Dog Scared of Dishwasher? How to Help + Stop Barking!

Is your dog scared of the dishwasher and won’t stop barking at it? In this article, we’re going to unravel why your dog might be afraid and how you can help them overcome their fear.

We’ll guide you on how to stop your dog from barking at the dishwasher and understand the reasons behind their fear. If your dog suddenly became afraid of the dishwasher, we’ll discuss that too.

We’ll also look into whether dishwashers are too loud for dogs and share a step-by-step guide on how to desensitize your dog to the sound of a dishwasher. Keep reading below!

How to Stop Dog Barking at Dishwasher

How to Stop Dog Barking at Dishwasher

If your dog is barking at the dishwasher, it can be helped by addressing your dog’s fear or discomfort, teaching your dog the “Quiet” command, and using positive reinforcement. It’s key to make your dog understand the dishwasher is not a threat, and teaching your dog commands to stop barking is an effective way to do this.

Here’s how to handle the situation in more detail:

  1. Address Fear or Discomfort: The sound or movement of the dishwasher might be causing your dog discomfort or fear. It’s crucial to help your dog associate the dishwasher with positive experiences. You can start by feeding your dog treats near the dishwasher when it’s off to help them feel comfortable around it.
  2. Teach the “Quiet” Command: Teaching your dog to understand and respond to the “Quiet” command can be an effective way to stop their barking.
    • Start by saying “Quiet” when your dog starts barking at the dishwasher. As soon as they stop barking, even if only for a second, reward them with a treat and praise.
    • Repeat this exercise multiple times daily until your dog starts to understand that “Quiet” means stop barking.
    • Over time, you can gradually increase the amount of time your dog must be quiet before receiving a reward.
  3. Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog when they stay calm and quiet around the dishwasher. This can be in the form of verbal praise, petting, or treats. Doing this consistently will help your dog understand that staying calm and not barking at the dishwasher is a desirable behavior.
  4. Consider Environmental Changes: If your dog continues to be bothered by the dishwasher, consider making some environmental changes. This could be moving their bed or toys away from the dishwasher or running the dishwasher at times when your dog is less likely to be disturbed, like during their nap times or when they are playing outside.

These steps will get your dog to stop barking at the dishwasher, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (anxiety) that was causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address that, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how can I get these changes to stick, then?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog barks at the dishwasher and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog barking at the dishwasher ever again!

Why Is My Dog Scared of the Dishwasher?

Dog Scared of Dishwasher

If your dog is scared of the dishwasher, it is typically due to the loud and unfamiliar noises it makes, coupled with the vibration it produces when in operation. However, this fear can be managed with gradual exposure, positive reinforcement, and creating a safe space for your dog.

Noises and Vibration

One of the primary reasons why dogs might be scared of the dishwasher is because of the unfamiliar noises and vibration it makes when in use. The sound of water rushing, dishes clattering, and the hum of the machine can be overwhelming for a dog, particularly for breeds with sensitive hearing.


Dogs can also develop a fear of objects or appliances that they are not familiar with. If your dog has not been exposed to a dishwasher from a young age or if they’ve had a negative experience associated with it, they may associate the dishwasher with fear or discomfort.

Dealing with Fear

Gradual exposure and positive reinforcement can help your dog overcome their fear of the dishwasher. Start by letting your dog explore the dishwasher when it’s not running, letting them sniff and examine it. Then, turn on the dishwasher and let your dog observe it from a safe distance, rewarding them with treats for calm behavior. Eventually, they should get used to the noise and vibration.

Creating a Safe Space

Creating a safe, quiet space for your dog to retreat to when the dishwasher is running can also be beneficial. This could be a favorite room, a crate with a soft bed, or a spot with their favorite toys. This gives them a place to relax and feel secure when they’re feeling scared.


In conclusion, dogs may be scared of the dishwasher due to the unfamiliar noises and vibrations it produces, or due to lack of familiarity. Helping your dog get used to the dishwasher with gradual exposure, positive reinforcement, and providing a safe space can significantly alleviate their fear. Learn more about handling the underlying issue in the first section.

Allowing it to continue will just to your dog’s fear and barking response getting even worse. If it’s not happening already, you’ll soon find your dog barking at the washing machine, barking at the dryer, barking at the vacuum cleaner, and maybe even barking at the oven (it makes high-frequency sounds you can’t hear, but your dog can).

Dog Afraid of Dishwasher All of a Sudden

If your dog has suddenly become afraid of the dishwasher, it could be due to a change in their environment, a bad experience, an increase in the noise level of the appliance, or potential health issues causing heightened sensitivity. Investigating the cause and addressing it appropriately can help your dog overcome this new fear.

Change in Environment

One of the potential reasons your dog might suddenly be afraid of the dishwasher could be a change in their environment. If you’ve recently moved or rearranged your kitchen, your dog may be feeling insecure. The dishwasher, with its strange noises and vibrations, could become a focal point of their anxiety.

