what happens to gun shy pointers?

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what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by nbourbaki » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:30 pm

Hi all,

I have posted recently about looking for a pointing dog as first a family pet, second a pointer for bowhunting birds (no gun shooting).

Would I be a good candidate for a pointer that is excellent in all regards but gun shy? what happens to those dogs? How old would the dog be before it declared gun shy? Is this a reasonable option for me or would there be other issues with a gun-shy hunter?

cheers

btw, I would mostly be looking for a gsp, viszla, or pointing lab type dog.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by CDN_Cocker » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:37 pm

Age has nothing to do with it, if its scared of gun shot its scared. Most of these dogs go on to pet homes. Gun shyness is something that is created, not something that just shows up. A dog isn't born gun shy. Chances are if the person who trained the dog made them gun shy, the dog probably isn't much of a hunter either due to the lack of skill of the trainer.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:49 pm

The dog is born with a predisposition to becoming gunshy. Why would I say this? Because there are dogs that you cannot make gunshy even if you purposely tried to. There are dogs that will show signs of becoming gunshy even though they are handled properly and they will require remedial training to hopefully salvage them. So, while it is convenient to pin gunshyness on the trainer/handler of a dog, the root of the problem lies in the breeding. The ability and willingness to hunt is also innate through the breeding of the dog and even if it was entirely the trainers fault the dog became gunshy, the trainer would also have to purposely destroy the built in hunting drive it it existed from birth.

As to whether a gunshy dog that is excellent in all other regards would be easily available - if the dog is "excellent" the trainer would likely try to remediate the gunshy problem and salvage the dog. If the dog is showing gunshy at a young age and is "put up for sale" then there really would be no way of knowing how it may perform in the field as it would not have had training and exposure and you would be taking your chances like anyone else buying a puppy.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Moulders Farm » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:21 pm

I agree with Cocker to a sertin extent most are made gun shy by inproper interduction to the gun . How ever some are a lot easyer scared . but most dogs of all breeds with a lot of tender training can be changed & will love the gun . by working slow with the gun & training to hunt birds first makes a lot of differnts . I have seen some great dogs that were scared at a young age turn out to be great hunting dogs . I even had a 2yr old house dog that would run & hide every time I got a gun but he loved to tree squarrils , after killing a few for him he would go grazy when he saw a gun I had to shut him in when I worked the bird dogs to keep him out of the way . do not give up on a gun shy dog to quick

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by RoostersMom » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:47 pm

CDN_Cocker wrote:Age has nothing to do with it, if its scared of gun shot its scared. Most of these dogs go on to pet homes. Gun shyness is something that is created, not something that just shows up. A dog isn't born gun shy. Chances are if the person who trained the dog made them gun shy, the dog probably isn't much of a hunter either due to the lack of skill of the trainer.
I agree with these statements. Except that one that says most go on to pet homes. Many are dumped in shelters or euthanized by the owner. I also agree that if the handler/owner messed the dogs' gun intro up, they likely made some other mistakes.

I have placed two gunshy dogs recently - a very nice GSP that had an owner problem - I think he was going to make a great dog - he had been rehabbed at Perfection Kennel and then they adopted him out to a nice couple in NY. The other was a Pointer that was young and shot over way too early at a gun range.

I think you'd be a good candidate for a gunshy dog - but you have to take a look at the rest of the picture with the dog - was the dog intro'd to birds properly? How about early socialization? Check out Roger Miller in Utah - he runs a shelter program where he trains and places rescues - our Chessie came from there. He was gunshy when we got him, now he's a bird hunting machine (thanks to Jon at Perfection Kennel).

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Bounty_Hunter » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:48 pm

I think I would have to side with slistoe because I have relatives that owned a yellow lab that was best dog I have ever been around and he was very obedient and in my opinion could have made a great hunting dog because he had the drive. The relatives however don't hunt and never exposed him to any gun shot or anything loud that I know of as a puppy yet at a young age he would hide when he heard thunder and would hide and shiver during the 4th of July even when indoors. Maybe a rare isolated case but true.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Sharon » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:53 pm

slistoe wrote:The dog is born with a predisposition to becoming gunshy. Why would I say this? Because there are dogs that you cannot make gunshy even if you purposely tried to. There are dogs that will show signs of becoming gunshy even though they are handled properly and they will require remedial training to hopefully salvage them. So, while it is convenient to pin gunshyness on the trainer/handler of a dog, the root of the problem lies in the breeding. The ability and willingness to hunt is also innate through the breeding of the dog and even if it was entirely the trainers fault the dog became gunshy, the trainer would also have to purposely destroy the built in hunting drive it it existed from birth.

As to whether a gunshy dog that is excellent in all other regards would be easily available - if the dog is "excellent" the trainer would likely try to remediate the gunshy problem and salvage the dog. If the dog is showing gunshy at a young age and is "put up for sale" then there really would be no way of knowing how it may perform in the field as it would not have had training and exposure and you would be taking your chances like anyone else buying a puppy.
Never heard that way of looking at it before. Very interesting.:)

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by RoostersMom » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:26 pm

I too, have had a dog that was terrified of thunderstorms. That has nothing to do with gunshot or gunshyness. She was never gunshy and never showed any inclination to be nervous around gunfire. Fireworks and thunderstorms - she panicked every time. I don't think one has anything to do with the other - I know many, many, many more gunshy dogs that have no problems with fireworks or thunderstorms - just guns.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Vman » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:30 pm

Slistoe is correct about the predisposition in pups. But that does not mean one of those pups can not be made gunshy or scared of fireworks or t-storms.
That does not mean the pup was born gunshy. It was made gunshy. Just some pups have a stronger temperaments and more mental stability than others, just as some in a litter will have more desire than others. Those are the Picks for most of us. That is what we breed for and that is what we watch for in the litter. The timid pup is more likely to be made gunshy in a poor environment than the Alpha.
I am a stinker on BREEDER SOCIALIZATION.
We read here all the time when giving advice to beginners, Socialize, Socialize and Socialize some more. This is great advice and it will show in the youngster.
What we don`t read is the environment the Breeder has for the pups. The biggest problem I see with youngsters is a lack of Socialization and it is not the new owners that are not doing it. They are, that is why I am seeing the pups. But I see way to many pups at 8-16 weeks old that were not socialized by the breeder. These are also good candidates for gunshyness and t-storm fright. When buying a pup you go and look at the litter a couple of times before you pick it up, pay attention to the environment the pup is in. Are the pups outside or are they locked indoors, in a basement, or the house. Are they in the garage or barn and aren`t let outside to snoop around and run and play. Are there children for the pups to play with? Are the pups around big dogs and hear them barking? Are they allowed to go say hi to the big dogs/{through the fence} Do they get to hear blank gunfire from a distance? Do they see pigeons and hear them flap their wings when they take flight? Do they see and hear the lawnmower and leaf blower? Do they see and hear the ATV or are they exposed to a horse or other animals? Are they exposed to water?{wading pool} Are they allowed to go into the woods and check out all the smells and sights the woods has to offer? Have the pups ridden in a vehicle as a litter at first and then as an individual? Do the pups sleep in a crate together at first and then as an individual alone all night?
All this needs to be done by the breeder. You can take the best breeding in the country from Champions on both sides and keep the pups in the garage or house and basement for eight weeks and not properly socialize them and then pick up your pup and it is the first time it has been alone in a vehicle, it is the first time it has been in a crate, it is the first time it has seen other dogs, it is the first time it has slept in a crate alone. It is the first time the pup has been overwhelmed by children. That 8 hour day I just described can be traumatic on any pup. Some get over it and some never do. The ones that get over it are the pups that some may say are predisposition. The ones that don`t, are the ones they say are predisposition for gunshyness.
All I described above needs to happen when the pups are all together not when they are alone.
Yes you can take a pup that all the above has been done and make him gun shy. But the chances are much less. The pup will be more confident and its desire to find birds will overcome its fear of a gun or t-storm.
Fireworks can scare any dog and there is absolutely no reason a dog and especially a hunting dog should even see them. Nothing good can come of it.

