My corg-bull (cogi-english bulldog mix),Whiskey, is 3 months old, and has developed a new obsession.  Whiskey has recently started to become obsesses with chasing shadows.  If we walk him at night, he is so concerned with the moving shadow rather than going potty.  At night when it is time for bed, he will chase our shadows as we go around turning off lights and doing our nightly routine.  He will then lay at the foot of the bed and keep moving and hoping for a shadow.  This new obsession was funny when it first started, but not anymore!!  I wonder if this is his herding instinct coming out!!

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This behavior can turn into a full-blown obsession, where the dog would rather chase light and shadows than anything else. Some dogs get so frantic with it they need to be medicated. He's still young, so I would nip it in the bud now. Do NOT, under any circumstances, play laser or flashlight games with him. Try to get him to refocus on "real" toys, Experiment with things like tennis balls, rope tugs (don't leave dogs unattended with a rope tug; they are for interactive play only), rubber ring loops, squeaky toys and the like.

If simple redirection doesn't work, honestly I would consult a really good behaviorist now (get a referral from your vet), because I have heard of some full-blown cases where dogs are miserable because they compulsively chase light and shadows all day and don't want to socialize, play, etc.

Don't mean to scare you and very few dogs get that bad, so start with the redirection now and since he's so young it might help a lot. Don't correct him for this behavior, as anxiety can increase obsessive behavior, but redirect him to other fun activities.

Good luck!


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