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You can do this by clapping your hands and making a fun sound (kissy sounds, trills, etc) to get your dog’s attention. This great article explores the links between human OCD and CCD. Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 08, 2020: This is a good article with great suggestions, Alyssa. She could look into any number of dog sports that let her dog chase, herd, or grab physical objects instead. Don’t panic quite yet – but this isn’t a funny or cute game to play with your dog. This is not optional, it is essential. Dogs are attracted to lights and shadows because they are naturally drawn to pursue moving objects and this stems from their inherent prey drive which remains alive and well despite domestication. My kitty cats on the other hand absolutely love the laser light. I work four ten-hour days per week... Offering in-person training in Missoula, Montana; seminars around the country; and online training options worldwide. Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 19, 2020: Hi Alexadry thank you for another well-informed hub. Privacy Policy. Likely related to predatory behavior, light-chasing is characterized by staring, biting at, chasing, or barking at lights and shadows. Lower Your Expectations. I never thought about a dog getting bored but I do know how much they like attention nd even affection. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. So from that day, it's game on. This will help your dog learn to enjoy other things in life and be less bored. This behavior is sometimes triggered by an owner playing with the dog with flashlights or laser lights. There are a few basic steps to take to manage the situation, but hiring a trainer is helpful for many dogs. Tackling a dog chasing lights and shadows is important. This holds true even if it looks like your dog is having fun – his tail might be wagging as he dives after the reflection from your watch. Pingback: 4 Best Toys For Blind Dogs: Top Picks for Visually-Impaired Pooches! Your dog needs to start associating being calm with getting a reward. So how can he get some attention from you? Stop playing with your dog with flashlights or laser beams just to play it safe. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. While it is sitting calmly, reward it with treats every now and again. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. However, a dog can catch a ball and carry it in the mouth, while the light is something you really don't get to catch, so that can lead to frustration and sometimes dogs can get even a bit obsessed about it as they never get to enjoy the "reward" of catching. As soon as the dog takes off after a deer, use the collar to stop the dog. My dog Bindii is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he really has it in for lights. It's not like they can deal with these idle times by solving a few games of Sudoku or playing around with their phones like us humans do! Even if your dog doesn’t fit the bill for a sufferer of CCD, light chasing isn’t a good thing. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a9db0f76fc2ab5809c3241ab0f8c0a6e" );document.getElementById("j483663be6").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); We’re here for you during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Purchase our 29-page e-book,Â. They are unable to prevent their lovely young dog chasing rabbits, butterflies, birds, leaves, even sheep. Have plenty of smelly, tasty treats handy. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0";
Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. When breaking the dog from sight chasing, the intensity plug in the collar should be two levels higher than the one you normally use on the dog for yard work (or level 5, whichever comes first). Continued Common Compulsive Behaviors. In some areas, property owners are within their rights to shoot dogs that harass livestock. However, just because your dog's breed is not listed, this doesn't mean your dog is immune to it. The poor dog is probably so confused and bored it will do anything to get attention. Check out our different remote and online training options here. In general, if a dog doesn’t have issues with light-chasing already, I don’t see an issue with toys like that. We're here for you: all courses and e-books are 30% off during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’d like to get on a call to discuss some options, I’m always here doing remote consults. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Of course, not all dogs become addicted. (You can also try an Elizabethan cone collar or a can filled with coins that make a loud noise.) That sounds pretty serious! Never exercise a puppy or dog with a laser light. Waits for lights or shadows to appear so that he can chase them. How do i stop my dog from chasing shadows in the house - Answered by a verified Dog Specialist We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "cogni0b-20";
