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From reading this forum, I am learning that laser pointers are not a good thing to use with your dog. My question is, what if the dog knows where the light comes from? I haven't played laser pointer with Wolfie. I have used a flashlight not for play but to take him outside in the dark. He chases the light around, but seems to know that the light is coming from the flashlight. When I take it out, he gets all excited and wants to play, but as soon as I turn it off, he goes on to do something else. Another thing that Wolfie has always done is chase shadows. He started this on his own as he noticed shadows as a young pup. Again, he knows what makes the shadows. He will come over to us and stomp his feet, and snap his teeth, like he is barking, but no noise comes out. We say " want to play shadows?" and he stomps and snaps some more until we make shadows. He watches our hands and then chases the shadow, but always comes back and grabs our hands to win the game andto try and make us do more shadows. Then we say all done, and he goes on to something else. Is it ok to play like this if he knows what is making the shadows, and seems to grasp the concept that it's just a game?
 

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My opinion is no. He is already showing obsessive type behaviours by continuing to do bother your hands after you stop. It is also disrespectfull.
 

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i think as long as he understands its a game, which from the sounds of things, he does, then i dont see the harm in it. because if he KNOWS what starts the game, its something physical he can get. just watch out for him to find the flashlight and bring it to you himself! Riley is neurotic about lasers and shadows and flashlights. he spazzes and wont chill. we cant seem to get him to understand its a game.... last 5 1/2 years.
 

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My opinion is no. He is already showing obsessive type behaviours by continuing to do bother your hands after you stop. It is also disrespectfull.
I didn't think of it in this way. I thought of it as he knows that he can't catch the shadow, but he can catch our hand that is making the shadow. That's something to think about.
 

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I don't think it is a healthy way to exercise a dog. There are many other outlets to mentally and physically wear him out. It is a dangerous game, IMO.
 

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We played with Cash with the Lazer pointer too. The problem is it builds up drive and frustration for a thing they can't get, so there's no way to get that drive/frustration out. One day Cash got so frustrated from chasing the lazer that he nearly took off the hand that was holding it. My fault, BAD MOMMY! I bandaged up my hand and we never played lazer pointer again.

I also noticed that when he was supposed to be focusing on me, he would start becoming distracted by shadows.

I don't think it's a good idea. Wish I had known then what I know now.
 

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I agree, I wouldn't do it.
 

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I don't think it is a healthy way to exercise a dog. There are many other outlets to mentally and physically wear him out. It is a dangerous game, IMO.
:thumbup::toasting:
 

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IMO it is a bad idea. I know a dog who has some serious OCD shadow chasing issues that developed from someone "playing" with a flashlight with him. The problem isn't of the dog not knowing where the light/shadow comes from, it's that such play gets the dog to notice lights/shadows in a way they normally wouldn't have. OCDs aren't caused by the dog not knowing where the light/shadow comes from. It generally starts with something the dog recognizes such as a flashlight or laser light, Most dogs know the sight of these toys when owners use them. The problem comes when the dog then starts noticing light spots or shadows in every day life. Then you have a dog who "plays" with lights spots and shadows in every day life, the same way they "play" with the flashlight.

I'd say a flirt pole is a much better outlet for this sort of play. You can easily make one from a long horse lunge whip and any long, "whippy" toy. It will offer the same sort of chasing exercise without the risk of developing and OCD.
 

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Don't suppose anyone caught The Dog Whisperer last night?

There were 2 SAR dogs that had a fixation on shadows! And YES, they were both GSDs.
 

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Don't suppose anyone caught The Dog Whisperer last night?

There were 2 SAR dogs that had a fixation on shadows! And YES, they were both GSDs.

Haha, know what...I was just coming back to this thread to mention that episode! We watched it too last night!

I think your dog already has an unnatural obsession with lights and shadows. Those everyday things should NOT be things that the dog takes any notice of. The fact that he is going after your hands is NOT cute. There is a good chance one day it might be a real chomp on your hands with some swell punction wounds from frustration.
 

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I read this thread and the other thread about no laser pointer and I am glad I did. I played with Jamie with one the other day. I had to change the batteries in it. It was orginally for my cats. She went nuts. We thought it was funny and a good way to get some energy out of her. I will never play this with her again thanks to these threads. I don't want her to have OCD. She is already obsessed with Victor. I have to tie her to me just to play ball with him. I am sure continued play with the pointer would have made it worse as to she is already showing obsession to Victor. Thanks.
 

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I have to wonder if maybe a blue laser pointer would prevent a dog from chasing shadows. Dogs can see blue and yellow, but they can't see red. A red laser pointer would show up as a dark spec, and since shadows are dark as well they probably look the same.
I dunno, Cash's favorite time to play laser pointer was in the dead of night.
 

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Hmmmmm, maybe the laser pointer shows up as just a bright light, then. Or maybe it's some other color, I'm not sure what they see exactly. Either way, it's weird that a dog would go after things that didn't look like the dot of a laser pointer. My dog likes to chase small animals or toys, but he won't chase people that are running or cars that are moving. It just seems weird that a dog would chase a laser pointer and then transfer that over to all lights and shadows.

We have one of those levelers that has a laser on it, so the laser is a large straight line. Chrono will only do a half assed attempt at chasing it, and he only chases the tip of the line which is the brightest part. If the light is too far away and faded and isn't that very strong bright dot of a laser pointer, he won't chase it. He also doesn't chase flashlights. It has to be the dot of a laser pointer, so I think that's why he's never become obsessed.
 

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I'd say a flirt pole is a much better outlet for this sort of play. You can easily make one from a long horse lunge whip and any long, "whippy" toy. It will offer the same sort of chasing exercise without the risk of developing and OCD.
And would you say it is important to let the dog eventually "catch" whatever is on the end of the flirt pole? I had read (probably on this board) that part of the problem with laser pointers is that they NEVER catch it. Would this also be a problem if you used a flirt pole but never let the dog catch whatever was on it?
 

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a rag or toy is real, a light dot is not, they cannot feel it or actually catch it. That is where the frustration builds. And yes, they should be able to catch the toy on the pole, play some tug and win it.
 

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And would you say it is important to let the dog eventually "catch" whatever is on the end of the flirt pole? I had read (probably on this board) that part of the problem with laser pointers is that they NEVER catch it. Would this also be a problem if you used a flirt pole but never let the dog catch whatever was on it?
With Cash I never "let" him catch the rag-- he just did. :D
 

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a rag or toy is real, a light dot is not, they cannot feel it or actually catch it. That is where the frustration builds. And yes, they should be able to catch the toy on the pole, play some tug and win it.
I agree they should be able to "win" with the flirt pole. However, if you never let them win, a dog would likely just lose interest in the flirt pole after awhile. Flirt poles are not associated with OCD behaviors. The problem with playing light chasing games IMO is not entirely just that they can't catch the light. At least in part, the problem is that it changes the way the dog's brain reacts to certain stimuli. That is why there is no "safe" laser light or flashlight for your dog to "play" with. It doesn't matter what kind of light or what color the light is, if the dog is willing to chase it you are taking a risk of triggering an OCD behavior. Some dogs can "play" with lights without developing an OCD but a lot of them can not and there's no way to predict which your dog is until it's too late.
 
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