Dogs and Laser Pointers

Dogs are very grateful and loving creatures. If you have one, you seem they have a recipe for real happiness because they do not need much. They need you, food, play, and toys. And a bunch of love and cuddles. Dogs know that joy is in every day and small signs of attention. And the fact that you spend time with them means a lot to them.

Playing Is Important for Your Dog

Most of the dogs will accept to play with their owner at any time of the day, no matter whether they are tired or not. Especially if they spend much time home alone and they do not know how to burn all that energy, any kind of game will be the right thing for them.

Besides, playing can be a great activity for dogs that are in the apartment and have no conditions to exercise regularly.  Pups need to be in the move, to preserve their health and good shape. Lazy dogs can be cute, but that’s not good for them.

But do not think that dogs need a game just to get amused and tired. As they play, pups use their inherent hunting instincts, which are suppressed because they do not have contact with the wilderness and have nothing to chase because they get everything “on a silver plate.”

Why Dogs Are Mad about Lasers

You’re probably wondering why dogs are mad about playing with laser pointers, and what kind of feelings this little light dot causes in them. The explanation is very logical, but in recent years there have been numerous critics of the use of this gadget.

You are aware of the fact that dogs can’t distinguish all colors, but their eyes have a predisposition to react to light stimulus. Not as much as in cats, but just enough to make a difference between the day and the night, the shadow and light, and to distinguish the laser beam from the environment.

Your dog may never understand that the laser dot is reddish, but it will know that it must somehow grab it. The moving of the beam is driving the dog mad, because it thinks it can catch it. Dogs don’t know this “hunt” is useless, because they will never catch that small lantern, but it does not matter to them either.

In the dog’s nature is to react to stimulus in any form. That’s why every movement attracts them. And when you mix that and a light in one single dot, you’ll get an irresistible combination for your furry friend and a lot of laugh for you.

Play “Hunting the Dot” with Your Dog

You have to admit that it’s fun to watch your dog tirelessly run for that elusive piece of light. Just imagine how much your pup feels when the dot completely disappears, and appears again, and so on. That irritates your pet even more. It could chase it all day, only if you could hold the laser pointer 24/7.

But as reality is different, you need to come up with creative ways to have fun with your pet when you have time. First and foremost, you must pay attention to the safety of your furry buddy. It would be the best option if you could play outside, at dusk. In the evening, there is still enough daylight, but also enough shade for your pet to clearly notice that small dot of the light.

It’s clear to you why you can’t play in the apartment. This may be possible for some of the smaller breeds, such as Corgis or Beagles. But for a safe game with a big dog, you will need a lot more space. They will run, jump, roll over, and you certainly don’t want your furniture and floors to “suffer.”

Reward Your Pup when It Catch a Dot

Although your dog considers this game to be infinitely amusing, it will eventually be understood that it is running inadequate. Especially if you play with it every day. To prevent your pup from disappointing in something it likes most in the world, find a way to reward it somehow.

Let a pup chases the laser dot for a while; move it at a moderate speed so your pet can notice it. Avoid pointing the laser to fragile objects, windows, and slippery surfaces, even when you are outdoors. You don’t want your buddy to get hurt.

When you want to finish playing, let your pet “catch” the dot by simply turning off the laser. For a well-done job, reward your good boy with a treat. In this way, you will point out that the game is over, until the next time. If you leave your dog without reward, it could become boring and annoying.

“Hide and Seek” to Motivate Your Pet

Another way you can play is to use the laser as a pointer in the Hide-and-seek game. Hide the treat your pet likes somewhere, and play with it as in the previous paragraph. This way you can play before bedtime, to be sure your dog is pretty exhausted.

Instead of just shutting down the laser pointer at the end of the game, lead your pet to the place where you hide the reward. Once found, turn off the light beam, so your pet thinks that it “killed” that naughty dot. It will be some kind of satisfaction for your pup, thinking it has done a great job.

Don’t Exaggerate with the Use of Laser Pointers

There are some studies indicating that lasers can, in some way, damage your dog’s health, both mental and physical. Although many of them have not yet been officially proven, the truth is that this kind of game, if we exaggerate, can harm our beloved pet in many ways.

Dogs Can Became Obsessed with Lasers

Dogs like to be praised and called a “good boy.” If you don’t understand that rewarding motivates it, you can cause a laser obsession in your beloved pet. You play with it, start and stop whenever you want it, without any purpose. And your puppy wants just one thing – to catch that light dot.

If you do not give it a satisfaction in the form of treats or praise after the end of the game, it is possible that your canine develops some kind of obsession that it must catch that reddish dot. Sometimes this psychosis can escalate so much that your dog starts to run everything that reminds it of this tinny, inaccessible light dot.

They Can Get Disappointed

Some pups have a sensitive personality, and you can easily break their self-esteem. Dogs know that they can expect a reward every time they do something good, and, therefore, they aim to satisfy both themselves and their owners. If you don’t give them the pleasure of catching a little red dot, you are actually playing with their brain.

Your dog can become sad and depressed because it is disappointed about not catching its imaginary prey. You have to know that not all dog breeds will react the same way to this kind of stimulation – every pup likes to chase the laser beam, but dogs that have powerful hunting instincts, such as Terriers or Labradors, will be more disappointed.

Lasers Can Be Bad for Dog’s Vision

We have described how laser points can negatively affect your dog’s behavior. As far as physical damage is concerned, lasers can damage their vision, or your pet can get some injuries during the game because the dogs become too excited while chasing a little red dot.

The eyesight in dogs is much more delicate than in humans. In order to better orient and manage in the dark, nature gave more light receptors to pups. It means that their vision is clear and sharp in the night, but that it is very sensitive to brightness.

Laser beams are not ordinary light, but concentrated radiation, whose effect can be further enhanced when reflecting on some surface, such as windows, TV screens or mirrors. Move it on the floor or ground, and just form time to time, on the walls.

So it’s a big NO to point the laser directly into your dog’s eye while playing. How it would not happen even accidentally, be very careful and do not move the pointer too quickly. The injuries that laser light can cause are usually not painful but can leave severe consequences such as blurred vision, stain occurrence, or, in the worst case, blindness.

The use of the laser pointers during dog dressage is also not recommended because of before mentioned reasons. There are other ways to motivate your pup and teach it o behave well. Playing with a laser is something you can do from time to time, to entertain your dog, but without exaggerating. Still, its health and safety should be the most important thing.

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