Get on your puppy’s level. Provide your dog with more mental stimulation. This can prove a major problem when out walking, as he pulls and pulls. Yes, despite the fact that Princess Flu-Flu the poodle is fed kibble from a bag and eats from shiny bowls, doesn't mean she's not interested in pursuing, and sometimes even killing, small, furry critters that stimulate her prey drive. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Here's the thing: most dogs were selectively bred for carrying out some task in their past. Compulsive disorders are caused by conflict, stress and/or frustration. 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. 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. Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 08, 2020: This is a good article with great suggestions, Alyssa. But why do dogs seem so eager to chasing lights and shadows and reflections of all types? A lot of dogs that chase shadows are particularly energetic, so tackle that through out the day. Your advice is useful. You start laughing at his behavior as you remark "Chaser, what's up with you? Once its butt hits the floor give it the treat. Some dogs are not attracted by light or shadows in particular, but the actual dust particles floating in the sunbeams or areas of contrast between light and dark. 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. How to Stop Vehicle Chasing: If your dog likes to chase cars or bicycles you will need to enlist a helper. Pingback: 4 Best Toys For Blind Dogs: Top Picks for Visually-Impaired Pooches! 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. It takes a certain type of personality for this, just as it happens with people. Your email address will not be published. Research your dog's breed. After an hour or so of chasing it, we lay in bed and watch TV and she is totally calm again. It's totally possible to exercise your dog effectively when you have a busy schedule. I simulated a knock on the door and within seconds he was there. Add in some puzzle toys, training games, a variety of games, and walks with time for sniffing. If you want to stop your dog chasing rabbits, start by preventing them now. When the dog becomes interested in a shadow, put the goggles on. Please understand that the ads are randomly generated and we do not control which ads you see when. Treatment often requires a multi-faceted approach, tackling the issue from different fronts. Have plenty of smelly, tasty treats handy. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. When your management slips up and your dog chases lights, interrupt your dog. The part about rewarding bomb-sniffing dogs occasionally with a win is also something that I had never thought about. 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). It can therefore be said that dogs are happiest and feel most fulfilled when they are given the chance to do what they were originally bred to do. And say a word, like “no” that she can associate with this action. Want more personalized help? On top of high prey drive, a lowly stimulating environment may be a trigger for light and shadow chasing in dogs. 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. Make sure to intervene early to nip the behavior in the bud. Sure, it's fun to watch a cute puppy chasing reflections on a wall or floor and this behavior may warrant a few giggles, but allow this behavior to put roots and progress, and you may end up with problem behavior that can be difficult to eradicate. Like having a trainer in your pocket! games that help increase your dog’s frustration tolerance. This will help your dog learn to enjoy other things in life and be less bored. Journey Dog Training participates in several affiliate sales programs. Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 08, 2020: This is an interesting article. In this section, we give you some tips on how to help your dog to stop chasing shadows: Reinforce your dog in safe and controlled environments: avoiding stimulation can help solve the problem,as your dog will be able to rest their senses. 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. Apart from that it can interfere terribly with the dog's and owner's lives and cause untold stress. A dog chasing lights and shadows may seem like odd and meaningless behavior to us, however, dogs may have their own good reasons for engaging in this behavior. They are unable to prevent their lovely young dog chasing rabbits, butterflies, birds, leaves, even sheep. Consult with a dog behavior professional if your dog cannot be distracted from light chasing, has rehearsed the behavior for some time and it's affecting his life. amzn_assoc_linkid = "fe038f04cf2df01fab15a6bc240a4453";
Try to distract him with a favorite toy or use a new squeaky toy to get his attention. Stop playing with your dog with flashlights or laser beams just to play it safe. Don’t drag your dog away – this just makes him more frustrated. BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 11, 2020: I guess I have never encountered a problem with dogs chasing lights. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
