Corgi afraid of vacuum.....deathly afraid! Advice anyone?

My baby Corgi Hunny has been afraid of the vacuum since the day I got her.  I'm a bit of a clean freak so I try to thoroughly vacuum at least once a week and lightly about 2-3 times a week.  As far as I know she has never EVER had a bad experience with a vacuum, but I didn't get her until she was three months old.


Any suggestions on how to get her to warm up to it?


As soon as I take it out she literally runs and hides.  I'll put her in a room where I am not vacuuming and check on her every few minutes. Sometimes she'll be shaking.  It tears me apart!  My friend watched her one day and decided to vacuum.  Hunny ran in her room and relieved herself on the bed (we think out of fear).  


I'm so worried that she will work her little heart up too much.  Maybe I can try leaving the vacuum out - in her sight - for a week without turning it on (uggg, I can see the Corgi hair pile up now! lol)?  

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We have the opposite problem: always have to crate the dogs so they don't kill the vacuum or break teeth on it.
Surf this site, and you'll find a whole subculture of corgi/vacuum stories.
Don't miss Evie's "Let's Kill it" pantings.
Yes, I've talked to my trainer about this briefly. My Ein went through a phase where she was first afraid of it and barked at it, and then started attacking it. Obviously nothing like what you're dealing with, but maybe you can try the same approach. My trainer suggested to leave the vacuum out in the middle of the room, so there's no avoiding it. Just get her used to it being there and apart of everyday life. Touch or grab the handle when you walk by to get her used to you having your hands on it too. Then, start putting treats on the actual vacuum to associate positive emotion with the vacuum, and eventually put her on a leash and keep her next to you while you vacuum. The key is to act like it's no big deal. Dogs really feed off of our energy, so the more fuss you make over it and remove her from the situation, the more she'll feel justified in feeling the way she does. This approach has really been helping me work Ein through her fear of all our cleaning devices. We have a vacuum cleaner, a Hoover Floormate time scrubber, and a carpet and upholstery shampooer. They were all equally scary to Ein, but now when I use them, I keep her on a leash and she just goes around the house with me while I clean and just ignores it.

If you can't make it work on your own, I would look into finding a trainer than specializing in coming into the home and working with dogs, cause this is no way for Hunny to live her life, poor girl.

Hope this has helped. Good luck.

Thank you for the help!  Of course my instinct is to take her away from the things that she doesn't like...silly Mommy.  I'l have to start positive reinforcement.  :)
You're not alone. This site is invaluable to me, because I'm always coming here for the answer to the question "Is this best for my dog or am I coddling her?" Most often than not I go against my gut and do what the majority and our trainer says is best. This is new to me, cause my last dog was coddled way too much, and I have regrets with her. It's never fun living with regrets. I've been really fortunate so far, cause Ein seem to be really well rounded and deals well with most new situations. She's the perfect balance of independence and dependence. Good Luck.
Hi Kassi, human ear can hear up to 20,000 Hz, dog can hear up to 60,000 Hz, that means they can hear the heartbeat of a rabbit. Turn on the vacuum, get yourself on the floor, cupping your ears towards that sound location, it's WAY louder for a dog to hear that. The best thing to do is put him in the bathroom while you vacuum, turn on the ipod for youself, it'll save his hearing and yours too :)
Scary!  I think I would run and hide too.  Thank you
BTW, always wear good ear protection when you vacuum. Most vacuums are easily capable of causing hearing damage.

I would crate her in a different room and give her a long-lasting treat she really likes, like peanut butter on a Kong or something.  The noise (as Sam says) hurts their ears.  Mine both make faces at the vacuum.  Jack will bark and come running if he hears you get the little Shark out;  he needs to keep an eye and make sure it doesn't eat anyone. 


Also do the desensitization Ein's mom mentioned when the vacuum is off, so just the sight of it doesn't freak her out.  Between the two, you should see improvement.  Remember, though, that desensitization involves rewarding the dog when they are far enough away to NOT react, so you might need to start with being in another room with her while someone else gets out the vaccuum and just rewarding her for being calm while she hears it being taken in and out of the closet and not turned on, and work up from there.  And like I said, lock her safely away when you use it, somewhere where she feels secure and the noise is not so loud.

I'll start with having my friend take it out in another room (my only other room! lol small apartment) and rewarding her.  Then we'll try it in the same room.  Thank you so much for the advice!

Xylophone is totally afraid of the vacuum. His ears drop when I turn it on and he usually goes in the other room to hide. When it's nice out I usually put him in the yard while I vacuum, for his own sake. Otherwise I encourage him to go upstairs.


I leave the vacuum out because use it a lot, and he always eyes it nervously when he needs to walk near it, as if it will roar to life and devour him. He's also afraid of coats on coat racks, the window curtains and backpacks, especially if they're open (again, waiting to swallow up the corgi). 


As others suggested, it must be the noise of the machine that freaks them out and hurts their ears. I would leave the vac out and let her get used to its presence, and then put her elsewhere when you vacuum, if possible. 

Thank you for sharing!  I hadn't heard of another Corgi too afraid of vacuums
I vacuum a lot, at least 3 times a day cos I cannot stand fur lying around.  As a pup, she was excited about the vacuum more than scare.  She used to chase after the vacuum and made my cleaning routine difficult.  But now, she totally ignore the vacuum  unless she want to play fetch with it :(




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