Light Chasing

LIGHT_CHASING_FeaturedSome dogs become fixated on lights, reflections and shadows, especially those with high chase or prey drive. Light and shadow chasers often begin their obsession with shadows or reflections as a fun game that relieves boredom.   The best way to modify this behavior is to redirect your dog onto more positive pastimes.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Light Chasing?

  • Make sure your dog has plenty of exercise.  Dogs that chase reflections often lack the physical outlets they need. Chasing relieves boredom and is self soothing.
  • Give your dog plenty of non shiny interactive toys and feed him his meals through these toys or hide them around your home and send him on a daily treasure hunt.
  • Manage his obsession by replacing reflective metal food bowls with non shiny ceramic ones.
  • Walk your dog any time of the day on cloudy days and at dawn or dusk on sunny days to lessen the chance of him fixating on a shadow or reflection.
  • 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.
  • Never exercise a puppy or dog with a laser light. Many dogs that are exercised this way become fixated on moving light which then transfers onto natural flickers, shadows and reflections.
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9 thoughts on “Light Chasing

  1. Jenny Keaton

    I have a 10 month border collie who was obsessed with shadows. I sprayed her in the face everytime I saw her watching one. took less than a week and she does not look twice now.

  2. Maggy Howells

    Could you possibly do another article to explain how to redirect their focus etc
    when they're actually chasing the light/shadow please? My border collie only
    really does this when she's bored or entertaining's like her own private game- some dogs chew, some dig, she herds tiny shadows!. If we're at home, then I use it as a cue to go for a walk or play with something, but I know other people have dogs where it is much more problematic. She certainly hasn't got a high prey drive though, we put up a deer on our walk today- she ignored it, then she literally ran over a hare which took off at great speed...she just watched it go! I agree about walking at less sunny times though, that really helped when she was at her worst with this, and she's definitely worse in summer than winter. Don't think I'm going to be hiding her meals in toys around the house though...could get very messy as she's raw fed!! Good luck to everyone else trying to work with this problem 🙂

  3. f430girl

    Wow do I wish someone had told us when we got our puppy not to use a laser pointer as a toy. It seems he has an unbreakable obsession with reflections and shadows now. It makes us all really sad. He gets a lot of exercise out away from the house for at least an hour a day 5 to 6 days a week. He just needs something to do every waking moment. The second he gets bored he looks for reflections or shadows.

  4. Brian

    Wow, I did the same thing with lazer pointer, Thanks for info on how to break my German shepard puppy. Tough to run her when I am at an older age.

  5. adrita

    My dog became obssesed with a laser pointer I didn't realise she would become like this , every time she goes outside without a leach she just lays on the ground and stairs at me doesn't move can you please help me what can I do

  6. Wes Dickey

    Im online reading of what-to-do with our 8 month old Viszla that does nothing but chase shadows lately. I see that you posted your comment about a year ago.. has things changed with your dogs behavior? Im just curious if this is a phase or if Im in for the long haul. Thanks in advance for your reply...

  7. annie isham

    We have a 6 month old Cavalier puppy who we used the laser light with when she was younger. She got obsessed with it, but it only took a little once we stopped using it for her to get over it. However, now she chases all types of lights. Reflections, shadows, etc. Even when it's gone, she stares at it. For 3 days, on and off, after the fireplace cast a reflection on the ceiling, she sat under where it was and looked up.

    Is this just a phase, or is it something she'll deal with for her whole life?
    Are there any other ways to help get rid of it? And why is it happening?

  8. Dog the bounty hunter

    1 hours 5 or 6 days out of 7? Dogs are a full time responsibility, that means a walk morning and night EVERYDAY. If you "cant" you're a sicko who doesn't deserve it..... get off you're arse and maybe the dog won't be going mental.

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