dog barking at the vacuum cleaner

Most dogs are naturally afraid of vacuum cleaners, but individual dogs may react differently depending on the dog’s personality and past experiences with vacuums. Some dogs become frightened and aggressive if they see or hear a vacuum cleaner, whereas others will just hide or try to escape. Vacuums are one of the most common noisy appliances in a home. Some dogs may have experienced being vacuumed around the mouth or ears and associate the sound with being frightened. Others may have had negative experiences with vacuums in the past, such as being dragged across the floor or having their fur pulled.

Dogs are social animals, and as such, they are naturally scared of unfamiliar objects. Dogs may react with fear when they see or hear a vacuum cleaner, even if they have never seen or been near one before. This fear may be due to the noise the vacuum makes, the way it looks, or the fact that it is moving. If your dog is scared of vacuums, it may be best to keep them away from the machine or to try to calm them down before you start it up.

The 5 Surprising Reasons Dogs Are Scared of Vacuums

1. Loud Noises Scare Them

Dogs may be scared of vacuums because of the loud noise they make. Loud noises can be startling or frightening to dogs, especially if they are not used to them. The sound of a vacuum cleaner may be too much for some dogs to handle, which can lead to them being scared. Dogs that are scared of vacuums may bark, cower, or hide when they hear one.

2. Their Goal is to Protect

Dogs may be scared of vacuums because they see them as a threat that forces them to protect their territory. Vacuum cleaners can be scary-looking because they are large and noisy, and they can move quickly. Dogs may think that the vacuum cleaner is a monster or some other type of creature that is trying to attack them or is chasing you and them around the house.

3. There’s a Hunt Going on!

It may be that you are mistaking your dog’s excitement for fear. Your dog may be attacking the vacuum because they see it as prey. Prey animals are typically smaller than the predators that hunt them, so the vacuum may look like an easy target to the dog. Additionally, when a dog sees something move quickly and erratically, like a vacuum cleaner, it may mistake it for a live animal and become excited or aroused. This can lead to the dog attacking the vacuum.

woman vacuum cleaning the carpet with her pet dog on it
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4. Novel Smell and Look of Vacuum

Dogs might be scared of vacuums because of their novelty. They are strange objects that make a strange noise and new smells. If your dog has never seen one before they may just be surprised and confused and so they are naturally scared of them.

5. You’ve Unintentionally Encouraged the Behavior

After your dog reacts negatively to your vacuum, you might laugh or pet them. These reactions can encourage them to do it again because they know you’ll notice. It is important to remember that dogs learn from their owners’ reactions to their behavior.

Getting Your Dog Used to Your Vacuum

You can keep your dog from being scared and stressed when you take your vacuum out of the closet. When you stand in front of them with the vacuum turned off, let them explore it. Even move it around a bit to show them that moving is not a threat. If they don’t bark while the vacuum is off, reward them with a treat.

Run the vacuum in front of them gradually for a few minutes and don’t react if they bark. Turn the vacuum off, calm your dog down, and repeat the process. Next time, reward your dog with a treat for calming down while the vacuum is running. Eventually, your dog will get used to the vacuum being on if you repeat this process.


Whenever your dog barks at your vacuum, it’s important to calm them down with treats or calming affirmations after the vacuum has already been put away after it was used. Remind them that it isn’t a threat and that it isn’t the end of the world if they react aggressively. Eventually, they will get used to it.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock