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Thread: Gun shy training

  1. #1

    Gun shy training

    Hi All

    I'm looking for some advice on training a Lab (arriving soon) not to be gun shy. Used to have working Labs and they generally got their gun manners merely by continually being around guns. However, life has moved on and I'm not in a position to have them around gun noise from an early age. This dog will be a full time family dog and a part time deer dog so I'm after some advice on what the best route for training would be from day one.

    Thanks

    FN

  2. #2
    I just used to go about things normally around a pup and expose them to everyday noises in the home.
    ​I might add that an occasional dropped feed bowl,clapping of hands and even a trip to a clay ground can be thrown in the mix at a reasonable age

  3. #3
    Only trained one but he's not remotely bothered by bangs - as above advice worked, also I used to slap doors and clap loudly without showing any reaction myself. Then I started shooting air rifle at his ball (tennis ball!) then letting him go and get it. I built this up from rimfire to shooting centre fire and he now goes and gets my targets for me.

    Probably violated some well respected way of training (!!!)... but he's not remotely gun shy.

  4. #4
    Gun shyness can't be trained for.
    Fabnosh why do you think your dog will be gunshy?
    ​Bunnydoom,why do you think your dog is not gunshy when it has nothing to do with training-however you've "trained" him.
    Handy trick with the target.
    Last edited by Wolverine; 11-08-2013 at 22:54.

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  5. #5
    Hi there

    The use of the term 'gunshy' was merely a generic term to convey meaning. Clearly one has no idea on a pup yet to be born whether it will be gunshy or not. The spirit of the thread was about offering the best training for an animal so that its reaction to gunshots will be positive. I have no crystal ball (other than its parents) on what the dog will be like so in the absence of that, I thought I'd go for preparation and ask the question.

    So, any training suggestions ?

    FN

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
    Gun shyness can't be trained for.
    Fabnosh why do you think your dog will be gunshy?
    ​Bunnydoom,why do you think your dog is not gunshy when it has nothing to do with training-however you've "trained" him.
    Handy trick with the target.

  6. #6
    Gunshyness is inherited
    Gun nervousness is mainly man made-eg introduction to gunfire too early too noisily.
    Dogs with gunshyness should never be bred.
    Ive seen dogs that literally shake on hearing a bang.
    Seen ones at the worst stage of this eventually be cured from it,a lot of work.
    Gunshy dogs will run from the noise even on a lead,really trying to get away....
    If parents are fine-which I presume they will be-chances are your pup will be fine.
    If not chances are you have caused the problem.(by chance or not)
    A pup not exposed to gunfire too early will not suffer from it,whereas one exposed too early will.
    Let a pup be a pup.
    Once pup is around a year old,then think about introduction to gunfire,no need to rush.
    From around 4-6months start banging food dish prior to feeding it,clapping hands etc,your pup should be fine with gunfire if you don't rush it.
    Also take it into house to get used to background noise,that way gunfire is just another noise-nothing special.
    Clay shoots-a bit in at the deep end,especially if dog is nervous at all.
    Best to get friend to shoot rifle/shotgun(remember,they do sound different)a good distance away then watch pupil,if pupil fine,move closer,etc etc......

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  7. #7
    Good advice there especially let the pup be a pup.
    BTW the clay shoot suggestion was at a decent age.
    If you watch your pup you should know how it reacts to any noise and train to that level at that point in time.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
    Gunshyness is inherited.
    Gun nervousness is mainly man made-eg introduction to gunfire too early too noisily.
    I see that you are seeking to split the general understanding of gunshyness into two definitions. Unthinking introduction to gunfire can elicit exactly the same responses as you describe for your definition of gunshyness.

    I disagree that gunshyness is inherited. Is there a gene for it? Is it possessed by the handler or the dog?

  9. #9
    Gunshyness I believe can be inherited,I also believe that through seeing pups that had been bred by someone crossing a gunshy dog to a very good bitch,something that should never have happened(gunshy not nervous-I think nervousness can be cured with work)
    The pups were all nervous-every one of them,out of 8,4 were completely gunshy,no bangs or anything in the vicinity of the pups-or so I was told.
    And,yes,unthinking intro to too much noise too young can make a dog nervous of noise as well.
    A handler if they push a dog can make that dog nervous.
    A handler with a gunshy pup can be very careful but that dog will still be gunshy.Very scared.
    So you tell me Greymaster is there a gene for it(is there a gene for hard mouth?is there a gene for ability to track?is there a gene for being very hard headed?)
    Are they possessed by the handler?
    I believe gunshyness can be inherited,guys I used to know who had much more dogs than I,had pups who right from the start were shy of noise-never mind gunfire.
    Over the years I have only come across a handful of dogs that were gun shy.
    In most cases these were not dogs of good working pedigree and the problem had no doubt come through the genes,I always concluded.However I have had dogs brought to me by people that are gun nervous or gun sensitive dogs.This is by far the most common problem and one that usually has been developed through a misguided introduction to the gun.Perdix,I seen the age comment,your right.
    Last edited by Wolverine; 12-08-2013 at 14:15.

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  10. #10
    perhaps i have been lucky with pups or have avoided owning nervous dogs and horses ,by around 8 months if they saw me with the shotgun i couldnt get out of the house ,without them going nuts wanting to go along ,as pointed out a noisy enviroment is the key ,with a gun it isnt just a noise its the sound wave we have to take into account , a windy day is a big help to carry the sharpness away in early days ,and if they see you bounce a young rabbit over early on it soon makes sense to them .

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