Big, loud, scary, moving- you can’t seem to blame Fido for having it out for the dirt devil. We know there is nothing to be afraid of but Fido needs to learn it’s harmless. We want to start to slowly desensitize Fido to the vacuum. This process will progress at different rates for different dogs. As with any training we need to be patient and move at a rate that’s comfortable for your pup. We do not want to progress to the next step until we see that our pup is 100% comfortable.
Step 1: A couple times a day, bring out the vacuum and simply leave it out. Place some treats from a distance all the way up to the vacuum and finally some on the actual vacuum itself. Be sure to praise Fido for calm behavior and for simply tolerating the vacuum with ease.Depending on your pup, do this a couple times a day for a few days until you are sure he is ready to move on.
Step 2: Just like step one, bring the vacuum out but this time you are going to add movement to the vacuum. With the vacuum off, slowly act as if you are vacuuming. Be in tune to your dog’s body language and praise him anytime you see him notice the vacuum and ignore it. Always end on a high note, so if you see him completely ignoring the movement of the vacuum after noticing it-praise and end session.
As with any of these steps, if you see reactive behavior occurring during training, take it back a couple steps.
Step 3: With the vacuum out and upright, turn the power on momentarily then off. Quickly praise your pup with treats and lots of loving. Gradually increase the amount of time the vacuum is on and continue to praise.
Step 4: Once your pup has become comfortable with the noise we are once again going to add movement. You may literally have to work in ½ inch increments depending on the reactiveness of your pup. As mentioned before, be in tune to your pup and always stop while you’re ahead. Any progress is good progress!
These “sessions” can range from 10 seconds to a few minutes. Short and sweet. Once you pass step one you can leave the vacuum out during the day so your pup gets used to it more and it becomes less foreign to them.
You’ll be amazed by your pups transformation if you are willing to give this a try. One day you will be thinking back to the time when your doggie was sworn enemies with the dirt devil. Hope this helps, happy cleaning!