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  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    Getting a dog used to gunfire

    I have a 10 week old black mouth cur puppy that I'd potentially like to take hunting when he's all grown up. Do you have to do anything special to get a dog used to gun shots, or just take them to the range with you a bunch of times?

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  2. #2
    Wrangler
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    Not sure what your situation is, but I just took them with me groundhog hunting, and when I shot one, I halved it with an axe and the pups ate! By the time the first summer was over, they were excellent hunting dogs, and would bring their kills to show me. They need to equate the sound of the shot with food, and of course hot, bloody meat is dessert to a dog!

  3. #3
    Wrangler
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    I don't know about the groundhog deal. I had a black lab that was a fantastic retriever. He was a real birdy pup with a great nose and by the time he was ready to hunt he'd do triple marks and double blinds out several hundred yards across obstacles. Unfortunately once he tasted blood he started taking the birds he retrieved somewhere I couldn't get to him and eating them. He went to a field trialer kennel cheap.

    My objective is to get a pup tuned into gunfire when they make a retrieve - not when they eat. Once my pups start retrieving I take a friend with a starter pistol to stand off a bit and fire when the dummies are thrown. After they get used to that I have a dummy launcher that operates on 22 blanks and that gets some use. By the time I get them trained for their first hunt they are at heel on alert for a retrieve when my gun goes off.
    quot;It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
    Mark Twain

  4. #4
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    I would not take him to a shooting range if you'r planing to make a retriever or tree-chase dog (or both ) out of him.He may become unafraid of gunfire but a good hunter needs to get excited over gunfire and be eager to chase,kill or retrieve at the sound of a gun shot.I would not feed him any raw meat ever.One of the best rabbit jumping Beagles I ever had ,had been fed rabbits by a former owner.I had to run him down and take the dead rabbits away from him.Let him fight and kill whatever he catches,but he's got to learn the meat is yours.Cary some good dogie treats with you,when he does good reward him,when he screws up ignore him or box his jaws.Don't make him afraid of you.Don't shoot to close to him,you might hurt or even damage his ears and make him gun shy.During training ,point the blank away from him so as not to damage his hearing.

    The groundhog deal will be fine if your goal is to expunge vermin and pest.

  5. #5
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    Best bet is to start light and work up. A new dog to a gun range is a bad idea. Might work for some, but might just scare it so bad that it never gets over it. Brothers dog got surprised by a .270 early on and was never the same. We have helped him a lot by using .22's and letting him see and smell the kill, he likes that. Now he gets excited when he sees the .22 but is very nervous. It's not the bang so much as that he don't know when it's exactly coming. He could never be a true hunting/gun dog now. My dog was introduced to .22's early, shown the kill (not feed but allowed to pick it up), and then worked up to more power. He is not the least bit bothered by a bang. You have to keep in mind a dogs hearing too. I can't imagine what a gunshot sounds like to something that can hear so much better then us. I was not there but when that .270 went off, my brothers dog was forward of the rifle. Not good! Neither are true hunting dogs, but they enjoy hunting for themselves and nailing varmints with us.
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  6. #6
    Army Veteran 67-69 Korea Administrator
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    Lot better if you can take them with older gun dogs for the excitement will overide any gun shyness. I have cured several gunshy dogs this way. If they bolt after the gunshot then the shock collar is applied, my shock collar has audio warning prior to actual voltage normally they respond to the audio warning then you call them take them to the kill hopefully having a pocketfull of treats is a good thing if you miss. Soon the dog being trained will expect a reward after the gunshot.

    The shooting range thing could ruin a good dog when they are startled by gunfire. I took a very gunshy dog, it's previous owner tried to get him over it by him and his friends sighting in deer rifles over his coop when he was 6 months old, that was the hardest dog to get used to gunfire while hunting I done it but had to keep him on a short leash for at least 10 kills on rabbits and feed him parts before he got over it and could hunt without the leash then it took other dogs along to get him completely over it. The invention of the shock collar with audio warning is likely the best training aide for dogs. Just wish it was legal for kids.
    God Bless Our Troops -- Retired Tool & Die Maker -- The center of an Aspirin is the same size as the center of the moon, aim for the center.

  7. #7
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    There are some dogs that are born gun dogs. My Cocker Spaniel is a born gun dog. He is not a trained hunting dog as we live in the city have not had the time to carry him hunting like I should. But he loves hunting and the sound of a gun going off.

    When he was a pup I carried him with me dove hunting for his first time out. The first bird that I shot at I missed but he jumped up from beside me and went running out in the direction that I shot looking for something bring back. He didn’t know what he was supposed to bring back but he knew he was suppose to find something. It totally amazed me. The next shot brought a bird down and he saw the bird go down and instantly knew what to do. He retrieved the bird and it has been on since then. Now if I shoot and miss he will go out and find the wading out of the shotgun shell and bring it back if he can’t find a bird. Beats anything I have ever seen.

    On the 4th of July when the fire works start going off other dogs can be scared. Not Cody. We have to keep him in the house because he will go the fire works. He thinks someone is shooting a bunch of birds and he has got to get them birds. This is the second spaniel that we have had and both of them love guns.

    Best of luck with your dog but take the advice of the others here. Keep him away from the gun range. That would be pushing it on a dog. Trying to get game down when he first hears a gun shot helps and also taking him with other dogs.

    Nightfisher
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  8. #8
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    This is a pic of Cody intent on a squirrel in the neighbors yard but he knows he isn't suppose to cross the street without permission.
    Nightfisher
    Team 1894 #39 - Team 35 #19 - Team 30-30 #99 Marlin League # 38 - Team 336-44 #31

    To each his own.

    Don't blame me. I voted for the American.

  9. #9
    Site Contributor Sidewinder
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    Been years since we owned Coon Dogs!At about 8weeks we would get the Dog familiar with gunfire/firecracker,I'd/we would fire the gun then give the pup a "small" piece of liver.So he/she would associate gunfire with a treat and not be terrorized by it.All I can say is this doesn't work for all Dogs,some Dogs should be considered pets!Good luck!
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

    -Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    Re: Getting a dog used to gunfire

    My Golden"Butterbean"(my avatar)loves gunfire.When we hike sometime she will chase a rabbit or deer and will not come when I call.All I have to do is fire my pistol and she is there in a hurry.But she has been hunted all her life.

    Nightfisher,thats a good looking Cocker you got there.My wife has a Cocker/Snouzer mix,the first bird I missed with him along,he searched a while then retrieved the plastic wadd from my shotshell. My wife had it mounted


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