Why is a dog afraid of a vacuum cleaner?: antimantikora — LiveJournal

Most dogs (and far fewer cats) are afraid of the vacuum cleaner. They are also afraid of the hair dryer. They don’t like it when they blow in the face. Sometimes it looks funny. But the dog here sincerely sobs. This means that her brain feels intense fear and generates a death warning drive for relatives. This is not a call for help, which has other modulations (barking, screeching), but a warning sobbing roar: here is death.


Why is the husky screaming like that?

The answers on the web are worthless and profane. They dress up as competence.


Here we need not guess, but apply evolutionary epistemology. The dog has many adaptive instincts. We need to look for selective factors.

The dog is indifferent to the air currents on the street.
The dog hardly tolerates a strong and icy wind, but is not afraid.
The dog even loves headwinds when driving.
The dog does not mind if a person breathes heavily into its face, for example, when carrying it on a hike, or playing, and is out of breath.
The dog hates the vacuum cleaner, but loves the fan and air conditioning (if it’s hot).

The dog does not like it when a person blows in her face, stretching her lips.
A dog clatters its teeth when a person blows in its face through a straw.
The dog bites the trunk of the vacuum cleaner, strongly and timidly, contracting the muscles of the lips in a maximum grin.
The dog howls, sobs, if it is vacuumed or dried with a strong hair dryer.
The wilder the dog, the more he hates the vacuum cleaner.

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There are dogs that are used to, are not afraid of, and even love vacuum grooming. But these are indoor, inverse individuals.

Statement of a question:
We must look for a very dangerous object of wildlife that has a blowing tube.
It is necessary that such an object be widespread, dangerous, and for millions of years has formed an instinctive image of fear and avoidance. There are inborn gestalts that scare away wild animals: a snake, a spider, a hissing object, a large bird, a sharp “chemical” smell, thunder, an explosion, fire, etc. It is necessary to look for analogues of the object “vacuum cleaner – hair dryer”. There are such analogues.

1. Snake. If a wild dog approaches a snake, it makes a stance and hisses, powerfully throwing out air saturated with the smell of a reptilian throat. In large snakes, this cloud is very large. Then comes the attack. The task is to change the hunting attack to flight in a second. To do this, you need to be very scared. Maximum grin reduces the likelihood of a bite to the lip.

2. Fumarole. In nature, there are many dangerous openings from which air escapes or is sucked in. These are fumaroles, cracks, caves, burrows, rock passages on the seashore, as well as tornadoes. All of them are dangerous (at least they can clog the nasopharynx and eyes). The instinct to quickly avoid them is highly adaptive.

3. Predator in the hole. Let’s take into account that dogs regularly use burrows: as a shelter, a nest of puppies, a hunting place. The brood chamber is dark and still air. If the puppy suddenly feels a directed movement of air, it means that another animal is sniffing at it. Not only predators (such as mustelids), but also rodents (such as rats), reptiles (snakes, monitor lizards), birds (albatross, shelduck) and even large insects (hornets, ground beetles, also giving “exhaust”) can harm him. A very strong exhalation is made by a bear, a tiger, a wild boar, having sniffed the prey in a shelter. Here you need a quick reaction: bite, squeal, dodge.
In the southern virgin nature – a wide variety of dangerous burrows. In wild canines in the initial (burrowing) period of life, such situations are frequent. Therefore, the selectivity of such an instinct is high.

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4. Proboscis beast. In the wild nature of the Pleistocene and early Holocene, there were many animals with a trunk: from giant ones (mammoths, stegodons, amebelodontids) to small ones (elephant calves, tapirs, etc.). They were a danger to dogs: they could grab and kill, trample. The trunk is a special organ capable of both powerfully snorting and grasping. There were also many large carnivorous pigs, the snout of which breathes powerfully – and can crush, bite. What was needed was a rapid reaction to such an object: to be frightened, to yell, to bite, to run away.

5. Other factors (ultrasound, noise, smell, electrification) are also welcome, but these are trifles. They do not rely on a wild archetype.

Thus, if a dog howls at a hair dryer and bites a vacuum cleaner, it instinctively defends itself against an elephant or a wild boar. If a person blows it in the muzzle, it seems to the canine instinct that he imitates an ugly elephant. If air comes out of the tube, the canine instinct thinks that it is a snake or a dangerous burrowing animal.

And later hominids occupied a different niche. Their relationship with the aforementioned animals was different. Nornikov they drove and smoked out. Proboscideans were either kept at a distance, or cleaned like orderlies. Wild boars were poisoned and killed from trees. Dog people launched under their bunk beds, hammocks or caves so that they would eat small animals (and under these conditions, the described instinct only intensified).

Man has another instinctive horror – he is afraid of the ape-man: an anthropomorphic mobile mammal, and of any size. For example, this one.

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Now just these strings are played by all and sundry.

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