It’s a lazy weekend and your wife kicks you off the couch to mow the lawn. You switch off the cricket and switch on the lawn mower. Trouble is, every time you do this, your dog Rover barks uncontrollably and starts to attack your lawn mowing machine.
What do you do?
Here are 10 tips to try when you can’t get your lawn mowed because your dog hates your lawn mower:
1. Don’t Mow Your Lawn Yourself
Well, this one is easy. Book your lawn mowing services on GreenSocks and we’ll get someone to mow your lawn while you’re out at the park with Rover. No barking, no hassle and no need to work up a sweat doing something you don’t enjoy. With our fun booking process, instant pricing and automatic payments, you’ll never need to switch your mower on ever again!
2. Buy A Goat
Okay, so if you bought a goat, you probably couldn’t keep Rover, so this isn’t that practical of a solution. But wouldn’t it be cool to never have to mow your lawn again because you had a goat happily munching your grass every day?
3. Dress Rover in a ThunderShirt
Yes, it sounds like a superhero outfit fit for one of the ten greatest superhero dogs. But the ThunderShirt is basically just a plain-coloured, calming doggy wrap shirt/vest that claims to calm anxious dogs via its gentle, constant pressure that is similar to swaddling an infant.
I can’t vouch for it myself, but if your dog hates your lawn mower and you’re desperate to calm your dog to get your lawn mowed, you might like to do some research on the idea.
4. Familiarise Your Dog with Your Lawn Mower
Most dog owners don’t take the time to familiarise their dog with their lawn mower. Instead, in a hurry to get the lawn mowed, they push their dogs away and give all the attention to the lawn mower. This means that the two creatures become enemies because they never get to meet under friendly, non-threatening circumstances.
Owners who have deliberately familiarised their dogs with their (switched off) lawn mowers by offering edible treats for their dogs to come close and/or offering edible doggy treats on the lawn mower itself, claim this has helped their dogs become less fearful of the strange, noisy, lawn mowing machine that’s taken over Rover’s prized territory.
Gradual introduction to the lawn mower, followed by short sessions where Rover waits with you nearby while someone else turns the lawn mower on briefly, are worth a try.
5. Purchase a Quieter Lawn Mower
Believe it or not, some lawn mowers can be 64% less noisy than other mowers. That’s a huge difference in noise levels – not just for Rover, but for you and your neighbours as well.
The noise alone isn’t always the main trigger for dogs who hate lawn mowers, but it certainly plays a part in what some people have described as doggy phobias of lawn mowers (and vacuums), usually due to poor initial familiarisation or a memorable bad experience.
6. Buy Bose® Headphones For Rover
If you’ve ever worn Bose® noise cancelling headphones on a plane flight, you’ll know that they are a godsend for blocking out unwanted noise. Connect the headphones to a music system playing loud renditions of mesmerising Enya and your dog might never disturb your lawn mowing again!
7. Spray Citronella on Your Lawn Mower
Why spray perfume on your lawn mower? Simple. Citronella, a plant-based essential oil made from the leaves and stems of lemongrass, has a calming effect on barking dogs. (At least that’s what it says in Wikipedia, so it must be true, right?)
If you’re not convinced, take a look at Doctor Harry’s visit to Bruce the bulldog, in Channel 7’s lifestyle show Better Homes and Gardens. One minute, Bruce is aggressively attacking the lawn mower, even when it’s not turned on. The next minute, the lawn mower smells of citronella and Bruce doesn’t want anything to do with it. Worked like a charm!
Update: Actually, they’ve taken the video down now, unfortunately. If you’re curious and want to search it yourself, it was Episode 15 (10 May 2013). Let us know if it ever gets put up again?
What if (still) your dog hates your lawn mower?
If your Enya-listening, superhero-shirt-wearing, citronella-smelling dog still hates your lawn mower, you can always keep him inside, mow your lawn quickly, and hope Rover’s lungs get tired? Good luck with your lawn mowing!