The RetrieverTraining.Net Forums The Retriever Academy
Total Retriever Training with Mike Lardy
Hawkeye Media Gunners Up Tritronics Outdoor Media
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 30

Thread: Gun Shy Help!

  1. #11
    Senior Member Billie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,340

    Default

    good advice so far, and getting back with or help from his trainer is the best. One other thing Id add is that if you have access to pigeons- and provided he is birdy- a clip wing live pigeon throwin in timing with the sound of the gun , will usually help a birdy yet gun spooked (doesnt sound like he is all the way gun shy- but could get that way if not careful) dog get over it and realize its all tied in together...
    HOME OF:
    Waterspook Sables Dark Secret, MH (Sable)
    Trumarcs Bankshot Bandit, MH ( Fats)
    Waterspook Tomfoolery, SH ( Tommie)
    IN MEMORY OF::
    Waterspook Bankshot Whiz Bang,JH (Jesse)
    Waterspooks Girl Named Bill, SH ( Billie- my princess.....)
    Waterspook Kickin' Gunshot, SH ( Boom)
    Waterspook Kickin' Good Time MH(Kick)
    Waterspooks Partner In Crime, SH ( Bouncer)
    Brush Creek Waterspook, JH, WC- my first girl.(Spooky)

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Linden, VA
    Posts
    1,756

    Default

    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.
    OP - This thread has bothered me most of today. I kept thinking why would a 2 year old dog all of a sudden become gun spooked by gun fire while at heel, but is not neccessarily in your opinion gun shy at this point. I read back over your post and see you recently aquired the dog in the last couple months and haven't had a chance to do much shooting around him.

    Specualtion on my part but it could be you purchased a dog billed as started but was sold because it is or maybe was previously gun shy and hasn't got over it yet. Do you know this dogs history? I would really recommend seeking a pro, one who has no history or knowledge of this dog and let them evaluate the situation. You said the dog is not bolting and still has the retrieve desire after the shot. I think a re-intro of gunfire, slowly and properly, may bring this dog back around. You may want to give up on the thought of hunting this dog this year until this issue is resolved. I'd rather lose one season than all future potential ones to a gun shy dog becuase I was in a hurry.

    Good luck.

  3. #13
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Elk River, MN
    Posts
    715

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Billie View Post
    good advice so far, and getting back with or help from his trainer is the best. One other thing Id add is that if you have access to pigeons- and provided he is birdy- a clip wing live pigeon throwin in timing with the sound of the gun , will usually help a birdy yet gun spooked (doesnt sound like he is all the way gun shy- but could get that way if not careful) dog get over it and realize its all tied in together...
    X2 Great advice.
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
    Majestic Oaks Liberty Belle JH

  4. #14
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Posts
    4,410

    Default

    I had a dog similar once. I backed up even further. I played with the dog with treats with the shotgun in my lap. Then I began playing with him and slowly working the action. After he got comfortable with this I would walk him at heel with me holding gun. Then I started shooting primer only poppers. But at first after he was about halfway to the bird. Then I slowly started shooting sooner. He went on to become a great hunter and retrieved a ton of ducks.

    What I learned was that it was not the noise but the gun itself. As a young dog he went thru my intro to noise program. This too occurred back from a trainer
    Wayne Nutt
    Go Nutts with dog training

    HRCH Patton's Parker Co. Shadow "Shadow"
    HRCH Clineline Hijacker "Jack"
    HRCH Marks a Lot Midnight Hudson, SH "Hudson"-retired
    Castile Creek's Rawhide, SH "Rowdy"

  5. #15
    Junior Member Willow SGD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    28

    Default

    I think you got the best advice regarding backing up and starting over,using birds, ear infection, being around the gun with treats, and maybe seeking out a pro etc. What I think could be your biggest issue is time and place to do this (unless you send him off to a pro, or it's an infection). I not sure what the other guys are thinking, but I'm thinking several weeks of time with sessions about every other day and with enough space where you can start 75+ yards back and have someone throw dummies and birds. I like to have other dogs around when I do this and the young ones get excited to see the flight of the dummy, dogs going after it, and the gun fire at a distance is over shadowed by the other distractions.
    Bob Stewart
    Central IL.

  6. #16
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,194

    Default

    Credit gonehuntin' (Mack)

    CURING GUN SHYNESS

    A dog is very much like a person. Your fear of one thing can be so great, it outweighs
    your desire to do another thing.

    In this instance, your dog would love to retrieve, but something about that loud noise
    (gunshot) has him so concerned, that the retrieve becomes secondary to his fear of the
    noise.

    So how do we counter this? There are two ways really, one using birds and the other to
    just subject him to the loud noise in a pleasant surrounding over, and over, and over, and
    over until he learns not to fear the noise. Goose/stoli uses one method, I use the other. It
    doesn't really matter how he was gunshyed, my guess is the 4th of July, either method
    will eventually overcome his fear of it.

    Goose/stoli likes one method, I prefer the other. I'll try and explain it so you understand.
    Your dog is a BIRD DOG. He was bred, born, made, to hunt and retrieve birds. That IS
    his life. It isn't being petted, watching TV, or eating. It is getting a bird in his mouth and
    retrieving that bird. That desire overcomes every other desire the dog has, the desire to
    eat, the desire to breathe, nearly the desire for life. It is the most powerful driving force
    the dog possesses. Don't believe that? When the dog is eating, yell mark and throw a bird.
    I guarantee he'll bolt from the food dish and grab the bumper. Same if he's on a female
    breeding her and you throw a bird. I guarantee if he hasn't locked up yet, he'll jump off,
    get that bird and return to his other favorite past time.

