why does my dog attack the vacuum

Why Does My Dog Attack The Vacuum?

Have you pulled out the vacuum to do some cleaning, only to find your dog running out of nowhere to attack it?  If you have ever wondered why does my dog attacks the vacuum, this article will help you understand why some dogs don’t like vacuums.

Why Do Dogs Attack The Vacuum?

There are various reasons why dogs don’t like vacuums.  Vacuums are loud, they don’t understand them, they are scared, or they feel threatened by the vacuum.  Although a vacuum is a common household item to humans, dogs may not understand their purpose.

Reasons Why Dogs Don’t Like Vacuums

Vacuums are loud

Dogs have good hearing, so if vacuums are loud to us, they are even louder to our dogs.  Not all dogs like loud noises and some dogs are scared by them, so it is not strange that they could be scared by a vacuum vrooming around the house.

Try not to turn on the vacuum right next to your dog, the sudden loud noise could be startling for them, especially if it was unexpected.

Dogs don’t understand their purpose

Many times, things that seem obvious to us aren’t necessarily as obvious to our dogs.  We know the vacuum cleans the carpet, but dogs have no clue.  They just hear some loud device floating across the floor and aren’t quite sure whether it’s a threat or not. 

Try gradually introducing your dog to the vacuum, opposed to just turning it on one day.  Maybe even have them in another room at first, so they can observe it from a distance to better understand its purpose.

Vacuums move

Vacuuming moving under the sofa

Our dogs may not be sure how these devices are moving around.  Although it seems obvious to us that we are in control of the vacuum, it may not be as obvious to our dogs.  The same goes for brooms as well.

My dog used to get all worked up over the vacuum and the broom when she was a puppy and I realized she just saw it moving across the floor and probably didn’t realize I was in control of it.

Additionally, some dogs have a strong prey drive.  Therefore, anything that moves, they will be attracted to and want to pounce on.  If your dog has a strong prey drive (like mine), they many never care for the vacuum.

They are scared

Some dogs attack the vacuum because they are afraid.  For all the reasons already discussed vacuums can be intimidating to any dog, but especially if your dog is already more timid or skittish. 

If your dog is scared of the vacuum, they can attack the vacuum out of fear.  Don’t force your dog to love the vacuum, try vacuuming when they are out of the house, or put them in another part of the house while you are vacuuming.

They think the vacuum is a threat

It is also possible your dog sees the vacuum as a threat and is trying to protect you.  Since it may not be obvious that you have control over this loud large device, they may attack the vacuum thinking they are helping prevent it from causing you any harm. 


Dogs can attack the vacuum for many reasons.  Vacuums are loud, they move around on their level, and they may not fully understand what they are doing. 

Don’t make the same mistake I did, I turned on the vacuum for the first time while my puppy was in the room, not thinking it would scare her.  She jumped up and immediately started attacking the vacuum. 

Expose your dog to the vacuum slowly, and keep in mind that some dogs may never love the vacuum and that is ok too.  If your dog is uncomfortable with the vacuum for whatever reason, put them in another room while you vacuum and that should keep their excitement down.

Does your dog attack the vacuum?  Let me know in the comments!