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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about introducing gunfire. My choc lab pup is 12 weeks old. I havent introduced any gun fire around him yet. What should be the first caliber gun i shoot around him? a .22? Im also curious to how far away to stand away from the pup to stand when shooting? Thanks
 

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At that young you may want to start with one of those old toy pop cap guns. you remember, the ones you use to have when you were a kid. otherwise a .22 is a good starting caliber. I recently purchased a .22 starter pistol and fired a couple rounds off this past weekend with great success.

if you do go with the .22 just make sure you point the gun into the open field or whatever. I made the mistake of shooting it into the woods and the report was 10x louder than in the open. Dog jumped a bit, but then again, so did I!
 

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Bnew - I started my pup to loud noises using a cap ring gun that I bought at Walmart. First time I shot it I was like 50 feet away and the pup was being played with by my wife. Since he had no reaction, I moved closer maybe 10 feet; same result. I repeated moving closer until I was right next to him. Maybe I got lucky but he couldn't care less other than to possibly look at where the sound came from and that's it. He's been fine with shots using a 22 blank gun and Retriever R Trainers since then.

David
 

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I started introducing my pup to loud noises at that age by simply clapping my hands loudly when he was eating. Once he was obviously used to that I went to pots and pans during feedig time. Then I moved to a .22 at fifty yards. Then moved in closer providing a retrieve with a shot every now and again and supplementing treats at that age. Basically the idea is for the do to assocciate gunfire with something vey positive. The more you do it in small increments the better off you will be.
 

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Your dog needs to associate gunfire with a retrieve. Even better it should be a bird like live shackled pigeons.
Introduce him with a retrieve from a "gunner". When they associate the fun retrieve with a lot of hey hey they don't even notice it. There is no need to start out with generic noises.
 

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We introduce all of our AWS pups to gunfire at 5 weeks old. That is the age where pups have no fear. I start by having my wife play with the pups in the yard or on the deck while I go off about 100 yards in the woods by the house and fire a shotgun several times. If they show no reaction (and they usually show no reaction), I will move 50 yards closer to the edge of the yard and shoot away from where the pups are. We've never produced a gun shy pup...for that matter, I've never seen a gun shy American Water Spaniel.
 

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I have a question about introducing gunfire. My choc lab pup is 12 weeks old. I havent introduced any gun fire around him yet. What should be the first caliber gun i shoot around him? a .22? Im also curious to how far away to stand away from the pup to stand when shooting? Thanks
Actually this is something you should not really focus on right now. Many many more important things to do. Definitively don't shoot over top of or anywhere near your dog just yet. Get him accustomed to everyday noises around the house for sure but no shooting over him. Soon you will be teaching puppy to retrieve with a birdboy throwing bumpers out in the field while you handle the dog. Initially thrower will get dogs attention yelling hey hey and/or waving his arms before he throws. After the puppy is retrieving consistently and with enthusiasm you can then have your thrower add in a shot from a 22 before he throws but at a good distance away from puppy. I don't recall if the Jackie Mertens DVD you have shows when to introduce gun shots to a puppy, if it does follow what she says. If you're asking this question it's probably a good idea for you to follow exactly what Bill Hillman is doing on the DVD you have and not worry about much else.
If you intend to hunt your puppy, which you should not try this duck season, you have plenty of time before you need to worry about introducing what shooting over him is all about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually this is something you should not really focus on right now. Many many more important things to do. Definitively don't shoot over top of or anywhere near your dog just yet. Get him accustomed to everyday noises around the house for sure but no shooting over him. Soon you will be teaching puppy to retrieve with a birdboy throwing bumpers out in the field while you handle the dog. Initially thrower will get dogs attention yelling hey hey and/or waving his arms before he throws. After the puppy is retrieving consistently and with enthusiasm you can then have your thrower add in a shot from a 22 before he throws but at a good distance away from puppy. I don't recall if the Jackie Mertens DVD you have shows when to introduce gun shots to a puppy, if it does follow what she says. If you're asking this question it's probably a good idea for you to follow exactly what Bill Hillman is doing on the DVD you have and not worry about much else.
If you intend to hunt your puppy, which you should not try this duck season, you have plenty of time before you need to worry about introducing what shooting over him is all about.

Breck, i have both Mertens and Hillmans puppy Dvd's. I chose to follow Hillmans. I have only watched through "day 15" on his video and hasnt seen mention of gun fire yet. However, it could possibly be mentioned later on in the video. Right now i am just working on retrieving bumpers, working on sit, long sit, and doing some bumper retrieves in the water. I think im on day 4 or 5 on HIllmans video.
 

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did my pups first intro this past weekend. he loves him some up-ups so we had a gunner 30-50 yards out and had him do some up ups while shooting right before release. moose didnt even notice it

i agree it should only be on retrieves but i'm new at this. im just going based on what i've read and seen in other material
 

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Breck, i have both Mertens and Hillmans puppy Dvd's. I chose to follow Hillmans. I have only watched through "day 15" on his video and hasnt seen mention of gun fire yet. However, it could possibly be mentioned later on in the video. Right now i am just working on retrieving bumpers, working on sit, long sit, and doing some bumper retrieves in the water. I think im on day 4 or 5 on HIllmans video.
OK take your time. Again, gun fire not a big deal now. I think Hillman's video assumes someone has been around the block before so watch his dvd front to back many times before you try anything paying close attention to the smallest details.
Also, don't discount the stuff you and pup can learn from the Mertens dvd and other sources just because you are following Hillman's. Finding a good local training group should be high on your to do list right now.
 
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