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Categories: Behavioral Problems

Q. My son has a laser light and my 10 month old dog loves chasing the light. Now she's constantly looking for lights and shadows all the time. Is there a way to train her out of this?
I have a 10 month old GSD from a strong Czech and German working lines. She's doing quite well in her bite training. About two months ago my sons got some of those laser lights and started playing with the dog. The dog loved chasing the lights and would jump up and stomp on the light with both feet which everyone thought was funny. This went on for about two weeks and then I put a stop to it because the dog was becoming obsessed looking for the lights constantly. It's been at least two months now but the dog still searches constantly for the lights or any shadows when she is in he house. She now stomps on shadows. Is there a way to train this out of her?

A. Once this obsession is created it’s very difficult to deal with. I despise those laser lights for this very reason. I’ve seen a couple really nice dogs ruined by this, one went so far as to leave the helper on the bite work field to chase shadows. I wouldn’t let her have the freedom to search the house, I’d keep her under strict supervision (on leash). My suggestion is to try to interrupt the behavior and give her something else to focus on. Teach her to give you eye contact on command and mark and reward it. It’s a tough issue, I don’t know if it’s possible to extinguish the behavior permanently, even with corrections. I would read our article on training dogs with markers & keep her busy with little tasks when she’s not kenneled or working. Cindy Rhodes
  
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