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Discussion Starter #1
I believe this is caused more by the handlers more than most people think.

My buddy has a really nice young female I sold him last year.

This is no ordanary dog she can really get after a rabbit. Something speacial.

This is her first hunting season.

Well he called me today and told me he thinks she is gun shy.

I asked why.

He said " well we jumped a rabbit and shot at it and she acted funny and ran towards the truck"

Now this was her first time around a shotgun.:rolleyes:

I said what kind of shotgun were you guy's using?
"A 12 ga!!" Hmm I said.:eek:

I sold him another broke female two years ago I guess he thought since the older female didn't mind gun shoots the young one wouldn't either. Thats not usually the case.

I am not real fond of using a 12ga around a dog for the first shot.
I certainly don't shoot a jumped rabbit before they are even running it.

I hope this girl can be fixed but usually it's pretty tuff to get them back in the game once there scared.


A quick note: Start off using something smaller than a 12ga. and wait untill they are running the rabbit before you shot around them for the first time.

I find most of the time it takes about 10-15 rabbits for a dog to be comfortable around a gun.

And I NEVER jump shoot around a puppy.

I highly discourage jump shooting period around beagles.

Take it slow in the beginning it will save you alot of trouble..
 

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Rob,

This is pretty good advice for any gun dog or hound of any type. The days of taking a pup to the "shooting range" and tying them up to the truck to get them "used" to the gunfire is over. Its been proven many times over that abrubt introuduction to gunfire will cause more problems than anything else. I strongly suggest going and investing the a whopping $20-$40 on a blank pistol and starting out, at a distance, with that. That's a hell of a lot cheaper than the cost of a professional trainer working several weeks to break your dog's fear of gunfire when they're older.

I am not professional trainer, but when I asked the guys up at Pine Hill how they introduce the dogs to gunfire, (keeping in mind this is for gun dogs, but the general principle will work for hounds too.). They find what the dog really loves to do, is it retreiving, , playing with other dogs, or just running around like an idiot (remember their talking about puppies). AT A DISTANCE, they begin to use blank pistols to get a feel for the pups reaction, they gradually move in until they can fire the pistol without a negative reaction from the pup at a "hunting distance". They will then put the pup on birds, that way if the pup initially has a negative reaction, it will not be associated with birds in anyway. As the pup begins to point and gets used to the blank pistol in conjunction with birds flushing (a positive association), they will move up the ladder to .410, 28 ga, and up to 20 ga. They will not use anything larger than a 20 ga with a pup.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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And I NEVER jump shoot around a puppy.

I highly discourage jump shooting period around beagles.
What the heck was that guy thinking shooting at a freshly jumped bunny? Or maybe he just WASN'T thinking. He needs a little instruction on the "fine art" of listening to the beautiful sound of a beagle running a rabbit. When I was a 14yr old I may have wanted to shoot that rabbit, but I knew my Dad would KILL me. You've got to let the dog have it's fun and get out there and run.

I don't think I would want him hunting with any dogs of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I he just didn't realize it was a big deal.

Know he knows.:rolleyes:

The problem was the first beagle he ever owned he bought from me last hunting season.

Well I had hunted her for a year and a half and she was finished.
I killed alot of rabbits with her.

So I guess he thought he could treat the pup the same way since the pup looks and acts grown and can easily out run the other female.

But I explained to him you can't treat her the same.

Know I'm just hoping he didn't ruin the pup as a gun dog.

Only time will tell that.
 

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Hey Rob,

Thats a shame. Curing a gun-shy dog is pretty tuff and is impossible in some cases. Takes lots of time and TLC. Hopefully her love of running rabbits will make the difference.

For people with bird dogs, Wing and Shot (Wehle) and Delmar Smith's book both have good info on intoducing yr pup to the gun.

Natty B.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have never seen it done.

Most people never realize the work you have to put into a broke dog.

So I guess I need to add another thing to my list to explain to people when they are starting a young dog out:confused:
 

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Right again, Rob.

In my experience. gun-shyness is ALWAYS caused by handler error. My experience has been with bird dogs, especially Brittanys. Some of the Britts, esp the bitches, can be a little "soft". I use the "dinner bell " method. Never seen it to fail.

Looks like "introducing yr pup to the gun" is another one of those FAQ's that should be required reading for all new puppy owners.

Natty B.
 

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Natty, Don't now about the trainner comment. My first bird dog was an springer, I picked him up one year old and he was unbelievably gun shy. I found out soon after I brought him home, while working on basic commands so we could get to know each other, my kids shot off some cap guns in front of the house and he bolted and hid. The person I picked him up from had been breeding and trainning dogs for over 10 years and had some great bird dogs. I worked 6 months on this dog, I believe Tarrant (sp) book refers to now and then just a gun shy dog. This dog would not even approach a cap gun with steak on top of it.
I believe that now and then there are just gun shy dogs but a gun shy dog can be created through carelessness.
 

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Beaglenr,

I don't doubt your experience with your springer for one second.

But, my question is, what happened to your dog during the first year of his life to make him noise ( ie gunfire ) shy???

IMHO "Gunshy Dogs" are made that way by handler error, not born that way.

Natty B.
 

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Natty, I ask the same question but none of the dogs of his dogs were gun shy, (he hunted phesants big time) and he was very experienced in trainning his dogs. I picked this one up as he was changing breeds to GSP's. In talking with him he was suprised to find out this dog was gun shy, came over and saw the dogs reaction. I beat my head against the wall wondering what I did for quite a while figuring something I did wrong was the answer but after lots of questioning I could not find something that started this behavior. The first owner/breeder has been a square shooter as long as I have known him, about 12 years so just put it down to what the book said, now and then you can get a bummer dog. This same dog started to become a bully, jumping, knocking down the kids, nipping. After talking with 4 dog owners(hunters, trainners), three which had this breed they felt that there was a deeper pesonality issue (chemical imbalance?) and to put it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Like for instance the first time the dog is taken into the field and shot over it is done by somebody the dog isnt comfortable with.

