Dog scared of microwave

We've noticed over the past couple of weeks that Harley is really bothered by the microwave-- as soon as it's turned on, he runs away, perks up his ears, and starts crying/whining like it's hurting him.

Does a microwave put off some sort of high-frequency sound that hurts his ears? Has anyone else ever experienced this with a dog? None of my dogs have ever reacted this way, so I'm thinking it must be just something with Harley.

What would you do about it? Avoid the microwave as much as possible or try to take him away from it before it's turned on? Or would you try to make him unafraid somehow? I just don't know how to tell if it's something that physically bothers him or if it's a mental/psychological thing.
Respond to this topic here on  
Wow, that's strange and somewhat funny. Not funny for your dog or the troubles, but I can imagine telling my friends "yuki's afraid of the microwave." :lol:

Since you asked...
if it were MY dog, I would have my husband play a game (ball/toss) when I was about to turn it on, and hope with time she will forget. I would also tell her "it's okay" and the moments of silence say "Good girl..." Knowing my dog, I don't think it would take more than that since this has worked for anything she's been afraid of. Other than that, I'd just ignore my dog. :/
I agree with Joah...some kind of distraction, or pleasant thing for him to associate with the microwave sound should take care of it if its just a fear he has. Defiantly dont do anything to encourage his nervousness, like comforting him when he whines. Our girl Abby (also a rescue) had a lot of odd reactions to things like that when we first brought her home (in her case, the loud "DING" when the microwave or toaster oven was done freaked her out!) But she got over most of them very quickly! :)
I'd be wondering if there was something wrong with the microwave. Is it old? Who knows, maybe he knows something you don't!
Some microwaves do emit a very high frequency sound. Does someone else have a microwave that you could borrow to see if he does this with every microwave or just yours?
I have special treats I cook for Bingley in the microwave. He's learned to love the microwave - even popcorn sounds! However, if yours is very high pitched I bet it could annoy your dog. :?
hmmm, not sure about that....panda love the microwave...she knows something good is in sit on the floor in front of the microwave with a cookie and talk and play with him.....
Harry was afraid of the microwave (and everything else too!) when we brought him home and he was six months old. But Joahaeyo is correct - they respond very well to it is okay. And learn that these words mean that for them. Whenever we encounter something that is new and "SCARY" I only have to tell Harry "it's okay" and he totally relaxes. Just say the words very matter of factly and don't make a big deal out of comforting and he will get the picture.

You will be laughing about this months from now. And I think Harry likes the sound of popcorn in the microwave now too. Though I blame my husband for that one. :evil:
"It's Okay" works wonders with Chauncey as well. He doesn't like helicopter's ( I'm a former flight nurse ), go figure that one :roll:
Unfortunately we are near Camp David, so on weekends we get a pair of helicopters buzz over every so often, not to mention the medivac's from the 2 major interstates and hospital. I've now gotten him to even during the night I can rub my foot on him and tell him "it's okay, they'll be gone soon" and he'll snuggle back in.
I made popcorn last night and had my husband distract him with a ball-- it worked, so it's obviously not a high-frequency. It's a new microwave, too, so I doubt it would have something wrong with it.

I noticed today, though, that he's also afraid of the automatic cat litter box. :) It must just be the weird electrical noises that happen in a house. He lived outside all his life before we got him, so he's just not used to stuff yet. I'll try the matter-of-fact "it's okay", not comforting too much to reinforce the fear, but I think it'll work itself out.

I'm just relieved to know it's not physically hurting him-- I think I would have thrown the microwave out if it had been that. From his crying, though, you'd have thought someone was beating him! 8O
As I said you will be laughing months from now!