I think the OP would be well served with a rescue dog. I have seen several dogs come from the Illinois Bird dog rescue that would serve him well. I know there are others like that, just have to snoop around and find them. The dog would love you for it.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by ezzy333 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:16 pm

Bounty_Hunter wrote:I think I would have to side with slistoe because I have relatives that owned a yellow lab that was best dog I have ever been around and he was very obedient and in my opinion could have made a great hunting dog because he had the drive. The relatives however don't hunt and never exposed him to any gun shot or anything loud that I know of as a puppy yet at a young age he would hide when he heard thunder and would hide and shiver during the 4th of July even when indoors. Maybe a rare isolated case but true.
In my experience there is no connection to fear of storms and fear of gunshot. I have had many that fear storms, have one right now, and almost without exception they were all great hunting dogs with no issue at all of gun noises. For a matter of fact I can't remember ever seeing a dog that feared storms be gun shy.

I agree some dogs are born softer but no way born gun shy. That is man made.

Ezzy

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:49 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
I agree some dogs are born softer but no way born gun shy. That is man made.

Ezzy
I have seen dogs that were born with a temperament that made it almost impossible to have them not be gun shy. We have developed protocols for the introduction to the gun because pups are born with a tendency to easily develop gunshyness and there is no good way to differentiate them at a young age from those that will never become gunshy regardless of what is done with/to them. If improper introduction to the gun was the root cause of gun shy in dogs, then it would be possible to make any and every dog gunshy - and that is simply not true. It would also be possible to prevent gun shy in each and every dog and that is simply not true either.

I think a rescue dog of a pointing breed is a good idea for the OP.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by DonF » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:45 pm

I think guy shy is a man made problem but, there are dogs that I believe are timid to a fault. Wouldn't matter if it was a gun or something else. loud noise's scare them. Fortunately there's not many around.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by roaniecowpony » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:07 am

I would not seek out a dog with a hole in it regardless of whether or not you plan to shoot a gun over the dog.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:46 am

I also side with Slistoe on this. When you run into a gun shy dog, that's usually not his only problem. They tend to be timid dog's in general and a real pain to work with.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by ACooper » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:21 am

gonehuntin' wrote: When you run into a gun shy dog, that's usually not his only problem. They tend to be timid dog's in general and a real pain to work with.
A few I've seen appeared to be in conjunction with improper or no socialization. Pair that with a soft/shy predisposition, trouble waiting to happen.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birddogger » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:49 pm

ACooper wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote: When you run into a gun shy dog, that's usually not his only problem. They tend to be timid dog's in general and a real pain to work with.
A few I've seen appeared to be in conjunction with improper or no socialization. Pair that with a soft/shy predisposition, trouble waiting to happen.
This has always been my experience. I have never had a gunshy dog but have been around several and I have always believed a person would have to go out of his/her way to make a bold and normal dog gunshy. A very soft or timid dog, on the other hand will be made gunshy if not brought along very carefully and as GH said, there will be other issues to deal with also. Having said that, I still do proper gun intro with all dogs.

Charlie

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:52 am

I have seen very few Border Collies that were not gun shy - many to the extreme. None of them seemed to have "other problems".

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:33 am

I think other problems is just away of saying they don't respond to the trainer(us) the way we would like them to. And I agree with that.

