Gun intro/conditioning

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Gun intro/conditioning

Postby HMR » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:34 pm

Ok guys, I would love some advice On how to do gun intro properly for our situation. I do not have easy access to planted birds, I will be doing navhda, and the breeder has birds but tthe drive is 3 hours away and won’t be happening consistently.

I’ve done lots of fun retrieves with a cap gun, no issue. She honestly hasn’t shown issues with noise. Yesterday a commercial sized generator was going outside a house going up and her curiosity took her towards the noise not away from it.

We took her out into the woods a few weeks ago to do some retrieves and go for an explore and we did do some gun into when I threw the bumper, but she was way too excited about what was going around her. We did three shots about 100 yards away 1)she ignored it, grabbed the bumper came back to me. 2nd time I thew the bumper, shot went off she listened for it and then grabbed the bumper. 3rd shot went off she grabbed the bumper and proceeded joyfully to play keep away and ran towards the gun shot, but turned around when I called her, dropped the bumper picked it up again and then brought it to me. Then we stopped

I should add she hears gunfire whenever we take her out in the woods. That day there was some one playing with a hunting rifle about an eight of a mile away shooting for about 15 min and then stopping for an hour then starting back up. She has no issue with that. She would stop and listen a few times but other than that ignored the noise.


I want to do this properly. I don’t think the bumper way is working as she gets too istracted being in the woods and she’s only 6 months old. Do you think taking her out in the woods and letting her hunt and follow her nose and shoot when she’s in the hunt mode would be an ok idea?

Ideas, suggestions?

We plan on running her NA test in June so want to get this ball rolling without ruining her and she’s my first gun dog. So there that.

Thanks guys.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby orhunter » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:43 pm

A wise person once said, "Gun shy dogs are born, not made." Sounds like your gal is mentally stable, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby Sooty42 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:42 pm

It’s sounds like what you’re doing is working well so far. I would incorporate some really yummy treats (I.e. cheese, liver etc.). After every shot give her a treat to positively reinforce gun fire. I would call my pup and fire as he was running to me and then lots of treats, obviously from a long distance at first and work closer over time. Do you have another dog around she could play with for a distraction while you shoot, that worked well too. Basically you’re starting to teach that gunfire is associated with good things. I also liked using primer popper rounds in my 12 ga. in the beginning, they are much quieter than blanks. Take is slow, there’s no rush. Once you are able to shoot while she’s chasing birds you will be golden.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby Coveyrise64 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:40 pm

~
A much wiser person once said..."dogs are not born gun shy, they are made gun shy by poor gun introduction".

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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby orhunter » Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:06 pm

Coveyrise: Yea, there are plenty of idiots out there. I see it as a people problem, not a dog problem,... unless the dog was born with a preponderance to be that way. Timid and fearful, lack of mental stability. A dog will show signs of this before the first shot is fired.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:12 pm

I used a strong drive to retrieve bumpers to gun acclimate several of my pups in the past.

I have since learned and followed the Perfect Gun Acclimation program from Perfection Kennel which uses dead birds if the dog is keen on retrieving them. It requires an assistant to shoot at a distance. It is the safest way to go about it and produces a dog with a very powerful positive association between gunfire and birds.

I suggest you stop what you are doing, and buy, study and follow that DVD.

Sounds like you pup has good nerves and temperament. Unfortunately it seems no other subject on the internet receives more bad advice than Gun Acclimation.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby orhunter » Thu Feb 04, 2021 5:51 pm

I do it the way Kent does. Gunshot = bird. Kent's dog Spud probably heard more gunfire before he got him than some dogs hear in an entire season.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby Willie T » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:48 pm

I tie it to birds as well. Before I do though, I do some experimenting with loud noises while the pup is eating. This is something I don’t want to get wrong and see the value of easing into. I also start within a week of bringing a pup home....
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby reader4 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:35 pm

As above. If your NAVHDA group will be training this spring then you can just take things up to blanks and a shotgun -- starting far away, getting closer -- with someone from the group as a shooter. Pretty easy to work shots into the chase after a successful point/flush. Sounds like you'll be fine.

For the NAVHDA NA test the shooter is usually a good 30-50yds behind the dog ... it's not something you need to train for really.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:35 pm

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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby HMR » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:39 pm

AverageGuy wrote:https://www.facebook.com/PerfectionKennel/videos/376602580150154/

AG thank you for sharing that video. Super interesting that they do the shot and then throw the bird. But it does make sense. I’m kicking myself I didn’t freeze any dead grouse.. now to find a dead bird.

I wonder if it would work using a favourite bumper as well. Same positive association. Maybe I will do some work with the cap gun this weekend.

If I was honest this whole gun acclimation stresses me out a little. High stakes. So much contradicting info which I think is the worst part. Not the first dog I’ve done gun intro, but I didn’t do it correctly and it was a boerboel that could care less and a terrier that we associated a squirrel shot from a tree that she got to shake the $#*! out of.

