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Guns and puppies

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by glock39, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. glock39

    glock39

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    I have a 3 and a half month old Collie puppy. She is very friendly and outgoing with people, and so far has only acted somewhat skitterish around passing cars (I haven't done anything to discourage this, as I figure that being a little bit afraid of moving cars might save her from being run over some day). Last night I took her out for a walk when my neighbor came home. Instead of running up to be petted, she actually seemed to be barking at the "strangers coming onto her property", so I'm hoping that she may turn out to be a good watchdog as well.

    Anyway, I want to get her used to the sound of gunfire. I'm never going to use her as a real gun dog, I'd just like her to not freak out if I take her with me while target shooting. The best plan I've come up with is to put her in the kennel, go the the other end of my yard and fire a shot, then immediately go back and reassure her and give her a treat. I happen to own a little NAA mini-revolver. So I can start out with .22 CB caps, slowly move up through 22 subsonic, 22LR and finally 22 Magnum ammo. Then I can go back to the quieter ammo and slowly start moving closer to the kennel, stopping to reassure her at every step along the way (and quit for the day if she starts acting stressed or scared).

    Collies are usually very sensitive dogs, so I don't want her to start off being scared of guns as she might never get over it. Does anyone have a better plan for doing this? And when would be a good time to start? I've heard that puppies go through stages of being socialized, then normally go through another stage of being somewhat fearful, then the "teenage rebellion years", etc. I'm in no special hurry, and would rather wait if there's a better stage in her life to be introduced to sudden, loud noises.
     
  2. JAREDG21

    JAREDG21

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    By a cap gun when you give her her food fire it a couple of times. this way she will associate the cap gun with something she likes ie food. this has worked for me for years.
     

  3. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket

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    I used two blocks of 2"x4" to clap together (cheap). This way, I could control the volume. Like JAREDG21 suggests, I would do it with something she associates as fun and positive. If she is skittish at first, you can always hold and pet her while someone else is clapping the blocks. Start soft and further away, then gradually louder and closer. I personally wouldn't start this training with the dog in the kennel alone.

    Anyway, this is what I did with my 2 GSDs. I am no expert.

    I've also done this when they are pre-occupied with two big femur bones in the back-yard, gradually increasing the volume so they don't break their concentration from the bone.
     
  4. Trademark

    Trademark tabula rasa

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    also use loud music. once they are used to pink floyd your there.;)
     
  5. Walter45Auto

    Walter45Auto

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    In addition to associating it with food or treats, Start off a good distance away from the puppy. Not right next to her. Cap gun sounds like a good idea to start off, too. A friend of mine used to use a cap gun to gun train his bird dogs.


    :freak:






    :reindeer: :50cal:
     
  6. Spectre66

    Spectre66

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    A cap gun or starter pistol is a good way to start but I would like to suggest an alternate method of introducing your dog to the gun. What you are looking for is the dog to become indifferent to the sound of a gunshot, not to become excited. Take your dog for a walk, through a field, around your yard, whatever... While you are walking, take a shot(better if someone else does it from a concealed location) and you just continue walking along as if nothing happened, don't even look at him to see his reaction. repeat this several times but don't over do it. when training dogs alittle bit is alot and the amount of time it takes is exactly that, the amount of time it takes. its preferable that the dog be on a long lead or a retractable leash, when the dog jumps you don't want him to run away or to hurt himself by getting yanked back when he jumps.

    What happens is the dog hears the shot but notices you(as the alpha) aren't effected one way or another and will follow your lead. It will take some time but forcing your dog to deal with an issue by shooting or making loud noises while holding him can cause problems. If you praise him or reward him after a noise you aren't really doing any damage but you are causing him to get excited or associate attention or reward with the noise which can cause problems later when the attention or reward isn't presented.

    Another way to get the dog started is to take him for a walk near a gun range, with walks progressivly getting closer and closer to the range... if the dog shows any reaction to the noise you're too close and need to back off a bit. I might add that it may take you a week to get even close to the range, this isn't something you are likily to achieve the first day.

    Bottom line, what you are looking for is an indifference to the noise.
     
  7. DocGlock2006

    DocGlock2006

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    My 12-year-old daughter and I just adopted out first chocolate lab for pheasant hunting. We have been trying to read everything that we can find on training, rearing, etc. This is our first hunting dog. Even at her tender age of 6 weeks, I see so many shocking behaviors...she walks with her nose to the ground 90% of the time; she circles and re-circles if she looses the scent. She stalks, then holds her pose and points (head-down and forward, her right paw up and bent, and her tail straight up). After about a 5-second hold, she lunges belly-flop-style at target X! Seriously, is this genetics?!?! Any and all insights will be greatly appreciated.

    DocGlock2006
    Doc2005 (at TheHighRoad)