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O.K., this is a probably a stretch but I've discovered this "tool" for my 5 month old that I just had to share with the group.

I was at my vet's office this weekend, and my vet shared this with me.

The weather here in Northern California has been pretty wet and soggy lately. My vet has a Golden Retriever puppy, and when he got home from work, he asked his Son (who was given the task) if he had exercised the puppy. His Son said, "Yeah. I used the laser pointer to exercise the dog." Puzzled, my vet asked him how he managed that? Hi Son said, "I had him chase the laser up and down the steps (in a two story house) for about an hour at which point the dog sat down and was exhausted!

Laughing, I decided to try that trick myself with my 5 month old. I've got to tell you...I haven't laughed this hard in a while! My little girl chased and chased the laser and really tuckered herself out! I've also found out that it's a great way to get her to stop doing something I don't want her to do (like CHEW on stuff)! She's so interested in the laser, so immediately starts to chase it.

My only regret is that, like some of you, I don't have any puppies to try this on. If some of you decide to try this "tool" to train and/or exercise your dog, maybe you could video the antics and post it somewhere that I could see it???

Have fun!!!

 

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I'll be second to party poop.

They are fun and on the surface it seems like harmless entertainment and an easy way to exercise... but they can create neurotic, obsessive-compulsive behaviors in dogs.

Not a good idea.
 

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And - you can educate your vet, also. I've never heard of cats having problems with lasers, but I won't chance it with my dogs.

Aren't you glad you have this board?
 

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Can the same happen with water?
Diabla loves to chase the water when I'm watering the backyard, but I wonder if I'm not provoking the same frustration as with a laser.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

Originally Posted By: Craig CaughlinSon said, "I had him chase the laser up and down the steps (in a two story house) for about an hour at which point the dog sat down and was exhausted!
Um, yeah.....run a large breed puppy up and down stairs?
Not to mention the already discussed neuroticism that it would encourage....
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

my dogs like to do the same with water coming out of a hose and snow when i'm shoveling. WHile it can be viewed as funny. I admit I laugh a little inside, but I can see the frustration mount. I don't allow it, i can see the problems it will cause.

If i'm going to frustrate my dog, there is going to be a pay off in the end, and it will be done in a way that the frustration leads to a structured and desired behavior, and my dogs get to release that frustration into some sort of drive satisfaction. That's my opinion and i am sticking to it.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

Quote:Diabla loves to chase the water when I'm watering the backyard, but I wonder if I'm not provoking the same frustration as with a laser.
I don't think the two situations are the same. When the dog chases water, he or she can actually "catch" it and bite at it. When the dog chases a laser pointer, he can never ever catch it because it's just a little dot of red light. The frustration is caused by the fact that the dog can never "win" the game.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

My girls both help me shovel in the winter and clean the deck and crates with the hose. They also know when they can and can't "help" me.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

I had a cat who would follow a light pinpoint from an opthalmascope...similar behavior...but he did not turn into an obsessive compulsive pouncer...I know a guy who thought this was cute and I truly think some synapses/neurons in the dogs brain now misfire and he stares at the ground and pounces CONSTANTLY.

Don't use the laser pointer - no point in taking chances.

Lee
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

I agree.. do not use the laser pointer with your dog. We bought one for our cats and they liked to chase it for a little while, but never had a problem with compulsive behaviour or anyting. We tried it with Cody a couple of times... BAD IDEA!!! HE woudl have become so neurotic with it, very fast. He already started chasing shadows and flashlights too.. laser pointers are bad bad bad !!!
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

One of the problems with the laser pointer is that dogs fixate on the light and then often transfer that fixation to other types of light - reflections through glass or crystal, car lights shining through a window as a car passes, etc. I've seen dogs so obsessed that they were oblilvious to everything else around them whenever they saw a bright light. One little sheltie couldn't work in our training facility because it had huge windows and was near a busy road, and any evening class meant that visible headlights were moving past and she'd go berserk. This dog also fixated on ceiling fans.

I do use a laser pointer in training, however. I use it as a target. The light is shined on a surface (keeping the light still) and when the dog goes to it, I mark that behavior and reward it. Soon I have dogs that run to touch their nose to the little red light. Then I use that for sending my dog to something for retrieving or to mark where I threw a treat, etc. The dogs don't get into the whole obsession thing because they're not chasing it (the light stays still) and they're just going to it as a target.

This training came in really handy when I sprained my ankle so badly that I couldn't walk for ten days. The girls were bringing me clothes, books, dishes, phone, remote control, even the crutches! I just had to remember where the laser pointer was .. *L*

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

If a dog does what you have stated above in the first paragraph, how do you fix it?
 
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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

I'd be even more worried about the danger from what a laser could do to the dog's eyes than from becoming neurotic. Not that that isn't a huge concern.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

I wondered about that Melanie, I have just started working with targeting with my Ava, she brings me things now, but that is because she recognizes the name, I want to teach her to bring me whatever I'm pointing at....
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

Originally Posted By: BetsyI wondered about that Melanie, I have just started working with targeting with my Ava, she brings me things now, but that is because she recognizes the name, I want to teach her to bring me whatever I'm pointing at....
A quick way to teach it is to go into a fairly dark room with your dog, drop a treat on the floor and point to the treat with the laser light. Keep doing that and your dog will figure out really quickly that going to the light is a wonderful thing! *L* Then you can start bringing the light up to a wall instead, when the dog goes to it you mark and reinforce the behavior.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

What if you have a dog who chooses the chase over the treat? High prey drive, a dog who chases the laser when you move it (accidentally), and ignores the treat?

I guess move onto a different tool? Haha.
 

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Re: Train with a laser pointer & laugh yourself si

I used a laser pointer as a recall device for my deaf Cattledog. It worked well until she turned it into her own game!
She figured out that when she went certain places (where I didn't want her) I would shine the light, she came running & got a treat. So, that meant lots of her going where I didn't want her to. haha I use it occasionally, just so she remembers what it's for. I was VERY careful to not let her chase it or get obsessed over it. I had heard of dogs who became obsessed and deaf dogs especially seem to fall into this category. So, I think as a target or limited training it would be fine.

Kristina
 
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