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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Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 10:21am PST 
okay I'm currently in the process of loading it to Sasha's page....it should be up in a few minutes.....Seeing they love to run and jump so much when they are a little older we are going to start them in agility classes

(Which I mention while they are doing it)

Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 10:21am PST 
I'll post as Sasha when its up

I'm a little- Princess
Barked: Tue Nov 11, '08 10:55am PST 
Video is up


throw me a- frickin' bone- here

Barked: Sun Nov 16, '08 10:34pm PST 
I know that Miss seems to get overly obsessed by it. As it's getting dark earlier, I'm trying to get her to ignore the light from the head lamp I wear at the dog park, but it's of little help. Some people at the dog park were encouraging her to chase a flashlight because it's "funny." But when she prefers trying to find the light to paying attention to me, there's a problem. I usually try to make it light - like I MUST have my dog's attention or I can't handle it - but what if something bad were to happen and I needed her attention? I find that a good old tennis ball is probably her favorite non-food, non-human thing in the world. She can actually catch it, which makes it more satisfying for everyone.
Annie, CGC

Barked: Mon Nov 17, '08 7:02am PST 
i don't think they are a problem so long as your dogs don't over do it. Lucy (pointer/heeler) couldn't care less, but Annie (Aussie/GSD) loves it! We play with it outside when the weather is to nasty to go for a long walk, it wears her out right good. And the good thing about using it outside is that when we come in, she knows we're done and she settles down, usually for a good chew session smile But if we play with it inside, she looks for the light for like 5 minutes after we're done before she settles down again.

So, do i think they are a horrible torture device, definitly not! But i do think it depends on the dog.
Zeppelin J.- Dogg, ESQ

My Genetic Color- Code is e/e,- b/b.
Barked: Mon Nov 17, '08 8:44am PST 
zeppelin is one of those dogs that gets completely obsessed with the laser light. he'll pounce on it, biting at the ground for it. but i swear, he knows that the light he's trying to kill is coming from the thing in my hand. it occurred to me one day that it must be terribly frustrating for him to not ever be able to capture and kill this dot of light...so i laid the pointer on the ground. he picked it up with his teeth, flipped it around in his mouth a little, put it down, stepped on it, then looked at me...as if to say "make the light come out again".

he was neurotic with it though. it was like he never forgot it. we hadn't touched it for weeks...and one day we were in the kitchen, and he looked up at where it was hanging, and sat there and looked back and forth between it and me, whining.

but...he's the same way with his ball. this dog LOVES to play ball. he will run himself to death, chasing his bad cuz and bringing it back, non-stop. you have to take it away from him, he just won't quit...and he can "kill" that. i think it may have more to do with a dog who's prone to obsession than what it's directed at. dixie, on the other hand, neither plays fetch nor cares anything about a laser light. she's a tugger.

Jaydee bean- Jaydee bean- Jaydee bean bean
Barked: Wed May 11, '11 7:46pm PST 
Just look at this cutie. See how she is looking up? That's because her previous owner's obviously played "lights" or "laser" with her. We adopted her about 5 weeks ago. We noticed on the way home from the shelter that we adopted her from, she was constantly looking up and barking. We noticed it was because she saw a reflection or a glare coming from my watch. She even jumped up and bit the ceiling, nearly ripping the material. So, I would say, it must depend on the dog's breed and temperment maybe; and if they have a "hardwire" for OCD. We took her to vet her first week with us for an exam, just to make sure of her health status. We mentioned that she seems to like to follow lights and the vet said, almost immediately, I'm going to have to ask you NOT to do that, it causes psychosis, and it is most usually non reversible. We don't do anything even remotely similar to laser or glare/shadows and she still seems to always be looking for them. I wouldn't recommend doing it with your pet; just in case they are prone to OCD traits.

If you can roll- in the dirt, do- it!
Barked: Wed May 11, '11 8:44pm PST 
I'm wary it, esp in dogs that have a tendency towards OCD. There is a certain unfairness (rather strong a word) as they can never catch it. I am not even too keen for the cats to use (they have it figured out anyway). Still if they aren't an OCD its a good exerciser. I have heard though that it helps if it has a definite start and stop (say the toe of your shoe).


Love Bug
Barked: Fri May 13, '11 1:48pm PST 
My other dog Chewie loves the laser pointer. When we first started using it he obsessively looked for it, however we started using a command and release for the activity. We yell "It's laser pointer time!" every time we're going to use it, and we never get it out without yelling that. Then I let him chase it until he is reluctant to keep running due to exhaustion, then I say "All done!" loudly, and he never looks for it after that. It took a few times for him to get it, but now we have no problems with it. I think it's important to have cues for him to understand he doesn't need to keep looking for it.
Elka, NTD

Where's Gumby?
Barked: Sun May 15, '11 5:02pm PST 
Some dogs have the potential to become neurotic over the laser pointer; their brains are wired that way, and they will become neurotic over any light reflection they see, dust motes, etc. I've heard that this can be managed with medication (for the comfort of the dog, not so that you can play laser pointer with him or her)

However, Elka is not neurotic in that manner, so we play with the laser pointer. We even did it outside at night once, which was great (until she found a tennis ball and wanted to play with that instead)! It may or may not be significant that I use "All done" when the laser is going away, so that she knows not to keep looking for it, as "All done" is our in general "this session is over" cue. She also knows that the game will end if she comes and sits to look at the laser in my hand.

So, if your dog enjoys it, and isn't physically hardwired to be neurotic for it, I say go to with the laser pointer!
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