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Tigahs2007
MS
Member since Dec 2013
98 posts

Sound Sensitive Dog
Have had my dog at a trainer for about a month now. Called the trainer today and he said he's worked with him two days now with the gun. Said he's afraid he will never be a gun dog.

Anyone ever helped their dog overcome this?


TigernMS12
LSU Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since Jan 2013
4320 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Lol my dog (never intended to be a hunter, simply a house dog) is deathly afraid of any loud noise. Drop something to hard in the sink, freak the frick out. Fireworks, don't even ask. A gunshot, you'd think the amarageden was imminent.

He's 5 and I'm not sure there is a way to get over it. They either are or are not scared of noises.
This post was edited on 5/31 at 4:05 pm


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PapaPogey
LSU Fan
Dulac, LA
Member since Apr 2008
36350 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
I've always been told that if they're gun shy, there's nothing you can do.


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Clyde Tipton
LSU Fan
Planet Earth
Member since Dec 2007
31789 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
quote:

Anyone ever helped their dog overcome this?


Yeah, but it'll get down voted like a mofo here...

Not my dog, but a guy on my lease. He had a new dog and it was gun shy. First day of season it literally ran off.

We caught it and had the "That's tough luck conversation".

He says, "screw that."

He brings the dog the next morning and ties it to the blind. We bust off on some teal and the dog damn near tears down the blind, but doesn't get away. After it calmed down, he unleashed it and it went for a retrieve. Next group comes in and that dog goes wild again. Literally choking itself out trying to pull away from the collar.

Anyway, that goes on for a few more weeks. People started avoiding the situation and refuse to go to the blind with him. Like it was bad. A lot of yelping and brush rattling.

The guy stays after it and the dog gets a lot better. By the end of the year he was fine.

The dog is now 6 or 7 years old and a decent retriever.

Only one I've ever seen have their feet held to the fire, but he sure enough over came it. I know of quite a few others that just became back yard pets because the owners just gave it up day 1.


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
35072 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Depends on the dog. I have a young shorthair that I brought with us to South Dakota last year for pheasants. Gun shyness there. He loves to eat so I would feed him and bang pots with a wooden spoon and then transitioned to .22 blanks while feeding. That quickly cured his issue, but not all dogs can be fixed.


Tigahs2007
MS
Member since Dec 2013
98 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
I bought this pup, he's only 6 months, because my son feel in love with duck hunting and we had high hopes. I did talk to the trainer again and he said he wasn't giving up. He was going to keep working with him but wanted me to be aware.

Hoping he's just slow to it.


TulaneUVA
Virginia Fan
Member since Jun 2005
23482 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
quote:

He loves to eat so I would feed him and bang pots with a wooden spoon


I know it sounds stupid, but I did the same thing with my short hair while he was really young to acclimate him to loud noises. I don't know if he would have been shy if I had not it, but whatever...


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
35072 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
quote:

I know it sounds stupid, but I did the same thing with my short hair while he was really young to acclimate him to loud noises. I don't know if he would have been shy if I had not it, but whatever...



Key is to find something the dog really likes and then increase the noise level till gunshots are not bothering the dog.


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Ppro
LSU Fan
natchez
Member since Dec 2013
209 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Dogs are not born gunshy. They learn to be gunshy. That being said the unteaching of this behavior is very time consuming. I have done this with a couple dogs with varied success. As said earlier you can introduce noise while eating(this is the best way to teach a dog to accept gun fire) or if the dog is not a big eater find something to distract the dogs attention and introduce noise from afar. If the dog has not been brought in the field too much he may not associate place with noise and you have a better chance. If your dog has talent it can be done. The want to retrieve needs to be there


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PurpleFin
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2017
37 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Re Tulane and wick. I did this to my puppy. Would put his bowl next to a cabinet and slam it five or six times each time he ate. Then would take him when we would go shoot .22s and he wasn't scared so did that about twice and moved on to shotguns. I would start this way even with an older dog. And always always give treats or pet whenever there's a loud noise.


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Broyota2
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2010
9844 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
My lab was gun shy at first and is still scared of loud sounds. But we trained her to get over the gun and now she's a hunting machine. Some trainers don't have the patience and don't want to put in the extra work to get it done. I would recommend finding a different trainer if it was my dog because there are a lot of good ones out there that can fix he problem.


