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fabiomilitello

Early Stages Of Gun-Shyness

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I don't recommend your plan. But good luck with him either way.

I'm trying to get your thinking on that with the greatest respect ?

My thinking on it is that the young dog is been shown that the sound of the gun means work , its showing what you want him to do , when you want him to do it and if he grasps that everything in the hunting environment becomes a positive in his mind including the gun shot

 

He associates his surroundings when working with the most positive experience he gets while out

I can't see what holding him back would do , I'd push him on through always trying to make the last half hour most memorable and positive while out , the end of the day is the bit that sticks most before the next time , end on a high ,

 

Hi Casso, always enjoy your posts and the insights you share. My reasoning is that this 18 month old dog is showing timidity at the sound of gunfire. Worse is the fact that this is happening at, like you said the time when dog should be having it's most positive experiences. Moving on as he suggested could backfire while the safer course is the tried and true model of doing everything in steps. I would recommend going back to the phase of training where the presence of gunfire didn't raise issues and start again slowly. Understanding as he does this that his dog may not have the temperament required for the job.

 

That's all I was thinking.

 

I understand what you're saying, but what Casso has said makes the most sense to me. At 18 months, the dog works hard. He hunts perfectly, he retrieves steadily, he's great on the whistle. There are room for improvements, obviously, such as we need to work on his hand signals and casting, and also he isn't so great on very long retrieves, but other than that - he does the job fine.

 

I don't see why he should miss out on a few days of the season, or the whole season, just because he gets nervous around close gun fire. This is a very formative part of the dogs life, and everything that he does now will make him into the dog he will be in 5 years time. Like I've previously said, when he's hunting or retrieving, it's the happiest you'll see him. If I can get him to understand that split second of unease when a gun goes off is followed up by hunting or retrieving, eventually he'll understand that you don't get to work without hearing guns. Dogs are clever like that.

 

Also, I'm interested to see why you think that standing in a field, throwing a dummy while someone shoots a shotgun 100+ yards away is BETTER than me standing in the field, sending him into hunt a patch of bramble, while someone shoot a shotgun 100+ yards away. I understand the former is obviously better when he's being introduced to gunfire, but he's already been through that. Now it's time for him to make the association between that noise, and working for real game.

 

I hope you can see my point!

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I don't recommend your plan. But good luck with him either way.

I'm trying to get your thinking on that with the greatest respect ?

My thinking on it is that the young dog is been shown that the sound of the gun means work , its showing what you want him to do , when you want him to do it and if he grasps that everything in the hunting environment becomes a positive in his mind including the gun shot

 

He associates his surroundings when working with the most positive experience he gets while out

I can't see what holding him back would do , I'd push him on through always trying to make the last half hour most memorable and positive while out , the end of the day is the bit that sticks most before the next time , end on a high ,

Hi Casso, always enjoy your posts and the insights you share. My reasoning is that this 18 month old dog is showing timidity at the sound of gunfire. Worse is the fact that this is happening at, like you said the time when dog should be having it's most positive experiences. Moving on as he suggested could backfire while the safer course is the tried and true model of doing everything in steps. I would recommend going back to the phase of training where the presence of gunfire didn't raise issues and start again slowly. Understanding as he does this that his dog may not have the temperament required for the job.

 

That's all I was thinking.

Good post sir , I know where your coming from now

My reading of a dog bred for work and his owner whom I believe is a lot more clued in than he believes himself

I think he knows the dog will make it through a certain avenue defined by him, he has seen the dog relax and prey making take over , its the only way you got to let the dogs natural desires over come the fear Any fear is gotten over by a desire , you can't get used to fear ,you overcome it by pushing through it , for prey drive think sex drive , natural inclinations must take over

As he matures he'll get a hard on every time he hears gunshot , might get embarrassing in front of the tv

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I don't recommend your plan. But good luck with him either way.

I'm trying to get your thinking on that with the greatest respect ?

