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Thread: Fixing a gun shy dog

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    Quote Originally Posted by RiverRat1 View Post
    They way I trained my pup was that at an early stage I would crush aluminum beer cans right by the dog. He got used to the loud noise of the crushing can easily and then I transitioned from there. Try it out with Ur best alcoholic beverage can and u will see good results as well.
    I actually did something similar using bowls and banging them together while she ate, this progressed up to a .22 starter pistol and she was fine.... then I made the mistake of not keeping it up figuring loud noises didn't bother her. Big mistake.

    Thanks for the advice on where to find the CD. Found the site.

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  3. #22
    Senior Member Sundown49 aka Otey B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Ghent, Ky


    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Potter View Post
    Toughest gunshy dog I've had to repair so far: A gorgeous English Setter, who came to me both gunshy and bird shy. If you showed him a bird, he'd urinate on himself while trying to crawl under something and hide. He was three years old when I got him in to work with, and had been hunting with good success up until the wreck.

    Wreck? Yep. He was pointing a woodcock in heavy cover, evidently right over the top of the bird, and as the owner moved in to flush, the bird went up, but not in sight of the owner until it cleared the brush. Owner shoots, bird drops, dog is bolting back to the truck, bleeding profusely from where the woodcock flushed, bill first, straight up his nose and into the sinus cavity. A freak accident for sure, but it scared the bejeebers out of the dog.

    Presto...instant gunshy/birdshy dog.

    The owner tried to work him through it and called me as a last resort before retiring the dog as a family pet. After evaluating the dog and seeing just how terrified he was, I figured there was only one thing I could try. I told the owner I thought the dog was salvageable, but it would be tough on the dog for a bit. Owner said go for it.

    So....I put the dog in one of my T.E. Scott kennels. And withheld dog food for a day, then put in a live quail. The dog sat in the back corner, scared to death of the bird. Three more days passed before survival instinct took over the fear, and the dog caught and ate the quail. For two weeks, this dog had a steady diet of pigeons and dog food, just birds... with gunfire reintroduced at the very end. Sixty days later, the owner came to pick him up, and the dog pointed, held beautifully, and retrieved birds to hand with no problems.

    Just as a caveat....had I thought at any time the dog was in danger, I'd have pulled the plug on the whole thing and sent it home to be a pet. He did drop a few pounds during the initial period, which we figured, but he came through it well after that.
    GREAT job Sharon. The unconventional sometimes gets very good results.
    My Dad said to me ."Son, a man just needs three things to be happy....A good dog, a good gun and a good wife.....Thank God I have all three
    Sundown's Boss of Delta Marsh JH (Louie QAA X Delta MH)
    Traveling Through The Graded Timber JH (2012 NAFC Trav X Timber MH QAA)

    Sundown's Ruff And Tuff (Boss JH X Lil Bit) best pup I have ever raised
    Home of HRCH Sundown's Loaded To The Maxx (FC AFC Jamie X Dixie QAA) RIP

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