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Thread: Gun Shy Help!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brettttka's Avatar
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    Default Gun Shy Help!

    My almost 2YO YLM is I am not going to say gun shy but hesitant. Took him out yesterday to train at a friends pond and to shoot over him since I have neighbors pretty close. His retrieving was AWESOME and I couldnt be excited for the upcoming season. He is just getting through his casting and did really well taking them and his marking was good. He had been shot of at the trainers quite a bit before I got him. I have had him about 2 months and havent had a chance to shoot over him since he has been home. (3 year old and 3 month old I know is not an excuse but is more important that traveling to train) I do yard work everynight and he is progressing great. So yesterday when I shot over him he wouldnt run for the hills just duck his head and move about 3 feet away real skittish for when I was gonna shoot. Was shooting poppers and light load 12ga #8s. How do I get him rock steady to gun fire? I know just shooting over him is going to be the ticket but unfortunatly I cant do that everyday. Does this gunshy prevention cd from gundogsupply.com work or any other recommendations. I am really excited for the upcoming duck season with his retrieving just dont want him to be skittish around the gun shots.
    Lone Oak's Marley Man.. (My first)

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    Senior Member metalone67's Avatar
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    Back the gun off of him and only fire when the bird is in the air. Associate gun fire with good things. Somewhere along the line something happened and he's associating the gun shot with it.
    Do a few retrieves with no gun then a gun then a few without. He needs to learn that the gunshot is a good thing.
    The foundation to a great retriever is obedience.
    Firestorms Full Throttle Chevy aka Callie-Roo 7/5/2007 - 10/25/2013 I miss you every day
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalone67 View Post
    Back the gun off of him and only fire when the bird is in the air. Associate gun fire with good things. Somewhere along the line something happened and he's associating the gun shot with it.
    Do a few retrieves with no gun then a gun then a few without. He needs to learn that the gunshot is a good thing.
    I agree with this. I would also put the gun out in the field when you bring it back for a while and move it closer and closer until you are shooting over the dog.

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    First things first. If he has been shot over previously and did fine and is now acting "skiddish". I would check for possible ear infections. Then go from there. Have a dog that from time to time will duck his head when shot over. Every time so far it has been due to ear infections. Once I get that cleared up he is back to normal.
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    Senior Member Brettttka's Avatar
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    Will check on the ear infection. He would maybe slightly duck his head first shot or two but never move until yesterday. And then the first few shots he would turn and duck away from me about 3 feet away then would retrieve great. He would also not pay much attention to gun shots while he was out retrieving would just be nervous about it at heel.
    Lone Oak's Marley Man.. (My first)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettttka View Post
    My almost 2YO YLM is I am not going to say gun shy but hesitant. Took him out yesterday to train at a friends pond and to shoot over him since I have neighbors pretty close. His retrieving was AWESOME and I couldnt be excited for the upcoming season. He is just getting through his casting and did really well taking them and his marking was good. He had been shot of at the trainers quite a bit before I got him. I have had him about 2 months and havent had a chance to shoot over him since he has been home. (3 year old and 3 month old I know is not an excuse but is more important that traveling to train) I do yard work everynight and he is progressing great. So yesterday when I shot over him he wouldnt run for the hills just duck his head and move about 3 feet away real skittish for when I was gonna shoot. Was shooting poppers and light load 12ga #8s. How do I get him rock steady to gun fire? I know just shooting over him is going to be the ticket but unfortunatly I cant do that everyday. Does this gunshy prevention cd from gundogsupply.com work or any other recommendations. I am really excited for the upcoming duck season with his retrieving just dont want him to be skittish around the gun shots.
    Put that 12ga away and you shouldn't really be shooting over the top of him under any cirucmstance. He should be to the side and behind of any muzzle blast. Get a helper and a 22 starter pistol with acorn primers as the load. Have the helper throw the marks and pop the pistol from about 40 yards away. You can move the helper closer bit by bit as the dog becomes accustomed to the pop. Then do all over again with a 410 or 20ga. Then a 12ga. As you do this watch for any adverse reaction from the dog, if there is put the gun away for the day, and the next day move back out further again and start over. This isn't something you can do in a day, it takes a few weeks typically before you can shoot next to, and not over the dog.

    How is the dog with loud noises around the home? Pots and pans clinging around at meal prep time etc?

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    Senior Member Brettttka's Avatar
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    By shooting over him I meant at him sitting at heel on my side. He has never been shot over with him sitting in front of me. He was doing great when he was being shot around daily at the trainer but havent been able to do it at since he has been home. He wasnt breaking and running for the hills was just ducking away from me when it would go off but would come right back to heel and then retrieve.
    Lone Oak's Marley Man.. (My first)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettttka View Post
    By shooting over him I meant at him sitting at heel on my side. He has never been shot over with him sitting in front of me. He was doing great when he was being shot around daily at the trainer but havent been able to do it at since he has been home. He wasnt breaking and running for the hills was just ducking away from me when it would go off but would come right back to heel and then retrieve.
    ok, good. Provided it is nothing medically like a ear infection as another poster mentioned, I would still follow a similar method of reintro to gun fire with a 22 starter pistol from a distance working closer and closer and then to a 410 or 20, then the 12ga. Sounds like you have the beginnings of making that dog gun shy which is a very difficult, and if not impossible thing to cure in some cases. Best of luck to you, I hope it works out for you, and the dog.

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    Senior Member Brettttka's Avatar
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    Thanks I hope he doesnt become totally gun shy and I dont think that he will since he was only jumping away from me a few times and would head duck the others. Will get with the trainer and work through it. Anyone have any thoughts on the gunshy prevention cd from gundogsupply.com does it work or would it help.
    Lone Oak's Marley Man.. (My first)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brettttka View Post
    Thanks I hope he doesnt become totally gun shy and I dont think that he will since he was only jumping away from me a few times and would head duck the others. Will get with the trainer and work through it. Anyone have any thoughts on the gunshy prevention cd from gundogsupply.com does it work or would it help.
    Get a handle on this before duck season and then think about not putting him in a blind with 6 guns on opening day. Don

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