My thinking on it is that the young dog is been shown that the sound of the gun means work , its showing what you want him to do , when you want him to do it and if he grasps that everything in the hunting environment becomes a positive in his mind including the gun shot

He associates his surroundings when working with the most positive experience he gets while out

I can't see what holding him back would do , I'd push him on through always trying to make the last half hour most memorable and positive while out , the end of the day is the bit that sticks most before the next time , end on a high ,

Hi Casso, always enjoy your posts and the insights you share. My reasoning is that this 18 month old dog is showing timidity at the sound of gunfire. Worse is the fact that this is happening at, like you said the time when dog should be having it's most positive experiences. Moving on as he suggested could backfire while the safer course is the tried and true model of doing everything in steps. I would recommend going back to the phase of training where the presence of gunfire didn't raise issues and start again slowly. Understanding as he does this that his dog may not have the temperament required for the job.

 

That's all I was thinking.

Good post sir , I know where your coming from now

My reading of a dog bred for work and his owner whom I believe is a lot more clued in than he believes himself

I think he knows the dog will make it through a certain avenue defined by him, he has seen the dog relax and prey making take over , its the only way you got to let the dogs natural desires over come the fear Any fear is gotten over by a desire , you can't get used to fear ,you overcome it by pushing through it , for prey drive think sex drive , natural inclinations must take over

As he matures he'll get a hard on every time he hears gunshot , might get embarrassing in front of the tv

Of course there is the unknown; Why/what caused the dog to start to flinch? Was it environmental? Was it something the handler inadvertently did? Was it poor gun breaking?

 

There are other unknowns. Will continuing to work the dog help it, or harm it?

 

I think it wiser to hedge one's bets, back up, and proceed slowly and carefully. Why? There is a lot less lost time, and effort in going back to the basics than there is in proceeding, getting it wrong, and ending up with a now gun shy dog. I choose the ounce of prevention approach. By using this approach, if it was environmental the dog starts to disassociate the sound of gun fire with the environment, and gets re-acclimated in a safer environment. If it was some type of handler error the dog slowly learns that it was a misunderstanding.

 

I also prefer to look at gun breaking just like I look at all training. When ever a dog doesn't understand we back up a couple of steps, work through some of the more basic drills to ensure the dog understands, then move forwards again. I see no reason why gun breaking should be any different.

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Interesting post ,

If we break it down to finer detail , the gun shot is precieved as Information f we look at it as anything else we are just going to be going round in circles,

 

Does he think he going to be shot , does he believe it's a monster, he hasn't a clue what it is but he clocks it because it effects him he feels it , so he flinchs but for me he doesn't run from the spot he felt it , he waits and for me that's the key he braces and nothing happens , the more he works through that , the lesser the effect every time

 

My take is that , the state of mind informs the dog , when the dog makes the association where gun fire precludes flow , like pavlovs bell induced dogs to drool , its the same principle , a car sick dog when he realises that car travel means work adjusts to travel very quick ,

Real work is the optimum manner of focusing intelligently , he functions to his upmost while in drive doing the real thing , the feeling he gets working is the best he ever feels, there is no better mindset to introduce a negetive , in that mindset he can process information and it the end of the day the only logical way a dog can understand gun fire is external information , what else can he feel about it

I salute your patient approach I believe it would pay off to but I also believe that this man knows his dog

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Interesting post ,

If we break it down to finer detail , the gun shot is precieved as Information f we look at it as anything else we are just going to be going round in circles,

Does he think he going to be shot , does he believe it's a monster, he hasn't a clue what it is but he clocks it because it effects him he feels it , so he flinchs but for me he doesn't run from the spot he felt it , he waits and for me that's the key he braces and nothing happens , the more he works through that , the lesser the effect every time

My take is that , the state of mind informs the dog , when the dog makes the association where gun fire precludes flow , like pavlovs bell induced dogs to drool , its the same principle , a car sick dog when he realises that car travel means work adjusts to travel very quick ,

Real work is the optimum manner of focusing intelligently , he functions to his upmost while in drive doing the real thing , the feeling he gets working is the best he ever feels, there is no better mindset to introduce a negetive , in that mindset he can process information and it the end of the day the only logical way a dog can understand gun fire is external information , what else can he feel about it

I salute your patient approach I believe it would pay off to but I also believe that this man knows his dog

Theoretically, yes. But that info is learned in stages.

