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At six months old you're not going to see quite the same level of intensity or obsession.

 

By the time you see signs of it, it's too late.

 

Stop. Play ball. Play with a flirt pole. Teach the dog tricks. There are safe ways to exercise your dog that do not have the risks of the laser pointer - but do have all of the benefits.

 

Continuing to do so after knowing the risks is pure irresponsibility and disregard for your dogs well being. Not okay.

 

This. As an owner of a shadow chaser (currently under control, but when it started it was BAD), there is absolutely no reason to risk the dog's livelihood for a laser pointer. As someone else said, you never know when they are going to turn the corner from being "okay" when the laser is put away, to being completely obsessed about every little bit of light or shadow reflected on the ground. There will be no warning signs, it will just happen all at once. And then you have to spend the rest of the dogs life redirecting and reminding him to not pay attention to the shadows that are EVERYWHERE because you have no control over the sun. Yes, you have control over the lights in your house, but do you really want to spend your evenings sitting in the dark with your dog because if you turn on a light they will be obsessed at even the NON-moving shadows? I've done that, and believe me, it's no fun.

 

I never used a laser pointer on my dog, but he discovered shadows all on his own one night and would easily be obsessed over every bit of light, shadow or moving thing if I didn't stop him. During the bad times he would lay in the back yard and stare at the grass as it moved just slightly in the very little breeze.

 

It's very hard to break a dog of shadow chasing, and it's a lifelong problem. Stay far, far away from any "play" that could lead to it.

 

I speak from experience. :(

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Seems like we've hijacked the thread with laser pointer discussions...Let's leave it at the fact that my suggestion was misguided. We play a variety of games and do a lot of different activities with Cal, she's not lacking in entertainment or physical activity but we're not exhausted making sure she's fit and active either, that's really the point.

 

There are lots of games you could play with your dog, most of which don't involve controversial toys like laser pointers. :)

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I had a dog that I got that the prior owenr used to play the laser pointer game with all the time. They also used flash lights. One day I was at a trial, late at night and walking the dogs. someone drove by in a car with lights on and he went after it...bounced off a fence and hurt his leg. Thank god the fence was there as he would have run out on a busy road to get th lights. I kept a close eye on him and anytime at night, he would see car light, he would bolt for them. The fun game the prior owner did ended up being a deadly games as any light that had movement would make he chase after it.

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Moosikins,

I hope you are taking everyone's comments seriously. As someone pointed out earlier, it's not a highjack when the discussion changes direction. Lots of people lurk and read these threads and such information could be very useful to them, even if you choose to ignore it and don't wish anyone to continue to discuss it.

 

I hope you don't think people are attacking you over this. Most of us speak from experience or from having had to deal with the aftereffects of misguided play by others. Please do reconsider the laser pointer. What exercise benefit you may be gaining from it can be just as easily gained by playing fetch with a soft object (if in the house) without risking creating obsessive behavior. One of the dogs that lives on the farm where I live is obsessed with shadows. It's really sad to watch, and his life is definitely not normal.

 

Your pup is only six months old. As others have noted, the laser pointer can (and very likely will) be generalized to any other sort of beam or flash of light or shadow (think sunlight reflecting off water, dust motes, etc.). So it's not about your pup obsessing when you put the pointer away, it's about your pup generalizing that beam of light to other types of light (and shadow), especially those that are completely out of your control. Even if you find our comments off putting, please do consider them when you have time to think about it objectively. Don't just take our word for it. Do your own research. Talk to your vet or trainer or other dog savvy people. Talk to people who do border collie rescue.

 

J.

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I treat my Border Collies and LGD the same way I would want to be treated. (or any of the animals on the farm)

 

Yelling/screaming/mishandling at the Border Collie does nothing for the dog but sure makes you look like a fool.

Hear, hear.

Me too, and I really think that this is the bottom line.

My late partner was loud and sometimes yelled at her dogs. She had two ACDs, and they were two of the toughest dogs I ever knew. It didn't faze them when she yelled. If my dogs were around when she did that, they ran and hid or cringed down on the floor. They knew and loved her, but they simply could not take yelling.

I personally do not think any dog should ever be yelled at.

I would second, or third, to the OP that an ACD would be a better choice than a border collie for his personality and style.

 

 

And............I would also add my opinion to those who are begging Moosikins not to play the dog with the laser pointer. Please don't. Please believe those who are saying that if you notice an obsession starting, it is already too late. These are voices of experience. I have seen it myself, although not (thank goodness) with my own dogs. It can ruin a good dog. I have seen it ruin a border collie, a poodle, a dachshund.

I have seen it ruin cats, too, for that matter, although there are some cats who can do it without becoming obsessed. Mine couldn't, though.

It is not only annoying to the dog's owners, it is ultimately very very sad for the dog, because the dog essentially becomes what I would describe as psychotic.

