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How do you feel about dogs chasing laser pointers?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Zack

911706
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 8:40am PST 
Just curious, I know some people are against it and I wanted to see what people thought about it....we have one and it gets the dogs running and wears them out....it seems to be a good form of exercise on days when its too cold to take real long walks...and they seem to enjoy it....I have a video I wanted to put up but I'm afraid to because I don't want people to think we are being cruel....

What is you opinion on laser pointers and would it be percieved badly if I put the video on one of there pages?
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Zack

911706
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 8:43am PST 
I always thought it made them think, you know mental stimulation as well as physical exercise....
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Hucky

Have Teeth, will- Chew
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 8:59am PST 
Zack, I have a laser pointer and it cracks me up watching Hucky chase it around the house. I haven't used it in a while. Thanks for reminding me. Just make sure you don't shine it in the eyes.
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Steele

The Guardian
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:09am PST 
I've never agreed with playing laser pointer with a dog. Just recently I gave in and thought, "Boy, it would be be so fun and funny to see them chasing it around!". I couldn't resist so I bought one and played with Nighque with it. I've always had the same reasons that people shouldn't play laser pointer with dogs and I still believe those reasons after seeing Nighque's obsession over it. I've never agreed with them because doing that makes a dog neurotic. Dogs need physical and mental stimulation, but playing with a laser pointer drives them into obsession over it and it doesn't tire them out, it just makes them neurotic and with some dogs it can cause an obsession over other things like light glaring through the windows or shadows. It's not healthy. If I let her, Nighque would kill herself running after the laser pointer. I mean literally, kill herself. She doesn't stop unless I pick the laser light up. It drives her into obsession and hypes her up but does nothing to drain her physical or mental energy. I've run her so long before with the laser that she had white frothy spit all over her mouth, panting like mad. And she would have still kept right on going if I had let her. Needless to say, I've stopped playing laser light with my dogs. Steele never cared about it, though, it's only Nighque. I've realized that even though it's hilarious watching her chase it, it's very selfish for me to make her neurotic and obsessed just for my own entertainment. Now when anyone mentions the word "bug" or anything that remotely sounds like the word "bug", Nighque perks her ears up and starts looking obsessively at the ceiling, floor, everywhere. Yeah, just simply not healthy. I'm sure others disagree and maybe it would be fine with dogs who don't obsess over it so much, but that's my opinion. I'll stick with walking, backpacking, rollerblading, and treadmilling. smile

Edited by author Tue Nov 11, '08 9:16am PST

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Henry Miller

He's a tramp,- but they love- him!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:15am PST 
I have a friend who plays with a laser pointer with her dog. He searches for the light for hours after she has stopped playing. The problem with laser pointers and why they make dogs so neurotic is that they build drive, but then ultimately there is no release for that drive. Dogs need to stalk, chase, grab/bite, and kill/bite. You know when a dog takes a sock and shakes it. That is the ultimate release for a dog. If you are going to play with a laser pointer, I would make sure you follow through with a good game of tug at the end. Personally, I think a game of tug or fetch is much healthier and is a much better workout.

Edited by author Tue Nov 11, '08 9:24am PST

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Peanut

Will work for- food
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:18am PST 
I've seen 3 dogs in one family act sooo different with the laser pointer - one, a GSP, doesn't seem to even see it. Totally ignores it. The second, a grehound/pit, will pounce on it but isn't obsessed - she forgets it as soon as it's gone. The third, another GSP is obsessive - he snaps at it, barks at it, demands someone turn it on and play with him and barks when it disappears. He also whines and barks at reflections, lights etc. He pounces on the light from a flashlight now too.

Peanut hasn't seen a laser light. I don't want to take the chance she will get obsessed. I don't think she will - she isn't wired the same way as that obsessed GSP.

To each his own - some dogs can play nicely and some go bananas and you don't really know till you try.

Peanut is obsessed by picking apart rope toy knots - we had to stop buying them.
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Zack

911706
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:23am PST 
Our dogs don't get obsessive with it as soon as its gone they move on to other activities such as the Kong or a bone....but if I put up the video will I get a lot of bad messages about it
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Mia

5/12/08-10/10/10-
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:26am PST 
oooh, I learned the hard way about laser pointers, luckily not with my dog! If you have a sighthound or a bird-dog you really want to stay away from these.
Some dogs are fine with them, others develop terrible ocd. We decided with Mia that we weren't even going to take the chance.
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Zack

911706
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:26am PST 
I wanted to add we used it to teach them to go up and down steps....they would not touch steps until Zack was close to 6 months and Sasha was atleast 6 months and too heavy to carry up and down the steps (that was when we lived in the second story apartment)

Sasha is reluctant to try new things so we have to get creative
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Lilly

Do I smell food?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 9:31am PST 
I would hope you wouldn't get too much slack for it, it's your page. I say put it up and if you get too many comments you can always take it down again. Sounds like your pups aren't obsessed over the toy, so I don't see anything wrong with that. I think it totally depends on the dogs personality, not the toy itself. I have a laser pointer for my kitten and Lilly will chase it a little bit every now and then but isn't that interested in it overall and Kaya doesn't want anything to do with it so I don't worry about using it to excersise my kitten.
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