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Author Topic: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?  (Read 3419 times)

Offline davecloke

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Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« on: November 17, 2016, 09:33:04 PM »
We have an 8 month old GWP.  Before we got her she was exposed to gun fire when she was very young (6 weeks old or so).  I'm seeking input from others who have experience with this.  I want to make sure it's done right as not to make her gun shy.  Thanks.

Offline metlhead

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 09:44:37 PM »
Play time with the BB gun. By 4mo, mine knew a gun was go run around time. Switched to the shotgun, dog could care less and just wanted to go run. Don't sweat it. I've learned this breed knows what it was meant for.

Offline Smokeploe

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 05:45:02 AM »
Take her out to the trap range and play with her around the parking lot, then move in closer and closer over a period of 2 weeks.  By the time you get behind or off to the side next to the shooters there will be no problem.  You just have to pay attention and watch her for flinching, if she starts back off and play and reassure her that nothing is wrong.  By the end of the month she will be quite ready to shoot over.  Sometimes it helps if you let the shooters know what you are doing so it does not blow their practice time, most of them will help and accept and let you wander off to the side of the field.
Smokeploe

Offline Henrydog

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 06:28:08 AM »
Agree with Smokepole. I started then the dog for younger but we would go for a walk at the gun club, I would also give treats and we worked closer and closer on a lead.  Later I had my kid shoot his .22.  Then for the final step, I went to a pay for released birds place.  I told the owner my mission was just for him to find one, see and hear it shot and nothing more.  He hid the birds easily about 100 yards apart.  After the first one was shot I reward the hell out of him.  My Springer is 6 now, and I he associates the smell of gun oil with chasing birds because anytime I open the same he can wake for a dead sleep and run to the door.

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 07:08:20 AM »
Everyone has their own system; all I can say is "take it slow".

Mine: I start off with a toy cap pistol. At first, I don't reveal the pistol and only fire it when the puppy is involved in a fun time activity like play retrieving. I start at a short distance and then work in closer as the puppy is fully involved in fun time. I progress outside to a blank firing, starter/training pistol. I fire it as the maturing puppy is in full blast pursuit of the training dummy. The puppy soon learns that gun fire is a notice of possible fun. The final step is a solo hunt in the field or field training with pigeons.

Whatever method you decide on...take it carefully and slow and don't take a young dog for its first hunt with the car load of  "Best Buds" that expose the dog to sudden multiple 12 Ga. blasts along with other people yelling at your dog.
" America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

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Offline davecloke

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 09:30:42 AM »
Great insight.  Thanks guys.  The "take it slow" method makes complete sense.  I also like the trap shoot range and cap gun/starter pistol idea.  She's an awesome dog and has fit into our family very well.  Granted, we've done obedience trainging and have spent TONS of time with her.  And, still do everyday.  I'll post a picture some time soon.  Thanks again. 

Offline jackson7

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2016, 09:34:12 AM »
going it through it now. have been using a cap gun in house. starter pistol on walks. good luck.
great advice from t bone.

Offline jetjockey

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2016, 09:39:02 AM »
Please, For your sake, DO NOT take your dog to the gun range.  That is a great way to make your dog gun shy.   Put the dog on birds, let it chase, and then fire a muffled blank pistol.  Slowly work your way up from there so the shot gets louder, and closer to the beginning of the chase.  If your dog associates the shot with birds, your dog will be looking for retrieves like crazy on the 4th.   If your dog doesn't know why he's hearing the loud bangs, you could easily create a gun shy dog.  I can't stress to you how bad an idea it is to take your young dog to a gun range.

Offline ribka

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 10:12:43 AM »
Please, For your sake, DO NOT take your dog to the gun range.  That is a great way to make your dog gun shy.   Put the dog on birds, let it chase, and then fire a muffled blank pistol.  Slowly work your way up from there so the shot gets louder, and closer to the beginning of the chase.  If your dog associates the shot with birds, your dog will be looking for retrieves like crazy on the 4th.   If your dog doesn't know why he's hearing the loud bangs, you could easily create a gun shy dog.  I can't stress to you how bad an idea it is to take your young dog to a gun range.


x2- could ruin a dog quickly taking to a range

work on prey drive and then combine prey drive with gunfire. Associating the two if very important imo