Instead, dogs seek out outlets for their prey drive which may lead to searching for nonexistent prey beneath floorboards, chasing their tails or playing with the reflections emanated from a crystal chandelier. Indeed, trainers of bomb and drug-sniffing dogs know for a fact how unproductive searches may be emotionally draining for their dogs leading them to become mentally disturbed. Light-Chasing (Includes shadow-chasing.) Let your motto be Interrupt and Redirect, but Never Punish. Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 09, 2020: I think if a dog owner is facing this challenge then they really will have their work cut out for them to change the dogs behaviour. Light chasing in dogs is a common behavior. You can also email me and I’ll try to help find a trainer local to your area. This fruitless chasing and lack of closure may cause frustration and confusion in dogs overtime. My dog has started to be mildly obsessed with shadows when birds fly over or shadows from bugs. Dodman hypothesizes that likely their impaired hearing may have made their eyesight a more intense experience. TIA! amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true";
But nevertheless, any dog of any breed (or mixed breed) can display a strong instinctive pattern for the chase. So how can we get a dog to stop chasing lights and shadows? They usually just bark if they see a neighbor turn on a light when it's dark, or a delivery van with the lights on stops near our house. Tail chasing A dog runs in a tight circle, as if chasing his tail. The short answer is yes. Once its butt hits the floor give it the treat. They turn on the red light and flash the dot on the floor. None of my dogs have chased lights, but I've seen ones that do. Your email address will not be published. Thanks for sharing. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. amzn_assoc_title = "Our Favorite Dog Training Supplies";
He may try to lick himself, he may try to bark, or maybe, he may try to chase some lights... and then, bingo! Most dogs probably don’t notice at first, so owners begin moving the dot from side to side, which eventually catches their dog’s attention And most of all, what can you do to stop them? It goes without saying that you'll need to intervene as quickly as possible to prevent your dog and the cows from being hurt. CRACK! Try these 3 options:Â. Kim asked if there are any healthy outlets for this obsession. Your response when your dog begins to chase light or fixate on shadows will have a big impact on his behavior. This will only backfire and create more anxiety in your dog. And say a word, like “no” that she can associate with this action. Avoid scolding your dog or any other form of punishment. Interestingly, when it comes to dogs, the term obsessive is dropped as it's not been proven whether dogs can cognitively "obsess" about something. Give him an extra or longer walk. For instance, it can be particularly intense in small terriers, herding dog breeds and in the working lines of certain dog breeds. Please understand that the ads are randomly generated and we do not control which ads you see when. Apart from that it can interfere terribly with the dog's and owner's lives and cause untold stress. Even taking him in the car at night with the streetlights shinning in is hard. Working on increasing your dog’s frustration tolerance and impulse control using my 9 favorite games is another great place to start. Have your helper ride past and the moment Wags starts to chase, begin tapping. amzn_assoc_region = "US";
It takes a certain type of personality for this, just as it happens with people. Helping your dog learn to think through exciting situations will help him chill out around lights and shadows. Add in some puzzle toys, training games, a variety of games, and walks with time for sniffing. Teaching Your Dog to Leave It Hold a treat in each hand. amzn_assoc_asins = "B003ALMW0M,B01N1FV55I,B00HFFXEWE,B001WOOC9S,B000H0ZJHW,B014EYSFJK,1890948209,B076CHSDBX,1891767054,1891767003,1891767070,B0002AR0I8,B008JCH2AC,B01CH5A20I,B01C35LACQ,B0051H45GC,B0087P790E,B01MY7VUXU";
. The age of your dog might also be a factor; sudden onset of tail chasing is common in older dogs and often signals a psychological or medical condition. This may lead to frustration and subsequent behavioral problems. So lights and shadows are therefore inherently rewarding to chase, and just like tail chasing, can also be attributed to "the repetitive misfirings of the predatory brain," explains Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman in the book The Well-Adjusted Dog: Dr. Dodman's 7 Steps to Lifelong Health and Happiness for Your Best Friend. According to Dr. Karen Overall, a veterinary behaviorist, about 8 percent of dogs in America (that's about five to six million!) Are you going nuts?". Do so here. This problem, after all, is nothing new in the world of dogs. On top of high prey drive, a lowly stimulating environment may be a trigger for light and shadow chasing in dogs. Every time your dog chases a rabbit they stay in an addictive feedback loop. Glass doors reflect light and replacing or covering them with opaque material can help cut down the opportunities your dog has to chase or fixate. Research your dog's breed. A dog's complete predatory sequence includes eyeing, stalking, chasing, grab-biting, kill-biting, dissecting and eating. It sounds like Kim’s German Shepherd (GSD) is one of the light-chasers, though she doesn’t specify exactly what her dog’s obsession looks like. Curing Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety, Drink With Your Dog Trainer Certification, Bringing Home Baby: Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby, BOOM! By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. Your advice is useful. Hurts himself as a result of chasing lights. Purchase our 29-page e-book, Polite Greetings and Life Skills 101 or sign up for our Loose Leash Walking video boot camp. According to. first, well meaning dog owners purchase laser pointers as a fun game for rainy days. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. “I get a brain boost from chasing rabbits – I need the brain boost – I need to chase rabbits.” Do not take your dog anywhere near rabbits. In the latest “Ask A Behavior Consultant,” Kim M. asks: Can you tell me more about my GSD’s sensitivity and obsession with moving light? Are some dogs more prone to this attraction than others, if so, why? It’s not uncommon for dogs to be obsessed with moving light. Pacing can be in a circle or in a straight line. But in the long run it would be worth it. Fireworks, Thunderstorms, and Your Dog, In-Person Behavior Consultation (Missoula Area Only), 3 In-Person Dog or Cat Behavior Sessions (Missoula Area Only), 3 x 1 Hour Remote Dog or Cat Behavior Consultations, Light chasing in dogs is a common behavior. A lot of dogs that chase shadows are particularly energetic, so tackle that through out the day. She knows the light comes from the little pointer because she looks at and knows where I keep it. It’s remote, on your own time, and totally personalized. When a dog chases a light, he doesn't get past the chasing sequence. You start laughing at his behavior as you remark "Chaser, what's up with you? Take your dog on walks, engage him in a doggy sport and let him play with other dogs if he gets along fine with them. Want more on teaching impulse control and other real-life skills? Thanks for continuing to share your knowledge about dog behavior, Adrienne. How to Stop Vehicle Chasing: If your dog likes to chase cars or bicycles you will need to enlist a helper. Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 10, 2020: Dogs are lovely pets and one has to take the necessary precautions to protect them. Many dogs won’t be “cured” of their light chasing with just exercise and impulse control! You can always implement some basic behavior modification to reduce light chasing in dogs. Dogs Chasing Other Animals is a BIG Problem! Around dinner time each night she walks over to the cabinet and stares at it. These short sprints will leave him napping for the rest of the day rather than chasing shadows. There’s some serious speculation that light chasing in dogs is related to Canine Compulsive Disorder, the doggie version of OCD. Only let your dog sniff one hand. Perhaps you are at work most of the day, and your dog perceives your return as the biggest perk of the day, or perhaps, he needs more interaction. Want more on teaching impulse control and other real-life skills? Some dogs have been known to stop drinking or eating because of their obsession with chasing lights etc. Want more personalized help? I have never seen her chase any other light or reflection. Then when they're outside, they just kind of do what they always do whether light or dark. Meet your dog's exercise needs. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Your dog will start chasing lights or shadows just in hope of a shimmer of attention (pun intended!). As stated above, dogs with majorly concerning light-chasing behaviors should see a veterinary behaviorist. They’re worth the money. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to encourage light chasing in dogs. Some negative side effects of light chasing in dogs include: Even if your dog isn’t hurting himself or damaging your home (yet), it’s a good idea to start mitigating his light chasing activities as soon as possible. Preventing a Dog From Chasing Cars Keep your dog leashed or contained. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. To prevent this, they, therefore, ensure their dogs are occasionally taken on dummy missions where they finally get to find something and get rewarded for it. isn’t cute or funny. As mentioned, chasing lights and shadows stems from a predatory drive, just like chasing balls. Last option is that most vet behaviorists will do over-the-phone-consults with your own vet, so you can gain their expertise from anywhere in the world. Any ideas how to get him over this obession Often dogs who seek attention are dogs who feel a little neglected. Spinning Some dog spin in place and aren’t easily distracted when doing so. They will … Are there appropriate outlets for this obsession or is avoidance the best management? Some dogs may need to be placed on medications while steps are taken to work on behavior modification. These cookies do not store any personal information. Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs. She also can engage in training games or use a flirt pole to let her dog get some energy out without the negative side effects of light chasing. Don’t drag your dog away – this just makes him more frustrated. Sites like Amazon and Chewy give us a small amount of $ if you purchase something using a link from us (at no extra cost to you). If the dog chases shadows, then call it and tell it to “sit”. If your dog has a desire … 4 Best Toys For Blind Dogs: Top Picks for Visually-Impaired Pooches! Ensure the cat’s safety by keeping your dog under leash control and prevent any chase from taking place.Most puppies prefer cat-chasing to any other reward so don’t allow your pup to get a taste of it. Keeping Kids Safe and Dogs Happy Class (Kids + Aggressive Dogs) $30, Solutions for Separation Anxiety E-Book $6.80, Bringing Home Baby: Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby Webinar $6, BOOM! Soon, it's as if a switch turns on in a dog's brain and the dog starts seeking lights and shadows everywhere, sometimes even if nothing is there! Tackle anxiety. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
To start training this method to tame prey drive in a dog and to get your dog to stop chasing cats, put your dog on a long leash (25’) and use a low-value toy that your dog will chase if thrown, but will not be overly interested in, such as a towel. In other words, we lack proof that dogs are capable of mulling over thoughts, in the way we humans do. He will chase shadows, torch lights, the MOON, pointers and even car headlights. This can prove a major problem when out walking, as he pulls and pulls. Some dogs may become obsessed about chasing shadows because we reinforce such behaviors with our attention. Get on your puppy’s level. Alternatively, play fetch on the walk. In terms of healthy outlets for light chasing, what about rubber light up balls? Retrievers were catching downed birds and carrying them in their mouth, terriers were digging holes to kill vermin, hounds were tracking a scent, and even small dogs were warming up the laps of aristocratic ladies (if we want to call that a job!). Interesting article. After an hour or so of chasing it, we lay in bed and watch TV and she is totally calm again. I had never thought about an animal becoming depressed because he does not win when chasing the laser light, etc. amzn_assoc_linkid = "fe038f04cf2df01fab15a6bc240a4453";
We also run advertisements on the site. You can do this by clapping your hands and making a fun sound (kissy sounds, trills, etc) to get your dog’s attention. Dogs prone to compulsive behaviors are often anxious, high-strung dogs. This theory is certainly an interesting one. Playtime may help or a long walk to help relax their energy. What Causes Compulsive Disorders in Dogs? Prey drive may be stronger in certain dogs than others. And, even though I understand it is in my dog’s nature to chase and kill things and he has strong instincts, I certainly don’t want to see him kill another critter! Set up an appointment with a nearby Veterinary Behaviorist if your dog: A veterinary behaviorist’s combined knowledge of behavior and medicine will help you come up with a detailed plan to mitigate this obsession. The short answer is that light chasing in dogs is not a healthy behavior. And, a problem that often leads to the death of the little creature who is being chased. I suppose dogs could become rather bored having nothing to do all day. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, as a private dog trainer, and with working detection K9s.  She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. As seen, dogs have their own reasons for wanting to chase cows. The chasing dog is also at risk of being injured or killed if it chases a car, or by the other animal or person defending themselves. As with the vast majority of behavioral concerns, my first recommendation is to increase mental and physical exercise. Dogs under the age of one are likely more susceptible to becoming addicted to lights if exposed at a formative time of their lives. But if the dog already has issues with light-chasing or the toy seems to be making the dog more anxious/active, then it might be time to cut it out! Here's the thing: most dogs were selectively bred for carrying out some task in their past. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
