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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

We have a 2 year old male retriever who has OCD (light/shadow chasing).

It may have been triggered by letting him play with a laser pointer one time, we didn't get it for him but for a school project 'finding stars constellations.' We used it one night while taking him with us for a walk, but obviously stopped letting him see it when we realised he wanted to get it really bad!

He looked for it everywhere a really long time after that and about a month later started staring at light and shadows around our home and on walks.

It's a massive problem because he also had a few bad experiences with other dogs and will fight if a dog runs into his space. We have always had him at obedience school since he was a puppy. We command a "look" when we pass other dogs and he is obedient enough to manage the situation with a Halti and keeping him on leash around other dogs.

But now with the light chasing he has been zoning out and not hearing our commands.

He also has a trainer which we were using to walk him and try to rehabilitate the aggression to other dogs.

He has been super scared at night, he also thinks flies are on him.

I've been distracting him, giving him a dark place to hide in the evenings, upping his exercise as much as I can but I feel like because of the aggression to other dogs we were forced to make his world smaller. No dog parks, (He did have some dog friends he liked.) no chasing rabbits because he is super high prey drive and it was been impossible to train a recall when he is rabbit chasing. I don't mind him chasing rabbits but because there was always a chance another dog will appear we couldn't let him any more.

The laser pointer pointer may have been a trigger but I feel we took away what he loved and made his world smaller and less interesting.

I wish he loved chasing a ball but he really is a hunter.

Have any of you had this OCD with dogs before? Has it gotten better or does it end in seizures? I really don't want to have him on drugs!!
 

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I have heard of problems before with the laser light chasing. I personally would not do this because of what I have heard. I also think you need a long talk with your obedience teacher. I suspect that your dog needs to unlearn a lot of bad habits.
Good luck!
 

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We never use a laser light for play for either the dogs or cats. Both seem to get too excited and frustrated by the toy. We’ve threw out the ones we had to ensure no one accidentally thought playing with them were a good idea.

I don’t have any suggestions for handling his issues except maybe you could start nose/scent training with him? Might be a good fit with his strong prey drive.

Our last female had an amazingly high prey drive too but over time it either decreased or we learned to adapt. We also used the sit and look command when we came upon other dogs on the walks with all three of the dogs. The key to that was having high value treats and enough of them to keep their attention until the other dog wasn’t within their area. Since we walked all three grown goldens together it was critical to maintain control. Worked for us but we had to be hyper aware and manage the situation.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks :) He's stopped zoning out on them. He still looks at them a little bit but attention is back on me after some intensive training and exercise.
He bit the vet when he looked in his mouth so he is being referred to a vet behaviourist.
 
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