Gun Shy lab

Share hunting dog tips, hunting dog training questions or links of interest here.

Moderators: HNTFSH, swampbilly 1980, hunt-chessies

Gun Shy lab

Postby rosie » Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:42 am

I have a black lab that is 7 months old she does great with sitting coming and retrieving.The problem I am having is she is a little gun shy shot 22 rifles arond her did'nt bother her at all but shotguns do. Would I be doing wrong to put her on a leash and make her sit beside me when I'm shooting doves and clay ? thoght that might work to get her use to the noise and so on for duck season.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:06 am

Remove Advertisements

Postby canaanslabs » Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:46 am

In my opinion that could produce a very negative response. If she is gun shy you want to make the sound of a gun a good experience. If she is a dog that likes to eat slowly introduce gun fire at feeding time. You may have to use some canned dog food mixed with the normal diet. Only fire once per feeding. Start off from a distance and move closer. If she is really retriever crazy introduce gunfire while retrieving. Don't start with your 12 ga and 3 inch mags. Use a 22 with blanks.

I like my bumber launcher. It gives a great combinaiton of retrieving and the sound of gunfire. A dog that loves to retrieve gets past the sound fast.

Once she is really used to that moving onto a shotgun will be easy. Have a helper go out in a field and shoot and through a bird/bumper. Then move to you shooting and your helper throwing a bumper.

Hope that helps a little.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:58 am
Location: Klamath Falls, OR

Postby birdgunner04 » Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:02 pm

Try they make cd's for your problem. I've heard good things about it. I've one on order for a new dog of mine
to all I toast (More ducks and better #$&%@)
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:09 pm
Location: Washington State

Postby magnum » Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:01 pm

I have been told by some world famous trainers that you should start off by shoting one shot around her once a day. Once she gets use to that you can move up to 2 shots per day until she is calm. Then continue to move up as the dog progresses. You don't want to force the issue, it will produce neg. results. Like posted earlier, feeding is a good time to do this. You have a tough job ahead of you. Good Luck!

Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 11:52 am
Location: forks wa

Postby winchesterx2 » Mon Aug 30, 2004 7:59 pm

I had the same problem and the info i got was by going to google and typeing in gun shy and several things came up. one was very in-depth and step by step. The summary of it all was to have someone help you. let that person shoot from a distance one or two hundred yards if thats what it takes while you let the dog know that each time its a good thing. Every few days move the shooter alittle closer. Remember not to hurry this process. Make sure the dog respons in a possitive note.
Delat waterfowl member, Father to the future of hunting and church member.
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:44 am
Location: cottage grove, tenn.

Postby Duckhunter16 » Mon Aug 30, 2004 8:29 pm

I watched a special on ESPN about this and the trainer there suggested that you get a 20-30ft piece of rope and tether your dog to that. the let the dog out the hole length of the rope and shoot about a dozen or so shoots. Shoot by them every day shorting the rope tell the are finally next to you. I don't know if it would work but it dose sound good.

I am a member of peta
People Eating Tasty Animals
User avatar
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: South East Kansas

Postby muskiemac » Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:38 pm

I have quite alot of experience training dogs, And I think that a gunshy dog is one of the hardest to fix. I would go back to your basic structure. I would start off with a light 22 round. I am assuming that your dog is already nuts about birds- If not, Make him. Start with a thrower at least fifty yards away, and have him toss up a live wing clipped pigeon- stay on really short grass so the dog can see the bird the whole time. Watch the dog carefully, and fire just as he starts to reach the bird. Don't wait until he has the bird in his mouth. Keep this up, reducing the length of the throw only after you have shortened the time that you wait until you fire. After about a dozen sessiosn, the dog will start to anticipate the gun and the bird together. I rarely if ever fire right over the dog mostly to protect hearing, and in case a hot ember hits the dog in the face.
Then, move up to a light 20 gauge blank. Shotguns blasts should ALWAYS be aimed away from the dogs head. This is also a good time to add in a quail or two that will fly away. Once you are up to a 20 gauge while the the dog is at your side, I thnk you can move on up to 12 gauge blanks.
Then I think you onle need to go hunting. Make sure that your first trip hunting is planned so you can watch and manage the dog, and not a gun. It also helps to have a body between the dog and the gun barrel.
"THE LABRADOR SHOOTING DOG" By Mike Gould really goes into this nicely.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:22 pm
Location: Duluth, MN

Postby jmike » Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:59 pm

what ever you do dont force the dog if he's not like the gun shot , starting at a distance and using lvie birds is the way to go about it , dont be in a hurry , its all about positive reinfourcment.....gus bring the fun. if you push to hard , you might as well get a new pup and start over...............dont mean to sound like a know it all , but i cant stand to see a good dog ruined ..............jmike
dont shoot till there feet are down
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:38 pm
Location: fairview . or

Postby muskiemac » Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:57 am

I wanted to expand a bit here. I think it is CRITICAL that you get the dogs nuts about birds. If you have gotten this far, then add the gun. The key is to have a person throwing live birds that are bouncing and flapping, so the dog is totally tuned into the bird. Only fire when you can see the bird, and the dog. The dog should be totally focused on the bird. Then, GRADUALLY start to fire when the dog is closer to you, and farther from the bird. When you go to quail, just dizzy then a little and toss them. Ideally the quail will fly a ways after the dog started to chase, and this is when I switch from the 22 to the 20gauge. Same holds true in the transition to a 12.
When you start to hunt, put the dog on the outside of the blind, and put your body between it and the gun. Also, start with only one gunner. Have that person shoot the first bird that the dog is watching, even if it is not a prime time species. After three or four times, I think that you will be safe. What you really want is a dog that associates the gun and the birds in a positive light. First hunting trip is a key transition, along with those from 22 to 20 to 12.
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:22 pm
Location: Duluth, MN

Postby padiv » Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:31 pm

I found this to work best with the dog. Have a friend "play" fetch with the dog about 30 yards from you while you are shooting clay pigeons. Slowly move the retrieving game closer to the shooting area. My dog changed his attitude towrs the shot in about 5 minutes. He will now lay in my blind while the shooting is taking place.
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 7:28 pm

Return to Hunting Dog Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest