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Gun breaking dogs

Rossignol

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I have a pointer needing to be gun broke yet, and I have shot arounder, but not over her.

I have been told by some not to worry about it till a pup is a year old. Another said his dog held a point on quail at 6 mos old so he flushed it and shot it...

So I'm interested in any advice, I've heard alot up to this point. I have shot a starter around her while she is running after a training dummy, as well as in the field when birds have been flushed but she isnt super close.

She isnt crazy about gun fire, but she doesnt tuck tail and run either.

I wanna get her steady to wing and gun, but the gun is a pretty big deal.

Have any experiences to share, advice for a nOOb? I'll take it! ;)
 

oli700

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Rossignol said:
Have any experiences to share, advice for a nOOb? I'll take it! ;)


Me too. Not for hunting but more just no fear of a gun or fireworks.
 

Rossignol

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Right! We hear gunfire hear all the time, and fireworks all year round too. Most of the time the dogs bark and I think it has helped to desensitize them to the noise.

My pointer will usually turn towards the noise to see whats goin on. Not bad...

I know the training will be different from a pointer to a flushing dog to a retriever to a woods dog, but there are likely some comonalities.

I think in your case Oli, because you are reloading shells, you may be able to make some "poppers" just a shell and a primer. Those are often sold to train gun dogs. But I would maybe do some firing as he is chasing or running after sticks or toys or whatever. Not directly over him, but as he is busy and happy playing.
 

Mudinyeri

20g
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I am by no means "experienced" but here's what I've done so far with my new Lab who's now 9 months.

When he was about three months, we took him to the farm and let him play while we were shooting off in the distance. He was closely supervised by my wife so that he didn't run too close or into the line of fire. He had a blast ... literally.

A few weeks later, we moved him closer and had him perform a couple simple obedience tasks like SIT and STAY while we were shooting.

The Fourth of July rolled around and he was totally unconcerned about the fireworks ... and we set off some big ones.

This weekend we tossed a pheasant dummy a few yards and fired the shotgun at the same time. From a SIT, we gave the command RETRIEVE. He ran after that dummy bird like there was no tomorrow! He also did a pretty good job on the retrieve (to within a couple feet of me; no chewing). After a couple more rounds of that he just wanted to play with the dummy and wasn't retrieving as well so we stopped.

Not related to shooting ... but a few minutes later, I put some pheasant scent on a wing and drug it along the ground and hid it in some brush. I gave the command HUNT IT UP and he found it pretty quickly. We did that a couple more times and then put everything up for the day. I think he'd kill someone to get to play with that pheasant dummy or wing again. :lol:
 

oli700

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thats cool, nothing like a good bird dog.


Brad , I didnt even think of poppers....like it.
 

John A.

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fireworks could be used to get a dog used to the sound.

But remember, when they're that little, they're like little kids anyway. With big ol' ears that are more sensitive than ours anyway.

So I always treated them like kids.

Start out with 22's and then move up to the bigger sounding guns. And if necessary, from a distance not real close. They'll get used to it after a while.

Mudnuri has good advice about staying and retrieving.
 

oli700

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yeah , I am worried about his hearing. I will keep it in mind for sure.
 

Rossignol

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Toby, yeah, very much in line with the sorts of stuff I have been told! Sounds like your pup is coming along well, and I think youre right on, when the dog looses interest, its time to put stuff up!

The sensitive ear issues are why we started with a .22 starter pistol while our pup was running for the training dummy and away from us. The shotguns came later and still at a distance while she was busy tracking and scenting.

On those poppers, Oli, many places sell those and theyre just a hull and the 209 primer!

Johns got a good point, alot of folks often have those little firecrackers left over and those could be used too!
 

Rossignol

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Its about to be bird season again! Pheasant and quail, mostly quail, but chukar too!

We'll see how things go, I hope to be in the field more this year with Allison and Ivy! I'm getting a collar from Tractor Supply, they carry the Dogtra Sport Dog collar and its a decent price. So gonna get Ivy whoa broke, and def gotta get her to come back, cuz hunting from a check cord is a long miserable walk.
 

Mudinyeri

20g
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You might want to check Craigslist for collars. I picked one up a couple weeks ago. It had never even been charged and I paid about $50 less than the price in local stores.
 

Rossignol

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Quick update!

I got the collar from Amazon, brand NIB for $70 and change! Actually Jenny ordered it for me as a gift cuz she loves me so!

Also a question. Is there a reason to not let my pointer flush birds? Especially in heavy brush.
 

oli700

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John A. said:
Start out with 22's and then move up to the bigger sounding guns. And if necessary, from a distance not real close. They'll get used to it after a while.

Thanks for posting this John, worked good for me, I think I got lucky with him. He has one round of shots left so in order to take him for walks we have to go where we won’t run into any other dogs so there is lots of shooting opportunities. Started walking him with a .22 and worked our way up to the shotgun. Started with Kim holding him a ways back and now he walks on a 6 foot leash and I can fire no warning and he doesn’t miss a beat. Now when he sees the SG he thinks he is going on a walk. When he gets a little bigger he is going to pack my ammo in a custom dog ammo vest.


That’ll be the extent of it for me since he isn’t a bird dog or anything, how do you train with the collar your getting B ?
 

Rossignol

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The electronic collar?

It has a tone, vibration and seven levels of shock. I'm using it to first warn her, and if I have to, zap her when she doesnt comply with known commands. The biggest problem I have is when she gets in the field, she forgets everything.

For example, she knows "here" and "whoa". Though if I give her the command in the field, especially "here", and she doesnt respond... shes warned first. Last time, I had to start actually shocking her. The first three levels did nothing, the fourth got her attention. So if I can break her concentration for a second, I can redirect her back to what I'm asking her to do.

I've not ever needed a shock collar with any other dog, but shes special I guess!
 

oli700

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Oh ok, I thought it had something to do with retrieving or something, I get it now….so once it breaks the distraction she can register the command then eventually just the command will do it.
 

Rossignol

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oli700 said:
Oh ok, I thought it had something to do with retrieving or something, I get it now….so once it breaks the distraction she can register the command then eventually just the command will do it.

Well, thats the idea! ;) First the command, then tone, and then zap. Hopefully she makes the conection sooner rather than later, and then just as you said, respond to the command first.
 

Rossignol

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The gun breaking has gone excellently!

We started easy with the starting pistol last year, and Ally would be playing with her and i would be a ways off. I would move closer and fire again. If the shooting distracted her, I walked away and started over. When I could get reasonably close, we began throwing a dummy for her to retrieve when I pulled the trigger. Again, I started out not real close.

Then to the field. She would be runnin, while others were shooting else where on the field, but not close. Then the weekend before last, there were shooters reasonably close. She handled it well. So just this past weekend when we started seeing real good solid points, I'd have Allison behind us a bit and shoot right over top of us when the bird flushed. By the end of the day, I was shooting over top of her!

Shes lovin it and takes off runnin the direction we're pointing with our guns! We're good to go! :D
 

oli700

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so awesome man ! I have been enjoying my dog so much. I grew up around dogs but this is the first dog that is actually mine.
 

Rossignol

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oli700 said:
this is the first dog that is actually mine.

Oli, I can totally understand that! Thats how I feel about Ivy. We have other dogs. We have other dogs. But Ivy is my dog! What we've been doing is exactly why we got her!

Oli, its better than the family dog as a kid!

"There are many like it, but this one is mine" :lol:
 
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