I also had that happen. But that was just the case the dog was fine with the gun later on after he became use to the owner.
Earlier that day the dog had also been scared by a train whistle when the guy was crossing the tracks. The dog was just basically shook up after all that had gone on.

I also have seen dog that were gun shy but they were introduced to the gun correctly. But the story with this dog is she was shy from not being socialized as a puppy and was scared of many things.

Dogs are not machines they are sometimes hard to read.

Getting some dogs use to the gun it is as easy as a couple shots.

Sometimes it's not.
 

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I got my new pup used to gunfire by taking it to the trap and skeet range from the first week I had him. We started out by staying about 100 yards away from the shooting inside the truck for the first trip and just slowly got closer every week. After about a month of that, I took him there in the evening and fed him his supper at the picnic tables right behind the shooting line. Maybe if the owner of the new dog backed up and tryed this, he'd come around without being afraid.
 

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Nice thread.
They're all individuals. Most come out well and a few don't.
I use a blank pistol, take along a finished dog, a training dummy and plenty of dog candy.
I basically trained all my horses the same way and none ever were gunshy.
The dog has to be comfortable with where it is, who it's with and trust itself in being in control of the situation.
I took a finished Britt bitch on a preserve hunt a few years ago with 3 friends and put her out with the guide's dogs. She wasn't comfortable, I saw it and she hauled butt for the truck at the first salvo. When we got to the truck, I let them go on, talked her out from under the truck, split a sandwich with her and explained what was going on.
Might sound stupid, but I've found that the more you talk to a dog, the better it adjusts to unfamiliar situations and trusts me.
When the hunters came by on the next pass, they stopped and hung out and the dogs hung out for a bit and we went on. I left it up to Cocoa as to what she wanted to do and she followed along, got into the mix, made 3 beautiful finds and points and everyone was happy.
I'm coming up next week for grouse a 13 year old son who is gunshy and a year old pup named Izzy who isn't. Izzy's papa named Max might get them both to have a good time and learn how great a sport hunting is. It works both ways.
Natty, you might be interested in why Danny is gunshy. I'm sure some of you might remember Bob Ruark's story in "The Old Man and the Boy" about the old man getting him his first shotgun. I did the same, went through the rules and stressed to always make sure a gun was unloaded when you weren't ready to shoot. Don't trust anything but your own eyes, always. Took him to the back pasture and let him dry snap a few and asked to see the gun. I turned away, slid a round in and handed it back. Told him to dry snap a few more and asked him if he was sure the gun wasn't loaded. He answered yes and promptly got the crap scared out of him when it went off.
I might have erred on that one. He might not have been ready and he hasn't touched the gun since until a few weeks ago. He works the dogs, knows how to 'sleep' a quail for the dogs, but just recently picked the gun again.
He was in an unfamiliar situation and he trusted me too much.

o town
 

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otown,

I do indeed remember that story-very well. Also the sequel book -The Boy grows Older" et al. Were'nt all those stories originally published in F&S?? I've read all his books. Still have UEG on the shelf.

The proper introduction to the gun is so vitally important to our dogs (and boys). Permit me a short story: my son was invited to a big sporting clays shoot downstate. One of his squad mates was shooting a hi dollar O/U (Kreighof I think) He passed it around for all the guys to drool over-CW was the only one to open the action and check to see if it was unloaded. The guy said to CW "whoever taught you gun safety, did a good job".:D

:Good luck on yr trip up here. Birds are real spotty. BTW I sent you a PM.

Natty B.
 

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Read Uhuru, or Africa Ablaze or the Honey Badger?
Would be interesting if you really understood about the Mau-Mau uprising. I, unfortunately, wasn't there.
Came in later in the unpleasenent in Viet Nam.

o town
 

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Yep, read 'em all I think. After the Old Man series, I really liked The Horn of the Hunter and Africa (published posthumously).

BTW, send you another PM.:)

Natty B.
 

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Actually, those were good but "Uhuru" or "Something of Value" were really pretty good as was "The Honey Badger".
I always felt he put me in his shoes and I guess that's what always compelled me about him. Good writers do that. I miss Gene Hill.

o town
 

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This is way off the content of the thread, but o town's post struck a nerve.

We all read of former generations wars and suffering, but does it really change? the geography may be different, but the conflict is always the same.
 

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I hate to quote anything French, but there's an old French saying "The only thing that is constant is change and the more things change, the more they stay the same."
Think I pretty much agree .
The human race doesn't change. What we do and the tools to do them changes constantly but how we think about just about everything human nature itself involves doesn't. Some of the smallest and scarcest books around are about people or events that have 'changed the world'.
Back on the subject, put 2 grown Britts of ours on a couple of live birds this morning, their first live ones. 2 great points and each backed the other. Neither blinked when the 20 went off. got teary eyed. Just beautiful work.
Had a GSP given to me many years ago. She loved to hunt but would head for the truck when the first gun went off. I had no time to work with her so I gave her to a young guy I met up at my place. He lived back in the woods. He was thrilled to get her and loved to hunt.
Ran into him a couple of years later in the woods and Gretchen was with him, working up a storm and steady as a rock. He just had the time and patience to work with her. I would have put some serious money against his success as she was a total sound freak. I just felt if anybody I knew would make it work, he could.
o town
 
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