Here's a story from tonight that I think will give hope to all you pups out there who have a difficult relationship with the vacuum cleaner! I have always hated the vacuum - don't know if it's the noise or the motion or a combination of the two, but I just want to bark at it and lunge at it and GET IT! You can imagine that mom is not to thrilled by my behavior, and she has been trying to get me to stop for months now (really for a year). In the beginning when I was a young pup, mom would put me in my crate in the bedroom and clean the whole house. Then when I got a little older, she would often put me outside in the yard (but she worried about me being out there on my own and would stop to check on me all the time). Then she started putting a leash on me and putting me in a down/stay in the room where she was working and vacuum around me. Typically I would jump up (ie. break my down/stay) the minute the machine was turned on and go and try to attack it. Mom would patiently and quietly return me to my spot (she could catch me because of that darned leash!) and then continue to work. Some days I would be able to hold myself back and some days I would give in to the urge and keep getting up again and again. But tonight mom decided to just start vacuuming and not say anything to me. She turned it on and I made a move towards it (but didn't bark), and she just motioned to me to back up and went on about her work. I gave her and the vacuum space and she cleaned more than 3/4 of the house before I even let out one little bark (I think mom forgave me the one tiny slip!) Woo hoo!! Mom was really happy - after she put the vacuum away, she gave me lots of gooey praise and a good treat! I can't promise her that I will never try to get the vacuum again, but we both think huge progress was made tonight after all those months of working at it. So if anyone out there is having similar problems, we're proof that there is hope!
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