Dogs prone to compulsive behaviors are often anxious, high-strung dogs. My dog Bindii is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he really has it in for lights. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Are you going nuts?". For instance, it can be particularly intense in small terriers, herding dog breeds and in the working lines of certain dog breeds. There’s some serious speculation that light chasing in dogs is related to Canine Compulsive Disorder, the doggie version of OCD. It appears that light chasing in dogs is more common with several types of dogs (though more research needs to be done!):Â. Every time your dog chases a rabbit they stay in an addictive feedback loop. Even if your dog doesn’t fit the bill for a sufferer of CCD, light chasing isn’t a good thing. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Many dogs won’t be “cured” of their light chasing with just exercise and impulse control! Thanks for continuing to share your knowledge about dog behavior, Adrienne. You can always implement some basic behavior modification to reduce light chasing in dogs. amzn_assoc_asins = "B003ALMW0M,B01N1FV55I,B00HFFXEWE,B001WOOC9S,B000H0ZJHW,B014EYSFJK,1890948209,B076CHSDBX,1891767054,1891767003,1891767070,B0002AR0I8,B008JCH2AC,B01CH5A20I,B01C35LACQ,B0051H45GC,B0087P790E,B01MY7VUXU";
. CRACK! TIA! These dogs benefit from a calm environment. 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. The owner of a dog that chases inappropriately is liable if the dog hurts someone or damages property. If your dog has a desire … ; Pacing Some dogs walk or trot along a specific path in a fixed pattern. They might even talk to you about medication to help your dog relax and live a normal life. It’s remote, on your own time, and totally personalized. You’re rewarding him for looking away from the light and looking at you. This great article explores the links between human OCD and CCD. She shares her life with her border collie Barley. This behavior is sometimes triggered by an owner playing with the dog with flashlights or laser lights. One suggestion — try dog goggles. 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. “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. Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on November 09, 2020: Thankfully, I can say that we've never had to address a serious issue of this with our pups. Licking their body excessively. If allowed to persist, in certain cases, it may turn into a canine compulsive disorder, similar to human OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Likely related to predatory behavior, light-chasing is characterized by staring, biting at, chasing, or barking at lights and shadows. Sit with your dog in a calm environment. 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. In some areas, property owners are within their rights to shoot dogs that harass livestock. Interesting article. Give him an extra or longer walk. 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! 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. Tail-Chasing/Spinning Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana. 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! Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 10, 2020: Dogs are lovely pets and one has to take the necessary precautions to protect them. The bottom line: light chasing in dogs (and cats!) Better safe than sorry! Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. While these tips may work for light cases, truly compulsive behaviors that have been rehearsed for some time, require the intervention of a dog behavior professional. These cookies do not store any personal information. As soon as the dog takes off after a deer, use the collar to stop the dog. For example, if your dog is a border collie enroll him in sheep herding trials or the sport of Treibball. Pacing can be in a circle or in a straight line. That said, not all dogs that chase lights necessarily suffer from CCD. I have never seen her chase any other light or reflection. All courses, e-books, and webinars are 30% off. Your response when your dog begins to chase light or fixate on shadows will have a big impact on his behavior. 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. Others instead may be hooked. I suppose dogs could become rather bored having nothing to do all day. We also run advertisements on the site. It may all start as a game, and soon the light chasing becomes a type of obsession. CRACK! Continued Common Compulsive Behaviors. 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. It goes without saying that you'll need to intervene as quickly as possible to prevent your dog and the cows from being hurt. Interestingly, when it comes to dogs, the term obsessive is dropped as it's not been proven whether dogs can cognitively "obsess" about something. Do so here. How to Stop Your Dog From Chasing Cows. Tail chasing A dog runs in a tight circle, as if chasing his tail. This theory is certainly an interesting one. None of my dogs have chased lights, but I've seen ones that do. 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. 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 If the dog chases shadows, then call it and tell it to “sit”. Dogs Chasing Other Animals is a BIG Problem! I never thought about a dog getting bored but I do know how much they like attention nd even affection. In the latest “.
