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My brother bought a lab that is about 2 yrs old. Brought him home and found out he runs when a loud noise occurs. He even runs when a cap pistol is fired. What can we do other than taking him back. He really does everything else fine and loves to retrieve. Need some suggestions on how to approach the problem. He really has become attached to the dog.
 

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try to associate the noise with somethig he likes but do it gradually. Fun bumpers in a feild with a popper or starter pistol 40 yards away ever so gradually moving closer. With your pup maybe even a week or two to get the noise closer to your pup until he is dismissing the noise all together or associates it with something fun. Also Meal time is good some light claps and Goodboys while he is gobbling his food can help same consept quiet at first progressivly getting louder. Good luck dont give up yet!
 

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Hope this wasn't something shady where your brother was taken advantage of by someone who knew the dog was gunshy. The depth of which it has engrained itself, (and a considerable amount of time and patience on your part), will be determining factors on whether or not you can turn it around....in some cases,..a dog is handicapped with it the rest of his "retrieving" life.

If it were me, I'd begin with socialization, and progressive conditioning to background noises that would offer a distraction, but not to the point of spooking the dog and interrupting a task at hand.

Second thing I'd do is to begin enhancing an intimate relationship between the dog and birds.. live,clipped winged, and dead. The dog must live, breath, and dream about birds...it must become his passion, and life...and without any kind of gunfire for the time being...birds, birds, and more birds...a steady, balanced diet in addition to regular training with bumpers.:cool:

In time, (and I'm not talking about a few weeks or a couple mos., this could take more than that ),.. you'll progressively begin to intro a starter pistol from a distance while your dog marks. Shot first, immediately a mark..the dog marks,..SEND the dog. You'll progressively decrease the distances. If there is any aprehension at all with the dog..BACK the gunshots to a longer distance, and you'll start over from that point

There's more to this, this is just a brief, down and dirty explanation that's worked to give an idea. Lots of ways to train dogs..
 

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Check to see a freind of mine has one that he tought was gun shy. So not just the noise but when the gun went up.So he went to sleep with the dog in the bed and the gun as well. He was afraid of the gun as well and put the both together. Good Luck
 

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I went to a hunt test for pointers. A girl with a GSP tried to sell my friend a dog. He didn't buy it but we found out later on that the dog was gunshy. A judge at a prior test fired a pistol blank right next to the dog's head.

Despicable practice, selling a dog like this. I don't think the girl ever cured this.

On the other hand, I saw a puppy get out in front of a popper gun and he immediately became gunshy. We worked with him---no guns for a while, retrieving with bumpers and birds, then slowly reintroduced the gun. We were successful with this one.
 

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Had a dog that was gunshy, my uncle took her to TX and shot dove. Shoot a bird, put the gun down, walk her out to it and made her fetch it. Walked back to the bucket and called her in. Took quite a few birds to make any progress. I got her when she was around 3. Turns out she quail hunted like a fool but in the duck blind she was extremely timid. Took a couple years and around 500 ducks before you couldn't tell.
 

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I can remember my Dad curing a gun shy puppy ( setter ) by shooting english sparrows with a 22 rifle and feeding part of them to the puppy. Later the shotgun came into play. The puppy was young though ( less than 4 months I think ). I'm pretty sure the breeder had no idea about the puppy being gun shy as we got him at about 7 weeks of age. The breeder lived in town.
 

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Yes, run a search on here...you will find a lot of different solutions.....unfortunately, much of the time the results are not very good. It is a long, slow process. Bonding with the dog needs to take place first. the dog needs to have confidence in you and trust you. If this were me, I would try to resolve the gun shyness over a period of 3 months...using plenty of pigeons with no gun involved....get the dog crazy over birds....then very gradually introduce the gun...and personally, if the dog doesn't show signs of improvement I would give the dog to someone who doesn't hunt. I know your buddy is attached to the dog and the dog loves to retrieve, but it's just as easy to become attached to another one who is not gun shy. That is one of the disadvantages of acquiring a dog at two years.....can be a lot of missing information on its history. I'm not trying to sound harsh....it's worth a try, but success is probably low.
 
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