 

We know that the dog was nervious about the gun shots. We know the dog still, though quite cautiously, made the retrieves. We know the dog does not have an issue with a .22, and dummies.

 

We don't know that the dog equates the report of the shotgun, with the report of the .22. If we could be certain that the dog understands the relationship between gunshot and game to fetch, yes, your method would probably work. We don't know that the dog equates bumpers with game. We don't know why the dog was nervious. We don't know how much gun fire the dog has been exposed to. We don't know how much game the dog has been exposed to/retrieved.

 

I don't think this pup knows the relationship between shot and game. I agree that once it does this nerviousness goes away. The question is how do we build that relationship?....without creating or worsening he problem?

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I understand what you're saying, but what Casso has said makes the most sense to me. At 18 months, the dog works hard. He hunts perfectly, he retrieves steadily, he's great on the whistle. There are room for improvements, obviously, such as we need to work on his hand signals and casting, and also he isn't so great on very long retrieves, but other than that - he does the job fine.

 

"He picked up every bird I sent him in for, but I noticed he was a bit sketchy every time a gun would go off. The guns were very close, and every time a shot would go off, I'd notice he would crouch very low to the ground and almost crawl. But once he was sent in for a retrieve, his tail would be wagging and it was back to normal."

 

I don't see why he should miss out on a few days of the season, or the whole season, just because he gets nervous around close gun fire. This is a very formative part of the dogs life, and everything that he does now will make him into the dog he will be in 5 years time. Like I've previously said, when he's hunting or retrieving, it's the happiest you'll see him. If I can get him to understand that split second of unease when a gun goes off is followed up by hunting or retrieving, eventually he'll understand that you don't get to work without hearing guns. Dogs are clever like that.

 

This is what you want, but simply hoping this young dog sorts it out on his own is not wise. We train dogs in controlled circumstances for a reason. We do them is steps so we can always back track when we experience a hick-up. Granted timid under gunfire is not a hick up it's a major problem. I'm sure you have already drawn the conclusion that this dog should be removed from any breeding considerations. Whether it's stable enough for work remains to be seen.

 

 

Also, I'm interested to see why you think that standing in a field, throwing a dummy while someone shoots a shotgun 100+ yards away is BETTER than me standing in the field, sending him into hunt a patch of bramble, while someone shoot a shotgun 100+ yards away. I understand the former is obviously better when he's being introduced to gunfire, but he's already been through that. Now it's time for him to make the association between that noise, and working for real game.

 

I never suggested anything of the sort. But I might suggest seeking the help of a professional trainer.

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We build the association with gunshot and work by managing the situation to create a feelgood factor through the driven mindset , you can bang all the bowls you can find and create as much din as you like but until you plug the dog into the can do attitude of a driven mindset , you may as well be idle

 

If we take it a step further and look at bulldogs, why don't they respond to the pain inflicted by people who struggle to separate them when fights break out , why don't they feel the pain , the truth is they do , they certainly do in a casual situation ,

 

But when charged by natural inclinations to make contact , pain becomes what work feels like , the negetive is been processed as information under the feelgood factor of drive , the negetive becomes just part of the process, the bulldog e.g. may be a bit extreme but the principle is identical , apart from man there is no animal ever existed that can read pattern recognition in its environment like a dog , pain is information , sound is information , when we give either in accordance with a flow state of mind we can activate a hyperlearning state ,

 

Behind it all , the ability to read the dog and reassure when needed is down to experience , situations like this will make this man a better dog man , no doubt , he'll do things differently if there's a next time

If we spent more time managing its environment rather than fixing problems most of which are self inflicted in the first place

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Casso my man, you certainly know your dogs. But, we are talking about a gun dog that's afraid of guns. Either he was not introduced to gunfire properly or when he failed the trainer ignored it and pressed on with his training. The end result is the same. Nobody wants to shoot over a timid dog, and nobody wants their dogs around a timid dog. It's possible if the dog is stable in other respects to back track and do a proper intro to gunfire. Following the steps may ensure the dog makes the connection that all good things come after the shot. It's free advice and worth every penny.

