2 Cool Fishing Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, I had a 1 yr old Lab given to me the other day, only reason I took him on is because I believe the dog had been mistreated and neglected, so my heart couldn't take it. The dog is super smart, retrieves very well after a few hours of working, very obedient and observant. Only prob is that when I got the gun out, the dog immediately cowared down, and pretty much had no interest into training. I shot a box of shells over him and still seen no gain, so I stopped. Any of you out there have any tips or am I pretty much wasting my time? I've trained my own dogs for years but haven't ever had a gun shy dog because I've always started them from a pup with the shooting. Thank Ya fellas, all the info you have would be very much appreciated. Capt. Hollis Forrester
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
The dog has probably been beaten with a stick/broom handle whatever and associates the gun with that. If you have an old gun lay it on the ground and let him walk around it and get used to it, praise the dog, don't stop trying. I have not had this problem with a lab but have with a pit, a flyswatter could cower this dog down, dog's are curious and he will get over it. Good Luck Hollis. rs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Rusty, I really hate to see this good hearted dog go to waste, something special bout him that made me even attempt to take a 1 yr old , not knowing history into my kennel. Like I said, he's a scholar ,he has just not ever had a chance so to say.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
Take the dog and go set on the bank of a river keep him on a lease and take a 22 with you shoot into the water and just pet the dog as you do it and tell him to watch him and just keep petting him and he will soon be over it. as he sees you are not going to hurt him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
I had a dog that was gun shy so I went to academy and bought a .22 starter pistol and some blanks for it, When I would feed the dog and she was eating I would fire the blanks and just got closer and closer to the dog over time and she turned out to be a great hunting dog.

Mr Sailfish
 

·
Hold my beer.....
Joined
·
4,024 Posts
ive gotten two dogs to be bird dogs even though both were gun shy. i took one to the field and played fetch until the birds started flying and when i shot the dog saw the bird fall and ran to fetch it.....turned into an awesome bird dog that would work her butt off.

the second dog was on a later date and i used the same dog i mentioned previously to train him. he was under the truck and scared as ive ever seen.....but once we kept shooting and seeing the other dog getting the birds and the praise a light went off and the dog joined in the action. i tried the .22 and it didnt help one bit.....

if you can get someone to go with you and you can shoot and they throw a dummy or something that will get the dogs attention and they know to fetch you should be able to overcome this problem
 

·
Get Off My Bay!
Joined
·
6,584 Posts
I probably wouldn't have gone straight for the shotgun, as a matter of fact I surely wouldn't have done that. Banging pots when he eats, cap pistol, starter pistol, then a smaller gauge shotgun at a distance(with someone shooting, you working the dog), then move the shooter closer. I'm guessing you went straight for the SG because of his age. Hind sight is 20/20, so now I would start from scratch and treat him as you would a puppy with the gun stuff.

Also, I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but some dogs are just going to be shy of loud noises and will always be that way. My female has phenomenal bloodlines, great nose, super athlete, drive, but she is scared to death of loud noises. And nothing we could do would change her mind. So I have spoiled rotten sweetheart of a lab as a pet now and not a hunter,lol. At first I was disappointed, but I got over it quick. You took in a dog that needed someone to love it, so no matter what he does in the field you will have a best buddy for life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
Agree with the others, start slower than slow. Go even easier than with a pup. I am in the process now with a really abused and skittish Brittany. I even play Beethoven's 9th symphony when I feed her. I don't know if this one will come around but I am sure going to keep trying. She started out being afraid of hand clapping but is getting better. She is so birdy I might be able to pull it off.
 

·
so much marsh, so little time
Joined
·
58 Posts
like every one said start out slow and with something small. start the dog out away from you. and slowly bring the dog closer. take several days to get the dog beside you. i started mine out about 40 or 50 yards away with a 12ga shooting empty hulls with just a primer, no powder or wad , just a primer. day 1 was about 50 yards, day 2 was about 35 yards, day 3 was 20 yards, day 4 was 5 yards and right beside me.i did this while throwing bumpers and "shooting the bumpers" if you use the primered hulls the dog will associate the gun with retrieving and hopfullyas you work the sound and the gun closer everything will work out for you. i live near you and if you need some help i would be happy to give you a hand, chad
 

·
RIP HRCH Daniels Sonny Slough 05.24.2016
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
If the dog didnt run for the hills when you shot the box of shells over it, its probably not too gunshy to try and cure the issue. I wouldnt shoot any more shells over the dog for a while. The dog needs lots of love and fun for a while. I would probably let the dog pick up as many fun bumpers as possible for the next three months and then slowly start introducing a starter pistol into the mix form a distance at meal time and with fun bumpers, then slowly getting the starter pistol closer to the dog (if its not scaring the dog) so that maybe it will associate the noise with good things. If all goes well, try a shotgun at a distance and move slowly closer if the dog isnt scared. Good Luck!!
 

·
Native Texan
Joined
·
10,980 Posts
It doesn't sound to me like he is the typical gun shy, as in when the gun goes off he runs. If he is just scared of the gun object, not the noise, that should be much easier to break than scared of the noise. Like has been said, just spend time with the dog and the gun together. He will gain a certain level of confidence by getting to know both you and the gun. I wouldn't shoot over him until he is not scared of the gun. Green to you for taking in the dog in the first place. Good luck.

Surfspec and I must have been typing at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Do not shoot over your dog again at close range for now, re-educating a gun shy or previously abused dog can be tricky, avoid shooting a whole box of by all means. First you must establish yourself to him as the pack leader, all dogs are pack animals and set up a pecking order amongst their pack. once he sees you as the pack leader he will have more trust in all your actions. Here is the best method I HAVE USED to get dogs used to guns, It requires help from a friend. Use a live pidgeon or quail with its wings clipped. AT the field, have your friend about 100 yards away from you and your dog. use only a blank pistol for now. Show your dog the bird throw the bird and let him retrieve it back to you several times. When you have him focused only on you and the bird, the next time you throw it, as soon as the dog reaches the bird raise your arm and have your friend fire the blank pistol. At this time the dog should be only focused on the bird and not the gun shot. If he shows any signs or flinches when the shot is fired repeat getting his attention focused strictly on the bird. Hopefully he will be so interested in the bird and retrieving it that he won't pay any attention to the gunshot. If the dog shows no sign of fear at the first shot continue this process moving your friend closer to you about 25 yds at a time. Hopefully the dog will continue to show no interest in the gunshot. Hopefully you can do this and eventually have your friend standing right next to you and firing the gun just as the dog reaches the bird to retrieve it. Basically what you are doing is distracting the dog, he wants to please you and hopefully the bird will keep his attention and not the gunshot. If this works start this process over again and use a louder gun such as a 410 or 20 guage at 100 yds. I hope this helps contact me at [email protected] with any questions...always interested in helping a fellow hunting friend. P.S. for now avoid large groups of hunters and lots of guns with your dog
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
cmnovak is spot on, well said. Distract your dog with fun hunting games and slowly introduce a starter pistol from a distance. Over the course of weeks maybe months ramp it up so that the dog associates gun with fun. Make sure whatever hunting game you play that it is completely engrossing for the dog. Never coddle or scold him if he shows fear, just stop shooting for the day, act as if everything is normal, continue the game without gunfire, and make a mental note of the volume and proximity that triggered a fear response.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top