Ezzy

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by SHORTFAT » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:17 am

birddogger wrote:
ACooper wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote: When you run into a gun shy dog, that's usually not his only problem. They tend to be timid dog's in general and a real pain to work with.
A few I've seen appeared to be in conjunction with improper or no socialization. Pair that with a soft/shy predisposition, trouble waiting to happen.
This has always been my experience. I have never had a gunshy dog but have been around several and I have always believed a person would have to go out of his/her way to make a bold and normal dog gunshy. A very soft or timid dog, on the other hand will be made gunshy if not brought along very carefully and as GH said, there will be other issues to deal with also. Having said that, I still do proper gun intro with all dogs.

Charlie

I agree with this... but when you have someone with some patience and a little time to spend... This... this can happen to gun shy pointers... She will never love the gun, but she has a love of the hunt that overcomes her shyness... with work, a soft dog that has not had the proper socialization can become a good family pet. You have to have realistic expectations tho' too... a dog like that can be a pain to work with and will never make a "great" hunting dog or trial dog... but they can be a good family pet that will hunt for you.
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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birdogg42 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:35 am

DonF wrote:I think guy shy is a man made problem but, there are dogs that I believe are timid to a fault. Wouldn't matter if it was a gun or something else. loud noise's scare them. Fortunately there's not many around.
I Agree Don

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:41 am

ezzy333 wrote:I think other problems is just away of saying they don't respond to the trainer(us) the way we would like them to. And I agree with that.

Ezzy
And yet these are working ranch dogs and champion herding dogs. Not really any issue with responding to the trainer. These are not timid dogs, unsocialized dogs, or any other manner of "problem dogs". Their only fault would be that "gun shy" does not exist on the herding dog breeders radar and the characteristic is never selected against in breeding decisions. So the "fault" persists.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by tieflyer » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:42 pm

slistoe wrote:
ezzy333 wrote:I think other problems is just away of saying they don't respond to the trainer(us) the way we would like them to. And I agree with that.

Ezzy
And yet these are working ranch dogs and champion herding dogs. Not really any issue with responding to the trainer. These are not timid dogs, unsocialized dogs, or any other manner of "problem dogs". Their only fault would be that "gun shy" does not exist on the herding dog breeders radar and the characteristic is never selected against in breeding decisions. So the "fault" persists.
Well said!!! I own a Border Collie that fits that post.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:05 pm

A border collie is not bred to the gun, a hunting dog is. Therefore it is not considered a fault in a border collie, but sends a gun dog to the garbage can. Kind of like a border collie that won't herd. Not a fault in a gun dog. I have never seen a gun shy hunting dog that was not mentally defective and didn't have other serious problems; timidity of everything being the most serious and the one most associated with gun=shyness.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:30 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:A border collie is not bred to the gun, a hunting dog is. Therefore it is not considered a fault in a border collie, but sends a gun dog to the garbage can. Kind of like a border collie that won't herd. Not a fault in a gun dog. I have never seen a gun shy hunting dog that was not mentally defective and didn't have other serious problems; timidity of everything being the most serious and the one most associated with gun=shyness.
Which brings us back to my point that at its root, gunshy is a breeding problem, not a training problem. The more we try to convince folks that it is simply a training problem the greater the breeding problem will become. Is that an issue? If the ability to train around the issue of sensitivity to the gun continues to be perfected it may very well not be an issue.
I have seen normal, well adjusted hunting breed dogs that were given proper introduction develop gunshy behaviors. If all gunshy hunting dogs were those that were mentally defective or had other serious problems, then training programs aimed at curing the gunshy dog would not have much value.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:37 pm

slistoe wrote:
gonehuntin' wrote:A border collie is not bred to the gun, a hunting dog is. Therefore it is not considered a fault in a border collie, but sends a gun dog to the garbage can. Kind of like a border collie that won't herd. Not a fault in a gun dog. I have never seen a gun shy hunting dog that was not mentally defective and didn't have other serious problems; timidity of everything being the most serious and the one most associated with gun=shyness.
slistoe wrote:Which brings us back to my point that at its root, gunshy is a breeding problem, not a training problem.
I think everyone pretty much agrees with that. So is timidity and sensitivity.