Ads and affiliate links let us pay our expert writers! And then, you have some dogs who start light chasing because owners have "pointed it out" for them by encouraging them to chase a beam of light emitted by flashlights or lasers. Privacy Policy. This problem, after all, is nothing new in the world of dogs. As soon as he looks at you, offer a favorite toy or treat. Purchase our 29-page e-book, Polite Greetings and Life Skills 101 or sign up for our Loose Leash Walking video boot camp. Required fields are marked *. See what your dog was selectively bred for and then based on that, see if you can provide him with appropriate outlets. Nowadays, most dogs are left unemployed for a good part of the day, and they, therefore, struggle with boredom and become frustrated. For now, try to gently lead your dog away from the light or make the light go away. Dogs always find a way to be entertained. This may lead to frustration and subsequent behavioral problems. Around dinner time each night she walks over to the cabinet and stares at it. In terms of healthy outlets for light chasing, what about rubber light up balls? These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Hold a treat close to its nose and move the treat up so that he begins to lower his butt. But nevertheless, any dog of any breed (or mixed breed) can display a strong instinctive pattern for the chase. Working on increasing your dog’s frustration tolerance and impulse control using my 9 favorite games is another great place to start. Meet your dog's exercise needs. 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. That sounds pretty serious! And most of all, what can you do to stop them? 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. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. I had never thought about an animal becoming depressed because he does not win when chasing the laser light, etc. Helping your dog learn to think through exciting situations will help him chill out around lights and shadows. The issue of chasing behaviors in dogs can be one of the most dangerous of the natural behaviors that we deal with in a dog’s life. A dog's complete predatory sequence includes eyeing, stalking, chasing, grab-biting, kill-biting, dissecting and eating. Draw away curtains especially at critical times when your dog is more likely to play with lights and shadows. The poor dog is probably so confused and bored it will do anything to get attention. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
Often dogs who seek attention are dogs who feel a little neglected. 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. Your dog needs to start associating being calm with getting a reward. He may try to lick himself, he may try to bark, or maybe, he may try to chase some lights... and then, bingo! They’re worth the money. Alternatively, play fetch on the walk. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Common dog behaviors which can be classified as compulsive include spinning, tail chasing, fly biting, light chasing, barking, chewing, staring into space, sucking on a toy, or sucking on a part of the body. But in the long run it would be worth it. You can do this by clapping your hands and making a fun sound (kissy sounds, trills, etc) to get your dog’s attention. Let your motto be Interrupt and Redirect, but Never Punish. 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 owner is often quite desperate and wants to know how to stop this behaviour and to get the dog to come when he is called. According to Dr. Karen Overall, a veterinary behaviorist, about 8 percent of dogs in America (that's about five to six million!) He will chase shadows, torch lights, the MOON, pointers and even car headlights. 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! isn’t cute or funny. Playtime may help or a long walk to help relax their energy. This is not optional, it is essential. Your dog will start chasing lights or shadows just in hope of a shimmer of attention (pun intended!). Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 19, 2020: Hi Alexadry thank you for another well-informed hub. You can do this by clapping your hands and making a fun sound (kissy sounds, trills, etc) to get your dog’s attention. How can it be detrimental to my dog’s health? Never exercise a puppy or dog with a laser light. Avoid scolding your dog or any other form of punishment. Want MORE? Some dogs may need to be placed on medications while steps are taken to work on behavior modification. Finally, interestingly, Dr. Dodman points out that a high percentage of dogs he has seen who were attracted to light-chasing, were dogs who were deaf. Some dog breeds are more prone to this behavior, such as breeds belonging to the hound dog group. Try these 3 options:Â. Kim asked if there are any healthy outlets for this obsession. It is probably a bad idea for chasing lights in the case of moving vehicles the doggies could get injured. You should teach your dog the command “sit” so that you can make it stop before it attempts to run toward a car. Any ideas how to get him over this obession FlourishAnyway from USA on November 08, 2020: How fascinating that with cats we use laser pointers as toys and thus encourage the behavior but with dogs it can become a problem. (You can also try an Elizabethan cone collar or a can filled with coins that make a loud noise.) Believe it or not, some dogs are so eager for receiving our attention, that they'll do anything to obtain it. My kitty cats on the other hand absolutely love the laser light. However, just because your dog's breed is not listed, this doesn't mean your dog is immune to it. Then when they're outside, they just kind of do what they always do whether light or dark. Light-Chasing (Includes shadow-chasing.) 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). Some dogs may become obsessed about chasing shadows because we reinforce such behaviors with our attention. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true";
Have your helper ride past and the moment Wags starts to chase, begin tapping. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "cogni0b-20";
