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R. Miller

Question for 2thepoint/uplander

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R. Miller

Hey guys. Just wanted to pose the question to you because I know you guys have young English Setters. At what age did you first introduce them to gunfire?

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setterguy

I can't speak for 2thepoint but I know and train with uplander and usually around 4-5 months of age when the dog is going into some "serious" training. Always start slow, associate the noise with birds and you should be good to go. I always let the dog chase some birds around, make them bird crazy before introducing a gun, then they are so focused on the bird that they don't even notice. Welcome to the club, you will love your setter.

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2thepointsetters

Very carefully I start at about 3 to 4 months. I pretty much follow the method from the book "Training Pointing Dogs by Paul Long" it has worked well for me.

Here is the first couple paragraphs from the intro to guns section.

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If you have a young puppy and want to start getting used to loud noises early in life, get a cap pistol and a blank pistol that shoots the foreign made crimps-regular American .22 blanks make too loud a crack. (I just use normal ones though)

Wait until your puppy has been introduced to the fields and found something chasable. When he is going away and no longer near you, fire the cap pistol. If the puppy shows fear or any abnormal reaction, put the pistol away for the day. Go on hunting for something else that the puppy will have fun chasing but don't make any kind of fuss over him. That is the worst thing you can do with a dog of any age that shows a sign of gunshyness; it will only accentuate the trait.

Chances are the puppy will be so interested in chasing the object that he will pay no attention to the noise of the pistol, and after a few repetitions will associate it with alot of fun.

However, if the puppy did show signs of being upset wait until he is older and more interested in hunting before trying it again.

there are few more pages with more detail but this how I basiclly start.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have found this works really well with a dummy or tennis ball. The first time the pup will usually look at you for a second or two. Try to be about 50 yards from the pup, works well if someone else helps by firing the pistol.

I hope this helps.

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2thepointsetters

Quote:

I can't speak for 2thepoint but I know and train with uplander and usually around 4-5 months of age when the dog is going into some "serious" training. Always start slow, associate the noise with birds and you should be good to go. I always let the dog chase some birds around, make them bird crazy before introducing a gun, then they are so focused on the bird that they don't even notice. Welcome to the club, you will love your setter.


You must have wrote that while I slowly typed my last post. You explained that very well. (I wish I had more birds avliable while the pups are young, thats a very important part of starting the pup off right)

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uplander

I guess there is no reason for me to respond since they did such a fine job, but I'll add this...Today I was out with my 7 month old setter and he has yet to have a 12ga fired over him, just blank pistols in ND. He made game and chased a woodcock so I fired a shot and he never broke stride. Like those guys said if they are super fired up over birds they probably won't hear it.....But start slow cap or blank guns first I always do it around birds!!!! Good luck and enjoy the setter......uplander

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R. Miller

Thanks for the replies guys. I just got back from 5 days of pheasant hunting in western MN. Here's a picture of Clyde. I brought him along for the trip. Never brought him out hunting, just more for socialization at the hunting camp. Here's a picture that I tried to take with Clyde and a rooster that my old brittany got up. As you can see, he's a little more interested in the bird than the photographer! [image]Clydewrooster.jpg[/image]

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2thepointsetters

That is a real good looking pup, I love the ticking on his face. Good to see he is interested in birds.

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