 

Like I said before I hope it works out well for the dog and handler.

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Casso my man, you certainly know your dogs. But, we are talking about a gun dog that's afraid of guns. Either he was not introduced to gunfire properly or when he failed the trainer ignored it and pressed on with his training. The end result is the same. Nobody wants to shoot over a timid dog, and nobody wants their dogs around a timid dog. It's possible if the dog is stable in other respects to back track and do a proper intro to gunfire. Following the steps may ensure the dog makes the connection that all good things come after the shot. It's free advice and worth every penny.

 

Like I said before I hope it works out well for the dog and handler.

It's interesting that you're adamant my dog is no good and might as well retire as a household pet at 18 months old already, without seeing it work at all. He isn't afraid of guns, he has not even made the association between guns and the gunshot sound. He gets nervous around very loud bangs. Whether it's a firework, or a dummy launcher being shot next to him, or a gun. Very loud noises make him uneasy. 22 blanks and banging pots and pans is fine. It's like Casso said, I'm going to be going round in circles forever banging pans around my house and shooting blanks in a field. It's not going to cure this self inflicted problem the dog has. Again, using Casso's example, some dogs get terrified when they are in moving cars. How do you cure this problem? I would personally associate the car journeys with something positive, so the dog can make the connection with it. If you have a dog who loves going to the park, drive to the park so the dog knows car journey = park. Or if your dog likes to eat food, put a food bowl in the car while you drive so the dog can associate that car journey = food.

 

It's the same principle Casso and I are applying to this situation. The dog doesn't like loud bangs, so rather than shoot a gun next to it and tell him he's a good boy, I'm taking something I know makes him happy (in this case, it's working), and using it as a reward for listening to bangs. Again, the dog will then understand that: loud bang = work, and work = happiness. Eventually, like Casso said, loud bang = happiness.

 

Dogs are amazing creatures, and can associate almost anything with an emotion. My friend had a rescue dog once, and there was a certain alleyway next to her house that the dog would simple REFUSE to go down. A dog behaviouralist said it was most likely due to a similar alleyway being used in a negative manner with its previous owner, for example the owner may have been walking down an alleyway one day and beat/hit the dog. Now the dog understands that alleyways = pain and fear.

 

Do you see where I'm coming from? Simply put, it's using a dogs positive emotions to outweigh a negative emotion.

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We build the association with gunshot and work by managing the situation to create a feelgood factor through the driven mindset , you can bang all the bowls you can find and create as much din as you like but until you plug the dog into the can do attitude of a driven mindset , you may as well be idle

If we take it a step further and look at bulldogs, why don't they respond to the pain inflicted by people who struggle to separate them when fights break out , why don't they feel the pain , the truth is they do , they certainly do in a casual situation ,

But when charged by natural inclinations to make contact , pain becomes what work feels like , the negetive is been processed as information under the feelgood factor of drive , the negetive becomes just part of the process, the bulldog e.g. may be a bit extreme but the principle is identical , apart from man there is no animal ever existed that can read pattern recognition in its environment like a dog , pain is information , sound is information , when we give either in accordance with a flow state of mind we can activate a hyperlearning state ,

Behind it all , the ability to read the dog and reassure when needed is down to experience , situations like this will make this man a better dog man , no doubt , he'll do things differently if there's a next time

If we spent more time managing its environment rather than fixing problems most of which are self inflicted in the first place

This has become quite an interesting discussion. Lots of good thoughts being bounced around.

 

I agree with you in theory, but I am not sure all the pieces are in place in the case of this dog. Using this dog in the beating line may allow the dog to better associate the sound of gunshots with work, but what work? The dog may become a fantastic beating dog, but that association (guns in the distance which silence once we approach to within a certain distance) doesn't help the dog associate the sound of gunshots nearby with game to be retrieved. Now, hearing gunshots in the positive environment of the beating line may well serve as a good intermediate step in overcoming this issue, but I see no direct correlation to beating, and retrieving. After all, the retrieve is the reward for good line manners.

