texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
Pat123, Rob-in-FW, Mike Daugherty, noose, Shultsee
65823 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 94,441
bill oxner 57,717
stxranchman 55,261
SnakeWrangler 47,280
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,436
BMD 41,029
Big Orn 37,484
Facebook
Forum Statistics
Forums45
Topics438,419
Posts6,361,647
Members65,823
Most Online16,728
Mar 25th, 2012
Print Thread
Dog gun shyness #7589772 08/26/19 02:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 157
T
TexasDuckMan Offline OP
Woodsman
OP Offline
Woodsman
T
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 157
So last year I adopted a young chocolate lab that I hoped to train up as a new bird dog. I learned quickly however that he is EXTREMELY shy about loud noises. Especially gunshots. I have tried a few techniques with no results so far so I wanted to see if anyone out there has any tips.


Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. -John Wayne
Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589779 08/26/19 02:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 103
S
Shortya Offline
Woodsman
Offline
Woodsman
S
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 103
Does he enjoy playing fetch with ball or stick??

I bought a cap gun at Wally World....then would play fetch with my dog and every time I threw the ball, I shot the gun. Got her used to loud noise = a good thing. Progressed to shooting gun BEFORE throwing the ball. Probably shot 500+ caps over 2 week period.....

Has worked great for us.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589809 08/26/19 02:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
You probably made him gun shy if you simply took him out and shot a gun off in front of him for the first time, one time will do it. Dogs need to be slowly introduced to gun fire to eliminate the risk of gun shyness. Some dogs you can take out, fire a gun in front of them no problem, some dogs you can’t. Every dog is different, but to not take risk, every dog should be “slowly” introduced to gun fire and there are many ways to do this. It’s the same process to fix a dog of gun shyness, it just takes longer and more patience.

Do some google search on the topic. Research the topic thoroughly before you take your next step. I doubt your dog will be ready for the dove opener if that is what you expecting.are expecting

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: Shortya] #7589819 08/26/19 02:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Originally Posted by Shortya
Does he enjoy playing fetch with ball or stick??

I bought a cap gun at Wally World....then would play fetch with my dog and every time I threw the ball, I shot the gun. Got her used to loud noise = a good thing. Progressed to shooting gun BEFORE throwing the ball. Probably shot 500+ caps over 2 week period.....

Has worked great for us.

This is a good method. But before you shoot “while throwing” as a first step, first throw bumper, while dog is running to bumper, fire cap gun when dog is like 30 yards away. Repeat, but then 20 yards away, repeat but 10 yards away, repeat but 5 yards away. Then, throw and fire bumper at same time. Do this a lot. Cap guns are also good because dog learns to like the smell of gun powder. Also do all this with your shotgun and cap gun, your dog might now be scared of the sight of the shotgun, this will be another problem to over come.

Your next step after all this is shotgun poppers, they are not very loud

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589879 08/26/19 03:37 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 157
T
TexasDuckMan Offline OP
Woodsman
OP Offline
Woodsman
T
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 157
Guy, I should have included how i started with him. first time he heard gunshots I had my wife stand about 100 yards away while i shot a few rounds of clays out in the pasture. when he was comfortable, she would bring him up 5-10 yards just working their way up. We tried this several times but as he would get to about 20 yards he would get timid.

I do like the cap gun approach because he LOVES to fetch. I will definitely try that technique.


Money cannot buy happiness but its more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle. -John Wayne
Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589908 08/26/19 04:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,304
L
Leonardo Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
L
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,304
sound = reward will probably be the most effective way to overcome this. You can still start with some distance between the dog and sound but make sure every time he gets to go especially if he loves to retrieve.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589918 08/26/19 04:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Originally Posted by TexasDuckMan
Guy, I should have included how i started with him. first time he heard gunshots I had my wife stand about 100 yards away while i shot a few rounds of clays out in the pasture. when he was comfortable, she would bring him up 5-10 yards just working their way up. We tried this several times but as he would get to about 20 yards he would get timid.

You moved dog closer too fast then. This is also not a good method because you are not making it fun, you are making your dog just sit there, that probably makes your dog nervous in of itself. Slowly mix gun fire in with retrieves, so your dog associates gunfire with retrieving. If your dog gets nervous, you are going to fast, baby steps is the name of the game.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7589937 08/26/19 04:34 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
L
LarryCopper Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
L
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
I went through this last year. Did everything right, all was going great. For some reason unknown to me, I shot a dove and my pup lost it. Didn't shoot over her... maybe the spent shell hit her? Dunno, but then I had to work out of it. Here is what I did and fortunately it worked great.

