Gunshot introduction?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by *blackrose, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    May 11, 2010
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    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    So, I really want to do my best to make sure Future Puppy isn't gun shy. We have no intention of hunting, but Mike likes to shoot for recreational purposes and it is nice to just go out to my parent's field, have the dogs hanging out with us, and shoot.

    (I'm also hoping that if he is fine around guns, other loud, brief noises - like fireworks and thunder storms - won't phase him.)

    What is the best way to introduce him to gunfire and make it a positive association? Is it best to do it while he's young (8 weeks), or wait until he's older?
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Dec 14, 2009
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    Generally speaking the best way I've found is to figure out what gets the dog really happy and excited, and do that with him while there are gunshots going off in the background.

    Kim, the formerly sound-sensitive jumpy dog, learned gunshots were no big deal because one of her favorite things was going to the dog park and playing with other dogs. Our park happened to be near a gun range so she seemed to just associate gunfire with the park.

    Mira learned when a gun went off a couple dozen feet away which isn't ideal but she was deep in retriever mode and is mentally stable anyway so she barely reacted as she watched the working dog retriever the bird that just went down. After that gun = bird and that was all there was to it.

    None of my dogs are firework shy either, though I don't know if there's a direct relationship there. Certainly doesn't hurt, anyway.

    None of my dogs were, to my knowledge, exposed to gunfire as very young puppies but they were exposed to sharp sounds as puppies. Mira especially was taught to knock over metal dog dishes and such and learned not only that loud = fun but that she could control and make the loud whenever she wanted which seemed to be rather empowering lol.

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