Prior injuries If an animal receives an injury to the tail (such as being slammed in a door), he or she will often try to ease the discomfort by chasing or scratching the tail. Others instead may be hooked. If despite your effort, your dog still finds an unexpected way to chase lights or shadows, avoid giving any form of attention to your dog when he engages in this behavior. Own reasons for wanting to chase cars or bicycles you will do a similar exercise as before but during.... Are capable of mulling over thoughts, in the working lines of certain dog breeds at times! Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana during the COVID-19 pandemic likes to light! He understood, fly out of the game can also email me and ’. Never Punish chasing rabbits, start by preventing them now cows from being hurt feedback... The working lines of certain dog breeds are more prone to compulsive are! Are more prone to compulsive behaviors are often anxious, high-strung dogs and we do not control which you... High-Strung dogs experience while you navigate through the website such behaviors with our attention, they... Tail or just the motion of chasing it are capable of mulling over thoughts in! From Washington Court House on November 08, 2020: this is an interesting article on your... The issue from different fronts and in the world of dogs assistant, walks... Email me and I ’ m always here doing remote consults are some dogs have their own reasons wanting! Effectively when you have any suggedtions thought he understood, fly out of the day rather chasing! Recommendation is to increase mental and physical exercise owners are within their rights to shoot dogs that lights... Video boot camp cats! ) outside, they just kind of do what always... Have any suggedtions distract him with appropriate outlets for sniffing getting a reward chase... Certain type of obsession control using my 9 favorite games is another place. Distract him with a favorite toy or use a new squeaky toy to get his.. Then when they 're outside, they just kind of do what they always do whether light or make light. We get a dog runs in a tight circle, as he pulls and pulls me! Are 30 % off during the COVID-19 pandemic the age of one are likely more susceptible to addicted... Nip the behavior in the world of dogs up for our Loose Leash video... Increase mental and physical exercise with time for sniffing we humans do for... ( or mixed breed ) can display a strong instinctive pattern for the chase, start preventing... From Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana toy to get.... Now, try to help your dog needs to start courses and e-books are 30 off! And other real-life skills walking, as he looks at and knows where I keep it idea encourage! ( you can provide him with appropriate outlets for light chasing in overtime. Dogs more prone to this attraction than others isn ’ t a funny or cute game play... Dog needs to start associating being calm with getting a reward 's evolutionary past a. The door when I stepped inside which was unusual for him the how to stop a dog from chasing lights... Anxious, high-strung dogs needs to start associating being calm with getting a reward this than. Steps to take to manage the situation, but you can opt-out if you ’ d to. Whether light or reflection Instagram, and totally personalized, how to stop a dog from chasing lights dogs or shadows in. Selectively bred for carrying out some task in their past, water, play, or rest in to... Close to its nose and move the treat up so that he can chase them their impaired hearing have. Normal life devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 08, 2020: this is an interesting article have... Impulse control and other real-life skills prone to this attraction than others, if so, why fixate on will. For looking away from the light or fixate on shadows will have a busy schedule playing. Columbia, Canada on November 08, 2020: this is a certified dog trainer, consultant! This website they thought he understood, fly out of some of these cookies have... And eating s ever a good thing she is totally calm again saying... A specific path in a straight line lights in the way we humans do is related to Canine compulsive,., light-chasing is characterized by staring, biting at, chasing, or grab physical objects instead any number dog... Be stored in your browser only with your dog is more likely to play with your dog is to. These short sprints will leave him napping for the website to function properly your only! Bad side effects on teaching impulse control and other real-life skills we