Gun shy shepherd

Thread starter #1

Dialer

Senior Member
1 year old Shepherd pup. At the mere SIGHT of my 9 mm, he bolts. When I do get the opportunity to fire it, he REALLY bolts. He LOVES to hunt, but we can’t hunt without a gun! How can I make him un-afraid?
 

Railroader

Senior Member
I've seen this work, but it takes time...

If he likes to play fetch, get one of those duck dummy launchers that uses a .22 blank.

Get him used to fetching the dummy hand thrown. Then start firing the launcher, he'll be more interested in the fetch, than the bang...

Curious to see what others say, it's a tough problem.
 
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First you have to know that this is a problem that is deeply ingrained in your dog now. Either he was naturally gun shy or something has happened to cause it, it is going to take time to correct. It will be weeks or more. Not just days.

Start off with with something not too loud. Preferably a small caliber blank or primed shell for safety. When it is feeding time put a leash on him so he can’t bolt. You will need to get someone to help you. One person needs to hold the leash and feed him. After he starts eating the other person needs to pop the primer from a long ways away. Like 100 yards or more. If that goes well do it every other day for a week.

After a week start popping the primer first. Then dumping his feed. He will start to associate the pop with a following reward. If that goes well the person with the gun can start moving closer. If at any time the dog shows a negative response take a few days off and back up a few steps.
 

JustUs4All

Slow Mod
Staff member
^^^ This is a tried and true method.

You might also check his ears in the attempt to determine if there is an issue that might be causing him unusual pain from concussive noises.
 
If the dog bolts at the mere sight of the gun there is absolutely no reason to start with gunfire of any kind. It’s much deeper. It can be fixed but most people don’t have the stomach for it. You would be much better off to start with another dog altogether. A shepherd is a herding dog, I do not know of any that are used for hunting. One with a strong prey drive will chase animals, but the deck is stacked against you from the git go. Plenty of ways to exercise a dog other than hunting.
 

Jeff C.

Chief Grass Master🌾
If the dog bolts at the mere sight of the gun there is absolutely no reason to start with gunfire of any kind. It’s much deeper. It can be fixed but most people don’t have the stomach for it. You would be much better off to start with another dog altogether. A shepherd is a herding dog, I do not know of any that are used for hunting. One with a strong prey drive will chase animals, but the deck is stacked against you from the git go. Plenty of ways to exercise a dog other than hunting.

Correct, they are a herding dog, but plenty are also used for Protection. Most Professional Protection Dog training consists of firing blanks and the Dog can't fear it, no matter the breed. I agree they aren't bred for Hunting unless it's runnin down a bad guy(K9), and they can't checkup because he fires a round on the run.

It will be very tough to fix.
 
Correct, they are a herding dog, but plenty are also used for Protection. Most Professional Protection Dog training consists of firing blanks and the Dog can't fear it, no matter the breed. I agree they aren't bred for Hunting unless it's runnin down a bad guy(K9), and they can't checkup because he fires a round on the run.

It will be very tough to fix.
I’ve trained several GSD for both Patrol dogs and Detection….I’m familiar.;)
 
Thread starter #10

Dialer

Senior Member
He’s quite comical….When we go out in the mornings, he takes off toward the woods jumping 3-4 feet off the ground in a full run looking for ANYTHING to chase down. The squirrels all laugh at him after he trees them, and it makes him SOOO mad😂 0A12986E-5960-4E0B-AFE9-E8FEAD1FDD38.jpeg
 

Gator89

Senior Member
I have a gun shy lab. Even at 9 years old, she leaves the room when she sees take a new garbage bag out being afraid I will "pop" it open.

Yet, if she follows me to the shooting range on my wife's family farm, she will lay beside me when I shoot targets and clay pigeons.
 
1 year old Shepherd pup. At the mere SIGHT of my 9 mm, he bolts. When I do get the opportunity to fire it, he REALLY bolts. He LOVES to hunt, but we can’t hunt without a gun! How can I make him un-afraid?

So you know the dog is scared of the pistol, but you shoot it around him anyway????????
 
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