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Hey all - I'm not offended, but geeze you guys are intense...I think my pup and I are just going to do our own thing and stay off the internet from now on. My dog is wonderful and I'm sure she'll continue to grow into a fantastic adult dog because she's naturally a great animal. You're all very opinionated and don't leave a whole lot of room for unpopular opinions. It's too stressful reading all these responses about how I'm going to ruin my dog.

 

What does bother me is that even after I admitted to making a misguided comment, you folks don't stop. This isn't the only thread where newcomers probably feel judged. It's pretty stressful logging in to find 30 comments all telling you negative things.

 

Ciao & take care. Wish you all the best with your beautiful dogs!

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Ugh.

 

People kept talking because your post clearly stated that you were not going to do what was being suggested and were discounting the experiences and knowledge and good advice in favor of doing your own thing.


Your own thing is dangerous. There's a reason people addressed it.


We're also border collie people. You think we don't fixate and get obsessed, especially when someone's engaging in behavior that could very, very easily compromise their dog's ability to FUNCTION? And then discounts it as 'controversial' like there's any actual controversy? (Tip: There isn't - this is a dangerous behavior and no one who knows anything about dogs and laser pointers says otherwise. It's not controversial it's just dangerous and dumb).


God, I hate when people do this. HATE. You have a good dog. People kindly took time to inform you that you were playing a dangerous game for the sake of you and your dog and you... criticize and walk away. Because you didn't like hearing what we had to say.

 

Good luck with your puppy. I'm sure we'll be here when you need us in the future. Hopefully you won't be too prideful to come back for that help.

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Well said, CptJack.

 

I read the post and just didn't have the words ATM to address it without going into a full blown rant.

 

Thanks for so rationally saying what needed to be said.

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Moosikins, it is also prudent to understand that there are those on a message board (myself included at times) who will offer their point of view directly to the person who brought up the matter, without necessarily taking time to read every other post about the matter. Those people often just want to offer their own perspective and are not trying to bombard that person with tons of posts.

 

My own dismay over moosikins post came upon reading the words "sock thief", but made the decision not to say anything since he or she was already hearing so much about the laser pointer. Which is the more dangerous problem? My perspective on that is colored by my own experience of having lost a dog to a sock. A stupid sock. No dog of mine will ever have free access to a sock again. I'd play with a laser pointer first (but I am NOT going to do that!). Of course I understand that those who have dogs who have developed serious obsessions from laser pointers are going to consider them to be a far worse problem.

 

Socks in my house are in a sealed plastic container up on top of a dresser. No puppy access. Ever.

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I agree about the socks Kristine. When I was young we had a sock stealing collie that swallowed them whole rather than give them up. Luckily she got away with it. Funnily enough the only sock stealing dogs we've had have been the collies and on the rare occasion I see one of them with a sock it is removed immediately as the sight of my childhood sock gobbler flashes before my mind. Blockages are expensive to remove.

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mooosikins is not necessarily wrong for her situation. First this is a mixed breed dog living in a confined environment. She tries everything to give her dog all the wants and needs given her situation. Yes a laser light is not the advisable toy for a working BC but everyone here does not have a working BC some are just pets. They love the dog and may try everything.

People come here from all walks of life to get acquainted with other BC owners. I truly believe one Laser point lecture did the trick. But you all became so obsessed. I think your BC personality is rubbing off on you. Please just because peoples use of the dog isn't the same as yours be respectful and embrace people that come here from all walks of life.

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It has NOTHING to do with the work the dog does and everything to do with being able to live with the dog after you have created a monster.

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There are lots of walks of life here. Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with playing with a border collie with a laser pointer. There are things that are subjective but playing with a border collie is about as subjective as letting your dog herd cars. It's ALWAYS a bad idea. For EVERYONE, from EVERY walk of life.

 

and for the record? I live in rural-ish suburbia (neighbors, houses, town limits, but also backed by woods and can get out to nowhere pretty easily) and the only work my dogs do is bringing a ball back and the odd agility. They've never laid eyes on livestock in their life. That has nothing to do with this.

 

For that matter neither does being only part bc since it can be a problem for all kinds of dogs. BCs are some of the very, very worst about it though so she's so not off the hook.

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mooosikins is not necessarily wrong for her situation. First this is a mixed breed dog living in a confined environment. She tries everything to give her dog all the wants and needs given her situation. Yes a laser light is not the advisable toy for a working BC but everyone here does not have a working BC some are just pets. They love the dog and may try everything.

 

It has nothing to do with whether or not a dog works for a living or not. It has everything to do with dogs in general and border collies in particular, who are known for the obsessive compulsive tendencies. Oh, and working dogs are just as likely to develop obsessions with laser pointers as other dogs. It's about the OCD nature of these dog, not about the work they do. :P

 

As has been pointed out by some of the people who've commented (which is one of the reasons why it's invaluable to have a number of people chiming in -- when they all agree you can be pretty sure they've got it right) light/shadow/laser pointer obsessions aren't limited to only border collies or only herding breeds.

 

So while Moosikin's dog may be at a lower risk of developing the problem, being only part border collie is no guarantee whatsoever that she will not.

