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#6030649 - 11/15/15 12:53 PM Gun Breaking
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
So Buck and I have completed two 20 minute sessions of gun breaking where we would start with a remote gunner about 30-40 yards away. When I would throw the dummy, the gunner would shoot a 12 gauge blank, and I would then send him to retrieve the dummy. I also added a little more distraction for him in the form of 5-6 teal decoys he had to run through. We shot about 10-12 times each session and would get progressively closer, ending with the gunner throwing the dummy from a remote position and me shooting the shotgun with buck heeled at the line next to me.

He broke to retrieve the dummy on the shot (with me shooting next to him) the first session (which is fine with me right now). But never flinched or acted shy around the gun at all. The second session when it was time for me to shoot right next to him he started to break for the dummy but caught himself, backed up, and waited for me to send him. Again, showed absolutely no shyness towards the gun itself. The only flinching he did was to run and retrieve the dummy itself.

Needless to say, I'm very proud of my pup right now :-)

My question is how many gun breaking sessions would you guys recommend with a method like this if the dog isn't showing any shyness at all?

Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone's opinions and advice and good discussion on the topic of training.
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#6030663 - 11/15/15 12:59 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32686
Loc: Richmond
I would keep the two separate.
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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill




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#6030666 - 11/15/15 01:01 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
Sorry Bill, I'm confused. What would you keep separate? I'm new to all this so I need a little more explanation than everyone else :-)
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#6030700 - 11/15/15 01:34 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32686
Loc: Richmond
You're putting pressure on the pup to keep it steady. The pup could associate the pressure with the gun. I'd let the pup break and chase until it is completely comfortable around the gun.

That's what we do with pointing dogs. It could be different with retrievers.
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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill




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#6030708 - 11/15/15 01:45 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
Sweese Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 197
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: hunting_guy
So Buck and I have completed two 20 minute sessions of gun breaking where we would start with a remote gunner about 30-40 yards away. When I would throw the dummy, the gunner would shoot a 12 gauge blank, and I would then send him to retrieve the dummy. I also added a little more distraction for him in the form of 5-6 teal decoys he had to run through. We shot about 10-12 times each session and would get progressively closer, ending with the gunner throwing the dummy from a remote position and me shooting the shotgun with buck heeled at the line next to me.

He broke to retrieve the dummy on the shot (with me shooting next to him) the first session (which is fine with me right now). But never flinched or acted shy around the gun at all. The second session when it was time for me to shoot right next to him he started to break for the dummy but caught himself, backed up, and waited for me to send him. Again, showed absolutely no shyness towards the gun itself. The only flinching he did was to run and retrieve the dummy itself.

Needless to say, I'm very proud of my pup right now :-)

My question is how many gun breaking sessions would you guys recommend with a method like this if the dog isn't showing any shyness at all?

Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone's opinions and advice and good discussion on the topic of training.


You did a great job with the process, especially including the decoys. Many forget to do this with a young dog and run into problems on that first hunt. I usually have decoys laying around all the time with a young dog. You want a young dog to see decoys as part of the landscape.

It sounds like you are in good shape with not having a gun shy dog but the gun (blank or otherwise) should be a part of your training regiment going forward. You do not necessarily need to shoot a 12 gauge blank all the time, but a blank pistol with a .209 primer, or shotshell with a .209 primer only (reloaded) should suffice. If you use a blank pistol, I recommend mounting a piece of PVC spray painted black on the end. You want your dog to get use to seeing the barrel and learning how to mark off the direction it is pointed.


My $0.02.
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Regards,

Jay



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#6030754 - 11/15/15 02:07 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: bill oxner]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
You're putting pressure on the pup to keep it steady. The pup could associate the pressure with the gun. I'd let the pup break and chase until it is completely comfortable around the gun.

That's what we do with pointing dogs. It could be different with retrievers.


Bill, I see what you mean. I actually didn't put any pressure on him to stay steady during this exercise. We've worked on steadying prior to this quite a bit though, so he did that on his own. All I wanted to do was see how he reacted as the gun got closer and closer and he showed me that all he really cared about was retrieving the dummy. He did that and I praised him for bringing the dummy back even when he broke that first time. The second time he caught himself, I didn't do anything to hold him.

My lack of experience in training I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes in the process and I really focused on steadying during much of his obedience training, even though everything I've read says you can wait on steadying until later on.
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#6030758 - 11/15/15 02:08 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: bill oxner]
Sweese Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 197
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
You're putting pressure on the pup to keep it steady. The pup could associate the pressure with the gun. I'd let the pup break and chase until it is completely comfortable around the gun.

That's what we do with pointing dogs. It could be different with retrievers.


It is not much different. A pointer is standing(whoa) and a retriever is sitting.

I do agree that letting a young dog run around having fun with some fun bumpers (or birds) while getting use to the gun is a good plan. It is a good place to start. I think hunting_guy is past that and in my opinion breaking to wing or shot is bad. Stay(no pun intended) on this early and it will save headaches down the road.
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Regards,

Jay



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#6030774 - 11/15/15 02:21 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
Thanks Jay. I'll incorporate some shooting into as many lessons as I can from here on out. I'm lucky I had a little bit of help this weekend and had somebody able to shoot the gun away from me while I handled the dog. Now that I know he isn't gun shy, I'll start mixing it in from the line a little more and throw it in on some water marks and see how he does.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback
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#6031562 - 11/15/15 08:57 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
Fooshman Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 13682
Loc: Black Dog, Texas
What part of Central Texas are you in?
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#6031591 - 11/15/15 09:09 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
Belton
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#6034775 - 11/17/15 11:03 AM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
poisonivie Offline


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 7097
Loc: Bridgeport, Tx
Bill or Sweese, What about multiple gunfire? When do you introduce that? I saw two pups that were nearly ruined(one actually was ruined)by the first time they heard multiple gunshots. They were good with one shot but their first hunt, the first time a pheasant flushed, about 7 or 8 people fired at once and they came unglued.
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#6035208 - 11/17/15 02:32 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
hunting_guy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 163
Loc: Central Texas
I think just about anything would come unglued with 7-8 people firing at once at one bird lol.
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#6035666 - 11/17/15 06:00 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: hunting_guy]
Sweese Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 197
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: hunting_guy
Belton


Multiple gun shots is a lot to put on a young dog for their first hunt for sure. Do your best to train for situations you may encounter in the field. Obviously, it is difficult to train for 7-8 shooters - dang loud too. Personally, I would not hunt with a group of 7 or 8, especially pheasant hunting.

Let's say you want your dog steady in the duck blind..or to wing and shot in the uplands with 2 or 3 shooting. You should throw all of this at them during training for them to be solid during the actual hunting situation. I even purposely miss birds during training, so they realize a gun shot does not always mean a fall and retrieve.
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Regards,

Jay



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#6035705 - 11/17/15 06:22 PM Re: Gun Breaking [Re: Sweese]
passthru Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 10875
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
Originally Posted By: Sweese
Originally Posted By: hunting_guy
Belton


Multiple gun shots is a lot to put on a young dog for their first hunt for sure. Do your best to train for situations you may encounter in the field. Obviously, it is difficult to train for 7-8 shooters - dang loud too. Personally, I would not hunt with a group of 7 or 8, especially pheasant hunting.

Let's say you want your dog steady in the duck blind..or to wing and shot in the uplands with 2 or 3 shooting. You should throw all of this at them during training for them to be solid during the actual hunting situation. I even purposely miss birds during training, so they realize a gun shot seldom means a fall and retrieve.

Fify. clap
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