When discussing fears, everyones opinions differ on what is rational and what is not. That said, to understand what dogs fear, you almost have to put yourself in the perspective of a small child. Some things, such as garbage trucks, with their scary sounds and enormous stature are totally understandable! While others, such as the ones you will read about below, while common amongst canines, may seem completely absurd to their owners. So without further ado, in no particular order, here are just 10 of the silliest items that are feared by our best friends.
1. Garbage bags
Have you ever pulled a garbage bag out of the cupboard and watched as your dog flew across the kitchen? When surveyed, one of the top items dog owners mentioned their pups were afraid of were black plastic bags. Whether it’s the sound they make when you open them up, the shininess of the material that freaks them out, or the sheer size of the bag that could gobble them up, all we know is that this fear boarders on irrational.
2. Empty water bottles
Though empty water bottles often make some of the best toys for dogs, they are not for everyone. Many toy companies have even taken to recycling water bottles to make brand new toys for purchase at pet stores which we think is fantastic! Their lightweight nature makes it easy for dogs to carry or throw them around, and the sound of the bottle crunching around drives them crazy. But for dogs who have an irrational fear of the water bottle, one crunch and it’s over. They are sent running for the hills.
We know what you’re asking yourselves. Aren’t balloons supposed to bring people joy? Well that’s just it. They bring people joy, just not dogs. Balloons have a very distinctive sound both when they are rubbed together and when they are popped, that dogs everywhere seem to detest. And even if your dog has not experienced the gut-wrenching trauma of a balloon popping, their ability to just hang out there in the sky, bobbing back and forth is enough to creep anyone out!
4. Aluminum foil
Despite being one of the most useful inventions to ever grace the human species, aluminum foil is by far, one of the most hated household items by pets across the world. A combination of unique texture, thundering sound, and shine makes aluminum foil a triple-threat, forcing cats to jump 5 ft into the air, and dogs to tuck their tails between their legs for hours. True to its purpose however, it can also be useful in keeping pets off of the furniture you wish to keep hair-free.
5. Vacuum cleaners
One of the most known fears to a dog is the household terror, the ever evil; vacuum cleaner. It’s been depicted in comics and television for years. Not only does this strange machine sound like pure nonsense, but dogs also hear it much more intensely than any human. A vacuum will also kick up smells that have been sitting in carpet for quite some time, and though these same smells are often the ones made by our dogs themselves, it is still nonetheless, very scary. Apparently.
Though flags are much more of a target for skittish dogs, even the bravest of all canines can find themselves fearful from time to time. Their unpredictable sound and movement, combined with the swaying of ropes, the gigantic poles, and these 10 ft monsters are straight out of a horror movie. One loud boom and clap of a flag will often send shivers up even the most macho dogs spines.
Statues, am I right? Even some humans are scared of them. Whether it’s a statue of a person or an animal matters not. Dogs often fear statues due to the fact that they cannot understand between a face of solid stone or of flesh, and the more realistic the statue, the harder it is to differentiate. With eyes that follow you across the room, lifelike features such as hands that do not want to play fetch or a grizzly mouth full of teeth, it’s no wonder our pooches try to put up a fight!
8. Ceiling Fans
To a dog, a ceiling fan is a whirlwind of confusion. First of all, sometimes they move slow, sometimes fast, and sometimes they don’t move at all! They’re unpredictable, can only be controlled by humans, and don’t listen when barked at. They also have this strange ability to shoot cold air at unsuspecting pups, and the worst ones have this dangly little chain with a ball at the end of it that our pups can’t even chase, no matter how jingly they sound. You could really say that dogs are generally not a fan of… well, fans.
Not all dogs are scared of guitars, but most dogs are scared of at least one string instrument. Whether it’s a banjo, a violin, a harp, or a ukulele, dogs are generally bewildered by their ability to make sound for some reason. Have you ever been playing a guitar and had a dog back away every time you strummed a chord? If you’re looking for a partner to duet with you, we suggest looking elsewhere than your beloved pooch.
They move at what appears to be lightening speed (for a dog) and make an extreme rushing sound. It’s no surprise that dogs are scared of them! But if you want your walks to be pleasant around skateboards, bikes, or even strollers we suggest desensitizing your dogs to them in a relaxed setting. Anything with wheels will insight a natural chase instinct in your dog, so try sitting in a room with your pup and a stationary board first. It’ll beat having your arm ripped out of its socket, that’s for sure!