As a dog groomer now, and a former dog trainer, I can’t tell you how many times my clients have told me that their dog is afraid of loud noises and big objects!
I have first hand experience with these issues as an owner of a dog that had similar issues. Butch, when he was a puppy was afraid of loud noises (vacuum cleaners, motorbikes, garbage trucks, skateboards) all the usual stuff you hear other dog owners complain about. He was afraid of large moving boxes, anything in the dark that he couldn’t figure out what it was…….
Thankfully, between my husband and I, we were able to tackle the problem quickly and efficiently.
For one, we spent a lot of time on obedience training, and our dog, who is now 9, gets 2 long walks a day. This is general keeps time very content and he doesn’t try to get into trouble :-).
Besides this, how we handled his fear of loud noises was like this :
When he was younger, and the garbage truck came by, we would step out on the street with him on the leash and plenty of treats. He would tug and pull and bark, while my husband would give him gentle corrections on his leash, and stand by the truck and have a normal conversation without any anxiety or stress. Once the truck passed, and he was calmer he got treats. This became a routine, to a point where he finally stopped reacting. We would also have the garbage truck guy give him treats which was a huge help :-).
We followed the same routine when there were motorbikes or skate boards.
With the vacuum cleaner, we would bring it out and keep him on his leash, with the vacuum cleaner on, and put treats on the cleaner. He would then go grab the treats and sniff the vacuum. Slowly we started turning it on while holding him on his leash.
Be very sure, there was NEVER any force or aggression used, only gentle methods with the key of never responding to his anxiety. The Vacuum cleaner is still not his best friend, but they can co-exist :-).
Lastly, always hire a professional trainer if any of these methods are hard to follow or feel free to write in to me and I will be happy to help!