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  #1  
Old 01-17-2011, 11:27 AM
Lare Lare is offline
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Can you hurt a dog with a laser pointer?

I know, your first thought was, "How did a dog get a laser pointer?" and that leads you to think it would be a simple self-defense question...

Anyway:

Because dogs (and many other domesticated animals) see things so differently than we do, are they more or less susceptible to retinal damage from a laser pointer?

Lots of people, myself included, have used a lower power red pointer to amuse a cat. But the one dog I tried to play with didn't seem that inclined to investigate the red dot at all. Maybe she was just tired.

If the animal were to happen to look into the beam while cavorting, would it be damaged? Would it possibly suffer damage to its night vision rather than its day vision? How would you know if this has happened? Would it heal in time?

Then by extension: Could I use a stronger laser pointer (like the green ones they use at the museum to point out constellations) as a defensive weapon in the woods to prevent attacks by feral dogs, coyotes, mountain lions and grizzly bears?

I haven't the desire or intention to experiment on any animals around, and don't know where else to ask. So naturally I came here.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2011, 11:59 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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If the dog just glances into the beam and then immediately looks away, it probably wouldn't cause damage any more than a similar glance at the Sun. At least, for your typical low-power red laser pointer. They're reluctant to sell ones for which that isn't the case.

On the self-defense question, even a powerful laser that could cause eye damage quickly will generally only cause damage in a smallish spot on the retina: It won't completely blind the target immediately. The bear would still be able to see you well enough to eat your face, but would now be very angry. And from a wildlife standpoint rather than an optics standpoint, if a mountain lion is about to attack you, you wouldn't even know to turn on the laser, much less where to point it, and if a coyote or probably even a wolf attacks, you'd probably have a pretty decent chance of fighting it off just with your bare hands. For bears, stick to the standard high-strength pepper spray: It's more incapacitating, and it's easier to aim, too.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:13 PM
running coach running coach is offline
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I would imagine that trying to hit the eye of a charging grizzly would be a mite difficult.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:14 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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The biggest problem with using a laser for defense is you've got to get that laser beam INTO the eye's pupil, which is generally smaller than a dime.

People shooting at attacking animals for self defense in no easy feet. And their target is a FOOT or two wide. You'd have to be a pretty darn good aimer to get the beam into the animals eye.

Chronos is right, it won't permanently damage the WHOLE retina. However, if you do get even a low powered laser in your eye, it is a very much Jesus Christ blinded by the light! moment. I don't know whether that would piss off or distract an attacking animal but the most certainly would notice it.

Do NOT shine low powered laser pointers in your eyes or anybody elses. Certainly do NOT STARE into them. And needless to say, be even MORE careful with the ones that are more than a MILLIWATT or two. And scarily enough, they now make those things in the many hundreds of milliwatts, which certainly can cause major damage without even trying.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2011, 12:43 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Sure you can you just drop it on him. Most of those printers weigh about 10-20 pounds. Depending upon the size of the dog, you could do a lot of damage.


ETA: oh you said pointer, not printer. Never mind.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:05 PM
Lare Lare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
The biggest problem with using a laser for defense is you've got to get that laser beam INTO the eye's pupil, which is generally smaller than a dime.
Excellent point and amplified by Chronos.

Quote:
Do NOT shine low powered laser pointers in your eyes or anybody elses. Certainly do NOT STARE into them.
Ok. But I wasn't really planning on it! I was initially considering what might happen to the animal glancing in the wrong direction at the right time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
If the dog just glances into the beam and then immediately looks away, it probably wouldn't cause damage any more than a similar glance at the Sun. At least, for your typical low-power red laser pointer. They're reluctant to sell ones for which that isn't the case.
I think this is what I wanted to know, thank you. I will take for granted that the dog would look away and wouldn't stare into the beam because I expect he would find it uncomfortable.