    So what does this mean to us? It mean that we channel his most powerful drive and use it
    to cure his greatest fear. By first throwing clip wings with no shot and letting that drive
    surface and grow, and letting the dog have fun, we enhance the drive God has given him
    then cure him of the gunshyness by using it. It is the fastest method I know of to cure a
    dog of gunshyness yet build that incredible desire. If you get impatient and rush it, it
    won't work. Here are the steps in order. There is no time sequence. You proceed only to
    the next step when the dog is completing the step he's on at 100%. If you proceed too fast,
    you can lose all of the steps and have to start all over.

    1). Get the dog birdy. With no gun involved, have a helper throw a clip wing pigeon and
    let the dog retrieve it. Start short at 50 yards and work out to 100 yards. Never throw the
    birds so many times the dog wants to quit. About 10 times a session is fine. If you don't
    have a helper, throw them yourself.

    2). Good. He's birdy now. You have to restrain him and when you let him go, he goes flat
    out for each pigeon, grabs it and comes back. He is insane to get the birds. Now we add a
    gun and a helper. Have a helper stand 100 yards out in a BARE field with a riffle and .22
    blanks. Start with a .22 crimp then go to the regular .22 blank. Have the helper throw the
    bird in the air without firing and send the dog. Have the helper yell MARK before
    throwing the bird to get the dog's attention. After the dog makes a couple of retrieves,
    have the helper yell MARK, fire the riffle in the air with the muzzle pointed away from
    the dog and send the dog while the bird is still in the air. You use a riffle because the
    report is softer than with a pistol. A pistol directs the sound out each side and they're so
    loud they even hurt your ears. Use a riffle. Did the dog do it OK? Did he show any
    hesitation? If all went well, throw another six birds, firing a shot when the bird is in the
    air and sending the dog.

    3).Step three is exactly the same as step two, but shorten the helper to 90 yards. Each time
    you progress to the next step, shorten it up by 10 yards. If the dog shows any hesitation,
    back up 10 yards.

    4). Now 80 yards.

    5). Now 70 yards.

    6) Now 60 yards.

    7) Now 50 yards.

    8). Now 40 yards.

    9) Now 30 yards.

    10) Now 20 yards.

    11) Now, for step 11, get rid of the helper. Now you take the clip wing, throw it, and
    when the dog is in full pursuit, fire the gun with the muzzle directed away from the dog..
    He should completely ignore the shot and dive for the bird.

    12)Now repeat step 11 EXCEPT don't shoot the gun when the bird is in the air. Wait until
    the dog pounces for the bird, his full attention on the bird, and fire the gun. Timing is
    crucial and is everything here.

    13). The final step with the .22 is to sit the dog, throw the bird with the dog sitting at your
    side, and shoot the gun when the bird is in the air and send the dog. Did everything go
    OK? Then we're now ready to introduce the shotgun.

    To introduce the shotgun back right up to step 1 and do the whole 13 steps over again.
    Sound boring and that it will take you a long time? It is and it does. That's why you pay a
    pro so much to cure a gun shy dog. If the dog is not a bird-a-holic, you won't cure him by
    this method. If he isn't a bird-a-holic, dump him because that isn't the dog you want
    anyhow.

    With a new pup, you don't have to be this careful, this is how a gun shy dog is broken. If
    you get a new pup you break him to the gun differently, but that's for another thread.

    You sound like an impatient, young lad to me. Patience. If you have no patience and
    aren't willing to follow a plan, you'll never train a dog. Patience, common sense, a
    progressive program, understanding, discipline, a good dog. That's dog training.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  7. #17
    Junior Member Willow SGD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    28

    Default

    HNTFSH,

    I'm sure I understated the time and space required as starting over and curing are certainly two different things. Time is not in the equation, but for this young man with a very young family and living next to neighbors it's tough issue. Not what a guy would want to happen (the dog thing), but it's most likely a gun shy issue. I reflect back on an older retriever training book (Bill Tarrant), "They (pigeons) can be invaluable in birdying up a gun-shy pup"
    Bob Stewart
    Central IL.

  8. #18
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,194

    Default

    Yea Bob...your perspective was right on and I didn't mean to over-shadow your post. Just thought it emphasized some additional detail.

    On time - I can never accept that as an excuse/reason. I live in a sub division, travel +75,000 air miles a year, Marriott platinum member and typically work 70 hours a week (not including travel time). I'd find time to do this right even if my yard needed weeding more.

    We agree.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  9. #19
    Senior Member metalone67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oh
    Posts
    2,184

    Default

    I doubt an ear infection because a whistle would create the same kind of reaction.
    Back the gun up and use birds will solve the issue. Especially if he is bird crazy.
    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
    Proud owner of Kona's Surfer Girl, aka Loki.

  10. #20
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Willow SGD View Post
    HNTFSH,

    I'm sure I understated the time and space required as starting over and curing are certainly two different things. Time is not in the equation, but for this young man with a very young family and living next to neighbors it's tough issue. Not what a guy would want to happen (the dog thing), but it's most likely a gun shy issue. I reflect back on an older retriever training book (Bill Tarrant), "They (pigeons) can be invaluable in birdying up a gun-shy pup"
    Please understand that things are not always in a black and white state or even gray for that matter....
    What you see may have different reactions. Understanding what your dog does comes from you knowing....Take a step back and look at the signs. Eyes....Ears....Mouth...and their body language verses yours. It might be a simple matter believe it or not....They trust you and it is you to develop that trust.....Follow their lead and show them....

Posting Permissions

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