slistoe wrote: The more we try to convince folks that it is simply a training problem the greater the breeding problem will become. Is that an issue? If the ability to train around the issue of sensitivity to the gun continues to be perfected it may very well not be an issue.
I can't say I've seen too many people say it's strictly a training problem. Most consider it twofold : Incompetent breeding multiplied by incompetent gun introduction.
slistoe wrote:I have seen normal, well adjusted hunting breed dogs that were given proper introduction develop gunshy behaviors. If all gunshy hunting dogs were those that were mentally defective or had other serious problems, then training programs aimed at curing the gunshy dog would not have much value.
The only time I've seen that was if a dog had a fire cracker thrown at it on the 4th of July, or if a gun is continually discharged next to a dog 's ear like In a field blind. Even then, the dog's weren't made truly gun-shy, but they sure were skittish around loud noise. There are few truly gun shy dog's, those that take off across country when a gun is fired, and you find them quaking under a truck or In a culvert. Few people have seen a gun-shy dog; they are indeed pitiful creatures. I believe that training programs designed at curing GUN-SHY dogs are largely ineffective. They do help with noise SENSITIVE dogs.

Most breeding programs today for hunting dogs in no way promote noise sensitive behaviors. It is getting to be a very rare problem when dogs come from a competent program. This does not mean that Proper gun introduction should not be done with EVERY dog. It is incredibly ignorant not to. Same as force training a retriever to retrieve that is a good retriever, or teaching a pointing dog WHOA that all ready points. All of these are simply interlocking pieces fit together to complete a well and thoroughly trained dog.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birddogger » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:39 pm

agree with this... but when you have someone with some patience and a little time to spend... This... this can happen to gun shy pointers... She will never love the gun, but she has a love of the hunt that overcomes her shyness... with work, a soft dog that has not had the proper socialization can become a good family pet. You have to have realistic expectations tho' too... a dog like that can be a pain to work with and will never make a "great" hunting dog or trial dog... but they can be a good family pet that will hunt for you.
I don't disagree with this at all.

Charlie

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Sharon » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:12 am

We should both be in bed . It's 1 :12 am here and 12:12 am there. Not together! You know what I mean.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:07 am

Hells bells Sharon, nice of you to make that offer to Charlie! :D Well, it IS a mighty cold winter!!! :lol:

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birddogger » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:02 am

:lol: :lol:

Charlie

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Sharon » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:36 pm

:) It ain't that cold , and he's up at 7 am!!

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:48 pm

Sharon wrote::) It ain't that cold , and he's up at 7 am!!
Sharon, has anyone ever told you that you have a bad attitude. LOL

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by markj » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:22 pm

gunshy is a breeding problem, not a training problem
Really? I do not think this is true at all. I bought a female age 9 months from a divorced gal. That dog was gun shyed by the man. Dog would run and hide when ever someone fired shot.

Irun her on wild birds for 3 or 4 weeks, then one day I dropped one right off hr nose, that bird hit the ground with her right on it.After that event she would hold her point, I would move to flush, she would go behind my legs for te shot, then fetch up the bird. She was pure hege haus. Bloodline? I doubt it seriously there.

I have seen guys take a green do into a field with their buddies, get up one rooster and everyone unloads, the dog runs for cover never having expirienced that. BTDT dont hunt with them folks anymore.

Hunting dogs were invented before the gun. Folks used nets back then.

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what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by ACooper » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:40 pm

Gun shy can absolutely be a training problem.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Sharon » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:51 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
Sharon wrote::) It ain't that cold , and he's up at 7 am!!
Sharon, has anyone ever told you that you have a bad attitude. LOL
LOL Yes . My husband.
It's so blinking cold up here that that you can't take a dog out; all that's left to do for fun is flirt. :)

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:08 pm

ACooper wrote:Gun shy can absolutely be a training problem.
That is correct. If you have a dog that is predisposed to becoming gunshy and you handle it improperly you will have a problem. Which is why there are training protocols for introducing the gun - so you can avert the problem. If you get the wrong dog you can follow all the protocols and still have a gunshy dog.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:28 pm

markj wrote:
gunshy is a breeding problem, not a training problem
Really? I do not think this is true at all. I bought a female age 9 months from a divorced gal. That dog was gun shyed by the man. Dog would run and hide when ever someone fired shot.

