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.