The dogs only look at the light shining at the wall, but our fishes and bird (African Grey) are trying to get it. You're right it looks real funny and we never shine the light straight into their eyes.
Ace & Summer don't care about it, but Abby has been turned into a freak by a laser pointer!! When she was a baby we played with the laser with her 24/7, and now whenever we bring it out she goes nuts & does the high pitched cry-bark. Then when it's put away she looks for the lights for hours on end.
My girls both love them..but ChiChi is a laser hog, sometimes she doesn't give Nikko the chance to "catch" it. The funny this is to let them get used to chasing it..and then put it on your DH's private parts...lol watch the dogs go in for the kill!
Now that certainly sounded snotty, Merico- nobody was suggesting that you pointed a laser at a pet's eye intentionally. I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound that way- you're usually much more polite.
In fact, most pointer lasers aren't in the spectrum that's dangerous. But there are are several on the market that ARE- and because animals don't have the same speed with their blink reflexes that humans do (think- deer in a headlight), thus, their exposure to the beam can be much longer and more painful. A few milliseconds of exposure to the right laser can be extremely painful, if not damaging (in red commercial laser pointers- damaging wavelengths are rarely seen).
What SHOULD concern anyone a laser to play with their pets is the link from laser/flashlight play to the development of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Light play is particularly frustrating to high-drive animals. They chase and chase but never are rewarded by a catch. This can easily lead to shadow chasing, tail chasing, and other neurotic behaviors.
"The Dog Who Loved Too Much" by Nicholas Dodman (the director of Tufts behavioral clinic) is a good read- I'd suggest it to most anyone, but particularly to people who have dogs at risk for seperation anxiety and/or OCD. It discusses the case of a dog given up by it's owner for behavioral issuses- which the surrendering owner had in fact, encouraged- through flashlight chasing games.
There are MANY ways to exercise a dog in the winter. Fetch, chase, indoor play groups... and although certainly not ALL dogs (or cats) will develop behavioral problems from flashlight/laser games, I wouldn't surely wouldn't risk it.
My miniature schnauzer likes them too, but I sort of agree that it's not a good idea. At first he couldn't comprehend why he couldn't catch it, and when it was turned off he'd go nuts wondering where it went. He went crazy once when he saw sunlight reflecting off a glass on the coffee table, jumped on the table, broke the glass, and knocked off everything that was on it. That was the last time I used a pointer.
I now use rubber toys/balls and play catch when he can't go outside. I'll throw one toy, and when he brings it back I'll throw the next. That wears him out quick!
I agree with longdogs & yavin. After seeing how nuts Abby gets over the laser light I am glad Ace & Summer do not bother with it when my brother tries to get them to chase it. When you even say, "Abby..Im gooonnna get the liiight" and reach for your keys or a pen and pretend like youre going to put it on the floor Abby gets this high pitched back mixed with a cry thing going on. She hates it. After my brother is done teasing her Abby will look for that light for hours. It's gotten to the point where my mom had to put newspaper over the glass on the top of our front door because if the sun shines on the walls or the floor Abby will go crazy trying to get it.
Just like anything else...use in moderation. I can see a dog or cat getting crazy with the lazer pointer...but when used ocassionally, I don't see the harm in it. My dog loves chasing after it, but I only do it for a few min. then go to her balls or whatever she brings to play. She is a blitzing Bichon...and just a trait of them. It comes down to knowing your dog and knowing when enough is enough.
***Edited By: jbg on 2/17/2005 12:59:50 AM*** Reason: spelling
Most people I know won't use laser pointers with their dogs now. Too many have developed OCD issues. The ESS club issued a statement and article on it, as well as I've seen people on different boards looking for advice on how to 'fix' their dog once it's gotten ocd issues.
I have also heard of many stories about obsessive compulsive behaviors developing as a result of laser pointers. Don't use them as toys to entertain your dogs or yoursleves :P It just doesn't make sense.
We have an old samoyed that goes crazy for any type of light and will chase it all day long. It can be a laser pointer or even a flashlight. He also honestly likes to chase butterflys and falling leaves too. Hes a big dope!