Gotta start off by saying my pup would get shy just at me swinging my shotgun. So, I kept one in the living room. Every hour or so I'd calmly reach for it, work the action, swing it around. It's important you COMPLETELY ignore the response you get. Consoling a gunshy dog has the affect of rewarding the incorrect behavior. Did that for weeks, every dang day, and eventually she stopped paying attention to it. At the same time I played a CD designed to slowly introduce the sound (https://www.gundogsupply.com/gunshycure.html). At first I'd do all this while she was eating so she would associate the gun and sounds with something good. Then worked my way into doing it at random times.

The last stage was to use birds. On opening morning of duck season I started with her and I 100 yards away from my son. Luckily there were plenty of birds and he had a rare off day. After each shot I'd move closer paying very close attention to her reactions. She was curious, not scared... kept moving up until we were 5 yards behind him. He dropped a bird right in front and she ran in for it. But, there was also a winged wigeon swimming to the far bank. After it crawled up in the bushes I took her over and turned her loose. The switch was immediately flipped. Chased it down to the bank, it went under, she went in underwater after it and got it. Smooth sailing since.

By the second day she was running TOWARDS gunfire.

If you are ever in the DFW area PM me and you can borrow the CDs.


Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: Leonardo] #7590347 08/26/19 11:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,350
H
Hopedale Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
H
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,350
Originally Posted by Leonardo
sound = reward will probably be the most effective way to overcome this. You can still start with some distance between the dog and sound but make sure every time he gets to go especially if he loves to retrieve.


I was thinking this myself. Maybe head to a gun range. Each time you and the pup hears a shot, give the pup a treat.


[Linked Image]
Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: Hopedale] #7590388 08/27/19 12:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Originally Posted by Hopedale
Maybe head to a gun range. Each time you and the pup hears a shot, give the pup a treat.

Gun range not a good idea. Gun fire going off constantly, plus food not the best reward, having fun (retrieving) is best.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7590405 08/27/19 12:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,153
S
scalebuster Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
S
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,153
If you have a good place for her to run only shoot when she’s chasing a birds. I have pigeons and gun break them when they’re chasing pigeons or whatever birds they find In The pasture. If you don’t have anything like this get a pro to help before you ruin her.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7590417 08/27/19 12:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 105
L
Lalo Offline
Woodsman
Offline
Woodsman
L
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 105
Originally Posted by TexasDuckMan
So last year I adopted a young chocolate lab that I hoped to train up as a new bird dog.

I'm surprised no one has asked more about the dog. You "adopted." Meaning your hunting buddy had a lab of terrific hunting/trial lines he had to let go? Or adopted as in you went to a shelter and picked up a lab of unknown history?
If the dog's history is unknown to you there may be something important there. Even if the dog's parents weren't hunted that could be important. I am not expert enough to know if gun shyness runs in the genes, but I do know that in some breeds they try to not let a gun shy dog get bred.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7590419 08/27/19 12:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,153
S
scalebuster Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
S
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,153
We inherited a gun shy pointer when I was a kid. This was before good shock collars and the previous owner had shot him a lot without properly training him.. He was scared at the sight of a gun. Buster would cower when he saw one. It took all summer but we only let him eat when someone was holding a gun next to his feed. He finally got over the fear of looking at a gun and his prey drive let us start shooting bird over him. Every dog is different and I never thought he’d be any good but for some reason my Papaw saw potential in him. He ran bigger than we liked but once we put a good Whoa on him he’d hold his bird like a champ. Papaw may have beat the chit out of him many times but we damn sure never shot him again. Papaw wouldn’t hesitate to beat a dog down but didn’t like to pepper one.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: LarryCopper] #7590450 08/27/19 01:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Originally Posted by LarryCopper
I went through this last year. Did everything right, all was going great. For some reason unknown to me, I shot a dove and my pup lost it. Didn't shoot over her... maybe the spent shell hit her? Dunno, but then I had to work out of it. Here is what I did and fortunately it worked great.

Gotta start off by saying my pup would get shy just at me swinging my shotgun. So, I kept one in the living room. Every hour or so I'd calmly reach for it, work the action, swing it around. It's important you COMPLETELY ignore the response you get. Consoling a gunshy dog has the affect of rewarding the incorrect behavior. Did that for weeks, every dang day, and eventually she stopped paying attention to it. At the same time I played a CD designed to slowly introduce the sound (https://www.gundogsupply.com/gunshycure.html). At first I'd do all this while she was eating so she would associate the gun and sounds with something good. Then worked my way into doing it at random times.

The last stage was to use birds. On opening morning of duck season I started with her and I 100 yards away from my son. Luckily there were plenty of birds and he had a rare off day. After each shot I'd move closer paying very close attention to her reactions. She was curious, not scared... kept moving up until we were 5 yards behind him. He dropped a bird right in front and she ran in for it. But, there was also a winged wigeon swimming to the far bank. After it crawled up in the bushes I took her over and turned her loose. The switch was immediately flipped. Chased it down to the bank, it went under, she went in underwater after it and got it. Smooth sailing since.

