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Gun Dogs: 18 Training Tips to Avoid Gun Shyness in Your Hunting Buddy

By    |   Friday, 23 Oct 2015 05:20 PM

Training your hunting dog so that it is not gun shy will be an important part of a good hunting partnership between you and your companion.

There are a series of steps in training your dog to avoid gun shyness. While successful hunting-dog breeders have actually bred gun-shyness out of gun dogs and professionals claim that selective breeding and culling has helped in providing dogs that do not flinch at the sound of gunfire, sound training still helps in avoiding the problem in the first place.

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Here are 18 tips you can use when training your dog to avoid being gun-shy:

1. Don’t suddenly subject your dog to loud noises. Do it gradually and have treats nearby to reward him for positive reaction, says SportDOG Brand.

2. Never fire your weapon around the dog just to see if he is gun shy.

3. No hunting with the dog until it has been introduced to gunfire.

4. Don't take your new dog out hunting with an older, experienced dog for "on-the-job training" before the new dog is used to the sound of the gun, says Gun Dog Supply.

5. Don’t expose your dog to fireworks.

6. Don’t fire next to him while he is eating.

7. Do keep him inside during thunderstorms.

8. Expose your pup to the laundry room where it hears machines going, doors slamming, etc.

9. Play a radio.

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10. Make noise around the pups such as clapping your hands, banging food bowls, and slamming doors.

11. Let the dog see guns in its everyday life.

12. Seed a field with game birds (quail, pigeons) and let the dog find them – carry a gun when you do this so the dog can see you with your gun.

13. Once the dog has discovered flushing the birds is fun, add gunfire at that point. This helps him associate chasing birds with gunfire.

14. Start with a .22 pistol with blanks, which have a low volume. Plant your birds, and when the dog finds his first bird and it’s in the air, fire a shot.

15. If the dog keeps running after the bird, great. If he stops and looks at you, flush the next bird without gunfire.

16. No reaction to the gunfire? Keep going flushing birds with gunfire, moving on to louder firearms in each subsequent lesson.

17. Move closer to the dog in each lesson so he gets used to the sound close by.

18. Most importantly, don’t rush the lessons.

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Training your hunting dog so that it is not gun shy will be an important part of a good hunting partnership between you and your companion.
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Friday, 23 Oct 2015 05:20 PM
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