Chasing lights and shadows! HELP - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Chasing lights and shadows! HELP

Our 2 year old male started chasing light reflections and shadows in the house and car. We have tried, distractions, treats, corrections, crate etc. Even after we have worn him out with training as soon as he enters the house he starts. He is wearing us out and its stressful for him as well. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 10:22 AM
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Has anyone ever played with a laser pointer with him?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 12:30 PM
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I had a relative with a dog who had this problem. They had played with a laser pointer and after that the dog would always chase lights. Laser pointers are not good toys for dogs.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:00 PM
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Train a very strong "leave it" command and use it every time he starts fixating. Other helpful commands are "place" (or we call it "park it", which means go lay on your pillow and don't get up), and just a simple "down". Give him something to do besides chase the light. Mine started doing it, too, after my kids found a laser pointer that we had for the cats and used it on him. The laser pointer has since been thrown away.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 01:15 PM
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We've had the same issue since using a laser pointer one time. Like the above post, we found one we had gotten somewhere and shined it on the carpet. Leo got super excited and started chasing it around the living room. We quit real quick and haven't done it since. That was almost two years ago and he still jumps at a flash off of a watch face or shadows on the floor. It's better some days than others.

Never again with a laser pointer!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 03:50 PM
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I would block or stop what ever is causing reflection/shadows whenever possible. Shut shades, don't wear things that can reflect light, move any crystal or items that catches light. Stuff like that. In the car, maybe you can get shades for the side back widows to minimize shadows during car rides.

I learned about the problems laser pointers cause from this site and my kids thought I was being nuts when I took the laser away. I lucked out. My boy obsessed over the last spot he saw the red dot for about 3 days. My kids had the pointer for only 2 days.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 06:46 PM
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Start doing what Heartandsoul posted above.

Buy a few rolls of green painter's tape (you can peel it off of any surface without damaging it). Put paper over stainless steel appliances. Put small pieces of painter's tape over the lights that blink on your electronic gadgets (cable box, modem, coffee pot, etc). Cover up as much as possible. Don't wear a watch.

I fostered a dog with this problem, and we started by removing as many reflections and lights as possible. It's shocking just how many blinking lights there are in the average home... We had to suddenly SNAP her attention away from fixating on lights and shadows by dropping a heavy object, blowing a whistle (loudly), or slamming a door. When we couldn't watch her, she was crated in a room without mirrors or anything reflective.

She improved as she learned that other things were acceptable to fixate on (balls, frisbees) - tangible, physical things that could be caught, which satisfied and ended the chase game. She was most likely screwed up by a laser pointer in her prior home.

No laser pointers, ever....

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Nurse View Post
Our 2 year old male started chasing light reflections and shadows in the house and car. We have tried, distractions, treats, corrections, crate etc. Even after we have worn him out with training as soon as he enters the house he starts. He is wearing us out and its stressful for him as well. Any suggestions?
Thank You!
Hi. There's a mention of Shadow Chasing in this article:
Obsessive Compulsive Behavior in Dogs | Whole Dog Journal

Good luck.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:04 PM
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Anybody know what causes some dogs to become OCD with lasers and shadows? I know of one who would stare at a blank wall waiting for the laser. I tried to warn her,....but???
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdluvr View Post
Anybody know what causes some dogs to become OCD with lasers and shadows? I know of one who would stare at a blank wall waiting for the laser. I tried to warn her,....but???
Someone explained it to me as "unfulfilling speed" for dogs (like a drug). Basically, it triggers prey drive, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to catch and it disappears. Totally unfulfilling and illogical. Dog gets frantic to find it / chase it / catch it, which of course is impossible. Repeat, repeat.

That's why lots of dogs (and cats) who've played with red laser pointers will stare obsessively at the red dot on cable boxes, etc.
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