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#5712619 - 04/23/15 12:46 AM Question about gun training
Duck_Hunter Online   content
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Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 3350
I bought a lab puppy before I started hunting. I used some books to train him to retrieve from heel and wait to be released, etc. from the start. Then I started duck hunting when a buddy of mine introduced it to me and I'm hooked. Then I ramped up the retriever hunting with him even though I don't have a lease of my own and only hunt as a guest at my buddy's lease. It would be nice to have a dog for those times, though and I also want to increase my hunting time.

My dog, Bo, could do it, I think, with work from now until season. He has the drive and is e-collar trained and I hunt leases with my buddy and maybe one other shooter. If I took him out, I wouldn't hunt much, if at all, I'd want to watch my dog work.

My question is, how would you go about introducing a three year old to a gun? He isn't afraid of noises now and was across the lake from some people shooting .22s during some training exercises one time and was interested, not scared.

Any help is appreciated if anyone has any suggestions or tips for introducing a three year old dog to shotguns.
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#5712677 - 04/23/15 06:33 AM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
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Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
This post confused the crap out of me. Is the dog a pup or a three year old? In one breath we're collar conditioned and marking and the next we're introducing to the gun. My head is spinning. How old is the dog and how much training have they had?
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#5712836 - 04/23/15 08:35 AM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
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#5713611 - 04/23/15 04:49 PM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
Duck_Hunter Online   content
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Registered: 10/30/14
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Sorry, that's what I get for trying to post at nearly 1 am. I should have waited until this morning.

My dog is three. I've had him since he was five weeks. He is a full blooded lab but his parents were not used for hunting or trials or anything, to my knowledge.

He has only been trained by me, based off a few different books (Water Dog before I knew it's considered outdated by many, Dokken's book and, most recently the 10 minute retriever).

He has a lot of the basics down but would need a lot of work before I took him out in the field, the biggest being he hasn't been introduced to gunshots.

My question boils down to this: is it possible to condition a three year old dog to the sound of a gun, realizing it depends on the dog and method used and, if so, would you go about it the same way you would with a young puppy or does the age not matter?

Sorry for the confusion. smile
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#5713901 - 04/23/15 07:52 PM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
maximumintensityretriever Offline
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Registered: 04/16/13
Posts: 512
Loc: Longview, Texas
Yes you can condition him to gunfire. If you have done those programs I assume that you are running marks out in the field? Have a helper go out the longest distance that your dog is comfortable marking and have them throw the mark with a shot. I would not use live loads for this and would suggest a primer pistol or popper loads. You can also use 22 blanks that can be found at hardware stores. See how he reacts. Chances are it will excite him to go on the mark. Work your way closer and closer until you can shoot popper loads and then live loads over the dog. Unless your dog is noise shy in general I have never had an issue when associating marks with gunfire.

Good luck.
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#5714067 - 04/23/15 09:22 PM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
Duck_Hunter Online   content
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Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 3350
Thanks, Tony! That's what the stuff I've read said to do, I just didn't know if anyone had experience with an older dog than what the normal age they are conditioned. He is not noise shy at all.

Thanks again.
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#5718816 - 04/27/15 05:14 PM Re: Question about gun training [Re: Duck_Hunter]
Dkhntr Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 808
Just like tony said is how it's done I have many a dogs that have learned late in life.

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