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MILLER TIME

BEING CONNED BY A BREEDER???

11 posts in this topic

I HAVE A 1 1/2 YEAR OLD BLACK LAB THAT I GOT FROM A WELL KNOWN BREEDER AND WAS TRAINING IT. HE WAS TO PUT THE DOG OVER BIRDS AND GUNS AND SOME BASIC LESSONS FOR THE FIRST SEASON AND THEN GO BACK AND POLISH HIM UP IN THE OFF SEASON. THE FIRST DAY OF THE HUNT HE KICKED UP A ROOSTER AND I SHOT IT DOWN AND THE DOG WENT RUNNING ABOUT 50 YARDS FROM ME, THE BIRD AND THE GUN SHOT. HE'S GUN SHY!!! I BROUGHT THE DOG BACK TO THE TRAINER AND HE DOESNT UNDERSTAND WHY HE DID THAT. HE SAID IT WOULD COST ME TO FIX IT IF HE COULD. I FEEL THAT A BREEDER SHOULD HAVE SOME WHAT OF A GUARANTEE EXSPECIALLY SINCE I'VE PAID HIM FOR THE PREVIOUS LESSONS. IS THIS BREEDER JUST PLAYING WITH MY HEAD? WHAT SHOULD I EXSPECT AND SHOULD I BE RESPONSIBLE? IS THIS DOG RUINED??

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First off, welcome to FM.

I have taken two dogs to a trainer and part of the fee is that he will help me out with when little problems come up or even take the dog back in if a major problem pops up.

If your dog only demonstrated this once, maybe it was a fluke thing, there are 1000's of things that could have happened to cause it happening once.

If it happens again then you have a major problem that your trainer should help you out with. Was "into to gunfire" included on your training list when you brought you pup there? If so you definitely have some recoarse to fall back on if the trainer is any kind of a trainer at all.

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HE WAS SUPPOSED TO INTRODUCE HIM TO BIRDS AND GUN. MY DOG WAS VERY SKIDDISH FROM THE GET GO. AFTER THE GUN FIRE EVEN A CLAP WOULD SCARE HIM. I GOT HIM BACK FRIDAY AND HE SAID HE WAS READY TO GO. REALLY DISSAPPOINTED

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Welcome to FM. Unfortunately this happens more often than you think. Sad to say, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find out your dog spent most of the time in its kennel. I'm not sure what your recourse would be, but if the trainer is talking about charging you more for the gun shyness, I'd start talking to other trainers.

If you’re looking for a great trainer contact Mike Schulenberg at Wings and Whistles. www(dot)wingsandwhistles(dot)com

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How much time was spent at the 'breeder' for training... Did you go through what was taught to the dog before you left the breeder? How much work did you do with him prior to going into being trained.

I've posted many times aboout this exact situation. Hunting is a very confusing, exciting and chaotic event that a dog really needs to be gradually introduced to. If the dog is skittish it may take many weeks/months to get his confidence up prior to any true hunting scenario. If he's just been given a few pigeons and starter pistol shots, it will do little to mimic an actual hunting situation with hard flushing pheasants and shotguns being blasted over his head.

I'd seek out a qualified gun dog trainer and explain your situation. Be honest. Let him know what your expectations are, see what he feels he can honestly accomplish and go from there. You have to understand that 2 out of 3 dogs suffering from gun shyness can be corrected, but some never will. Do not continue on the path you are on! It will only compound the problem and lessen the chance of your dog working through this. He needs serious work on establishing confidence in both birds and guns. They should be introduced seperatley and eventually brought together. Typically you will be looking at a minumum of 6 weeks of training and possibly more. When I worked with these types of dogs, I'd say the average was 8 weeks + birds. There is no quick fix!

I hope all works out. I'm sure it's a frustrating thing to go through, but hopefully with proper corrections will give you a serviceable dog for many years to come.

Good Luck!

Ken

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HE HAD BEEN THERE 3 MONTHS DURING THE SUMMER AND THREE WEEKS RIGHT BEFORE OPEN HUNTING. I DID EVERYTHING I WAS TOLD. IS THE BREEDER AT ALL LIABLE SHOULD HE STAND BEHIND HIS PEDIGREE, HIS TRAINING?

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For God's sake, whatever you do DON'T fire a gun around the dog or do anything else to make it worse! Go back and fight with the breeder-trainer (??!!) but in the meantime begin immediately correcting this problem. Frankly, it sounds to me like you got screwed, but then us old guys are noted for being paranoid. And perceptive.

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Gun shyness has nothing to do with pedigree... it is 'taught'.

Boy with that amount of 'training' I wouldn't be able to fathom a dog being gun shy. I'd asked long and hard about what was taught and the progression of the dog over the 3 months. Have him show you personally what he did with the dog on HIS grounds. Maybe it was just a fluke. Maybe he will do as expected in the comforts of his home training grounds. This is why I tell people to run through everything with the trainer upon picking up the animal. If he was to be working on gun and bird intro, have him show you the dog is competent in those scenarios.

I would think he should stand behind his training... the key question here is 'are you going to continue to trust him to finish the job'? How much did you spend on training? Is there some sort of compromise? Can you send him back with weekly check-ups to monitor progress? or do you cut your losses and try a second trainer. Myself? I'd lean towards the latter. I'd get a couple of other opinions from respected trainers and move forward with one of these....

Good Luck!

Ken

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You start by telling us "you have a 11/2 year old lab you got from a well known breeder and was training it"

Are you saying you got the dog as a puppy from the breeder?

Or are you saying the dog is a 11/2 and you bought him as a started dog?

Is the breeder also the trainer?

How many people were involved in the hunt?

I know you are looking for answers from the forum here to your questions and a lot of us are asking you questions in return. I'm sorry if that is frustrating to you but we need to know ALL of the the things that are/have gone on with your friend.

One answer I can give you is this,

Most breeders guarantee hips, eyes & elbows but NOT how the dog trains or performs.

Please try and respond to those questions from LABS, myself and the others. It would help us help you.

Thanks

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I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANKS FOR EVERYONES ADVICE. FORTUNATELY THE BREEDER AND I HAVE COME TO A CONCLUSION AND ARE ABLE TO HELP EACH OTHER OUT IN THIS TERRIBLE SITUATION. WE STILL ARE UNAWARE OF WHAT IT WAS TO MAKE THIS DOG GUNSHY, HE'S ALWAYS BEEN SKIDDISH TO ANY KIND OF NOISE AND MAYBE THE LOUD GUN BLAST PUT HIM OVER THE EDGE. NOTHINGS CERTAIN SINCE RECENTLLY I HAVE HEARD OF NUMEROUS DOGS THAT HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIANCE REACT THE SAME WAY AS HE DID TO AS SOMETHING AS LITTLE AS STEPPING ON SOMETHING THE SAME TIME THE GUN WENT OFF AND THE DOG ASSOCIATED THE PAIN WITH THE GUN BLAST. SO A LITTLE WORD OF ADVICE TAKE YOUR HUNTING DOG OUT IN THE FIELD EVERY CHANCE YOU GET, YOU NEVER KNOW IF IT S GOING TO BE HIS LAST...

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All dogs are different, some are timid, some are knotheaded, you have to learn your dogs personality and train and discipline accordingly, a timid dog needs to be treated gently or you could ruin them.

That being said, there is no reason for a dog to be gun shy if a person has spent some time getting them used to gun shots, cap guns, dummy throwers, spent some time in the field shooting and getting them to associate guns with birds (which they should love). You can't just take a dog out on opening day and expect them to perform like a machine. You get out of them what you put into them.

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