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INFIDEL
LSU Fan
The couch
Member since Aug 2006
15309 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Ive heard people say they have cured them. I personally never have. Have had a few reputable trainers say that theres always a chance that it can be fixed, but a slim one. Best bet is don't be a dumb frick and expose an unconditioned dog to gunfire too early. Don't create problems for yourself.

Ive heard of the tying a dog and shooting tie it's "cured" theory. Doesn't make sense to me, but it had to have worked at least once or it wouldn't keep coming up. Personally, if mine is scared of something, I remove the dog or the stimulus and try again later with a new plan. Maybe you need a new trainer?


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LSUCouyon
LSU Fan
ONTHELAKEATDELHI, La.
Member since Oct 2006
6422 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
My only experience with this was with a hell of a rabbit dog. I had 3 of the best dogs anyone could hope for in my early 20s. Problem was one was totally gunshy.
Unfortunately, I didn't find this out until opening day that year. I had worked with that pup and my two older dogs all spring and summer. No problem. No guns either.
Opening weekend, I hunted alone just so I could have just my dogs running instead of having them part of a larger pack. Right off the bat a rabbit was jumped and I killed it after a good run. Then I spent the rest of the morning trying to find the youngster. Finally caught him and talked to my uncle about it. He suggested everything mentioned in the thread and nothing worked. Finally, that Thanksgiving weekend, on a hunt with my dogs and my cousins, he was leading the pack when the rabbit was shot. Long story shortened:
I never saw him again. SOB ran off. Went back several times left food. Hopefully someone found him and mad a pet out of him.


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TheCurmudgeon
Member since Aug 2014
500 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
It's all about acclimation. When a Border Collie is scared of the sheep when young, it gets put in a "pack pen". Basically a stable stall with 5-6 sheep and the dog. Dog couldn't get away from the sheep. I'd sit on a chair in it and read a book.

Sometimes it took 1/2 hour, sometimes a couple hours, but it didn't fail, dog would realize the sheep weren't something he needed to be scared of.

I've not trained a gun dog, but if it were mine he'd spend a lot of time hearing a lot of gunshots. Maybe start him 50 yards away, then move him 10 yards closer in steps once he realizes noise won't hurt him?


NASA_ISS_Tiger
LSU Fan
Huntsville, Al via Sulphur, LA
Member since Sep 2005
6031 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Thunder. Fireworks. Other gun shots..away from my house...my chocolate is shaking like a leaf. I shoot next to her and she's fine. It's like she needs to see where there shot is coming from. Weird.


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hunt66
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2011
1408 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
My Lab was given to me because the owner felt she would never be a champion type dog and one of the first times in a blind with several folks when they all shot she hauled arse back to the camp. I was looking more for a pet but continued working with her on retrieving then introduced noise during feeding and when it came time for shooting, a buddy of mine and I went to the field and I would throw bumper and he would shoot from about 30 yds away - then I would send her. This went on for a few sessions and he moved closer and now no worries. agree with most of what has been said here as far as taking the time to work with a dog that appears to be gun shy. Not sure who the trainer is but I am sure he/she is more than familiar with all the acclimation techniques, just some dogs require more patience and time. Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.

PS - Effie is definitely not a champion but she will go get ducks....most of the time...as long as she sees where they fall


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White Bear
USA Fan
NWLA
Member since Jul 2014
2788 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
Don't give up one him. I had one, the best duck dog i'll likely ever own, act gun shy at about the same age. he came around. The Water Dog (R. Wolters) book has some techniques on how to attempt to cure as I recall.


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White Bear
USA Fan
NWLA
Member since Jul 2014
2788 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
quote:

Maybe start him 50 yards away, then move him 10 yards closer in steps once he realizes noise won't hurt him?
this is a good place to start, i'd have someone else shoot at distance while you comfort the dog.


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snapper26
Member since Nov 2015
197 posts

re: Sound Sensitive Dog
My dog did not like gun shots at first.

I bought a dummy launcher and started the noise from over 50' away. Then after a few trips he didn't mind the 22 blank right next to it.

The dog does not enjoy the loud noise, but no one does. But he tolerates it now because he knows hes about to go retrieve.


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