Harry too was an outside dog who lived on a farm - so he was terrified of the "big city" and all it's noises. It sounds like you are on the right track.
Buff was a nervous mess when he arrived. Four months later, he's grown accustom to most everything in the house. Now we are working on the noises and falling tools in the garden. He likes the garden, so I'm sure it won't take long before he sleeps through a rake handle falling inches from his head. :wink:
Well, there's another installment in the microwave saga:

My husband fed Harley his dinner and then popped some pizza in the microwave to warm up for himself and went into the living room (attached to the kitchen) (He, of course did this without thinking about Harley's little problem) Because the microwave was going, Harley couldn't eat peacefully in the kitchen, yet at the same time could not let his food go uneaten, so he would go into the kitchen, grab a mouthful really quick, run out to the living room to chew it, and then run back in for another mouthful.

This continued for 2 minutes, as long as the microwave was going. I suppose if we'd been good dog parents, we would have shut off the microwave until he was finished eating, but we were laughing so hard that we couldn't. :lol:

He is getting used to it, though-- no more whining, but he still doesn't like to be in the room.
Glad to know that things are getting better and he is settling in. :D
tkdtara84 wrote:
I suppose if we'd been good dog parents, we would have shut off the microwave until he was finished eating, but we were laughing so hard that we couldn't. :lol:

He is getting used to it, though-- no more whining, but he still doesn't like to be in the room.


Glad to hear he is getting better with it. 8)
That is funny. I must be evil too - I would have done exactly the same thing! :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm glad you at least got a moment's enjoyment from this frustration!

Good to hear he's getting used to it.

I wonder -- if you put it on power 1 (where the magnetron is on only 10% of the time) is he bothered by it when it cycles off?

I wonder if it's the fan going, or the magnetron or what.
If he doesn't like the MW I wouldn't put him it.! Geez did I say that? 8O
Seriously, When I first got Maggie, she would go bezerk in a walk whenever a car, truck or especially a school bus went by and try to attack it. I began putting her on a sit as a vehicle approached and kept repeatin "It's Okay" It didn't take long for her to begin relaxing; now we can walk off leash along side a highway and she doesn't bat an eye. Consistency is so important. Stay with it.
One day our 8 year old Collie, Button, became very nervous, as she does during thunderstorms. But this was on a beautiful clear day with no threat of a storm. This became a 24/7 problem. Concerned that she might have a health issue, I took her to the vet. She had a whole battery of test, all of which raised no concern. So. $400.00 later we still had no clue what was wrong with her. At the Vet's suggestion, I gave her Melatonin,but this did not help. Another vet suggested Child's Benadryl. This made her drowsy but when it wore off, she was back to being terrified.

One day, while our son was in the kitchen, Button came into my home office, very upset. She tried hiding in the closet, then in the corner of the room. She was a wreck. I've tried all of the suggestions to calm her but, when she is this nervous, she cannot be calmed. She would actually tremble.

This exact scenario happened several times since. At first, I thought Button was suddenly afraid of our son Kevin. Then, one day, I noticed that when Kevin closed the microwave door, Button would run and hide. Since she was a pup, Button was not bothered by the microwave. However, our original microwave recently died, so we replaced it with an older/ but barely used microwave we had stored in our basement. Evidently, there is something about this replacement microwave that really terrifies her.

This morning, Button was resting in a second floor bedroom when our son opened the microwave door. Button immediately sprang to her feet and ran down to the kitchen, then to my home office, trying as usual to hide. Later in the day Button was resting in the family room. I was in the kitchen. Knowing that Button seems to be so afraid of the microwave, I turned it very quietly to read the nameplate data on the back. Again, Button sprang to her feet and darted into the kitchen, nervously.

I thought perhaps the microwave might broadcast a very high frequency tone which we cannot hear. And I still think this is possible.

We have another microwave in the basement, which we hope will not bother Button. Wish us luck. This has been a very expensive and frustrating problem. Our only real concern through this entire experience has been Button's health. I don't care about the $400.00, so long as Button is healthy.
Ever see the Dog Whisperer episode where the Sheltie suddenly discovered a fear of the toaster?