Irun her on wild birds for 3 or 4 weeks, then one day I dropped one right off hr nose, that bird hit the ground with her right on it.After that event she would hold her point, I would move to flush, she would go behind my legs for te shot, then fetch up the bird. She was pure hege haus. Bloodline? I doubt it seriously there.

I have seen guys take a green do into a field with their buddies, get up one rooster and everyone unloads, the dog runs for cover never having expirienced that. BTDT dont hunt with them folks anymore.

Hunting dogs were invented before the gun. Folks used nets back then.
In regards to naming a blood line - you must remember that any particular focused breeding program increases the odds of an individual pup being of the type being focused on, but each dog is a crap shoot that will have varying degrees of separation from the mean. As to being gunshyed by the man - what specifically did he do to make the dog gunshy? Or is that speculation.
I have seen guys take a 6 mo. green dog to the field, fire a volley over its head and not faze the dog a mite as it headed for the bird. I would postulate that my scenario is much more common than yours - because by and large gundog breeds have had gunshy selected against in breeding decisions for many generations. Why does the "take them to the gun range" philosophy persist - because the majority of folks who do it see no ill effects from the practice.
The problem is, there is no reliable indicator that will accurately predict ahead of time the dog that will react poorly to the gun and the one that will not.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birddogger » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:23 pm

Sharon wrote::) It ain't that cold , and he's up at 7 am!!
Actually, I had never been to bed....I was having a slow night at work. :wink:

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:53 am

Sharon wrote:
ezzy333 wrote:
Sharon wrote::) It ain't that cold , and he's up at 7 am!!
Sharon, has anyone ever told you that you have a bad attitude. LOL
LOL Yes . My husband.
It's so blinking cold up here that that you can't take a dog out; all that's left to do for fun is flirt. :)


When it's this blinkin' cold, "snuggling" is the way to go!

Wait a minute..........What was this thread about?

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by markj » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:46 pm

As to being gunshyed by the man - what specifically did he do to make the dog gunshy?
He went and got 2 quail, let them loose, pup was like 4 months old, pup found quaIl, bird flushed guy shot 4 times right off the dogs head. I was told this after I took her out by myself and shot one time over a bird she had pointed. She over came this. I do not think for one minute that is was"bred" into her.

I have seen "trainers" tear a dogdown and not build it back up, the dogs were gunshy after.

But hey you can belive what you wish to belive. Promote your own line etc.... but in simple terms anyone can gun shy a dog. It is very easy to do.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:43 pm

markj wrote:
As to being gunshyed by the man - what specifically did he do to make the dog gunshy?
He went and got 2 quail, let them loose, pup was like 4 months old, pup found quaIl, bird flushed guy shot 4 times right off the dogs head. I was told this after I took her out by myself and shot one time over a bird she had pointed. She over came this. I do not think for one minute that is was"bred" into her.

I have seen "trainers" tear a dogdown and not build it back up, the dogs were gunshy after.

But hey you can belive what you wish to belive. Promote your own line etc.... but in simple terms anyone can gun shy a dog. It is very easy to do.
No one purposely breeds "gun-shy" into their dogs.
I guarantee you that there are 4 month old dogs that have had volleys shot over their heads with no ill effects.
Thanks for the permission to believe. As for the "line" I am promoting….. WHAT????
If it was so easy to gun-shy any old dog, how did #9 and rock salt work as a training aid?