 

Using a hybrid of your model, and my model, I think the dog (provided is has had elementary gun breaking) could build the association between gunshot and game by being worked well behind (100-150 yards) behind a line of guns. Kept on a lead, and in a location where it can see game falling, and other dogs working, it is possible the dog will associate the shot/fall/retrieve/work. The dog may also be in a position where it could be sent on a retrieve that falls well behind the guns where shot anxiety will be lessened. The key to it all is the dog making the right association between gunshot and the production of game.

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Hi all,

 

Just a quick post to see if anyone has any suggestions on how to iron out the early stages of gunshyness in my Labrador.

 

Asher is 18 months, I took him out on the first day of our shooting season at the small shoot I beat on, and as it was a duck only day he was mostly picking up. He picked up every bird I sent him in for, but I noticed he was a bit sketchy every time a gun would go off. The guns were very close, and every time a shot would go off, I'd notice he would crouch very low to the ground and almost crawl. But once he was sent in for a retrieve, his tail would be wagging and it was back to normal.

 

I want to sort out this hiccup before it becomes full blown gunshyness. I took him out on the Saturday after the shoot with a bag full of dummies and a dummy launcher that fires .22 blanks. I was using that, and he was again, crouching very low to the ground whenever the dummy launcher was fired, but once I sent him in to go hunt for the dummy, he was wagging his tail.

 

Next week, I'm going to try and just throw the dummy while a friend of mine shoots a 12 bore about 100 yards away.

 

Does anyone else have any similar stories, problems, or suggestions on how I can nip this in the bud before it's too late?

 

Thanks!

After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions?

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Hi all,

 

Just a quick post to see if anyone has any suggestions on how to iron out the early stages of gunshyness in my Labrador.

 

Asher is 18 months, I took him out on the first day of our shooting season at the small shoot I beat on, and as it was a duck only day he was mostly picking up. He picked up every bird I sent him in for, but I noticed he was a bit sketchy every time a gun would go off. The guns were very close, and every time a shot would go off, I'd notice he would crouch very low to the ground and almost crawl. But once he was sent in for a retrieve, his tail would be wagging and it was back to normal.

 

I want to sort out this hiccup before it becomes full blown gunshyness. I took him out on the Saturday after the shoot with a bag full of dummies and a dummy launcher that fires .22 blanks. I was using that, and he was again, crouching very low to the ground whenever the dummy launcher was fired, but once I sent him in to go hunt for the dummy, he was wagging his tail.

 

Next week, I'm going to try and just throw the dummy while a friend of mine shoots a 12 bore about 100 yards away.

 

Does anyone else have any similar stories, problems, or suggestions on how I can nip this in the bud before it's too late?

 

Thanks!

After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions?

 

I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies!

 

His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move.

 

Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year.

 

When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol.

 

This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him.

 

I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range.

 

I'll keep everyone updated on how he does.

 

I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs!

 

My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that.

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Hi all,

 

Just a quick post to see if anyone has any suggestions on how to iron out the early stages of gunshyness in my Labrador.

 

Asher is 18 months, I took him out on the first day of our shooting season at the small shoot I beat on, and as it was a duck only day he was mostly picking up. He picked up every bird I sent him in for, but I noticed he was a bit sketchy every time a gun would go off. The guns were very close, and every time a shot would go off, I'd notice he would crouch very low to the ground and almost crawl. But once he was sent in for a retrieve, his tail would be wagging and it was back to normal.

 

I want to sort out this hiccup before it becomes full blown gunshyness. I took him out on the Saturday after the shoot with a bag full of dummies and a dummy launcher that fires .22 blanks. I was using that, and he was again, crouching very low to the ground whenever the dummy launcher was fired, but once I sent him in to go hunt for the dummy, he was wagging his tail.