Here’s the boerboels first gun into. See could care less, fell asleep shortly after pic was taken, but could have easily gone wrong as well if he wasn’t so tolerant.

But thanks again.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:44 pm

If you look down through their FB page you will find several other videos posted showing the gun acclimation work filmed live. Including working with dogs that are already gun sensitive. Free for the viewing.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby Densa44 » Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:26 pm

As the experts have said take your time. I think you and the dog are doing just fine. If you have one of those hand held bumper launchers, the ones that use a .22 blank, they give a bigger bang than a cap gun but less than a shot gun. When you have a friend, get him about 30 yards away and let one off, if no problems keep moving up. When you can hold it yourself, the lesson has been learned!

The dog in the picture starts to get excited when she sees the plastic bottle that I hold the ammo in! Have fun.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:08 pm

A dog is very much like a person. Your fear of one thing can be so great, it outweighs
your desire to do another thing.

Your dog is a BIRD DOG. He was bred, born, made, to hunt and retrieve birds. That IS
his life. It isn't being petted, watching TV, or eating. It is getting a bird in his mouth and
retrieving that bird. That desire overcomes every other desire the dog has, the desire to
eat, the desire to breathe, nearly the desire for life. It is the most powerful driving force
the dog possesses. Don't believe that? When the dog is eating, yell mark and throw a bird.
I guarantee he'll bolt from the food dish and grab the bumper. Same if he's on a female
breeding her and you throw a bird. I guarantee if he hasn't locked up yet, he'll jump off,
get that bird and return to his other favorite past time.

So what does this mean to us? It mean that we channel his most powerful drive and use it
to cure his greatest fear. By first throwing clip wings with no shot and letting that drive
surface and grow, and letting the dog have fun, we enhance the drive God has given him
then cure him of the gunshyness by using it. It is the fastest method I know of to cure a
dog of gunshyness yet build that incredible desire. If you get impatient and rush it, it
won't work. Here are the steps in order. There is no time sequence. You proceed only to
the next step when the dog is completing the step he's on at 100%. If you proceed too fast,
you can lose all of the steps and have to start all over.

1). Get the dog birdy. With no gun involved, have a helper throw a clip wing pigeon and
let the dog retrieve it. Start short at 50 yards and work out to 100 yards. Never throw the
birds so many times the dog wants to quit. About 10 times a session is fine. If you don't
have a helper, throw them yourself.

2). Good. He's birdy now. You have to restrain him and when you let him go, he goes flat
out for each pigeon, grabs it and comes back. He is insane to get the birds. Now we add a
gun and a helper. Have a helper stand 100 yards out in a BARE field with a riffle and .22
blanks. Start with a .22 crimp then go to the regular .22 blank. Have the helper throw the
bird in the air without firing and send the dog. Have the helper yell MARK before
throwing the bird to get the dog's attention. After the dog makes a couple of retrieves,
have the helper yell MARK, fire the riffle in the air with the muzzle pointed away from
the dog and send the dog while the bird is still in the air. You use a riffle because the
report is softer than with a pistol. A pistol directs the sound out each side and they're so
loud they even hurt your ears. Use a riffle. Did the dog do it OK? Did he show any
hesitation? If all went well, throw another six birds, firing a shot when the bird is in the
air and sending the dog.

3).Step three is exactly the same as step two, but shorten the helper to 90 yards. Each time
you progress to the next step, shorten it up by 10 yards. If the dog shows any hesitation,
back up 10 yards.

4). Now 80 yards.

5). Now 70 yards.

6) Now 60 yards.

7) Now 50 yards.

8). Now 40 yards.

9) Now 30 yards.

10) Now 20 yards.

11) Now, for step 11, get rid of the helper. Now you take the clip wing, throw it, and
when the dog is in full pursuit, fire the gun with the muzzle directed away from the dog..
He should completely ignore the shot and dive for the bird.

12)Now repeat step 11 EXCEPT don't shoot the gun when the bird is in the air. Wait until
the dog pounces for the bird, his full attention on the bird, and fire the gun. Timing is
crucial and is everything here.

13). The final step with the .22 is to sit the dog, throw the bird with the dog sitting at your
side, and shoot the gun when the bird is in the air and send the dog. Did everything go
OK? Then we're now ready to introduce the shotgun.

To introduce the shotgun back right up to step 1 and do the whole 13 steps over again.
Sound boring and that it will take you a long time? It is and it does.

Patience. If you have no patience andaren't willing to follow a plan, you'll never train a dog. Patience, common sense, a
progressive program, understanding, discipline, a good dog. That's dog training.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Gun intro/conditioning

Postby Dmog » Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:39 pm

Delete post due to wrong topic.
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