Laser light tag is a fun and funny dog game and an easy way to give your dog exercise. In fact, he or she will be excited and running like crazy.
This game is simple.
- Purchase a cheap laser pointer from your local office supply (under $30 USD).
- Turn on the laser pointer.
- Flash red laser light around the room, on the floor, walls, furniture.
Most dogs will immediately try to get the red light and get totally excited chasing it around trying to catch it. This is great if you have issues getting around also because you don’t have to move at all, except for flicking your wrist, maybe your forearm, to move the light around.
The other side of this often hilarious dog game is that some animal experts feel that this game is harmful to dogs.
According to these advocates, first the dog never gets the dog win. A dog that plays fetch gets to get the ball. A dog that plays hide-and-seek finds the object or person. With laser light tag, the dog can never ‘catch’ the dot. The dog never gets any true satisfaction from the game.
Second, because he or she can never ‘catch’ the dot, there is no clear end to the game. The lack of closure the dog experiences from endlessly trying to catch it may actually be screwing with this head. The thought is the dog can get so worked up and single-minded about catching the prey, that once they start chasing the light they can’t stop.
According to Nicholas Dodman, professor of animal behavior at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, never getting a reward for their vigilance ‘makes dogs loopy’. For this reason, trainers of bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs find their dogs become mentally unhinged if they never find bombs or drugs. This is why occasionally these dogs are taken on dummy missions.
So, here are a couple of options for including this game–because it IS fun for you and dog and it IS a good activity for humans with mobility issues:
- Make this dog game just one activity in your exercise repertoire Keep the game to once a week max and mix up the routine with not only with walks, but with other games or training. Even if he or she can never win the laser light game, if this is only one of several games played, you dog can live with it as long as they are winning at other games.
- Plan your laser light game so that at the end of it, the light lands on a treat (some of the time at least) , something real that they can touch and enjoy and feel rewarded as a warrior dog.
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