Gun Nervousness

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Montana
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Gun Nervousness

Post by Montana » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:15 am

I have a young dog that has me a bit baffled. I introduced her to gun fire last summer properly and there were no problems. I hunted her last fall and there were no problems. I didn't do anything with her over the winter (beginning in early December) as it was such a brutal winter. It was pretty much a matter of getting my dogs the exercise they need and keeping the runs clear of snow, etc.. It was a tough winter. At any rate, our snow is finally gone and spring has arrived, so I've started doing a little refresher training. I took the young dog I'd worked with last summer and last fall and tossed a dummy and fired my training pistol as she started toward the dummy. She stopped and turned back and ran to me and wouldn't fetch the dummy. I was a bit baffled so I put the pistol away and tossed the dummy again and she ignored it. I walked a couple hundred yards and tossed the dummy out and she raced out and grabbed it and delivered it to hand. So, I tried the retrieve with the training pistol again and she did the same thing....started toward the dummy and when she heard the shot she stopped and came back to me. I wouldn't call it gunshyness as she wasn't shaking, didn't run off and hide, etc. I'm trying to figure out if something happened over the course of the winter I'm not aware of that that might have caused this change. At any rate, the question now is how do I proceed now? I'm thinking go back to square one and start the introduction to gunfire over again. Any suggestions? She's a soft dog...a bit overly sensitive, or at least more so than I like to see in a dog, so I've taken things more slowly with her than I have my other dogs...

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by Trekmoor » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:37 am

This could be a difficult question to answer .... we cannot see the situation/location of the bumpers you threw or the bangs you made.

If you did this , initially, somewhere where an echo could come back to the dog, that could cause this. Buildings, small valleys and even trees in some locations can cause an echo.

This happened to me two shooting seasons ago when my then 12 months old springer heard a number of bangs (it was a pheasant drive) without seeing any birds fall when we were in a small river valley lined by high trees. During that season he'd heard literally thousands of bangs .....but always in places where he could see birds flying and sometimes falling. He gave every impression of loving to hear bangs.

On the very last day of the season I stood in the little valley with him but this time after about 10 -15 bangs had sounded through the valley he ran away. I had to go to find him. He was scared and he'd moved about 50 yards higher up the valley . I am guessing that no more echoes reached him there ? I took him home.

By the time this shooting season had arrived he had heard more bangs without showing any fear. I was worried he would run off again when the line of guns at their shooting pegs opened up but he was perfectly happy about the bangs again. I think his gun -shyness was a direct effect of the echo "situation." Your dog may be echo-shy.

My other thought is that some dogs simply hate the "crack" made by starting pistols and by bumper launchers......yet these dogs can be perfectly happy about shotgun "bangs"......shotguns make a different and deeper sound .

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DonF
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by DonF » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:51 am

I would not fool with what I know bother's her. Go back and re-break her.
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by polmaise » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:12 pm

When You say 'Hunted her' , do you mean You shot with a shotgun over her ? ..Or just let her hunt on game scent.
Last year ,,,the time when it was Ok , was a starting pistol used , or just you hunting her with a shot from the gun .

Montana
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by Montana » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:03 pm

polmaise wrote:When You say 'Hunted her' , do you mean You shot with a shotgun over her ? ..Or just let her hunt on game scent.
Last year ,,,the time when it was Ok , was a starting pistol used , or just you hunting her with a shot from the gun .
I hunted over here several times (with a shotgun). She'll be two years old in June.

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by polmaise » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:39 am

Montana wrote:
polmaise wrote:When You say 'Hunted her' , do you mean You shot with a shotgun over her ? ..Or just let her hunt on game scent.
Last year ,,,the time when it was Ok , was a starting pistol used , or just you hunting her with a shot from the gun .
I hunted over here several times (with a shotgun). She'll be two years old in June.
Then I would suggest it is the Starting pistol that has frightened her. Which the crack so close is unlike the sound of a shotgun.
I would introduce the training pistol at a distance and downwind from the dog with a retrieve which is easy for the dog.

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:00 pm

I hate starter pistols, they hurt my ears. Just throw her a bunch of retrieves, no gun involved. When she's bouncing after them in a week or so, us a .22 rifle and point the barrel in the air. You are then directing the sound away from her. I doubt you have a problem, but I'd go cautiously.
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Montana
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by Montana » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:29 pm

I agree .....started pistols have a loud crack and hurt my ears also....they are not the same as a shotgun. I'll retreat a bit and go easy at a distance...the ..22 rifle shot in the air is a good idea also. Thanks!

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by setterpoint » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:49 pm

sounds like to me your dog is more confussed . have you used the blank gun on retrieving drills befor it dont sound like the gun would cause the dog to blink or stop in the middel of a retrieve but i would play it on the safe side dont use the gun for a few times and see what happends if all gose well let a frind shoot the gun from a good distance from you and dog you can move closer if all goes well , good luck

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by DonF » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:48 am

I gun break with a 22 rifle. Difference is I point the gun at the ground just a few inch's off. Really quite quiet.
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by polmaise » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:44 am

Imagine if the bullet hit a stone ! ..

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:48 am

polmaise wrote:Imagine if the bullet hit a stone ! ..
Blanks
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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by polmaise » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:05 pm

I would want the dog looking where the gun was pointing .
Shall we go on until the semantics are covered .

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by Meller » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:26 pm

I would go back to the basic's, shoot the gun while the dog is in chase of a live carded bird!

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by banknote » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:54 pm

Just wondering, do you ever clap your hands to scold or disrupt unwanted behavior? A .22 pistol sounds a lot more like a loud clap than a shotgun. I realize this is more about cause than a solution, but it’s easier to fix a problem if you know what caused it. And if the dog is conditioned to sharp sounds correlating to correction, that’d be important to consider.

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by averageguy » Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:34 pm


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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by DonF » Tue May 01, 2018 8:14 am

polmaise wrote:Imagine if the bullet hit a stone ! ..
Probably break the stone. If you look for reason's not to do something you will find a reason!
I pity the man that has never been loved by a dog!

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Re: Gun Nervousness

Post by polmaise » Tue May 01, 2018 12:48 pm

DonF wrote:
polmaise wrote:Imagine if the bullet hit a stone ! ..
Probably break the stone. If you look for reason's not to do something you will find a reason!
Send a video . That would be nice thanks

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