Dog Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We have a sweet little 10lbs JR mix girl, adopted her from a high kill shelter in NYC over the summer. The very first evening she was with us I took a small flash light out and I immediately noticed she hunted light flecks and never ever used a flash light again.

We live in VT, and we move to FL for the winter. In VT we could keep her problem to a minimum because we were able to practically eliminate sunlight- and other light flecks.

But now, in Fl... we are not able to get our house sunlight reflections etc. free. We have windows we cannot cover and the windows with venetian blinds are never completely without light peeping through.

Her addiction gets worse by the day. She used to be a little cuddle bunny. But it has gotten to the point I cannot even make her sit with me for 5 seconds and even in those seconds she is focussed on the place where the most light flecks appear. In the evening she'll follow light that somehow comes from lamps etc.

In the car she jumps at flecks, I cannot take her with me if I'm alone because she's small and can easily jump in front of my seat and I cannot get distracted from driving of course.

Today I finally decided to get my worst weapon out, the spray bottle. I have not ever used it on her but noticed her fear for it when one day I was outside washing out some spray bottles with the garden hose. It is very obvious someone has used it on her.

I HATE seeing her scared but I have placed one spray bottle on the ground, where she hunts for the light flecks. She looked at it with fear on her face and went to lay with hubby on the coach and finally settled down and actually slept and is still sleeping. I haven't seen her do that in weeks.

I don't know what to do, how to get this obsessive addiction out of her mind. It may sound really weird but I feel I am loosing her and I am so sad, I so hope someone has some - any! - advice.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Milli.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
This is a form of OCD peculiar to dogs. It's often triggered by an owner playing with a laser pointer, which is why it's recommended you never, ever do that with a dog. My guess would be that the former owner thought the dog chasing the laser pointer was funny, triggered the OCD, then dumped the dog when the OCD got out of control. When you first got her, she was stressed and confused enough for the OCD to cool down a bit, but now it's back.

Fortunately, this can, in some cases, be treated with medication and behavioral training. You need to speak to your vet and find a qualified behaviorist. Look at iaabc.org.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Agreed! Sounds like OCD to me! I have had one foster dog with the issue, though not as severe it sounds like. We didn't have to put her on any medication, but working with a professional trainer we were able to curb the behavior.
Its definitely worth your while to have consults with several trainers or behaviorists before choosing which one you trust your baby. There are lots out there that are clueless, so be careful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,331 Posts
Yes, I'd say this is OCD and squirting her is not the solution. Squirting will only raise her anxiety and arousal level and likely stimulate the behavior further.

More exercise during the day outdoors, seeking and sniffing, may disperse a great deal of this energy. My male is a "light dog" on days that we don't get a really good run in. By really good run, for our dogs that means an hour off leash in the woods with me.

If that does not take the edge of the dog, then I'd certainly consider medications.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
711 Posts
As mentioned above, this is exactly why you should NEVER use a laser pointer with a dog. I don't have any helpful advice, but I wanted to emphasize that point because I see way too many people talking about how much their dogs "love" chasing laser pointers and flashlights.
 
  • Like
Reactions: subado

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I thought I had written it in my OP, but just to make sure it is clear, I have NEVER used a laser light on her, nor have I EVER used the spray bottle other than put it where she sees it, I never sprayed her.

Answers that tell me to NOT do anything that I never DID to begin with don't really help me. Sorry for seeming upset but honestly, it upsets me because it seems that my OP wasn't read.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
All I can think of is exercise and redirection...in extreme cases seek medical help.

As a side: I absolutely flipped on the hubby when he was issued his taser (which came with a laser pointer attached) and started shining it on the walls and showing Quest. It only lasted a second before I caught him, so I don't think any damage was done. Gah! I could have eaten him alive for that!
 
  • Like
Reactions: FosterMom

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,854 Posts
Does she like to play fetch with a tennis ball? or is there anything else she loves doing?

I have played laser light with my Golden..she loves it but she loves the tennis ball just as much. She will catch it, chase it and search for it. I agree to redirect her with something else. She may enjoy a flirt pole (toy on a string) over the light flecks. You could throw the toy into the fleck so she attacks the toy. At least that way she has something she can actually get..:) If she thinks you are okay with attacking the fleck toy she might find it more fun to the point she likes the toy more. Make it a huge game..fun fun fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,032 Posts
Try not to be offended by the regulars mentioning not to use a laser light. We get new members who search the forums and use posts like this as advice without starting a thread of their own. :) so it's more to anyone reading versus you.

Ditto on trying to up the exercise and redirection. If there is something he LOVES, like fetch, tug, or a favorite toy or treat, you could reserve it alone for the redirecting so that eventually he may get in a habit of redirecting himself and looking for that reward.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Does she like to play fetch with a tennis ball? or is there anything else she loves doing?

I have played laser light with my Golden..she loves it but she loves the tennis ball just as much. She will catch it, chase it and search for it. I agree to redirect her with something else. She may enjoy a flirt pole (toy on a string) over the light flecks. You could throw the toy into the fleck so she attacks the toy. At least that way she has something she can actually get..:) If she thinks you are okay with attacking the fleck toy she might find it more fun to the point she likes the toy more. Make it a huge game..fun fun fun.
She doesn't go for a tennis ball. There are some chew toys she really enjoys. I usually keep those for the evening but that is for no other reason than that we are busy doing things during the day.


I like the idea of a toy on a pole, I will find something to make that happen asap.

She is a 'play with a buddy' girl. We now have a fosterdog with her, a boy, 40lbs. He is fine with her, and they do play but I'm careful that it doesn't get too rough, 10lbs versus 40lbs scares me a little. When he is adopted I hope we can get a smaller size boy to make it a more 'even' match.

I've been to the website that was mentioned in the very first answer. and I am still searching through their information.

Thank you all for the helpful answers and suggestions. I apologize for my cranky answer to the remarks earlier. They caught me at the wrong moment and I am sorry for my reaction.


We are working at it, I am hopeful and determined to change it. Any help is very much appreciaated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
My friend adopted a Shar Pei x Lab that was like that. If you were watching TV he would be focused on the lights and shadows. He seemed to be getting better, then one day she turned on a flashlight to see if it worked and he got obsessed with the lights again. She has had him about three years now and he gradually got better and seemed to forget about it. It was the first dog I had seen that was like that and I shudder everytime I read about people playing with their dog with a laser light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,478 Posts
We are managing this issue at home as well (CCD).

My vet suggested Prozac. I went to a behaviorist instead. This is a problem that is VERY common in working breeds that don't have a sufficient outlet for their energy, drive, etc. Often, it can be managed by increased exercise and stimulation.

Your dog is not behaving badly. Your dog is fixating and anxious. He has tunnel vision and his brain is on stimuli overload.

I thought my dog was getting sufficient exercise. To be fair, he WAS getting a lot, but it wasn't fulfilling enough for him. I bought a treadmill, we started WP training, and we upped our OB regimen. In the past few months, there has been an ENORMOUS change. Without pumping him full of prozac.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
824 Posts
I honestly think you need to call in a pro who is well versed with this lazer type obsession. Dogs who succumb to this are very hard to train back away. You're going to need true guidance to get it done. I have no idea how this is trained away, but I'm sure plenty of trainers do know; this is far too common these days!

I am so pissed off at the whole lazer light thing for dogs. Far too many dogs turn nutball over these lights.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top