Vacuum Cleaner Proofing - Final Video


Experienced Member
This is the final video of my proofing Rommel, the Bearded Collie puppy, to be calm around the vacuum cleaner.

I may post another in a few months but this is the last one that will show the training. It's now time to begin to lessen the rewards for this behaviour and focus on the door manners.

I've added vocal narration as I gather people find that easier to follow than text narration.




Honored Member
LOVE IT!! Love the tips you include throughout the video, too.

(also, with all this training, your carpets are looking marvelous):ROFLMAO:

I love this video, as i really think, most dogs CAN get over object fears pretty readily,( or reacting to objects,) but lots of us humans don't realize that, and don't even try. But videos like yours might inspire them to try.

Your videos will be nice ones to link for next person with this very same problem!!!:)


Experienced Member
I can't help but think you must have a VERY clean patch of carpet after doing all this training :oops:

But great videos, and something i should probably have done/should do with Evie come to think of it..... she does LOVE to chase the vacuum cleaner and if given the opportunity. If only you'd gotten your puppy after I got mine I could have followed your training step by step through all of your training and I would have had a wonderfully behaved little dog! Oh well, we'll just have to have belated training lol. Not that Evie's bad..... she's just not THAT good lol.

<3 my little monster

**eagerly awaiting more videos on other topics**


Honored Member
Evie's mom, i have hope and believe you CAN get Evie to learn to sit calmly while you vacuum, i really do. For YOU, it will be a bit more work than it is for a puppy, as Evie has now set up habit of chasing the vacuum, but, adult dogs can learn to be calm around any object, imo.

and during your training, you too, can get carpets as lovely as CollieMan's are!!:ROFLMAO:


Experienced Member
Belated training is still just as much fun! :)

As tigerlily writes, it will be a little more challenging for you as the behaviour of chasing the cleaner will already have become rewarding for Evie. BUT, if the new reward you offer is of higher value than the reward that Evie currently gets from chasing the vacuum cleaner, then you can change her response.

Go on, go for it. The very worst case scenario is that Evie gets to spend more quality training time with you and that is always a bonus for all doh behaviours. :)


Honored Member
Evie, i have zero video camera,
but there are several ways to get Evie to stop chasing your vaccuum.

One way is to teach the cue, "go to your mat" and then, AFTER EVIE UNDERSTAND THE "go to your mat" CUE,
then starting with just the unplugged stationary vacuum, re-inforce Evie for staying on her mat,
THAT'S IT, that's your first lesson.:D

over time, slowly slowly up the ante, by having vacuum slightly moving but not turned on, heavily re-inforce and reward Evie for staying on her mat, high praise, make this WORTH IT for Evie

(you might need a volunteer to move the vacuum while you reward Evie, or maybe you can toss treats TO Evie on her mat,
and keep these sessions short to set Evie up for success) You can also offer Evie some doggie-language "calming signals" like
~slow blinks,
~deep slow exhalation through your nose,

~and a yawn. Evie WILL know what you "said",:ROFLMAO: that's HER language. And massage her lil back while Evie observes the vacuum slightly moving, but still stays on her mat.

only first few minutes are about how to teach "go to your mat" the rest of video is other stuff:

overtime, when Evie is doing great at staying on her mat, while looking at an "off" stationary vaccuum, THEN

then slowly advance along, and heavily reward and PRAISE Evie for seeing the vacuum moving slowly while off, MAYBE from across the room, or in a nearby room where Evie can still see the vacuum.

next lessons.............then moving a lil faster while off,
then over many lessons, turn on vacuum but it is still,

then in lessons to follow, turn on vacuum but move it slightly,
then next lessons, move it slightly faster, and so on,
while you stay by Evie and reward her staying on her mat and calmly watching this,

and slowly advancing, as you fade your presence beside Evie a bit at a time, and increasing the amt of the time the vaccuum is on, etc etc.

that is one way. there are other ways. Helping dogs learn self control IS a good thing.


Honored Member
in above scenario of training, there is no "corrections", no scolding,
if Evie gets up,
calmly return Evie to her mat,
and maybe back up to last level where Evie WAS successful,
and re-enforce THAT level of self control..

I might also try leaving vacuum out in plain sight, while desensitizing Evie to the vacuum, so seeing the vacuum is no big deal.

i think, this will be hard for Evie, so set Evie up for success, and keep all lessons SUPER short at first, like mere minutes, reward HEAVILY, help Evie get idea, that watching that vacuum is BEST MOMENT of the day,:D
and follow all lessons with some toy play, to help Evie relax again, to help Evie think school is fun.


Honored Member
btw, you can use a clicker, too.................. when desensitizing MY dog to be calm while facing things he freaks out over,
sometimes i am not smart enough to use a clicker, as my dog sometimes thinks the click indicates the end of the cue:rolleyes: ...........

so sometimes, i find i just treat and reward calm behavior,
but sometimes i can use a clicker, too.