Bad Experience

Your dog might associate the dishwasher with a negative or frightening experience. Perhaps they were close by when a loud noise happened or a dish broke, startling them. This can lead to an association of fear with the dishwasher.

Increased Noise Level

The noise level of your dishwasher might have increased due to a technical issue or if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan. This sudden increase in noise might have scared your dog and now they associate the appliance with that unsettling experience.

Health Issues

Certain health issues, like ear infections or age-related hearing loss, can cause a change in a dog’s sensitivity to sound. If your dog has recently become more sensitive to noise, they might suddenly become afraid of the loud sounds made by the dishwasher.

Addressing the Fear

To help your dog overcome their sudden fear of the dishwasher, try to identify the source of their fear. Make sure your dishwasher is functioning properly and not producing excessive noise. If your dog’s fear persists or they seem unusually anxious, a vet visit may be needed to rule out any potential health problems. Gradually acclimatizing your dog to the dishwasher and using positive reinforcement can also be beneficial in alleviating their fear.


In conclusion, sudden fear of the dishwasher in dogs can be caused by environmental changes, bad experiences, increased noise from the appliance, or health issues. Identifying the cause and taking appropriate steps can help your dog regain their confidence. Learn more about handling the underlying issue in the first section of this article.

Are Dishwashers Too Loud for Dogs?

Dishwashers are generally not too loud for dogs. The average decibel level of a dishwasher is around 50-60 decibels, which is comparable to a normal conversation. This is below the 70-75 decibel threshold, which is usually considered safe for dogs. However, dogs have sensitive hearing and may perceive noises differently, so they may still feel discomfort if they are unfamiliar with the sounds.

Below are some important details to consider:

  1. Dogs’ Hearing Sensitivity: Dogs have a highly sensitive sense of hearing and can hear frequencies ranging from 45 Hz to 67,000 Hz, far beyond human capabilities. This means that some noises, especially those that are high-pitched or unfamiliar, can potentially cause discomfort or distress to a dog.
  2. Dishwasher Decibel Levels: The average dishwasher operates at around 50-60 decibels, which is generally considered safe for dogs. This sound level is akin to that of a normal conversation or background music. High-end dishwashers may operate even quieter, at around 40 decibels, which is more comparable to the sound level of a quiet library.
  3. Safe Decibel Levels for Dogs: Prolonged or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 70-75 decibels can cause hearing damage in dogs. While dishwashers usually operate below this threshold, it’s still important to observe your dog’s behavior when the dishwasher is running. If they show signs of distress like whimpering, barking, or trying to leave the room, it might be an indication that the sound is causing them discomfort.
  4. Individual Differences: Every dog is different and what may be tolerable for one dog may be uncomfortable for another. It’s important to pay attention to your dog’s individual reactions and behaviors when the dishwasher is operating. If your dog seems to be distressed, consider ways to reduce their exposure to the noise, such as moving their bed or play area to a quieter part of the house, or running the dishwasher at times when your dog is less likely to be disturbed.

While dishwashers are typically not too loud for dogs, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique, and you know your pet best. Always monitor their behavior and adjust their environment as necessary to keep them comfortable. Learn how to treat any underlying anxiety issues by going back to the first section of this article now.

How to Desensitize a Dog to Sounds of a Dishwasher

To desensitize your dog to the sounds of a dishwasher, you need to gradually expose them to the noise while associating it with positive experiences. This process includes steps like starting with quiet dishwasher sounds, rewarding your dog for calm behavior, and gradually increasing the sound over time.

  1. Gradual Exposure: The key to desensitization is gradual exposure. Start with the dishwasher off, allowing your dog to explore the area. Then, begin to introduce the sounds of the dishwasher at a low level, perhaps by running it empty or with just a few items inside. Remember, you want to introduce the sound gradually to prevent causing stress.
  2. Positive Association: As you expose your dog to the dishwasher sounds, associate it with positive experiences. This could be mealtime, playtime, or giving them their favorite treat. Over time, your dog will start associating the sound of the dishwasher with these positive experiences, lessening their anxiety.
  3. Incremental Increases: Once your dog is comfortable with the low-level sounds, gradually increase the intensity. This could mean running the dishwasher with more items or using a louder cycle. Each time, ensure you are providing positive experiences along with the noise.
  4. Patience and Consistency: Desensitizing a dog to any noise takes time and consistency. You should expect the process to take several weeks, possibly even longer depending on your dog’s level of anxiety. Consistency is key – try to keep the routine as steady as possible to reinforce the positive associations.

Remember, patience and consistency are crucial in this process. Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Always monitor your dog’s reactions and adjust the approach as necessary. We went over how to address underlying issues that may be contributing in the first section of this article.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to handling your kitchen chores without your dog bothering you, so I’ll let you get going on things now. Good luck, and thank you for reading our article “Dog Scared of Dishwasher? How to Help + Stop Barking!”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.