By the second day she was running TOWARDS gunfire.

If you are ever in the DFW area PM me and you can borrow the CDs.

I remember this from last year. Was the CD the trick? I read what gun dog supply said, not sure I really understand it. I was surprised your dog made the quick turn around like it did.

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: TexasDuckMan] #7590785 08/27/19 01:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 266
O
outfitter1 Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
O
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 266
My training starts with shotgun Primers fired with the gun from about 50yrds, then when comfortable with that we go to a 410 then 20ga finally 12ga. I've had great results on all my dogs over 45 yrs of training. Even had one that would hunt with no problems but was scared to death of thunder. New puppy just introduced to primers no problems yet. Never beat a dog down ,I bred and raised Brittany Spaniels if you beat one you basically destroyed that dogs desire to hunt.

Last edited by outfitter1; 08/27/19 01:39 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: Guy] #7590830 08/27/19 02:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
L
LarryCopper Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
L
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
Originally Posted by Guy
Originally Posted by LarryCopper
I went through this last year. Did everything right, all was going great. For some reason unknown to me, I shot a dove and my pup lost it. Didn't shoot over her... maybe the spent shell hit her? Dunno, but then I had to work out of it. Here is what I did and fortunately it worked great.

Gotta start off by saying my pup would get shy just at me swinging my shotgun. So, I kept one in the living room. Every hour or so I'd calmly reach for it, work the action, swing it around. It's important you COMPLETELY ignore the response you get. Consoling a gunshy dog has the affect of rewarding the incorrect behavior. Did that for weeks, every dang day, and eventually she stopped paying attention to it. At the same time I played a CD designed to slowly introduce the sound (https://www.gundogsupply.com/gunshycure.html). At first I'd do all this while she was eating so she would associate the gun and sounds with something good. Then worked my way into doing it at random times.

The last stage was to use birds. On opening morning of duck season I started with her and I 100 yards away from my son. Luckily there were plenty of birds and he had a rare off day. After each shot I'd move closer paying very close attention to her reactions. She was curious, not scared... kept moving up until we were 5 yards behind him. He dropped a bird right in front and she ran in for it. But, there was also a winged wigeon swimming to the far bank. After it crawled up in the bushes I took her over and turned her loose. The switch was immediately flipped. Chased it down to the bank, it went under, she went in underwater after it and got it. Smooth sailing since.

By the second day she was running TOWARDS gunfire.

If you are ever in the DFW area PM me and you can borrow the CDs.

I remember this from last year. Was the CD the trick? I read what gun dog supply said, not sure I really understand it. I was surprised your dog made the quick turn around like it did.

In our case it certainly didn't hurt, but I don't think it had much to do with. The key for my pup was understanding the relationship between the shot and a bird. Once that sank it she was good to go.


Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: LarryCopper] #7590857 08/27/19 02:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Lots of times pup owners condition their pup by the book, but then opening morning they take their pup on first duck hunt with 3 of their buddies first flock comes in 12 shots ring out, and pup not ready for that and goes gun shy.

Baby steps...

Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: Guy] #7590876 08/27/19 02:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
L
LarryCopper Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
Online Content
THF Trophy Hunter
L
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,060
Originally Posted by Guy
Lots of times pup owners condition their pup by the book, but then opening morning they take their pup on first duck hunt with 3 of their buddies first flock comes in 12 shots ring out, and pup not ready for that and goes gun shy.

Baby steps...

Apparently it can happen later on. In my case, my pup had already been hunting a month when this happened. Dozens of dove and teal retrieves under her belt. Not even a sign of being shy.

On the other hand, I've hunted with lots of dogs that were introduced exactly how you described above. Not how I would have done it, but not my dogs. I've never seen one get shy. Then I go by the book, she's hunting great, and whammo. bang

Really weird situation, but I'm glad she got over it quickly. So to the OP, most trainers will tell you your odds are not very good, but I can tell you that in at least some cases it can be corrected. It will take a lot of time and work just to try tho.


Re: Dog gun shyness [Re: LarryCopper] #7590926 08/27/19 04:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Guy Offline
THF Celebrity
Offline
THF Celebrity
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 29,747
Tara is 1 year old here, her first hunting season, this is 2 weeks before regular big duck season. She did not dove hunt I didn’t think she was ready and still conditioning here to gun fire. But this launcher I made with pvc is great for conditions your pup, a few session with this and your pup will be addicted to gunfire, it’s like crack for a pup. I like this as well because it looks like a shotgun. Just got to cut a slit in the pvc so you can pull back the hammer.

[Linked Image]


[/quote]

Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2019 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3