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I have one dog that loves the laser without issue she has no BC in her at all. I gave up the laser the first time I took my BC out with her. I could see it was a bad idea right off the bat and that took about 30 seconds. So I get your concern I am just saying do not be so hard and one dimensional to a new poster. She really seems to love her dog and I love hearing about their dogs. Just don't chase her away by being so judgmental.

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It isn't judgemental to warn people of the danger of something and then warn them again when they ignore the first warning.

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I'll keep an eye on her to see if she gets obsessive at any point, but I think she'll be okay. She comes running when she sees it come out, but doesn't fuss when it's put away. She's also not a full BC - there's some Yellow lab in there, plus maybe some Husky. Seems like the mix in her mitigates some of the purely BC tendencies like chasing and obsession.

 

Now the sock thievery might get her turned into a winter clothing item...Kidding of course, she's our favorite beastie no matter what.

Did you read this?

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I'm really not sure what to say here.

 

I understand that she loves their dog and I think they're not a bad person, but at the same time... if she loves her dog would she not like to be warned about engaging in dangerous behavior? Yes, more than one person chimed in but that's just elaboration of stories and examples to add validity to the first. The roughness came when she blew off that advice and warnings.


That's just... I don't know what to say or how you think people should respond to that. It's like seeing someone walking blindly in front of a bus. People are going to stop and scream "STOP". More than one might do it and if they laugh it off the first time they might get tackled.

 

That's kind of what happened here.


Not sure what other dimension you want us to come at it from, either. This isn't like a debate on training styles . There is only one dimension: Laser pointers are dangerous. It's not really a debatable point. It'd be like trying to argue border collies aren't dogs.

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^^This. [Referring to Gideon's Girl's post. CaptJack & I were typing at the same time]

 

Exactly my reaction when I read your saying she didn't ignore the warning.

 

Would you prefer "brushed it off"? :P

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You put the thought there I think she would have been fine without chasing her away. No matter what she said the advise was there and she seems to have given it some serious consideration. She is right this thread was hijacked. Everyone forgot about the poor poster trying decide on a border collie.

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she was even chastised for the sock obsession. Well guess what have 3 of 4 dogs that want my sock its your scent they need. Dogs are an odd bread. None the same just give your all to help people politely without ranting. I am not trolling I just feel sad that a potential good poster was chased away. So what help you thought you gave her was minor compared to the help she may have needed in the future.

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You put the thought there I think she would have been fine without chasing her away. No matter what she said the advise was there and she seems to have given it some serious consideration. She is right this thread was hijacked. Everyone forgot about the poor poster trying decide on a border collie.

The OP decided to bail out for the same reason - he didn't like the answers he was being given.

 

This thread is still about aspects of living with a BC though.

 

There are breeder related threads where there are those determined to find fault with every breeder mentioned. This thread has not been one of those.

 

No one likes to be told they are wrong and it is human nature to dig in ones heels the more opposition one gets, but some things are too important to ignore and lasers plus dogs fall into that category.

 

If moosikins wasn't going to carry on using one all she needed to say was that she hadn't appreciated the potential danger and would not do it any more. Unfortunately the impression was given was that she was going to carry on.

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I have never understood the folks who feel a need to tell others how to communicate. No one is forced to read anything anyone writes, nor is anyone required to take anyone else's advice. What I hope from threads like this is that someone else who has been thinking about using a laser pointer will come along, read the comments here, take them to heart, and change their mind.

 

As for straying away from the topic contained in the original post, I don't see how anyone could be surprised by that. That's the nature of conversation, whether it occurs face-to-face or online. Do you honestly start a conversation with friends or acquaintances and insist that they not change the topic, even when the conversation naturally goes that way?

 

Check out the thread in "Livestock management." It has gone from fencing, to internet access in rural areas, to backing up important files, to now stocking rates and when someone can consider a livestock operation to be a commercial enterprise. In between there were also discussions about driving in the snow and the need for emergency generators and what to consider when wiring a generator. The difference is, of course, that no one got insulted in that thread, so no one then felt a need to chastise anyone for going "off topic." Not to mention that all these posts where HJTRAS takes everyone to task and all the responses are even less related to the original discussion in this thread than even laser pointers, which at least are related to the topic of living with a border collie.

 

If you (the general you) don't like what someone says, you have two choices, argue your side or ignore it. But I think for the most part we're all adults here and no one really needs to police the writing of others. That's what the moderator is for and she does her job well.

 

JMO.

 

J.

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No ones' been ranting here, HJRTAS (except maybe now you).

 

The comments about laser pointers have all been considered, polite warnings from people who have experience with the breed and/or with how laser pointers have harmed dogs, and not just border collies but especially border collies.

 

It's a damn shame when people who don't have much experience with the breed aren't willing to listen to plain good sense offered by people who do.

 

It's even more of a shame when other folks with limited experience (especially those who admittedly are having problems with their own puppies) attempt to undercut the sage advice of those who know better.

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