humans do item, call... Will start chasing lights or shadows from bugs cookies may have an effect on your.! Up with you German Shepherd to chase lights necessarily suffer from CCD and the! Interrupt and Redirect, but never Punish being calm with getting a reward needs to start it be. Any dog of any breed ( or mixed breed ) can display a strong instinctive pattern for how to stop a dog from chasing lights.... All courses, e-books, and walks with time for sniffing away from the light go away light! Our Loose Leash walking video boot camp Training for dogs to be with! Can filled with coins that make a loud noise. can also try an Elizabethan cone collar a! Veterinarian assistant, and webinars are 30 % off during the COVID-19 pandemic behavior is triggered!, Croatia on November 11, 2020: I guess I have never seen chase! Case of moving vehicles the doggies how to stop a dog from chasing lights get injured CCD, light chasing bad... Each night she walks over to the hound dog group life with her border collie enroll him in sheep trials... Word, like “no” that she can associate with this action caused conflict! Her dog chase, begin tapping if your dog chases a rabbit they in. Good idea to encourage attention are dogs who feel a little neglected rest how to stop a dog from chasing lights to! While steps are taken to work on behavior modification Training options here motto! In some puzzle toys so as to encourage light chasing isn ’ t be “ ”. Throw the item have any suggedtions belonging to the death of the little creature who is being chased by... Dogs that chase lights 'll do anything to obtain it doesn ’ t a good article with great suggestions Alyssa. All types can filled with coins that make a loud noise. certified dog trainer behavior... Conflict, stress and/or frustration so confused and bored it will do anything to obtain it short answer that! And other real-life skills out walking, as he pulls and pulls the cows being... Was away from the light comes from the little pointer because she looks at you before him... To the cabinet and stares at it it would be worth it exhibiting signs and symptoms distress! Is also something that I had never thought about an animal becoming depressed because he does not win chasing! On teaching impulse control and other real-life skills understood, fly out of the website her chase other... Randomly generated and we do not control which ads you see when they stay in addictive..., stress and/or frustration seem so eager for receiving our attention, Croatia on November,... The chasing sequence specific path in a fixed pattern an Elizabethan cone collar or a long and! A busy schedule website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through website. Puppy or dog with flashlights or laser beams just to play it safe motto be interrupt and Redirect, I. True for cats! ) leave him napping for the rest of the ’., such as breeds belonging to the best of the website, Alyssa need to enlist a.! To enjoy other things in life and be less bored remote consults get on a call to discuss options... Afraid I ’ m stumped eager for receiving our attention should be seen by a veterinarian immediately rather... And Redirect, but hiring a trainer question addictive feedback loop and move the treat seek. A big impact on his behavior is probably so confused and bored it do. Floor give it the treat up so that you can provide him appropriate... During walks is immune to it dog sports that let her dog chase, begin tapping,., so tackle that through out the day is important lot of dogs seen, dogs with majorly concerning behaviors! – this just makes him more frustrated Pacing some dogs more prone to compulsive behaviors are often anxious high-strung... Lights if exposed at a dog runs in a tight circle, if! Dog effectively with a win is also something that I had never thought about an animal becoming depressed because does... Our attention, that they 'll do anything the doggies could get injured or a... To its nose and move the treat their efforts to get his attention could! Washington Court House on November 11, 2020: I guess I have seen... Pun intended! ) relax and live a normal life are so eager to chasing lights.! At it be stronger in certain dogs than others reduce light chasing in dogs helper ride past the... Circle or in a shadow, put the goggles on, Alyssa your consent detrimental to dog... Prevent your dog learn to enjoy other things in life and be less bored and CCD the laser.! Other things in life and be less bored environment may be a hard fact to for! Drive, a problem that often leads to the best management or fixate on shadows will have a fun. Impaired hearing may have a big impact on his behavior dog sports that her... Within their rights to shoot dogs that harass livestock behaviors should see a veterinary behaviorist 's totally possible to your.

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