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Thread: dog afraid of gun shots

  1. #1
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    dog afraid of gun shots

    Just wondering if anyone would have any tips on how to get my dog use to gun shots.
    She was fine when we were using the smaller guns and would happily follow us along for months. Then she heard my partner shoot the shotgun up ahead one day and that scared the shit out of her she just ran all the way back to the car. Now anything larger than a 22. firing she freaks out about.

    Any ideas would be great, it just would be nice for her to tag along when we do a bit of pest control on mates farms. Plus she has a good nose so she was a helpful indicator for us to know when we were getting close to something.

    cheers

  2. #2
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    A don't know much about dogs but a member of my family who is into breeding them educate them by having some body shooting a shotgun very far away while he distract the pup with other pups and plays with them. As their attention is focussed on playing they don't get to bothered by the shotgun. And progressively each day the person shooting the shot gun comes closer and closer.

  3. #3
    Member michaelangelo_89's Avatar
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    Best bet would be getting her used to it step by step, as @Friwi said. Let her get accustomed with the shotgun sound from some distance while her attention is somewhere else (she's eating, playing, or chasing birds).
    Whoever best serves the song is going to be served by the song. - Michael Bolton

  4. #4
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    I gun trained my dog with 22s. She was a little skittish but thought she was fine. Took her hunting with suppressed 308, She hated it. Took a month of training before i could pickup a rifle without her cowering away. Started just by picking up the rifle 5cm off the ground and putting it back down. Then laying rifle on the ground placing treats around it etc etc.

    Some dogs just are not suitable for loud noises. But you should be able to gun train with patience.
    Start next to the dog and get someone to go reasonably far away bang two bits of wood together,cap gun, 22 etc. You want to reward for being calm and not being in fear. Ie tail down ears back low head etc. Food driven dog give treats. Toy driven dog throw their toy or play with them etc.
    If they look in direction but don't seem bother thats good.
    Use the dogs reaction to tell you what they are comfortable with. Move closer when they are comfortable.
    Take it slow and work at it slowly. A few times then stop, dont over do it. Give it a day or so rest then do it again.
    Work in both drive and calm states. Its easier to do it while in drive but that just kind of masks the problem if they are still afraid when calm.
    Once they are reasonably comfortable vary where you do it and how you are doing it.
    Can also play loud noises randomly at home on speakers.

    Dont do it right over them while eating food to start off. Its generally fine for dogs that are in gun training but can be bad for dogs who are gun shy already and put them off their food.

    I started mine with a cap gun and was about 20m away and threw her ball, she looked in the direction but didnt care too much. Did that 4 or 5 times, then set it off before throwing the ball.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    if you are in town you might check with police about using a starter pistol repeatedly that's what I use ,I can throw a ball and when they are chasing it fire it once usually they stop and look the first few times but once they keep chasing the ball I will fire multiple times . I also take them for a walk down the paddock once they are used to it when they are chasing balls and have it behind my back for a start while they are nosing round scenting in the paddock and fire it so it is not as loud and they are not quite sure of direction of it.i have one here if you need a loan of it.

  6. #6
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    Start right back at the start and take it very slow. Steel dish on the concrete, two bits of wood, 22 and silencer etc etc. Try playing with the dog while some else makes the noise and make no reaction your self.Real dog training had some free vids that covered a bit on gun shots(like not prasing them etc) My dogs dont care about gun shoots but man do they hate thunder and we had it bad run of it start of this year.

  7. #7
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    Worked up from 22 with subs, 22 hi velocity, 223, then 308 with the first dog, since then the other 2 dogs have learnt off the first one and haven't had to repeat the process. Have you got a friend or work mate with a hunting dog? Take yen both out together and see who they get on

  8. #8
    GSP Mad Munsey's Avatar
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    No disrespect to those who have posted good advice ,but id seek a professional dog handler ,you don't want it going south any more ,seems plenty of dogs don't get back on track from here .
    johnd and Zamkiwi like this.
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  9. #9
    Member Wirehunt's Avatar
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    The local gunclub is your friend. Sit in the car with the dog at a goood distance away, talk to it, pat it, don't make a big fuss. Then closer in a few days and so it goes on.
    The main rule of firearms.....Always point firearms in a safe direction

  10. #10
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    thanks for the tips, looks like we might start from scratch again. she is super food driven so that will help.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 223nut View Post
    Worked up from 22 with subs, 22 hi velocity, 223, then 308 with the first dog, since then the other 2 dogs have learnt off the first one and haven't had to repeat the process. Have you got a friend or work mate with a hunting dog? Take yen both out together and see who they get on
    Thats a good idea she love being around other dogs. Need to find someone with a hunting dog now.

  12. #12
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    I second the move for seeking professional help. Will prevent things spiraling. A few dollars spent now would be better than what sometimes is the alternative.

  13. #13
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    mine was shit scarred... then he saw a possum drop out of a tree and has been keen ever since....
    Use enough gun

  14. #14
    Lost For Time
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    How loud can you clap ? No not ass clap like a stripper .... But with your hands ! That's what I done with my muts, Start by clapping softly (just once) in front of them then get louder as time goes by then behind them unsuspecting .... Worked for me an I live in town.
    Identify your target beyond all doubt !

  15. #15
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    gun shy dog

    you can never be to careful when getting a dog ues to gun fire not all dogs are the same, one of my sons when very young could not handle loud bangs at a guy fawks night we could only reason that loud bangs hurt his ears he got over the problem with ear muffs and now shoots,you are probebly best to seek profestional help as your dog my relate you to the noise, the clay club is a good idea but stay way back so only the guns can be heard in the distance and be aware that this could take a lots of trips and tons of reasurance that every thing is ok and another gun proof dog will help your dog relax

 

 

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