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Discussion Starter #1
What used to be cute, I am afraid may be escalating into a big problem.

MacKenzie has a very high prey drive. She will stalk and chase anything. She can spend hours in the yard on a windy day chasing leaves. Another thing she chases is reflections and shadows.

It seems in the past two months, it has gotten really bad where she has scratched some of my walls trying to climb them chasing these reflections and shadows. I never noticed before how many things create these reflections - pots and pans, cd's, sun through the blinds, my daughters' clothes, my jewelry, anything Christmasy. It sometimes takes us a while to find the source.

How do we train her not to do this? I am trying the distraction, leave it, etc but I am not seeing any progress, she is just so in "the zone" or immediately goes back looking for it when I have released her. I have heard that dogs get addicted to this. I am just so afraid that she will continue scratching things up and/or get hurt somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
bumping it up....
 

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Roxy also chases shadows and reflections in the house. In the afternoon, we keep the blinds closed to keep the reflections under control. Her obsession seems to be lower two years after we adopted her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am wondering if it appears to be worst because of the time of the year, the sun setting differently or just all the shiny Christmas stuff.

I do know, she is the type that needs a job. We have the invisible fence, so she has taken on the job of walking each of my three children to the end of the driveway until the bus comes in the morning once the child is on the bus, she comes running into the house to walk the next one down - my kids go to three different schools. She takes this quite seriously.

She also needs to walk me down to the ducks every morning and night and sits at the fence line while I do my duck chores.

I need to find more jobs for her.
 

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I wish I had an answer for this too! Levi is so bad that if he sees a reflection on a wall one day he will go back to the same spot for days and just sit for 15-20 minutes waiting. It actually makes me sad for him because he will zone out EVERYTHING and just sit and look at the wall. He won't even eat or chase a ball, which he loves, while waiting for that reflection. It does seem like there are more right now too with it being winter time. I'm hoping over time if I don't acknowledge the reflections or his behavior it will lessen. He gets more intense if I ask him questions or try to avert his attention.
 

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I wish I had an answer for this too! Levi is so bad that if he sees a reflection on a wall one day he will go back to the same spot for days and just sit for 15-20 minutes waiting. It actually makes me sad for him because he will zone out EVERYTHING and just sit and look at the wall. He won't even eat or chase a ball, which he loves, while waiting for that reflection. It does seem like there are more right now too with it being winter time. I'm hoping over time if I don't acknowledge the reflections or his behavior it will lessen. He gets more intense if I ask him questions or try to avert his attention.

This is Enzo to a T! This is the reason that we don't use a laser pointer to play with him. We did it ONE time and he spent days looking for it afteward.
 

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Knife Swallower
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I think it can start out as 'fun' and then escalates into an obsession. Ranger has always chased reflections, lasers and is interested in shadows, but it's never escalated beyond that - thank goodness.

Personally, I find Ranger is worse about chasing them if he's not getting enough physical and mental stimulation. If we're stuck inside for a few days due to cold, he's off the walls chasing reflections and whining about them. When he's properly exercised, he has an 'off' switch and will ignore them on his own or with a reminder from me.

At this point, I think I'd try re-directing. If the obsession begins, time for a training session. Get her thinking and using her brain instead of mindlessly chasing a reflection. And exercise the heck out of her. Get her a backpack on walks, extend the length of her walks, take her to the off leash park a few times, whatever. Feed her meals in a kibble dispensing toy...and any time she starts to even notice a reflection, redirect attention.
 
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I think it can start out as 'fun' and then escalates into an obsession. Ranger has always chased reflections, lasers and is interested in shadows, but it's never escalated beyond that - thank goodness.

Personally, I find Ranger is worse about chasing them if he's not getting enough physical and mental stimulation. If we're stuck inside for a few days due to cold, he's off the walls chasing reflections and whining about them. When he's properly exercised, he has an 'off' switch and will ignore them on his own or with a reminder from me.

