The RetrieverTraining.Net Forums The Retriever Academy
Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy
Hawkeye Media Gunners Up Tritronics Outdoor Media
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: gun shy

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default gun shy

    I have a one year old female lab that I am having a hard time introducing her to the gun. Have started from a distance and she is still very afraid. Any suggestions please?!?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lindenhurst, IL
    Posts
    47

    Default

    what exactly is she doing while the gun is going off at a distance? are you using a shotgun? or a blank pistol...? Try to make the gun going off associated with something fun, whether that is throwing short bumpers for her, or even during mealtime (i've never fed my dogs while exposing to gunfire but I have heard of it working). If you are just having her there while the gunshots go off she is simply scared and is having a negative association, much like fireworks going off outside the house, or thunderstorms. Also, try a blank pistol first, not as loud or intense. Just incorporate fun training drills while the shots go off, I think you can turn it around.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default

    she runs and tries to hide with the shotgun
    22 blanks she will run to the bumper but will not pick it up
    but will return to me on command

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kevin Eskam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pierce, Colorado
    Posts
    961

    Default

    I would put your dog on live birds, let her flush then shoot. that way her mind is occupied.

    My old boy Rosco was gun shy, I put him on birds and let them fly away no shots, He got so crazy about live birds that when i started shooting he started trusting me.
    Last edited by Kevin Eskam; 11-03-2009 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member brandywinelabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    717

    Default

    Play with her 100 yds away from a gunner (play / fun bumpers.). Soon have your gunner shoot a 22 blank. Watch reaction. No gun for you. Your concern is your dogs reactions.

    Repeat and reassure. Move a little closer/farther depending on reaction Have fun with the dog. Work into 209 primers, move closer or farther as needed. Move to poppers. Keep it fun while doing this. Live birds will probably help.
    Greg W.

    Brooks Black Gold At Briarwood JH (Louie)
    Brandywine's Belle on Wheels JH (Belle)
    Serengetti Sadie O'Brandywine SH -MH passes (Sadie)
    CH Brandywine's Westdale Duggan MH (Duggan)
    CH Alpenglo's Jasmine O'Brooks JH CD (Jasmine)
    Brandywine's Flagship SH (Brandy)

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Lindenhurst, IL
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Yes make sure you have good distance. And live birds would be the best, she will be excited and very side tracked all the while getting accustomed to gun shots. I think it is too soon for the shotgun at this point. But with using good distance and live birds...you should be ok.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lompoc. Ca.
    Posts
    490

    Default

    If it is possible to cure this problem, it will be done through positive association with the noise; the noise must become something pleasant to the dog.
    If your dog has a deep rooted Gun Shyness problem, it's probably only one of the problems you will face. Take a close look at the quality of this dog---he may never reach the level of expertise you envisioned.
    Sorry to be so negative, but you should know what you are up against in the long run.
    GG
    NO DOG WILL PERFORM TO HIS TRAINING LEVEL UNLESS HIS HANDLER IS CAPABLE OF MAKING HIM DO SO!
    reibar.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member GG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lompoc. Ca.
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Just found this article i wrote a few years back.
    Hope it helps
    GUN SHY
    It seems that everyone has a definition of"gun shy" and they
    all differ slightly. The degree of gun shyness will determine whether or not the dog can be helped. My definition of incurable gun shyness is when a shot goes off and you finally find the dog in the next town. If a dog is that terrified from the blast of a gun it's doubtful that anyone can help him get over his fear. Gun shyness is one of those problems that's all or nothing; cure it or turn the dog into a pet. Before attempting to tackle this problem my advice is: be damned sure the dog has some redeeming talent that makes such an effort worthwhile. "But I love the dog" does not qualify as worthwhile.
    I have never had a gun shy dog in training. (I just reread that and it sounds like my ego is showing, so let me explain.) The majority of dogs that I get in training are young and most have never heard a shotgun blast. When I get a new pup he is placed in his crate on the dog truck and taken to the field. I work only one dog at a time so the remaining eight dogs on the truck get charged up when they hear the shotgun sounding off. The young pup senses the excitement from the other dogs and makes a positive association with the sound of the gun. I do not shoot birds for a young dog until about the second week he is in training and by that time the sound of a shotgun means something good is going to happen. Of course, the shotguns are out in the field about 50 yards away from the dog. I don't shoot next to the dog until later when the association between shooting and retrieving is stronger. So when it's his turn to work he is looking forward to hearing the sound of the gun.
    While shooting trap at the Santa Ynez Trap Club one day I noticed a man drive up with a young dog in the rear of his pickup. He put a leash on the little guy and tried to walk towards the gunfire; the pup dug in his heels and tried to resist but this man dragged the terrified pup to the edge of the firing line. Forcing this pup to face something he was afraid of did not create a positive association for his first time ever hearing guns going off. The ideal thing to do for that puppy would be to stop at a distance from the gunfire and allow him to get accustomed to the noise. Give him a dog treat and love him up as you bring him closer to the firing line. When you see the pup getting apprehensive don't try to move him any closer; that's as close as he feels comfortable around the noise today. Dogs, especially puppies, are naturally fearful of any loud noise until they understand its significance and are comfortable around it.
    We must all try to remember that gun dogs have certain instincts given to them at birth by mother nature. Shotgun blasts are not covered in that birthright. But,if introduced properly, before long the noise from a shotgun becomes music to the dog's ears.
    good hunting
    NO DOG WILL PERFORM TO HIS TRAINING LEVEL UNLESS HIS HANDLER IS CAPABLE OF MAKING HIM DO SO!
    reibar.com

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    37

    Default

    If I hadn't witnessed it myself I would have trouble believing it could be done, but it can. I have seen a seven year old CLF trained to not be gun shy. It tool lots of live birds, force-fetching and lots of training but the dog is now steady and can be hunted over. Keep up the faith if you want to keep this dog as your hunting companion.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    3

    Default

    thank you all

Similar Threads

  1. Anyone got any tricks how to break gun shy
    By Jerry D Herring in forum RTF - Retriever Training Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-27-2009, 10:24 AM
  2. gun shy dog
    By D1 in forum RTF - Retriever Training Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-01-2009, 12:45 PM
  3. gun shy and i need help
    By foxtrapr in forum RTF - Retriever Training Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-04-2008, 12:27 PM
  4. gun shy
    By Alastair in forum RTF - Retriever Training Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-09-2008, 02:35 PM
  5. IS THIS DOG GUN SHY???
    By AdamB in forum RTF - Retriever Training Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-26-2007, 06:41 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •