Warning: Don’t use Laser Pointers!
January 3, 2012
Sure, to us it looks like fun, like the dog is having a good time chasing the light, but just after only a few times exposed to this game, they can easily develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder to light or any shade or flicker of light. Trust me, you don’t want your dog, in every waking moment, constantly staring, drooling and/or lunging at some flicker of light, reflection or shadow on the ground or wall. I’ve seen dogs like this and it’s very-very sad.
Dogs need to periodically “get paid” when they chase things, physically touching something with their body or mouth. If they don’t, they can become hypersensitive or obsessed over it. (like how they are with mail carriers or people walking on the other side of a fence) This is why this game is so damaging, no physical touch to light, along with a dogs natural ‘prey drive’ to chase moving things.
Some dogs are more susceptible to develop this disorder than others, but you don’t want to test your dog to find out. Having the light come across some treat or toy is not a good idea either because you’re still encouraging them to chase the light.
There is ‘light’ (excuse the pun) at the end of the tunnel for dogs with this obsession. Consult a reward/science based trainer to learn the counter-conditioning techniques.
Do you have a dog with this obsession?