growly sound and if the vacuum comes close enough she’ll bite it.

I assumed it was play, just wanting to bite the vacuum but it’s very annoying hence her being asked to lie down and my friend (experienced dog owner) laughed when she saw it and also thinks it’s play.

But, I deliberately filmed her just now and actually, I think she looks scared.

I’ve tried uploading the video but it seems that only photographs come up in photo library

OP’s posts: |
SaskiaRembrandt Thu 16-May-19 10:11:27

I don't know if it is fear. I can see that it could be, vacuums are loud. But my old dog used to do this, and he didn't seem scared. I came to the conclusion he thought I was fighting with some creature and wanted to help. He also had an issue with me cutting the hedge.

If your dog does seem scared though, maybe put her in another room when you vacuum. Or if you can't, be very matter of fact about it, so she gradually gets used to the idea that it's an everyday thing that isn't going to hurt her.

SaskiaRembrandt Thu 16-May-19 10:12:29

I should add, he only ever did it when I vacuumed, not if someone else did it.

Veterinari Thu 16-May-19 10:13:37

It will vary depending on the dog. Dogs who haven’t been socialised to vacuum cleaners as puppies may well be scared of them. Others may want to ‘play’ or chase.

You’re doing exactly the right thing by training an incompatible behaviour

HappydaysArehere Thu 16-May-19 10:13:44

Our golden retriever hated the vacuum cleaner and would get really distressed by it

so usually avoided using it when she was in the room.
She also hated the sound of the dust cart and would take off at an alarming speed whenever she heard one in the street.

Fucksandflowers Thu 16-May-19 10:18:53

Until I watched the footage back I didn’t think she was scared either.
I thought it was just a fun game of kill the vacuum!

But, the footage shows a lot of lip licks (which I’ve never noticed before), her ears are pricked forward and she lunges forward but I notice in the video that when the vacuum starts approaching her she leans back before lunging forward to bite it.

I have always been very ‘matter of fact’ and carried on regardless but it got really annoying hence I started asking her to lie down.

Not sure whether to just keep her lying down or maybe try counter conditioning her to the vacuum.

OP’s posts: |
SoundofSilence Thu 16-May-19 10:21:46

One of mine used to do this. I leaned towards fear as an explanation but the solution was the same so it didn't really matter that much.
If she was afraid, it was better for her to be in another room. If she thought attacking it was great fun, it was better for me if she was in another room. Therefore she went in another room.


AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 16-May-19 10:21:56

Mine likes to try and bite the air that is being sucked in through the hose attachment. He does the same thing with the hairdryer. Pretty sure it's just play in this case, but yours may be fear. Depending on how often you vacuum, it may be simpler to put the dog in another room while you do it, so long as the sound alone doesn't cause distress?

Fucksandflowers Thu 16-May-19 10:29:35

Yeah she is even worse with the hair dryer!
I vacuum a lot, at least twice a day as DS is asthmatic and dog is a double coated breed.
She seems perfectly happy and unbothered lying down, it’s just when she’s left to her own devices she seems to get agitated.

OP’s posts: |
KipperTheFrog Thu 16-May-19 10:34:11

My dog used to attack the vacuum, we put it down to play. Now hes old he doesn't even move out of the way of it!

pigsDOfly Thu 16-May-19 12:32:54

My dog will come running if I get the vacuum cleaner out, bark for a bit then go off up stairs, sometimes she'll run and bark at it a bit before she leaves the room.

However, she is far more tolerant of the cordless one than she is of the regular upright so I assume it the noise level that bothers her and I've always assumed she finds it scary.

Maneandfeathers Thu 16-May-19 12:49:27

I just put mine out while I hoover. Why bother for the sake of 5mins!

EnidPrunehat Thu 16-May-19 15:00:26

I've never had a dog that didn't object to hoovers. I'm entirely in agreement with them.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Thu 16-May-19 15:25:24

It is the perfect excuse to be slovenly - I can't vacuum more often because it upsets the dog grin

MsMightyTitanAndHerTroubadours Thu 16-May-19 15:33:02

one of ours always hated the hoover, the other would stalk you around the house until you put the upholstery nozzle on and gave him a going over

I am not a hooverer mind you, hard floors and I'd much rather sweep.

OverFedStanley Thu 16-May-19 17:38:44

What breed is your dog?

Whether it is fear or not it is certainly a high emotionational state for your dog to be in and best avoided.

I would pop dog in another room with a kong when you hoover. Keeps everyone calm and extends the life of the hoover smile

OverFedStanley Thu 16-May-19 17:39:52

emotionational -what on earth is that word? - obviously a very emotional state only applicable to dogs and hoovers!

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 16-May-19 17:43:51

Ddog only attacks the vacuum if dh is using it. He ignores it when I'm cleaning.

Fionadragon Thu 16-May-19 17:47:00

My rescue is terrified and I think that he thinks I am being attacked and is helping me. I have tried everything suggested, all the positive reinforcement etc.

So I bought a Roomba, switch it on with my phone while I am walking them and I come home with it all done.

Once in a while it needs a good vacuum with an upright but this works for us.

Aquilla Thu 16-May-19 18:21:06

All three of the dogs I've ever had do it for fun. Admittedly, it doesn't help when you make it a game as puppies!

picklemepopcorn Thu 16-May-19 21:56:38

For my dog, it's in the same category as cats, pigeons and other things that 'shouldn't be allowed'. He's not scared as such, just outraged that they are in his space. Or outside his space. Or anywhere they can be seen.

basquiatfan Fri 17-May-19 08:50:05

My golden retriever was scared of my cylinder vacuum cleaner and my german shepherd thought it was a monster to be attacked. Now I have a cordless upright and neither them are interested in it. I can hoover round them and they don't move a muscle. So much easier.

florentina1 Fri 17-May-19 15:08:01

My dog attacks vacuums and brooms. Even opening the cupboard gets her bounding up the stairs going frantic. We have to put her outside when we sweep or vacuum

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