Posted : 6/1/2008 2:16:40 AM
We had a rescue who was light-obsessed. He was a backyard dog who just started playing with the shadows of leaves on sunny days. Grrr. Anyway, it took a ton of working with him to replace the behavior. He needs both hard physical exercise, and tons of mental exercise. In this case, the use of the clicker is a must because it works in the same part of the brain that gets reinforced when he engages in OCD-type behavior. For our dog, we were able to use working sheep to take his mind off the behavior, but at first he could only be worked when it was overcast. then gradually (after about two months), he would not do more than glance at shadows if he was working, but had to be kept away from them other times still. And finally, after another couple of months, he was almost normal.
I have another friend who has a dog who leaps after bugs around the porch light. But she ended up just doing it obsessively, whether there are bugs there or not. She ended up crippled at only ten years old, from the repetitive motion. and now she has to be kept up in a crate all the time for fear that she'll jump after lights and further injure herself.
So this is serious business.