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redhead77

Introducing a dog to gunfire

6 posts in this topic

I was wandering what would be a good way to introduce a dog to gunfire. Any advice would be good
Thanks

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I know this isn't for every dog but I went to the gun club with my pup. But I started out slow as well. Did the gradual loudness thing as a pup. But living in the city the only place I could find a gun going off conveniantly was the club. I shoot sporting clays with five other dog owners who regularly brought their dogs to my place and also shooting. So my dog who loved to chew on their dogs found himself at the range chewing/romping on the other dogs and not even noticing the gun shots. After a few weeks I brought him up to the line while I shot so he could get used to the loud gunshots. Wasn't long before he associated the gun with going to the club and for him that was playing with other dogs and everything fun like that.

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So many scientists, so few rockets.

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I to took both my labs to the club to get them used to gun fire.I later learned that can be detramental to them as your seeing right now.
You don't want them to get to used to gun fire where they egnore it, you want them to look up for that falling bird not looking around to see who might have some thing to eat.

I don't mean to sound like I am cutting any one down, but that was my experiance with my first lab.
Terry Holsinger had some tuff times getting her to lok for the bird and not look at him.

Now with Mandy I took her there a few times only to see what she would do.
As soon as I saw she was not gun shy I stoped bring her.
Al Frieberg also said it was not a good idea to use the gun club to much for the same reasons.

Now after the dog learns to watch for the bird I don't see any reason to leave them behind, besides every one at the club will be happy to pet the dog or hold the leash while you shoot your round.

Benny

[This message has been edited by Benny (edited 06-10-2004).]

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What we did was have 2 people. The one with the gun would go 30 yds behind the dog and point in the opposite direction the dog was facing. The second would have a dummy or bird and be 10 yds in front of the dog keeping it's attention. Get the dog all good and wild for the bird and throw a retreive so the dog has to run away from the gunman. The gunman fires when the bird is in the air and the dog just naturally goes for the bird. If the dog doesn't show any negative effects toward the shot, move 5 yds closer. Do this a few times and stop for the day. The next day just start from where you left off and in no time you should be right next to your dog. Good luck and have fun. Ed

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This process, in my opinion, should begin as early as possible. This should be very slow and gradual because if you create a gun-shy dog, it is almost impossible for them to recover and many do not recover from it. Here is what I do; Start when they are puppies. During feeding time, give them their food and while they are eating, make some noise. Tap your foot or bang a wall, whatever is appropriate in your case. Everyday when you feed your critter, continue to do this and over time, do it with greater intensity (loudness). This way you are conditioning loud noises with something positive...food. When he is comfortable with loud noises, then it is time to turn to actual shooting. Like someone else said, a partner is needed. Begin with a .22. Start from far away and work closer. Do this over several sessions and don't do this too fast, its not worth the risk. When the dog is comfortable with you shooting next to him with the .22, begin the process all over with a larger caliber gun. Continue this process until you can shoot over the dog with a 12 guage (or whatever you will be using). This is a very important part of training. Some dogs will be fine with shooting over them the first time with a 12 guage but others will not. It is not worth ruining a dog to find out. Take her slow! Good luck!

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Redhead77 - Is your pup a pointer or a flusher. Lots of good tips found above. I guess there are many different ways to introduce a pup to the sound of a gun. I have heard both gradual introduction techniques mentioned above. The breeder I acquired my pointer pup from first makes sure all his pup have been properly introduced to bird scent and live birds to ensure they are ready for a live field encounter. He then takes them out into the field to have fun on mock hunts in pursuit of planted birds. After a couple of times of that routine he ventures out in the field again with planted bird, pup and gun. He lets the pup hunt, find the bird and shoots the bird upon flush. His theory is that the pup will be so focused on the bird and the excitement of the flush that he/she will never even notice the report of the gun. This technique also gives the pup the opportunity to use his/her nose to find birds and also helps to associate the sound of the gun with a good thing...dead bird and retrieve! He warned not to shoot birds that are not either pointed or flushed directly in front of your pup and that these session should not be done with other hunters or with other pups. I'm sure lots of folks will disagree with this method or do not have access to birds for planting. But my pups breeder swears he has never produced a gun shy dog. Not sure if this method will work for retrievers since I have never owned or trained one.

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