Why does a box fan scare my dog?
January 23, 2008 5:39 AM   Subscribe

Why is my dog freaked out by my box fan?

My girlfriend and I sleep with a box fan on low to block out street noise at night. Our dog (a fox terrier) has been sleeping with us (with the box fan on) since we got her a little over a year ago. A few months ago, I turned the box fan on before getting into bed, and the pup jumped up and started looking around the room wildly. From then on, her reaction to the box fan has been to stare at the ceiling (???) and shake whenever we turn it on. What gives? Any theories?
posted by dehowell to Pets & Animals (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd guess it's emitting sound at a pitch you can't hear, but the dog can. Which might not have happened at first, but though general wear the mechanics could have adjusted over time to get to the point where it's noticeable and upsetting to the dog.

If practical, I'd be tempted to remove the fan and give it an oil/grease and see if that makes any difference.

Though, this is a total guess not based on any past experience beyond knowing past pets (Belonging to friends) go mental at hard to hear sounds.
posted by paulfreeman at 5:48 AM on January 23, 2008

It could be that fact that, it's a giant box with spinning blades that makes bad sounds.

Most mammalian pets that I've ever had has always been afraid of things that are bigger than them that have moving parts. For example, my cat is terrified of my box fan, but frequently rubs against my little desk fan.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2008

Our little dog hates our fan because it blows air onto her. She hates wind of any kind, including if we blow on her. She panics and cowers and generally freaks out. Did you adjust the fan or turn it on when your dog was in front of it, maybe?
posted by cschneid at 6:48 AM on January 23, 2008

I think she is taking the low throbbing note of the box fan on low for thunder, and thunder-phobia appears to be instinctual in many dogs.
posted by jamjam at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2008

My family used to have a dog that hated the noise of the vacuum cleaner. We had a heavy old vacuum that made a lot of noise, and he would always bark at it.
posted by bad grammar at 5:26 PM on January 23, 2008

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