German Shepherd Dog Forums

German Shepherd Dog Forums (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/)
-   General Behavior (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/)
-   -   Dog was trained to chase laser pointers. How do I untrain this? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/437937-dog-trained-chase-laser-pointers-how-do-i-untrain.html)

counter 04-14-2014 10:46 AM

Dog was trained to chase laser pointers. How do I untrain this?
 
The previous owner thought it was funny to have his dog chase the laser pointer dot. Now that Kaze is my dog, any kind of shadow or light beam makes him go crazy. He'll scratch at the floor trying to "get to it" or will jump up on the bed to climb the walls scratching to "attack" a shadow or sun beam. I've even noticed that, while outdoors, he'll attack the ground where the shadow appears of my shorts flapping in the wind. It's like he has extreme ADD/ADHD. If I'm working on focus training or a down/stay, and a shadow or light beam appears on the ground next to him, all focus on me is out the window. Before there was ever the thought of Kaze one day becoming my dog, the original owner was showing me how funny it was to watch his dog chase the laser pointer. I told him that I didn't think it was a good thing for him to do to his dog. I saw it as teasing and tormenting a dog, and adding to the dog's instability. Now the dog is mine, and I've inherited this problem.

If I catch him chasing shadows, I do what I can to alleviate the problem. Either I remove him from the room and close the door so he can't get back to it, or I'll close the window curtains/blinds, etc. I want him to not freak out whenever he sees shadows and reflections bouncing around the walls and floors. I am going to try to work harder on focus training, but this bad behavior has been ingrained in him, I'm assuming from back when he was a puppy, so almost 2 years or more now. I'm hoping that he'll eventually forget this behavior as long as I can stay on top of it, and through focus training to correct it, and by reassuring him that everything is OK, even when shadows and beams are flickering all around him.

Have you guys ever dealt with this?

my boy diesel 04-14-2014 10:55 AM

they sometimes need medication such as antidepressants to overcome this
consult with your vet sooner than later
redirection can help and is the goal but at this stage he may need meds to be reachable

Blanketback 04-14-2014 12:05 PM

I hope you can find something to help - poor Kaze! :(

The closest I've ever been to this problem is when I was using a flashlight to lure my very young puppy on potty breaks - and he was wild to follow and chase the beam. It started to bother me when he got zoned out over it, so I stopped. I was ignorant to what could be a potential problem with this, back then.

He started pouncing on the reflections from a suncatcher, and every time I'd correct him - which was a "no, leave it" and I'd turn him away from it and block the rays to stop the pattern on the floor. IDK if he'd have gotten worse, if I didn't intervene? Or if simply removing it would have been a better solution? Fortunately he decided on his own to ignore it. Good luck, and I hope you can help your boy break his habit - and that it's just a habit and not something worse at this point.

wolfstraum 04-14-2014 12:29 PM

Unfortunately, this IS obsessive compulsive behavior....and can be very dangerous. I knew a guy who did this with his young male and would not stop even when told...the dog would stand and look at the ground and pounce constantly..he eventually had seizures and had to be PTS....

Start to counter condition if you can...if he shows any behavior like this, say no and put him somewhere away from the stimulus in a down stay....I don't know if it will work or not...but you need to try to break the thought process that tells him to do this and be consistent doing it.

Lee

wolfy dog 04-14-2014 04:03 PM

Consult a veterinary behaviorist. In the mean time clicker train him and click for not chasing or OCD-ing.

blehmannwa 04-14-2014 04:14 PM

Tempest does this when she is stressed. I have put her on Prozac and that has given me the opportunity to counter condition her and distract her from chasing lights. I have seen a lot of improvement in the two weeks that she has been on it.

counter 04-14-2014 06:14 PM

Thanks for the advice. After reading what you guys wrote, I talked with my family while home from work for lunch, and I made it clear how important it was for all of us to distract him away from these reflections and shadows. While I was home I caught him staring down at the ground, and no matter what I did to break his attention, he wouldn't budge. I had to literally shout his name and told him to COME and then put him outside with my other dogs. I will continue to curb this behavior until he develops better nerves. It's all part of trying to stabilize him for SAR work. I need him calm and steady and not so easily distracted and lacking focus.

viking 07-08-2014 12:21 AM

My boy is a rescue who came to me with this light/shadow thing. I tried training him out of it too but wasn't successful. I settled for making it a controlled game, at certain times, in certain places and nowhere else. This has worked. We play shadow pounce at the dog beach every day (when its sunny) for awhile and then its time to play w other dogs. Never while on leash, ever, period. Its comfortable now. He loves it and gets to do it during his free/play time, for a awhile but not the whole time. So far this summer, he's been getting bored with it on his own after a bit and gone off w the other digs on his own instead of on my command.

After reading everything I could find about it and getting all worried I just came to a point where I realized there's gotta be a better way than getting freaked out that my dog was going to be deranged/seizing and I tried to work with it rather than eradicate the behavior. Hope this helps.

wolfy dog 07-08-2014 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by viking (Post 5747058)
My boy is a rescue who came to me with this light/shadow thing. I tried training him out of it too but wasn't successful. I settled for making it a controlled game, at certain times, in certain places and nowhere else. This has worked. We play shadow pounce at the dog beach every day (when its sunny) for awhile and then its time to play w other dogs. Never while on leash, ever, period. Its comfortable now. He loves it and gets to do it during his free/play time, for a awhile but not the whole time. So far this summer, he's been getting bored with it on his own after a bit and gone off w the other digs on his own instead of on my command.

After reading everything I could find about it and getting all worried I just came to a point where I realized there's gotta be a better way than getting freaked out that my dog was going to be deranged/seizing and I tried to work with it rather than eradicate the behavior. Hope this helps.

In the past I worked with a Aussie pup and a laser (I knew about the OCD risk) but only after I taught her that the laser light only shows up after announcing "Puppy.... Laser!" After the game I taught her "DONE!" , showed her that I put away the laser so she know it had stopped. I think they easily develop OCD when they anticipate the laser constantly since they cannot hear it start. If you teach them that it will only show up after a certain announcement and end it with a announcement, you may channel it. That puppy never got OCD from it. But nowadays I wouldn't even start them on something like that.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2