Quote:
On the self-defense question, even a powerful laser that could cause eye damage quickly will generally only cause damage in a smallish spot on the retina: It won't completely blind the target immediately. The bear would still be able to see you well enough to eat your face, but would now be very angry. And from a wildlife standpoint rather than an optics standpoint, if a mountain lion is about to attack you, you wouldn't even know to turn on the laser, much less where to point it, and if a coyote or probably even a wolf attacks, you'd probably have a pretty decent chance of fighting it off just with your bare hands. For bears, stick to the standard high-strength pepper spray: It's more incapacitating, and it's easier to aim, too.
Although I am little worried about being attacked by most of the animals (and not worried about wolves at all based on historical reports), I was just wondering. (And am now scrapping my plans to sell them at the entrance to various wildlife areas.)
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:16 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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What brings up the question can you hurt a pointer (dog) with a pointer (laser)
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:18 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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It's worth noting that some peopel feel that training a dog to play with a point of light/laser pointer makes the dog hypersensitive to stimulation by other moving lights. People ave reported anecdotally that after getting excited playing with laser pointers, their dogs run around the house barking every time a car's headlights throw moving lights on the wall at night. Others have reported overstimulated dogs getting nervous and unhappy.

I wouldn't risk it, myself.
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:20 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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A point, incidentally: Infrared lasers are considered more dangerous than red (or other visible color) lasers of the same power, because if they get in someone's eye, they won't immediately react by looking away or closing their eyes, giving it more time to do damage.
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:34 PM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
It's worth noting that some peopel feel that training a dog to play with a point of light/laser pointer makes the dog hypersensitive to stimulation by other moving lights. People ave reported anecdotally that after getting excited playing with laser pointers, their dogs run around the house barking every time a car's headlights throw moving lights on the wall at night. Others have reported overstimulated dogs getting nervous and unhappy.

I wouldn't risk it, myself.
Reflections off of DVD's, watch faces, phones, shiny jewelery, glass tables....

This fascination preexisted the use of the laser pointer though - my dogs are just nuts.


As I am lazy and they are extremely energetic the laser pointer in the backyard is a fun way to spend an evening.
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:16 PM
Pushkin Pushkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlitherial View Post
As I am lazy and they are extremely energetic the laser pointer in the backyard is a fun way to spend an evening.
Well there's the OP answered, run the point of the beam along the ground and towards a tree or wall. Get the dog to build up a bit of speed and wallop!
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2011, 06:43 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushkin View Post
Well there's the OP answered, run the point of the beam along the ground and towards a tree or wall. Get the dog to build up a bit of speed and wallop!
This also works when directing the beam from carpet onto hardwood flooring, and the pup loses traction, like Marmaduke trying to change direction.
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2011, 08:47 AM
danielpower danielpower is offline
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I am quite sure a 200mw green laser could blind a dog in seconds.
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:08 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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As I've noted in other threads, there are extremely powerful laser pointers putting out up to a Watt (!) There's no conceivable reason for these to exist, aside from the kind of mentality that wants ever-larger traditional guns. You can, as noted above, certainly blind a dog with one of these, and probably hurt more tender tissues as well. (One watt of power gives a "hot spot" you can feel -- I've put my hand into 1 W lasers. They can also melt dark polyester off your skin, so I suspect they'd burn hair and hurt the skin underneath.
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:13 AM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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I imagine if you threw it hard enough you could probably hurt him.
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  #16  
Old 01-18-2011, 09:30 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielpower View Post
I am quite sure a 200mw green laser could blind a dog in seconds.
It would probably do eye damage in a blink of an eye.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2011, 04:57 PM
Infoseeker Infoseeker is offline
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I havea pocket keychain CREE flshlight I like to imagine I can use practically like a cop and point it a eyes for temporary disorientation.

Look up the ITP Light A1 EOS; as it is what I have (very bright). Is what I have, but generally get a flashlight with a CREE led light in it.
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2011, 05:58 PM
billy billy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
even a powerful laser that could cause eye damage quickly will generally only cause damage in a smallish spot on the retina: It won't completely blind the target immediately
To add a bit to this thought:
- A pulsed laser, if pulses are timed far apart, will damage only a spot.
- A high enough power (think 1 watt or more) can cause mechanical shock (from heating) that causes damage and bleeding which will screw up a lot more of your retina than just the place hit by the pulse.
- A CW laser could easily draw traces on the retina as the eye turns away from the source.
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