Why Does My Dog Chase Shadows?
June 28, 2021

Puppies are adorable and do the cutest things such as chasing their tails and their shadows. Adolescent dogs as well do cute things such as being attracted to light and chasing their shadows. However, these playful actions can turn into obsessions and cause anxiety in your pup. Shadow chasing can become frustrating when dogs realize that no matter what they do, they’ll never catch that shadow. Finding ways to control this behavior is important for your dog.

Cause of Behavior

Shadow chasing can be the result of anxiety or frustration.

Dogs that don’t get enough exercise or are kept in small spaces often exhibit this behavior. Dogs that chase their shadows often lack mental and physical stimulation. Dogs are sensitive creatures, and when there is too much change they become anxious and obsessive. Once you notice any of this behavior, or early signs of it, make sure to modify the environment if necessary. Curtains blowing, reflective lights, and shiny objects that can catch light can contribute to the anxiety of a dog. Shadow chasing can be exhausting and lead to a lack of sleep.


With proper training you can learn to divert a dog’s attention from their shadow. Make sure to seek professional dog training advice before using a cone or other interventions. Understanding the root of the problem will help find a solution.

Dogs that are herding or working dogs need physical stimulation to keep them happy or distracted. Training and agility opportunities that are available to stimulate your dog should be taken advantage of. Shadows can become obsessive, so make sure you’re checking for the early signs of this behavior.

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