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by mountaindogs » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:36 am

It IS easy to gunshy a bird dog!!! Happens WAY MORE than you may realize. Swept under the rug, dog ditched on someone else as "free" dog that "I worked on some birds but can't afford to feed" or whatever is the story. I see it all the time and I could list a dozen dogs quickly and more if I thought at all about it. It seems the norm in this area anyway to take pup out and kill a bird for it to "gun break" it. Well right over the dogs head, 2-3 hunters with 2-3 shots each, or 1 hunter 2-3 shots and a MISS with no reward or dog is new to that person and not settled anyway, or whatever. Often there is no bird "cause the south ain't got no birds" just shoots a shot over the dogs head in the yard. A hundred stories but the result is a dog that is gunshy. Fixable? if dealt with quickly.

Are some dogs prone to it? yes. Are some dogs hard to ruin? yes. But the majority of gunshy dogs are introduced poorly, followed up on poorly and handed off as gunshy. If they are a little lucky at all they are sent to a trainer to be "fixed."

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by rinker » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:40 am

It is funny to me how these threads go. There are 39 responses on this thread and about 2 or 3 of them actually attempt to answer the fellow's question. His questions are, would a gun shy dog still make a good pet and part time bird dog for some one that doesn't plan to fire a gun, and if so, where does some one find a gun shy dog. I think that in general, a gun shy dog might make a good pet and part time hunting dog for someone that doesn't fire a gun. Finding one is kind of a random thing, because no one ever intentionally has one. My guess is that if you put the word out at a local hunting dog club and here on the internet that you would be willing to take in a dog that is gun shy, but doesn't have a lot of other issues that you might have a dog given to you. I think that I have given away three gun shy dogs over the years, all three of them would have worked for you situation I think.

I also think that the most amusing thing on this site and others like it, is that there are folks who draw definitive conclusions based on an incredibly small sample size, like one dog. Like I stated above I have owned three gun shy dogs and I don't think that is nearly a big enough sample size for me to draw definitive conclusions about all gun shy dogs. I will tell you what my opinion is. I think that some gun shy dogs were born that way, at least they were born with a disposition that would make them more likely to be gun shy. I think some dogs were made gun shy by the actions of their owners. I also think that there are dogs that it would be almost impossible to make them gun shy.

I will give one example of the last kind, the kind that are almost impossible to make gun shy. At my first house my back yard backed up to the woods, and I had my dogs chained out in a line up next to the woods. One night when I was about to go to bed, my dogs all at once went crazy barking. I shined a light out there and there were two opossums setting out there eating some dog food that I had spilled. They were just a few feet from the dogs, but the dogs were tied and couldn't reach them. I grabbed a gun and started out, the opossums started to run but I could still see them and I proceeded to unload a twelve gauge auto at the opossums. Just as I finished shooting I remembered that one of the dogs tied out was a puppy that was about twelve weeks old and had never been shot around. That puppy was probably ten feet away from me when I fired five shots out of a twelve gauge auto. I was certain that I had ruined her. That dog was never gun shy at all, I owned her til she died and she was one of the best dogs that I have ever had. Based on this one example, I could conclude that proper gun introduction is to sneak up on a twelve week old puppy in the middle of the night and rapidly fire five shots from a twelve gauge auto. I could conclude this if I used the same reasoning as several other folks who have commented on this thread.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by markj » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:20 am

how did #9 and rock salt work as a training aid?
You tell me, I havent used that method.

But you did say:
the root of the problem lies in the breeding.

In answer to the OP
Find gun shy dogs at the local rescue. The SOLAS in Council Bluffs Iowa gets a good hunting dog in every so often.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by birddogger » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:00 am

mountaindogs wrote:It IS easy to gunshy a bird dog!!! Happens WAY MORE than you may realize. Swept under the rug, dog ditched on someone else as "free" dog that "I worked on some birds but can't afford to feed" or whatever is the story. I see it all the time and I could list a dozen dogs quickly and more if I thought at all about it. It seems the norm in this area anyway to take pup out and kill a bird for it to "gun break" it. Well right over the dogs head, 2-3 hunters with 2-3 shots each, or 1 hunter 2-3 shots and a MISS with no reward or dog is new to that person and not settled anyway, or whatever. Often there is no bird "cause the south ain't got no birds" just shoots a shot over the dogs head in the yard. A hundred stories but the result is a dog that is gunshy. Fixable? if dealt with quickly.