 

Next week, I'm going to try and just throw the dummy while a friend of mine shoots a 12 bore about 100 yards away.

 

Does anyone else have any similar stories, problems, or suggestions on how I can nip this in the bud before it's too late?

Thanks!

 

After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions?

I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies!

 

His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move.

 

Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year.

 

When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol.

 

This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him.

 

I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range.

 

I'll keep everyone updated on how he does.

 

I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs!

 

My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that.

So you thought a dog that showed nervousness when moving from .22 shorts, to louder .22 longs wouldn't have an issue moving from .22 longs to shotgun blasts nearby? Hmmm.....

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Hi all,

 

Just a quick post to see if anyone has any suggestions on how to iron out the early stages of gunshyness in my Labrador.

 

Asher is 18 months, I took him out on the first day of our shooting season at the small shoot I beat on, and as it was a duck only day he was mostly picking up. He picked up every bird I sent him in for, but I noticed he was a bit sketchy every time a gun would go off. The guns were very close, and every time a shot would go off, I'd notice he would crouch very low to the ground and almost crawl. But once he was sent in for a retrieve, his tail would be wagging and it was back to normal.

 

I want to sort out this hiccup before it becomes full blown gunshyness. I took him out on the Saturday after the shoot with a bag full of dummies and a dummy launcher that fires .22 blanks. I was using that, and he was again, crouching very low to the ground whenever the dummy launcher was fired, but once I sent him in to go hunt for the dummy, he was wagging his tail.

 

Next week, I'm going to try and just throw the dummy while a friend of mine shoots a 12 bore about 100 yards away.

 

Does anyone else have any similar stories, problems, or suggestions on how I can nip this in the bud before it's too late?

Thanks!

After re-reading your original post I see the dog had issues with the .22 blanks, which I had somehow not processed before. I have a question. What gun breaking did you do with this dog before you took it out on a shoot? How long/how many gun breaking sessions?

I should have probably elaborated on that. My apologies!

 

His first gun breaking sessions were done last winter, where I would take a starter pistol and fire .22 blanks (shorts). This was done at about 100 yards away by a friend, whilst I would stand with the dog and pet him / praise him if he didn't react. At the start, he never got nervous, he just used to look in the direction of the shot and his ears would prick/move.

 

Eventually we got closer and closer, and we did this until summer this year.

 

When I was using .22 blanks with the dummy launcher, they were longs, not short - so they are definitely louder. I was also firing the dummy launcher right next to the dog, as opposed to shooting it 100 yards away like we did with the starter pistol.

 

This is when he started to get nervous around the .22 long blanks, originally when we started gun breaking him, .22 short blanks didn't phase him at 100 yards. Perhaps this is where he has developed this nervousness - the gap between using the shorts at 100 yards and the longs right next to him.

 

I agree with your last post about using a hybrid of your model and Casso's model to gunbreak him completely. Every dog is different, and while I agree with you that taking him shooting every second Saturday alone won't make him 100% gunbroken, I do think it will help. The weekends inbetween each shoot date I will go back a few steps and perhaps use the 22 short blanks on him at closer range.

 

I'll keep everyone updated on how he does.

 

I'm also incredibly surprised at how much attention this thread has garnered - it's really true about what they say about everyone having their own way of training dogs!

 

My uncle seems to think that gunbreaking dogs with starter pistols is a waste of time, and you should just take them out shooting and let them get used to it - but I digress with that.

So you thought a dog that showed nervousness when moving from .22 shorts, to louder .22 longs wouldn't have an issue moving from .22 longs to shotgun blasts nearby? Hmmm.....

 

I only used the dummy launcher after his first time near shotgun fire. He wasn't showing any nervousness on the shorts, and I didn't bother using the longs as they are reserved for the dummy launcher, and that is only used when I want him training long retrieves.

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Trained my staffy with long blanks... just fired the fooker off right before feeding her... moved it into the field and within a day she was sitting to shot and waiting for a dummy to be thrown ;)

 

Might sound mental but try it; shoot the blank off, dont react or say anything just put the food/treat down and walk away 👍

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