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Help!

peapod
August 27th, 2004, 09:08 PM
I have a adorable springer spaniel that my daughter rescued. Unfortunately she truly did rescue it from the side of the road and has no history on her. Because of a job transfer we now have her for several months. She is a lovely dog...affectionate and happy, wonderful with children (hear the but...)
she has an obsessive compulsive thing with light and shadows. So much so she totally zones out and pounces repeatedly on the reflection, light or shadow. She digs holes after them...she has licked everything within her reach, she will try and chew the wood floors, clapboards on a house, run into an open car door and lot's of other things. I realize the springer is an active dog to begin with...that's ok. It is the other behaviours that are proving difficult...any help out there...any similar situations? It's as if she had been played with with a flashlight or laser pointer for great periods of time in her life.

Writing4Fun
August 27th, 2004, 09:15 PM
I have no advice about how to stop the behaviour, but you're probably right re: flashlight or laser pointer - that is entirely possible! Unfortunately, some people see this behaviour as "cute" and drag it out at parties for entertainment. :rolleyes: Then they dump the dog when it starts eating the furniture. :mad: I'd consult a behaviourist if I were in your shoes. Your vet can probably recommend someone. Good luck! :)

Cactus Flower
August 28th, 2004, 02:48 AM
What a unique problem! Yowsa. A tough one, too.

If I were in your shoes, I would probably close the shades, then open them a little so just a bit of light comes in. When she notices it, tell her to sit, or maybe lie down and stay. Reward her for not reacting. It will take lots of repetition, but she is going to have to be desensitized somehow. Maybe she could even be asked to lie down ON the shadow/light, and remain calm, then rewarded.

I'm still scratching my head on this one, really.

Does she do it when she is tired, or otherwise relaxed? Does it seem to be an anxiety issue? The vet might be able to give her medicine to ease her anxiety while you are training her to stop this behavior. "Rescue Remedy" (an herbal alternative) is currently helping my dog with anxiety issues.

Lucky Rescue
August 28th, 2004, 08:44 AM
Have you consulted your vet about this? Agree with Cactus Flower. This obsessive behavior may need medication.

peapod
August 28th, 2004, 02:18 PM
I want to thank people for your responses...I have tried rescue remedy with no visible success...I have also spent time with my vets and they did talk about medication. I have been working with behaviour modification because I really don't want to put her on meds...not yet. She has reponded to quite a bit I think...like come, sit, stay...but usually it is somewhat of a controlled environment. However we did have a breakthru on a walk in the woods. She was zoned on a scent this time,( normal) I called her and she came. (ok...third time but that is progress)s I also have been keeping her on a leash off and on when she lies on the front step, send it thru the door and then grab it, go out and don't let her bolt away after a reflection....somewhat successful, again controlled. Keep those ideas coming pleas...I can use all the help I can get....peapod