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Gun shy dog...

Old 01-08-2008, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: West Lafayette, IN
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Default Gun shy dog...

I have a two year old GSP, I have had her since she was a pup. I have got her to find birds but she is terrified of gun shots. Even ifI just have a gun around she tucks her tail and hides. What can I do to fix this. PLEASE HELP!


trmckinn is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 02:07 PM
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Default RE: Gun shy dog...

unfortunately gun shyness is very hard to cure. Its easier to prevent than to correct...

You have to make the presence of a gun a FUN thing, lay out a gun, walk her into the room with lots of praise, little treats, keep her attention on you. FUN FUN FUN!! Touch the gun a little bit, keep her attention on praise and stuff, have her do some little tricks if she knows any. Simple commands and rewards, while your near or touching the gun. Its a very gradual process, eventually try picking up and carrying the gun while your walking with her, praise praise praise. Start with a cap gun and use praise in the same way as before, making the sound no big deal, not even to pay attention to it. Eventually she may come around.

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:59 PM
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Location: Ellerbe NC USA
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Default RE: Gun shy dog...

I agree with everything EODLT says with one exception... When you go into the field with her, let someone else go with you to fire the capgun after you get her into a big ole game of play, praise, praise.....As she is retrieving, have him turn hisback to you and the dog before he fires.Then step up to 22 rifle, etc., depending on the outcome. I worked with a profession trainer and this was his method.This worked for me.

Now everytime I pick up a watergun, my lab gets all excited thinking we gonna kill something.

Good Luck!!
deerhuntress56 is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:50 AM
Typical Buck
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Default RE: Gun shy dog...

At this point, I would recommend the dog be evaluated by a professional trainer. I don't know what you did but trying to fixa problem can potentially create more problems especially for a new trainer. Gunshyness is not an easy problem to fix. It can take months if it can be fixed at all. You run the risk of accidently introducing some strange behavior or even worse, yelling and punishing the dog out of frustration. As an example, a friend's young brittany was never introduced to the gun properly. He didn't use birds. While out on walks, he simply fired .22 blanks then called the dog in to give her treats. Seems like a fineidea - gunfire = treats but whenwe went hunting, the moment someone fired a shot, the dogbolted to the owner's side. The dog wasn't scared of the shot but thought that the sound was for, "come here immediately!".

Hopefully, you won't listen to the person(s) who initially told you how to introduce the gun in the first place. A good trainer can tell you how long it will take and what you need to do.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:21 AM
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Location: West Lafayette, IN
Posts: 82
Default RE: Gun shy dog...

Thanks for all the advise, I will try some of your ideas. I think I will start with just getting her used to the gun. I am alwaysopento suggestions.

I think the shyness all started when she was around 16 months. Before then she she went with me everytime I went out to shoot clay pigeons, and she had no problems. Then all of a sudden around 16 months I noticed that she started to get scared of thunderstorms and it was all down hill from there. As a pup she lived indoors and at 12 months I put her out in the kennel and that is when alot of changes occurred.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:18 AM
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Location: Berea, Kentucky
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Default RE: Gun shy dog...

Its not a hard fix, exspecially if the dog likes birds.......just time consuming, dogs gotta do it at its rate, not ours. I can supply a few references for you if ya wanna fix it, dogs I worked last summer an fall. Have a brit here now going through the motion, was close to bird shy, doing it one step at a time. Have it now picking up a bird, not quiet ready fo rthe shot, but desire is building, and thats what you gotta get built back, then overlay the gun,Jonesy
tailcrackin is offline  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 189
Default RE: Gun shy dog...


I have a few suggestions that might fix your issue...

1. Give all your money to Matt Gasaway...Check or cash accepted...Makes no difference.

2. Try the suggested ideas from the other guys...They know a lot more than me.

Thats it...Just give your money to Matt Gasaway...Haha
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: the Great Plains
Posts: 351
Default RE: Gun shy dog...

Is the dog shy in other ways as well or just around the gun? If she is shy in other ways, I think curing the problem could be much more difficult than if it is just shyness around the gun. Maybe you can fix it, and I wish you luck. I can't speak from experience because I've not had a gun shy dog. So I won't even try.
SWOSUMike is offline  

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