Gun shy Dog

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Gun shy Dog

Postby matt2005 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 11:22 pm

I have a 1 year lab that I have been working with. I have been taking her out to the skeet range since I got her and she never even flinched, just followed me around. I took her out dove hunting and the first shot I fired she ran for cover. Why would she suddenly become gun shy and how can I fix it? I don't want to ruin her.
There is nothing more soothing than the splash of a dead duck
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Postby gsphunter » Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:17 am

Where was your dog sitting? I screwed my dog up, which was the same as your's. My dog wasn't the least bit gunshy, but I muzzle blasted her in training a couple of times not even thinking about it. Make sure the dog is sitting behind the muzzle and barrel, not next to it.

As for correcting the problem that may have been created, it just takes time. I know my dog is not scared of the noise of a gun, because I can still shoot over her in the upland field, but my dog is scared of the situation of sitting at heel, saying mark, and then pulling the gun up. She knows that her ears have been rang by this before. I tried going back to the shotgun and just pumping it as a fake shot, it wasn't really going to smooth though. Right now, the decision I made was to give up on duck hunting her this year, because I don't want to force her into it, I want her in the end to enjoy it. She is only going to be 2 in Dec so there is plenty of time to hunt over her in the future.

What have you done since the incident? Whatever you do, don't force the dog into having the gun go off. If you don't think the problem is bad, go back to a cap gun and throw some fun bumpers. Just make sure you're not holding the gun on her ear level. I see alot of guys do this. Then work up to the shotgun at a distance, maybe even hold the shotgun and do what I mentioned above. It really depends on how serious you think the problem is. Let us know how it's going and possibly some more info.
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Postby matt2005 » Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:28 am

Thanks I'm going out to the farm today to work with her a little. I think somebody might have been messin with her I. I cought some kids playin with fire crackers but I didn't think anything about it. I guess I'll have to start over and hope she'll come around. And if not kick some kid butt if I catch them again.
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Postby choclab » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:01 pm

:umm: Throw some fire crackers at them. Make them "fun shy". See how those little #@$%#%#$ like that.
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Postby 98ramtough » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:01 am

Like others have said, take her out and shoot with her behind you. If she doesn't flinch, get someone to throw a dead bird or bumper for you as you shoot. hold your dog for a minute to get her real worked up, then release her. Do this until she gets excited when she hears gun shots. I suggest doing it over water, as moth dogs get more worked up over water for retrieves...
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Postby Thunder Force Kennels » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:06 am

The best way I've found to recondition a dog to gunfire is to have a helper start about 50 yards away firing either a starter pistol or a .22. Have them fire while you feed the dog a treat. If he doesn't have a negative response, have the helper move in about 5 yards and repeat the process. Keep repeating the process until you're able to fire next to them. Once you can do that with a .22 repeat the process with a 12ga. Take it slow and if the dog starts to get nervous have the helper move back some. This should take between a week and 3 weeks depending on the dog and how gunshy he may be. Good Luck.
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