Chicken for a dog

Thread starter #1
My lab is afraid of gun fire, thunder, fireworks. Whenever she hears it she takes off and hides. Any suggestions to break her of her fear? I started shooting around her when she was a pup to try to get her use to the noise but she is still afraid. She turned into more of a family pet than a hunting dog. I had to put the vest on her because she will take off after birds in the lake and wear her self out trying to catch them.
 

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tucker80

Senior Member
#2
Maybe take some 22 blanks out. When she goes after the birds, let her get some distance and then shoot. She'll be distracted by the bird, but all the while putting 2 & 2 together. You have to be careful, her pace not yours. May work, may not. Keep her inside around fireworks. Teach her guns = birds Good luck
 
Thread starter #3
Maybe take some 22 blanks out. When she goes after the birds, let her get some distance and then shoot. She'll be distracted by the bird, but all the while putting 2 & 2 together. You have to be careful, her pace not yours. May work, may not. Keep her inside around fireworks. Teach her guns = birds Good luck
Thanks for the tip I will give it a try.
 
#4
Much easier to avoid a gun shy dog than to cure one of it. What I did with my lab when I had one and he was a pup was I would feed him outside. While he is occupied with the food walk off a good ways and fire a single 22 round. The first time it happens it will startle them and they will look up. Don't pay them any attention, don't even look at them and definitely don't console them as if there was something to be afraid of even if they react more strongly to it. Just go about your business like nothing happened. Repeat that every day and gradually get closer to them as they adjust to it. You have to go at their pace. With mine it didn't take him long and I could fire right over him and it didn't phase him. It was associated with something pleasurable. With yours being gun shy you may have to use something even more muffled like a subsonic 22 or even some other pop that she can handle. Maybe that's a popping balloon. Maybe it's a loud clap or a cap gun. Find what she can handle and start there. Be consistent and gradually work your way up. It's not guaranteed to work but that is probably your best shot at getting her over it.
 
#5
take her to the firing range in a dog box and put him as close a s you can to the firing line as yo can get.
 
#6
go to gun dog supply .... theres a 2 dvd set system that deals with gun shy dogs and it sounds like with some success ... or call Steve at gun dog supply and get his feedback on it ... like said its easier if it never happened but it has so it maybe a option for you ... good luck
 

GLS

Senior Member
#11
I bought a couple of one dollar cap pistols that I would shoot in the kitchen when the dogs were about six months old and feeding. Before then, it was clanking pots and pans with a spoon. Annoyed everyone but the dogs in the house. After a few weeks of cap pistols, I took them to a buddy's place with live birds and a .410. He discharged at 100 yards when the pup flushed the bird. He closed in 25 yard increments and shot when the bird flushed with the dog in pursuit. The dogs never reacted adverse to the shot and the final shot was behind the dog when the flush occurred. I cringe when I hear that someone is going to gun break a dog with a 12 gauge by shooting it near the dog for the first time it hears gunfire.
 

wildlands

Senior Member
#12
I started mine while distracted with food also having some fire a good distance off and working closer over a couple of weeks to slowly introduce the noise. Then I worked with mine during squirrel season. By dropping a few squirrel in front of them they quickly realized the shot meant something good was fixing to drop from the tree. Problem is they now run to the shot.
 
#13
go to gun dog supply .... theres a 2 dvd set system that deals with gun shy dogs and it sounds like with some success ... or call Steve at gun dog supply and get his feedback on it ... like said its easier if it never happened but it has so it maybe a option for you ... good luck
This is good advice. Take it.

Some of the other post here are not something you should even consider. The dog got this way by not being properly conditioned to gun fire. It is not impossible to repair the damage but it is very difficult.
It will take patience and doing it right.
 

onedude

Senior Member
#14
Seems like some dogs are just that way. We had a dog (not a lab) that was afraid of thunder when I was growing up. My dad thought it had been shocked by lightning.
I have a lab now that has no interest in retrieving anything. Cant get it interested either. Don't know what the deal is with that.
doug
Jn. 3:16
 
#15
go to gun dog supply .... theres a 2 dvd set system that deals with gun shy dogs and it sounds like with some success ... or call Steve at gun dog supply and get his feedback on it ... like said its easier if it never happened but it has so it maybe a option for you ... good luck
This is good advice. Take it.

Some of the other post here are not something you should even consider. The dog got this way by not being properly conditioned to gun fire. It is not impossible to repair the damage but it is very difficult.
It will take patience and doing it right.
 

RacinNut

Senior Member
#16
I agree with Water Swat, get another Lab. and made sure it does not get scared, seems to me once a Lab. get scared its scared, but he could be the best Lab even, Labs are such good dogs, 2 is better than 1, I have always had 2, just love the Lab for what it is, a good dog, I have never had a bad Lab. just different Labs.
 
#19
Start as a pup but you can break them sometimes as an adult. Put about an inch of gravel in a clorox bottle. Shake it loudly to startle them. Pretty soon they'll ignore it. THEN work up to blanks or gunshots. Puppies will pay no attention to it after a few days
 
#20
Someone might think you are serious
Delmar Smith a famous bird dog trainer in Texas talked a type of oil well that would pop off the natural gas. He would take a gun shy dog and put the dog on a pen with food and water. The well poped off continually. When he would return the dog would be cured of his gun shyness
 
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