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Mar 25th, 2012
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Gun Shy Brittany #5208275 07/19/14 04:07 AM
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doveblaster Offline OP
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She is extremely birdy. She has been in our backyard sitting, pointing and shaking trying to get to the dove best we have in our tree. She has been to a trainer twice and he assured me she had been broken of her gun shyness but she was not. That was 2 years ago and I want to try and do it myself this time or find a more reliable trainer. Any suggestions would be helpful.


Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5208611 07/19/14 03:53 PM
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Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5209629 07/20/14 01:35 PM
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I'll take a stab at the answer.
I'm going to assume she was always soft under the gun, and you sent her to a trainer. The trainer worked with her until she felt comfortable on birds with gunfire.
What did you do with her when she returned from the trainer?
Did you continue working/hunting with her, or let her sit up for a period of time?
If you didn't keep working her, that's probably why she reverted back to her previous behavior. I wouldn't bother sending her to a trainer again, unless you plan on devoting a full season of hunting her, as soon as you get her back.



Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5209667 07/20/14 02:08 PM
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Kindall that is very good advice and exactly why I quit training for the public. Trainers fix a problem and give this same advice to the owner and it goes in a deaf ear.


I can make 'em go! and I can make 'em whoa!
God makes 'em DO!
I carry the gun and blow the whistle.
Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5209704 07/20/14 02:39 PM
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I had a young brit a few years back that was gun shy, worked hard getting her over it. Was training one day with a friend and he was playing with his blank pistol and shot it about 3 foot from her head. Game over. Made a pet out of her and found her a good home. Worked out best for the dog and me.


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If it isn't white it is not a birddog.

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Lying is lying. Don't bitch about one doing it and condone another. That's called hypocrisy.
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Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5210490 07/20/14 11:55 PM
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doveblaster Offline OP
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Actually, the first time I picked her up from the trainer we went dove hunting the next day. The first time a dove flew over and I shot she ran over to some mesquite trees and hid and would not come out. I called the trainer and he said bring her back and he would take care of it. He said he had been shooting over her.

After the second time at the trainer, you are correct, I did not continue the training when she got home. I was not told that I needed to immediately. If I was told it would not go in a deaf ear. I waited a month or so and then took her to an open field behind our house. As we were working the way he showed me the first time I took her, I fired a starting pistol and she freaked again.

Thanks for the help.


Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5210492 07/20/14 11:55 PM
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I have pulled a few dogs from shelters that are very gun shy. Regular work I the fist and and letting them know where the noise was coming from was the first step. It can take days weeks or months working your way into the dog. Slowly is not bad.

I agree with kindall and what he said. If you live in the city you would e supprised how well a cap guy from Walmart would help for traing when you can't get I the field.

Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: doveblaster] #5225999 07/30/14 04:17 PM
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Since my Brittany was a pup I have taken her to the skeet/clays ranges and done her basic obedience training there while people shoot. I just stay off a bit and work her and give her treats. THen we walk the course and visit people. Lots of dog lovers at the clays range. She never flicks an ear now past the first shot that generally just startles her a bit by surprise. You might try that and start her out a ways with treats and then work her closer/louder a bit.

Re: Gun Shy Brittany [Re: Bob Bean] #5226028 07/30/14 04:44 PM
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I wouldn't recommend the gun range, that is a coin flip as to if it will work or not and can very easily ruin a dog. I know some people swear by it, but its luck of the draw, not a proven method based on results.

There are lots of threads on here about gunshyness, you might want to search on that term, but the most reliable way to introduce a dog to gunfire is to associate something that they enjoy with the sound of gunfire. Breaking a dog of gunshyness is about a 50/50 propositionů and basically takes a complete re-introduction to gunfire... basically starting over with the dog.

It sounds to me as if you are using the dog primarily as a retriever and you are shooting over a young dog at flying birds.
Get some pigeons and get the dog all amped up on the ground bird, the flush, the chase and even (as a last resort) the catch of the bird. Then gently introduce some small gunfire at a distance WHILE the dog is engaged with the bird. Your objective is to associate that gunfire with that bird. It could take months or years or it might not ever happen that she comes around, but get her to connect one on one with the birds in close proximity and then bring in the gunfire from a distance starting with small calibers and working up on both distance and caliber. Work her instincts as a pointing dog until she makes the connection and starts to associate the gunfire with a positive result, then you might be able to move back to shooting over her at flying birds.

If at any point she shows skittishness towards the gunfire during the live bird work, backup and start over with her.

Good Luck.



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