Lately my 11 month Vizla has become obsessed with shadows. So much so that he will sit for hours and chase any shadow he sees. It has gotten to the point that he has become skiddish and appears on edge constantly. Anybody have any thoughts?
We had the same issue about the 8 month stage and it's horrible to watch, as they look demented. I'll assume he's getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulus.
On advice of our trainer we set up a camera and recorded him when we weren't in the room. He stopped as soon as we left, and started again as soon as he heard us at the door.
It's just attention seeking, at some stage when he's been bored he's probably looked at a shadow or reflected light and you've made an effort to distract him. They are bright enough to associate doing the behaviour and then getting some (probably a lot) of attention as you try to break the fixation. It's enough excitement for them to have you desperately trying to get their attention, without any other interaction. We could try for minutes at a time to get his attention and he'd just completely blank us. He was getting off on being the centre of attention.
On advice from our trainer we put a short house line on him and every time he started staring at something we took the end of the line and put him out the room for 30 - 40 seconds, then let him back in. No talking or attention whatsoever. The first night I was up and down like a yo-yo for about 1 hour before he eventually stopped and relaxed on the couch. The second night he gave up after about 15mins and he stopped within a few more days. He'll still try it very occasionally but gets no response and gives up quickly.
They are such bright dogs that they'll find a multitude of ways to get your attention. With summer coming in he's trying his luck with light reflections from glasses etc but its the same cure.