Get some live pigeons or other birds let your dog go after them. After a week or so , have someone hold your dog. Walk about 20 yds away with a pellet rifle or muffled cap gun fire gun  and release the bird (a tethered  bird)  while dog is watching. After a few weeks bump it up to a .22 cal still maintaining distance. I then slowly close distance with the pellet rifle so dog is near me when I shoot and release bird. Then slowly shorten distance and shoot next to dog with something louder like a .22 rifle. After a few weeks or so introduce a shotgun is dog is comfortable and excited. First few weeks with shotgun stay  about 50 yds away from dog first time when release bird..  Definitely no hurry in exposing to gunfire. I then same and combine water retrieves

any problems start from beginning and go slowly. If you plan to hunt with other hunters introduce the dog, again at a distance to multiple gunfire during training. Have seen more than one dog who was not gun shy freak out first time exposed to multiple gun fire.

Offline clockwork

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2016, 12:11:17 PM »
the first time I exposed my GSP to gunfire he was about 4 months and I shot a grouse on the ground. it was a cripple so it flapped around and the dog went after it. from that point on he always associated a shot blast with a downed bird and got super excited. not sure how to replicate the conditions but I think you have to have a bird or at least a wing on hand to associate it with.

Offline scottr

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Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 03:01:48 PM »
[edit] saw the range advice and chimed in before I saw Jet Jockey & Ribka's posts so ya what they said.   :yeah:

Do not take your dog to the range as a way to introduce the gun. More gun dogs are ruined this way than you can imagine.

If you plan to hunt with this dog, the tried and true method is to create an association of the gun with birds & hunting. There is a lot of information online about this but at a high level here is the idea:

1) introduce the dog to birds (homing pigeons in a kick cage work great) until they are pointing & chasing them. You want  the dog to be confident around birds and for the prey drive to kick in. Screw this up and you'll have a dog that blinks on birds (has a bad association with birds).
2) once the dog is pointing & chasing birds and seems confident in that you can introduce the gun. It helps to have a shooter while you handle the dog. Start with a 22 blank from far away and move gradually closer until you can fire over the dog. If at any time the dog reacts negatively to the gun, stop and go back to chasing birds and slowly re-introduce. You want a dog that is so focused on the bird that they never hear/or care about the gun. Eventually a gun shot may actually get them excited.  The formula is gun + birds = fun.
3) repeat step 2 with a shot gun starting far away and slowly firing closer and closer.

If you get through step 3 with no ill effects your dog is broke to the gun.

My setter is broke to the gun but still freaks out at loud noises including fireworks & banging because when he hears these he is not associating the sounds with fun & birds.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 10:01:37 PM by scottr »

Offline SpringerFan

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 05:31:22 PM »
Please, For your sake, DO NOT take your dog to the gun range.  That is a great way to make your dog gun shy.   Put the dog on birds, let it chase, and then fire a muffled blank pistol.  Slowly work your way up from there so the shot gets louder, and closer to the beginning of the chase.  If your dog associates the shot with birds, your dog will be looking for retrieves like crazy on the 4th.   If your dog doesn't know why he's hearing the loud bangs, you could easily create a gun shy dog.  I can't stress to you how bad an idea it is to take your young dog to a gun range.

Spot on. Never a trap range. Do a search. I outlined what I was taught and both dogs loved their shotgun!
We don't blame cars for drunk drivers......Why blame guns for violent people...

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Offline jagermiester

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 11:24:33 PM »
Every time you feed your pup bang the cupboard doors closed or hit a stock pot with a wooden spoon. Your pup will associate the loud noise with something good. Then start with a starting pistol while working with pigeons slowly work up from there.
Lead em if they're running.

Offline T-Bone

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2016, 06:33:21 AM »
going it through it now. have been using a cap gun in house. starter pistol on walks. good luck.
great advice from t bone.

Thank you, jackson7; I've used this method for decades with great success and by "taking it slow", I've never had a gun shy dog.

In my earlier post, I should have mentioned my strong dislike about the gun range idea...Heck, I personally twitch without hearing protection upon hearing the BLAM...BLAM of gunfire upon arriving at a gun range; let alone a puppy with their sensitive ears.

As mentioned, keep the gunfire exposure a fun and rewarding experience for the puppy. Good luck!
" America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

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Offline Forks

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Re: Getting pup exposed to gun fire?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2016, 07:08:36 AM »
It's really very simple as some have mentioned. First you introduce birds then add gun if your dog has drive. Have fun.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 05:27:47 PM by Forks »

 

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