22 July 2011

Introducing Vacuum Monster

Our Canadian house has a central vacuum (which I LOVE!) and every litter of puppies gets exposed to it. The puppies have had a brief encounter to the hard floor attachment once before, but not the power head.  Well, technically that's not quite true. When Nora, our terrific cleaner, has been here the last three times (she comes bi-weekly), she has used the power head on the carpets when pups have been in the whelping box and in the puppy pen. So they have heard the sound and seen it close up but not had direct contact. In fact, Nora told me the power head seemed to calm them as they quietened down when she was vacuuming close them.  Probably they were curious about the noise and the object which distracted them from screaming.

This morning I had an opportunity to bring out the power head since the pups had shredded one of the puppy pee pads. Nora had just cleaned yesterday so I was rather annoyed at the pups but what can you do? Every negative situation is a potential positive so I turned it into an opportunity to get them used to the power head.  The results were mixed; 4 couldn't have cared a less and 2 were curious and very interested. Black was so focussed on getting treats from me that I don't even think he realized he was standing on the vacuum monster.
Black conquers the vacuum Monster
Here are the steps I took to introduce the vacuum monster. At each step, I gave puppies lots of treats.

  1. Bring out the hose and place it on the floor. Treat the puppies for walking on/around it.
  2. Plug in and turn on the air.
  3. Move the power-head without the power being on (suction is on however).
  4. Turn on the power-head.
  5. Move the power-head.
As you can see from the video, it was a great success!  No one was scared of the vacuum monster and most of them were very indifferent.

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