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  #1  
Old 01-26-2007, 01:26 PM
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Scooter Scooter is offline
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Default Terrified of vacuum!

My puppy is so terrified of the vacuum she freaks out- running from room to room whimpering. It's so bad that I now only vacuum when my husband has her out of the house. Is there any way to cure this?
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:53 PM
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My 9 week old puppy two weeks ago was real frightened of the cleaner so what I did was put her in her crate on the deck where she could see me in the lounge and I would turn it on for a few seconds about 10 times in the first hour at the end of that she was asleep in her crate . This morning she was asleep on the couch and I turned the cleaner on at the other end of the room and she just stayed there with one eye on me. I did not push her too far but I can see now that just a little bit each day will make it easier for her so that might be worth trying for you Scooter. Good to get puppies used to all sorts of noises when they are young otherwise they end up with a hang up about it for the rest of their lives. My last dog was put in all sorts of situations like pipe bands, motorbikes, even cracker night and he was not scared of anything , but they are all different and we must be careful Good luck to you both.((HUGS))
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:00 PM
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I have found that you may not ever be able to make your dog "like" the vacuum, but there are things you can do to help stop the fear.

How do you act towards your dog when she acts scared? Do you comfort her?

The best advice I can give is to either ignore your puppy when she acts scared or in a really happy voice ask her "what is it?" If you comfort her then that tells her there is a reason to worry. If you stay calm and encourage her to explore the noise then that usually makes them think about if it's actually something to be afraid of. Whatever you do, don't coddle and give in to her fear. Be a role model and encourage her to explore things that make her nervous.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:38 PM
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My lab does the exact same thing but I just ignored her. Now she will just go in her crate and sit and watch it, just a little scared. My bernese mountain dog, on the other hand, attempts to KILL our vacuum cleaner. She pounces and barks and growls and chases it around. She is the reason that we needed a new vacuum she ate through the attachment tube and also got to front part (that covers the bag) off and cracked a piece off so that it doesn't snap back onto the cleaner anymore.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:39 PM
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I think Olivia and Showpug gave you good advice. A combination of desensatizing her from a more comfortable distance and gradually closing the distance between her and the vaccum is a way to get her use to it....and being sure not to reinforce her fears with attention. When she gets to a point where she is more calm, assoicate the vaccum with some yummy treats and play time. You can even bring it out and not turn it on and feed her next to it. Turn the bad, scary thing into an OK thing. LOL.

My little girl Chihuahua has never gotten completely OK with the vaccum. It's not like she's afraid so much as she just doesn't like the sound of it. She goes to the other couch when I come near the one she's on and then moves to another chair when I get close to that one. My Doberman on the other hand can be sprawled out on the floor and I can vaccum all around him, right up to him as long as I don't touch him with it. So, the floor where he is lying doesn't get vaccumed unless I am feeling more cold hearted and ask him to move. But it does get clean right up to him, inbetween his front and hind legs, between his ears....LOL. just kidding.

Yes, gradual desensatizing and no fuss about her fear.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:21 PM
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This is why I got litters used to the noise of a vacuum from 5 weeks on . Not too often or traumatic . Just natural sounds they will encounter . If you have an 8 week old pup , and they aren't used to it ....don't vacuum ! This is their fear stage and it could last forever .
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:41 PM
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We put the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the floor and would just turn it on for a second or two. We gradually increased the time and now it doesn't bother her at all...
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:12 PM
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I think removing the pup while you vacuum just reinforces the fear. If you just go about vacuuming like it is no big deal, the pup will pick up on that and eventually feel more comfortable with the vacuum. Don't give the pup any attention if it is being fearful of the vacuum. I like the treat idea too. I used to give Colt treats AFTER I finished vacuuming. Now he gets excited when I bring it out!!!

Try leaving the vacuum cleaner out for the pup to "investigate" while it is not on.
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikro View Post
We put the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the floor and would just turn it on for a second or two. We gradually increased the time and now it doesn't bother her at all...
Exactly.

Don't coddle the fear, that only reinforces it. Start by letting your dog get used to the vacuum while it is off. Then, turn it on, give her a treat, and turn it off. Repeat, and each time increase the time that it is on by a few seconds.
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