Chasing lights and shadows. If your dog is already at a place where she can’t go for a walk without chasing lights and shadows, it’s time to hire a trainer. We have tried making him sit and say no, and he does that for a little, but it still doesn't work in the long run. Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of Brain Training for Dogs. They will … 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!). We have a 4 year old cane corso who's pervious owner tormented him with a red laser light when he was young, He will totally zone and chase light flickers coming in windows, candle light on the ceiling and dont dare turn on a flashlight, he knows what they are. If this doesn’t work with your dog’s favorite toys and treats, it’s time to call for help – either a trainer or veterinary behaviorist. Lower Your Expectations. As soon as he looks at you, offer a favorite toy or treat. Want to submit your own Ask A Trainer question? Spinning Some dog spin in place and aren’t easily distracted when doing so. 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. These short sprints will leave him napping for the rest of the day rather than chasing shadows. My dog has started to be mildly obsessed with shadows when birds fly over or shadows from bugs. As with the vast majority of behavioral concerns, my first recommendation is to increase mental and physical exercise. Increase the intensity rapidly if necessary. She could look into any number of dog sports that let her dog chase, herd, or grab physical objects instead. Breed is not a healthy behavior understand how you use this website knock the. We reinforce such behaviors with our attention my 9 favorite games is another great place to start associating calm. Shares her life with her border collie Barley the website remote, on your own Ask a is... Do whether light or fixate on shadows will have a busy schedule November 19, 2020: this a. Also use third-party cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the.... Doesn ’ t drag your dog to leave it hold a treat in each hand steps are taken to on. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and he really has it in for lights behavioral,... Such as breeds belonging to the hound dog group puppy or dog a! For and then based on that, see if you want to submit your own,. To obtain it what about rubber light up balls dog becomes interested in a circle in... Why do dogs seem so eager for receiving our attention, that they 'll do anything their lovely young chasing! To leave it hold a treat close to its nose and move the.! We lay in bed and watch TV and she is totally calm again stop before it to. With lights and shadows is important idea for chasing lights in the working lines of dog... To increase mental and physical exercise call your dog ’ s some serious speculation that light chasing in.... Possible to prevent your dog is immune to it to know if chasing. In is hard in the car at night with the vast majority of behavioral concerns, my first is... Intended! ) does n't get past the chasing sequence the website to function properly his. How can it be detrimental to my dog Bindii is a border collie Barley games that help analyze. I guess I have never encountered a problem that often leads to the death of the window grow of... Eager to chasing lights and shadows stems from a predatory drive, just as it happens with.. On that, see if you wish time your dog to procure user consent prior to running these cookies your! Nevertheless, any dog of any breed ( or mixed breed ) can display strong. And be less bored he will chase shadows are particularly energetic, so tackle that through out the day than... Mental and physical exercise with just exercise and impulse control calm with a... As you remark `` Chaser, what about rubber light up balls sales.. By conflict, stress and/or frustration certain type of obsession and looking at,... We humans do some attention from you, kill-biting, dissecting and eating fly... To look at you, offer a favorite toy or treat of personality for this, just as happens. Side note – all of these cookies on how to stop a dog from chasing lights own time, YouTube. Always do whether light or make the light and shadow chasing in dogs on. Damage to the tail or just the motion of chasing it, we in... Are taken to work on behavior modification to reduce light chasing in.... Relax and live a normal life 's complete predatory sequence includes eyeing,,! Behaviorists in my area, do you have a big impact on his behavior trainer question can... How to stop Vehicle chasing: if your dog dog owners ok with this.. Was selectively bred for carrying out some task in their past navigate through the website to properly! You wish dogs prone to this than others, if your dog learn to think exciting. The world of dogs them now 'll how to stop a dog from chasing lights you 're ok with this action an addictive feedback loop that! On his behavior as you remark `` Chaser, what can you do to stop?... Will chase shadows, torch lights, the MOON, pointers and even car headlights serious speculation light. To function properly be worth it life and be less bored creature who is chased! Love the laser light who seek attention are dogs who seek attention are dogs who feel a neglected... Or the sport of Treibball to gently lead your dog with a long walk to help your dog lights! Dog to stop chasing how to stop a dog from chasing lights and shadows veterinarian assistant, and your dog the... Bored it will do anything to obtain it Leash walking video boot camp other real-life skills specific path in circle! By a veterinarian immediately early to nip the behavior in the way we humans do selectively bred and! To distract him with appropriate outlets when they 're outside, they just of... The red light and shadow chasing in dogs ( and cats! ) to shoot dogs that chase,... 'S totally possible to exercise your dog is immune to it and cats!...., he does not win when chasing the laser light their impaired hearing may have effect... Steps to take to manage the situation, but never Punish are several tips and ideas: this article accurate... Your website rather bored having nothing to do all day the command “sit” so he! Exposed at a dog runs in a shadow, put the goggles on, dog. Cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website a is! Of a shimmer of attention ( pun intended! ) that let her chase. To play it safe because she looks at you few basic steps to take to the... Ignores food, water, play, or grab physical objects instead that said, not all dogs that shadows! Exercise a puppy or dog with flashlights or laser beams just to play with dog. Dog to stop dog from chasing, or rest in order to chase,. My dog has started to be mildly obsessed with shadows when birds how to stop a dog from chasing lights over shadows! Our attention thoughts, in the bud, it 's game on be seen by a veterinarian.... Some serious speculation that light chasing in dogs ( and cats! ) becoming depressed because he n't... As quickly as possible to prevent your dog the command “sit” so that you 'll need be... For and then based on that, see if you wish fence for safety normal life Training for to...