Dog Barks at Washing Machine? How to Stop It! [Easy!]

If your dog barks at the washing machine and you can’t figure out how to stop it, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss how to calm your barking dog and help them get used to the washing machine.

If your dog seems scared of the washing machine or the entire laundry room, we’ll dig into the possible reasons behind this behavior. We also address a different scenario – if your dog seems to like the washing machine a little too much. So, let’s get started and put an end to the barking!

How to Stop Dog Barking at Washing Machine

Dog Barks at Washing Machine

Stopping a dog from barking at a washing machine involves desensitization, positive reinforcement, command training, and providing distractions. Briefly, the process includes exposing your dog to the machine gradually, rewarding calm behavior, teaching the “quiet” command, and offering toys or puzzles for distraction.

  1. Desensitize Your Dog: Gradually expose your dog to the washing machine. Start with the machine turned off, let them sniff around, then gradually progress to turning it on for short periods, then longer periods. This allows your dog to grow accustomed to the machine’s presence and noise.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog for calm behavior around the washing machine. Use treats, praise, or toys to reinforce the positive behavior. Consistent positive reinforcement will help your dog associate the washing machine with good things, reducing their instinct to bark at it.
  3. Command Training: Train your dog to understand the “quiet” command. Begin training when your dog is calm and in a quiet environment. When your dog barks, say the command “quiet” in a calm but firm voice. Once they stop barking, reward them with a treat. Repeat this process, gradually introducing the washing machine’s noise until your dog understands the command in the presence of the distraction.
  4. Provide Distractions: Offering your dog a high-value chew toy or puzzle can provide a welcome distraction and keep them occupied while the washing machine is running. A sufficiently engaging toy can help your dog forget about the machine entirely.

These steps will get your dog to stop barking at the washing machine, 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 this, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Okay, how do I make this change stick?”

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 washing machine 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 washing machine ever again!

Dog Scared of Washing Machine

Dog Scared of Washing Machine

Dogs can become scared of washing machines due to their loud noise, strange vibrations, and unpredictable movements. It’s important to help your dog become desensitized to these aspects and foster a positive association with the machine to alleviate their fear.

Noise Sensitivity

Many dogs are sensitive to loud and sudden noises, which can cause anxiety. The sound of a washing machine, especially during the spin cycle, can be quite loud and may startle your dog. This sensitivity might be more pronounced in dogs with a history of noise phobia.

Vibrations and Movements

The vibrations produced by a washing machine, especially on wooden floors, can be unsettling for dogs. They may also be wary of the unpredictable movements of the machine during different cycles, perceiving it as a potential threat due to their instinctual responses.

Previous Negative Experiences

If your dog has previously had a negative experience associated with the washing machine, such as a sudden loud noise or getting startled by a movement, it could contribute to their fear. Past traumatic experiences can leave lasting impressions on dogs, causing them to associate the machine with fear.

Desensitization and Positive Association

To help your dog overcome their fear, gradual desensitization is often effective. Start by running the machine when your dog is in a different room. Over time, bring your dog closer to the machine while it’s running, praising and rewarding them for calm behavior. You can also create positive associations by giving treats or playing games near the washing machine when it’s not in use.

When to Seek Further Help

If your dog’s fear of the washing machine is extreme and causing significant distress, then you’ll need to not only address the behavior but also the underlying issue which is actually causing it. We go over how to do both of these things in the first section of this article.

Allowing your dog’s fear and barking to continue will just mean that problem becomes even more frequent. You’ll soon also see your dog barking at the dryer, barking at the oven, scared of the dishwasher, and (of course) barking at the vacuum cleaner or barking at the blender.

Why Is My Dog Afraid of the Laundry Room?

Dogs may be afraid of the laundry room due to the loud noises, unusual smells, confined space, or even past negative experiences in the room. Addressing these fears through desensitization, positive reinforcement, and environment modifications can help your dog feel safer.

Noise and Vibration Fear

Laundry rooms can be quite noisy, with washing machines and dryers often producing loud, irregular noises and vibrations that can startle or upset your dog. Appliances like these can be especially frightening during their spin or tumble dry cycles. Noise sensitivity is common in dogs and could be the reason behind their fear of the laundry room.

Unusual Smells and Sensations

Laundry rooms often contain a mix of different scents, such as detergents, fabric softeners, and dirty laundry. These smells can be overpowering for your dog’s sensitive nose and create a discomforting atmosphere. Additionally, the sensation of walking on tiled or linoleum floors often found in laundry rooms may feel strange or slippery to your dog, leading to discomfort or fear.

Confined Spaces

If your laundry room is small and confined, your dog may feel trapped or claustrophobic. Dogs generally prefer open spaces where they can move around freely, and the restricted environment of a laundry room can make them feel anxious and uncomfortable.

Past Negative Experiences

A previous negative experience in the laundry room, such as being shut in the room, accidentally frightened by a loud noise, or even experiencing a tumble from a slippery floor, could contribute to your dog’s fear. Dogs can associate locations with past traumas, leading to a phobic response.

Overcoming the Fear

To help your dog overcome their fear, consider applying desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques. Gradually expose them to the laundry room in a non-threatening manner, pairing the exposure with positive experiences like treats, praise, or playtime. If fear persists, address any underlying issues. We went over how to do this in the first section.

How to Help Your Dog

Understanding why your dog is afraid of the laundry room can help you implement effective strategies to alleviate their fear. With patience, compassion, and consistent efforts, you can help your dog overcome this fear and create a more comfortable environment for them.

Why Does My Dog Like the Washing Machine So Much?

Dogs may be drawn to the washing machine due to the vibrations, the rhythmic noise, or the residual scents of familiar humans and other animals on the laundry. Curiosity, playfulness, or a desire for attention may also contribute to this behavior.

  1. Vibrations and Noise: Some dogs are attracted to the vibrations and rhythmic noise produced by a washing machine. The cycle’s regular pattern might be intriguing or soothing to them, similar to how some dogs enjoy car rides or TV noise.
  2. Residual Scents: Dogs have an excellent sense of smell. The clothes in your washing machine carry the scent of familiar humans and perhaps other animals, which can be comforting and appealing to your dog.
  3. Curiosity: Dogs are naturally curious creatures. The movement, noise, and changing scent profiles of a running washing machine can engage their curiosity and investigative instincts.
  4. Playfulness: For some dogs, the movement of clothes in the washing machine can mimic the movements of prey, stimulating their play drive. Your dog might see the washing machine as a kind of toy.
  5. Attention Seeking: If your dog has noticed that hanging out by the washing machine gets them attention, whether it’s positive or negative, they may continue this behavior as a way to interact with you.

By understanding why your dog is attracted to the washing machine, you can address the behavior more effectively. If it’s causing a problem, try offering engaging alternatives, like puzzle toys or regular play sessions, to distract your dog from the appliance. We went over training methods you can use in the first section.

I’m sure you’re sick of your dog barking when you put the wash in, so I’ll let you begin now. Good luck with everything, and thanks for reading our article “Dog Barks at Washing Machine? How to Stop It! [Easy!]”.

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.