Hello, I recently bought a 8 month old **** dog that was well breeded. I went outside to do some target practicing with my .22 rifle by my dog and it is gunshy. Does anyone have any suggestions to make him not gunshy any more??
Younggun, Your pups still pretty young. He may grow out of it. If you could leash him close to you while you practice. Just reasure him when he gets scared and he may get used to the noise. I had a pup that was pretty bad but after a few times he got used to it and didn't run off anymore. Some say to make loud noises around them while they are eating etc. Just get him used to loud noises, but make sure you can show him that there is nothing to fear.
Younggun,I sujest you let your pup see plenty of your gun but don,t shoot near him for a while,leave it beside the bowl when you feed him,even play with him while you are carrying the gun.Once he has got used to seeing it around then wait until he is doing something he really likes,eating or playing,fire one shot away from him,NOW IMPORTANT,what ever he does ignore him like nothing happened,just put the gun down an carry on like nothing happened.If he shows fear and you
try to reassure him he will take it as a sign that something IS wrong,so if he shows fear just ignore him for about sixty seconds.After this time call him to you give him a pat or more food an then just carry on casual like.
Don,t make a fuss over him or lead him to think anything is out of the ordinary.Remember he is looking to you for his lead so if you don,t make a big deal he should,nt see anything to be scared of.You might even fire that first shot or two out of his sight.Another thing you could try at the same time is to get some food he really like an fire one shot away from him an then what ever he does throw him a bit of meat,If he is a bit hungry at the time it helps.Just shoot,feed,shoot, feed,ect.You might try shooting subsonic amo as well for a while. What ever you do don,t try to reassure him when he shows fear,just stop shooting and wait for him to calm down a bit then carry on like nothing happened.It works like you are praiseing him for showing fear an you must avoid doing that or thats what he will learn.Take it real slow there ain,t no hurry.Buy your self a book or two on canine behavior.BEST OF WISHES..JACK.
I have never had that trouble "cause I basicly do what JACKNZ posted only I start them off using 22lr blanks when they are being fed. I just put down the food move off a ways and fire ONE round. Every day at every feeding it is the same thing with increases in the number or rounds then getting closer until they pay in no mind only takes a couple weeks. Works with horses too.
Often times, if you have another dog, or a buddy has, tie yours in close, where he can see what is going on and do the shoot and retrive thing. You will soon find your pup getting excited at just seeing a gun. Also the guns that shoot the dummies will help.
Something that I have done over the years of training young gundogs is to get them exposed to loud noses during feeding. One way is to buy a cap gun that a kid would play with and while he is eating shot it once in an other part of the house. If the dog come to see whats going on just ignore him and let him go back to eat. You should be able to get closer and closer to the dog over a few days that he pay no mind to the noise and he associates it to food, something pleasant!
An other method used for young gundogs is to release a bird in the field let him chase it. Fire a gun ( a 22 blank) during the chase once the dog is away form you. He is so focused on the chase he doesn't hear the gun and if he does he associates it with the fun not something that frighten him. Use your imagination for you young friend to make it fun.
Guys, gun shyness is a hard thing to cure specially if you don't have experience to deal with a problem like this. The best way to avoid it is to start the pups the right way.... what is the right way?... well that depends on the individual animal. I introduce my dogs to the gun with a .22 starter pistol and the first time they hear a shot is when they are busy chasing a bird or something that has their mind focused on the chase rather than the noise.
To cure a problem like that I do not recommend tieing the dog up and shooting next to him.. I would let him go out and chase a squirrel or a rabbit and start to shoot then... if he comes back i just ignore him and continue moving... keep doing this until he learns that the noise is not going to hurt him and that it only happens when he is doing something fun.
It is hard to write all of these in such little space but I hope it helps.
Great advice Bird Dog. Tying a dog up and shooting next to it puts its full attention on the noise that it is afraid of. Sort of like Chinese water torture. Getting it out doing something it loves while introducing it to gun noises (starting with light noises) is the way to go. Last Shorthair I had was wet the floor terrified of thunder and fireworks. I would pull out the shotgun and that dog would dance with glee. I could fire it all day in the field with her and she could care less. All because she associated it with something she loved to do.> John
i hate to be the negative voice here, but no one has mentioned that some gun-shy dogs never recover. I've seen several labs that have had every method of teaching done to them, and when a covey flushes and people are shooting and yelling and there's chaos these dogs tuck their tail and go back to the truck. my point is, don't invest too much time if the dog doesn't seem to be getting over it, some never do.
hi, i'm new to the forum but not new to dogs. it seems that some think gunshy pups are from a genetic defect . no pup is gunshy until someone scares it with a gun. usually by just taking a pup out and shooting a gun over it's head to see if it is gunshy. i wouldn't do this to a baby and expect it not to cry, how would a pup be different? my 2 cents.
Being gun shy is a serious fault for any hunting breed. IMHO it can usually be avoided. I too, wait until my young hounds are in full cry, and driving pretty hard before firing. I've always had beagles, **** hounds are a little different as they tree and then you shoot.
I was lucky enough to have a buddy that lived next to a busy train track. He put a dog house right next to the track, and when the dog would stand and bark at the train he new they would never be gun shy.
I suggest giving the dog a little time, wait till he's a little farther away and shoot when his mind is engrossed in game.
Some hounds never come out of this. Look at this as a confidence problem....build the hounds confidence and you solve the problem.
Bird Dog has it right. Let me say you likely don't have a gun shy dog, you've scared your young pup by improper introduction. Take that pup out for walk's with your 22 rifle, if he'll still go. Let him run around and when he is absorbed in something other than you or the gun, hold the muzzle just a few inches off the ground and fire one shot. Just one please. By doing that, the ground will muffel the shot for a pup otherwise intrested in something else. Just as in Bird Dogs suggestion, The sound get's associated with something pleasureable. You've already done the opposite, stop and start over. If on the off chance you truely have a gun shy dog, pet him, let him sleep with you and get another dog.
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