At this point, I think I'd try re-directing. If the obsession begins, time for a training session. Get her thinking and using her brain instead of mindlessly chasing a reflection. And exercise the heck out of her. Get her a backpack on walks, extend the length of her walks, take her to the off leash park a few times, whatever. Feed her meals in a kibble dispensing toy...and any time she starts to even notice a reflection, redirect attention.
Do you use the backpacks on the walks to tire the dog out more?
 

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Yep, backpacks work in two different ways. They can tire a dog out more physically once you start putting in a little weight, but they also tire out a dog mentally since they seem to give the dog the idea that they are 'working'. There is a huge change in Ranger if we're walking with his backpack or without. With his backpack, he ignores other dogs and people and is focused. Without it, he's all over the place mentally and walk is more 'playtime'. He's never as tired without his backpack as he is WITH his backpack, even if the walks are the same duration and even if the backpack is empty.

If you do get a backpack, I'd recommend a good one, especially if you like hiking or camping. The best one I've found is by Canine Equipment. It is heavy duty. The material doesn't snag or rip, it's got reflective strips on it, all straps are padded, the saddle bags are huge. You can even detach the saddle bags. It's amazing, but probably too much unless you're going to use for hiking and such.

Outward Hound ones suck. Even for just urban walks. They shift on the dog's back even when the weight is evenly distributed, the seams fall apart. Not much padding. And still expensive.

I think Rodogz or something makes a decent one. Cheaper than Outward Hound, but better quality.

If/when you get one, start off with it empty, then gradually add weight. Make sure it's the same in each saddle bag. I started with empty 250 ml water bottles, then filled them up with water. Then put two in each one, and so on. Ranger carries all my supplies when I go hiking with him, which is amazing! Rain jacket, map, book, snacks, water for him and I, extra leash, collapsible bowl, first aid kit.
 

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I don't think I can ever weigh Summer down because of her bad hips.. But... May we have a picture of Ranger-fully-loaded? :p:

Yep, backpacks work in two different ways. They can tire a dog out more physically once you start putting in a little weight, but they also tire out a dog mentally since they seem to give the dog the idea that they are 'working'. There is a huge change in Ranger if we're walking with his backpack or without. With his backpack, he ignores other dogs and people and is focused. Without it, he's all over the place mentally and walk is more 'playtime'. He's never as tired without his backpack as he is WITH his backpack, even if the walks are the same duration and even if the backpack is empty.

If you do get a backpack, I'd recommend a good one, especially if you like hiking or camping. The best one I've found is by Canine Equipment. It is heavy duty. The material doesn't snag or rip, it's got reflective strips on it, all straps are padded, the saddle bags are huge. You can even detach the saddle bags. It's amazing, but probably too much unless you're going to use for hiking and such.

Outward Hound ones suck. Even for just urban walks. They shift on the dog's back even when the weight is evenly distributed, the seams fall apart. Not much padding. And still expensive.

I think Rodogz or something makes a decent one. Cheaper than Outward Hound, but better quality.

If/when you get one, start off with it empty, then gradually add weight. Make sure it's the same in each saddle bag. I started with empty 250 ml water bottles, then filled them up with water. Then put two in each one, and so on. Ranger carries all my supplies when I go hiking with him, which is amazing! Rain jacket, map, book, snacks, water for him and I, extra leash, collapsible bowl, first aid kit.
 

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I don't think it has anything to do with prey drive. My Max is a light and shadow chaser and he's got retrieving DNA like crazy but no prey drive. Just ask my gerbils who he kisses when he gets close to them. :) Max was getting kind of obsessed in the past so I just take his attention away from it if I see him obsessing and it seems to have worked. My grandparents have a big mirror hanging in their living room and Max noticed 2 grampas once in it. It blew his little doggy mind - he's a hoot, really. Head cocked looking from one to the other. Wooing at the imposter. I think his interest in lights and shadows can be pretty cute at times!
 

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I don't think I can ever weigh Summer down because of her bad hips.. But... May we have a picture of Ranger-fully-loaded? :p:
Why sure!! Here's Ranger carrying water, collapsible bowl, a map, snacks and water!

This is after an hour into the hike...his happy face! We were up at the top of a low mountain:


Taking a break and enjoying the scenery!
 
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