Are some dogs prone to it? yes. Are some dogs hard to ruin? yes. But the majority of gunshy dogs are introduced poorly, followed up on poorly and handed off as gunshy. If they are a little lucky at all they are sent to a trainer to be "fixed."
These are examples of what I am talking about when I say going out of the way to make a dog gunshy.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:22 am

markj wrote:
how did #9 and rock salt work as a training aid?
You tell me, I havent used that method.
That method worked, and worked well for many years. Little on the dangerous side though.
But you did say:

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Bounty_Hunter » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:54 am

rinker wrote:I also think that the most amusing thing on this site and others like it, is that there are folks who draw definitive conclusions based on an incredibly small sample size, like one dog. Like I stated above I have owned three gun shy dogs and I don't think that is nearly a big enough sample size for me to draw definitive conclusions about all gun shy dogs. I will tell you what my opinion is. I think that some gun shy dogs were born that way, at least they were born with a disposition that would make them more likely to be gun shy. I think some dogs were made gun shy by the actions of their owners. I also think that there are dogs that it would be almost impossible to make them gun shy.
I think this theory is the most logical not because of your experience with the puppy but because dogs seem to have a mix of different personalities and dispositions from the get go. Everyone is always saying watch the puppies in a litter and you can pick out the aggressive ones from the shy ones and those in between and how about the runt, will he be gun shy? I honestly never introduced my dog to gun fire with the exception of watching 3 guys shoot a few shots from muzzleloaders at about 30 yards. I did use a generic approach to try to build his tolerance to noise when he was a puppy though by something I read in an old outdoor life magazine which said to bang two frying pans together loud about 15ft from him when he is eating and when he stops to acknowledge it pretend nothing has happened and do this a few times a day for a few weeks. Maybe my dog was gun shy proof from the start or maybe it worked but he is not gun shy at all.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by slistoe » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:27 pm

gonehuntin' wrote:
markj wrote:
how did #9 and rock salt work as a training aid?
You tell me, I havent used that method.
That method worked, and worked well for many years. Little on the dangerous side though.
you see markj, that is the thing in that it did work - and it didn't make each and every dog gunshy. What would be the difference between the dog that would take a load of #9 to the backside without any averse reaction to the gunshot and the dog that cowers back at the truck when the 22 goes off? The difference is the inheritance of personality characteristics.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by mountaindogs » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:00 pm

slistoe wrote: you see markj, that is the thing in that it did work - and it didn't make each and every dog gunshy. What would be the difference between the dog that would take a load of #9 to the backside without any averse reaction to the gunshot and the dog that cowers back at the truck when the 22 goes off? The difference is the inheritance of personality characteristics.
I would argue the difference is in whether it was the dog's first/ second exposure to gunfire or whether a dog was familiar with guns and birds but had developed a bad habit out of the handlers reach. Most bad habits are self rewarding so the dog is in high drive state of mind much like when chasing a bird. They are much more tolerant in that state of mind. Wouldn't know though and hope to never find out much about such.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by mask » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:18 pm

Most chronic gun shy dogs end up in shelters or rescue groups. How or why doesn't mean much when the ones that don't go for pets are killed.

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Re: what happens to gun shy pointers?

Post by Meller » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:17 am

[quote="markj"][quote]how did #9 and rock salt work as a training aid?[

It did make some gunshy, mostly the ones that were to close; I'm old enough to have seen this in action; and the reason that you didn't see that many come from this method is that if they didn't come out of it in the next two or three outings, the next shot wasn't in their butt.

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