Why do Dogs hate Vacuum Cleaners?

Why do Dogs hate Vacuum Cleaners and how to fix it

You might be wondering why dogs hate vacuum cleaners? Well, dogs are frightened or uncomfortable when faced with a vacuum for the first time. Their reaction to vacuum can range from running away to entering into an attack mode.

Let’s learn about the reasons why your dog hates vacuum cleaners and how to keep your pup calm while you’re cleaning.

Why do Dogs Hate Vacuum Cleaners?

Dogs hate vacuum cleaners because they are startled by sudden, loud sounds. A dog’s fight-or-flight instinct kicks in when a noise startles them. You may see this fear as aggression or more subtle signs like trembling. If another dog attacked your pup, it might associate the sound with that experience and react accordingly.

A dog’s sense of hearing is much more sensitive than ours, so that it can be very loud to them. They may even feel the vibrations made by a vacuum cleaner at close range, which only makes matters worse. A dog’s unique physiology means that its ears have a far greater ability to pick up sound frequencies outside our range. So they can hear things we cannot. Dogs have an ear structure called the “Pinna,” which allows them to be extremely sensitive to noise at certain frequencies.

How to Counter Condition your Dog Behavior?

It’s critical not to chastise or punish your dog for its reactions to the vacuum. To help our dogs develop new responses to the sight of a vacuum, we must instead utilize positive reinforcement training methods. Counterconditioning and desensitizing are types of conditioning that can assist your dog in changing their associations with what they were initially apprehensive or frightened of.

To counter-condition your dog, you need to train them that sound is a good thing. It is not something bad or scary as they currently perceive it. You can do this by pairing the sight and sound of the vacuum with tasty treats like pieces of ham, cheese, or even freeze-dried liver, which many dogs love.

How to Introduce your Dog to vacuum Cleaners?

You need to be intentional while exposing your dog to the vacuum. It is better to start your dog training when they are young. When introducing your dog to the vacuum, having a friend or family member assist by working with your dog or doing the vacuuming can be useful. It will help prevent challenges in the future to help your dog be calm whenever you are using a vacuum cleaner.

Here is how you can train your dog:

Step #1: Train with Vacuum Off

For the first few training sessions, you can use an actual vacuum cleaner to get your dog used to the sight and sound of it. However, be sure that there is no suction turned on as this may terrify them even more.

Let your pup investigate the sounds coming from the vacuum while they have a tasty treat in their mouth. Allow your dog to investigate the vacuum without forcing him to come near it. When your dog becomes interested or explores the vacuum, start with just looking at it from across the room and rewarding and praising.

Step #2: Move your Vacuum

the second step is to let your dog know that vacuum can move around. So, without turning on your vacuum, start moving it at a slow pace. Meanwhile, keep giving your dog treats from a distance where they are comfortable. Just praise them and reward them for staying calm.

Step #3: Now Turn on the Vacuum and Move it

When your dog has become completely comfortable and confident while moving the vacuum around, you can turn on the suction. Please turn on the machine and start slowly working towards them, still giving them treats when they remain calm.

You need to show them that the vacuum will not harm them, and their response will be rewarded immediately with treats, praise, or playtime if they remain calm during training sessions. A calm dog can learn anything quickly as dogs are highly intelligent creatures who love learning new tricks.

Step #4: Introduce a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Once your pup can handle being around an electric vacuum cleaner, introduce a cordless one. The sound will be much closer to their ears, so you may need to go back to the previous steps of having them in another room or with someone else vacuuming while being rewarded for staying calm.

Step #5: Be patient when you train your dog

To build comfort with the vacuum cleaner, you must work at your dog’s pace. It indicates that we have gone too hard if your dog becomes overwhelmed and reacts by barking, racing, lunging, or any of the stress-related unwanted behaviors.

Return to a distance that your dog can succeed at during the next training session. If you’re having trouble, get in touch with a professional dog trainer.

How do I Know When my Dog is Comfortable with the Vacuum Cleaner?

You will be able to tell that your dog has learned and accepted that vacuums are not bad by looking for these signs:

Your pup’s ears should remain up and relaxed, their tail wagging calmly. They won’t stay far away from the vacuum; they may even start to investigate it independently.

If your dog remains calm or happy when you turn on the machine and starts exploring it themselves, then there is no reason for them to be afraid of it.

If any signs of fear are displayed, such as shaking, panting, or hiding behind furniture, go back a few steps. You can do that by having someone else vacuuming while rewarding this behavior with treats etc. Your pup will eventually overcome his fears if you take your time in training them correctly.


Well, we hope that you understand the reason behind “why do dogs hate vacuum cleaners”. Now, you can train your dog easily, and the best way to do this is by using counterconditioning and desensitization. This training process requires a lot of patience, time, and effort, but it will be worth the result in the end. Do it at your buddy’s pace so they won’t be terrified anymore with vacuum cleaners.


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