If it were me, I would warm up a loved snack in the microwave and hand them to the dog as s/he stood in the kitchen with me while I opened and closed the microwave.

I have one who is terrified of thunder and fireworks. House gets closed up and we turn up every television in the house in those situations. Works like a charm.
Phoebe whines and acts weird when she hears the oven beep once it's preheated. I have NO idea why, she doesn't seem fearful or anything but she whines and barks almost as if to say hey it's done shut it off LOL
Believe it or not though that's her least annoying habit 8O
My Mom's mini poodle whines and cries when the phone rings she doesn't stop till Mom answers the phone. :lol: Obviously she is very worried about my Mom missing an important call.
It made me realise why they use so many poodle crosses here for assistance dogs. It just seems to be in some dogs nature to want to tell you when somethings happening.
We have had to replace our 10-year-old microwave with a brand new one. Our dog, a rescue lab/terrier cross, was fine with the old one but now runs away when the new one is running. I suspect, like some other correspondents, that the unit emits some sound which us humans can't hear but dogs can. Can't find anything along these lines on the 'net but think I will contact the manufacturer - Kenwood. I'll repost if I get anywhere.
Glad I'm not the only one with this problem. Old microwave, no problem. New once scares him to death, he actually trembles...Only had it two days, hopefully he'll get used to it.
my yorkie is scared of my new trainers, they squeak on the kitchen floor! both dogs hate the bip sound the smoke alarm makes when battery is low, must be the frequency.....glad he is getting better
I had an old 900 watt microwave I used for 3 yrs & it never bothered my dog, he even sat in front of it when I warmed his food. I replaced it with a new 1100 watt one, and as soon as I just plugged it in w/o even starting it he trembled & shook just as he does in thunderstorms, and headed for a closet the farthest from it.
They do emit high frequency sounds out of human range but within the top of a dogs range which can hurt their sensitive ears. The stronger wattage increases the volume they hear, so I will try replacing it with a 900 watt.
My 6th month old staffy does the same things runs outside as soon as I open the door it freaks me out I'm lost not sure what to do but thanks these comments may help
I just spent a tedious hour calming down my Sheltie; its not the microwave; however, its the stove. I am convinced its because of the high pitched beeps that happen with the oven. We had a stove go haywire and it would not stop beeping. With their sensitive ears, it must be excruciating. And one a year they set off the smoke alarms, which also starts with one beep! today after a beep or two, because I was making a meatloaf my dog uncharacteristically wanted out of here- NOW!
My Yorkie all of a sudden runs to me and hides when someone opens it closes the microwave. I brought her to the microwave to show her but when I opened the door she freaked out. Any suggestions or what have recently caused it
Use a sound spectrum analyser app on your phone see if the microwave puts out any high frequencies that we can't hear.

My daft idot Hector has anger issues with the hose pipe the mower and the vacuum cleaner, he pounces and barks at them a lot
Didn't find exactly what you're looking for? Search again here:
Custom Search

[Home] [Get A Sheepdog] [Community] [Memories]
[OES Links] [OES Photos] [Grooming] [Merchandise] [Search]

Identifying Ticks info Greenies Info Interceptor info Glucosamine Info
Rimadyl info Heartgard info ProHeart Info Frontline info
Revolution Info Dog Allergies info Heartworm info Dog Wormer info
Pet Insurance info Dog Supplements info Vitamins Info Bach's Rescue Remedy
Dog Bite info Dog Aggression info Boarding Kennel info Pet Sitting Info
Dog Smells Pet Smells Get Rid of Fleas Hip Displasia info
Diarrhea Info Diarrhea Rice Water AIHA Info
Sheepdog Grooming Grooming-Supplies Oster A5 info Slicker Brush info
Dog Listener Dog's Mind Dog Whisperer

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
  Please read our PRIVACY statement and Terms of Use


Copyright 2000 - 2012 by All rights reserved.