Gun fire conditioning alone

Mr_Tibbs

New member
I’m looking for tips on working on gunfire conditioning with my 1.5 year old Brittany. I’ve read and watched quite a few videos and I think I’ve got a good understanding of the incremental, slow steps one needs to take. My problem is I don’t really have a partner that can help me. I’ve tried to do a little work with him alone, and it’s a struggle to balance whatever object I’m throwing, balancing whatever noise maker I’m using, keeping a distance from him, etc. Does anyone have any tips or recommendations for how to gunfire condition my dog without another person to aid? I have heard of the gunfire conditioning CDs, but I’m skeptical I guess. Any tips or techniques would be greatly appreciated.
 

Huede

Member
I take my pups to the field, when they see or point or flush i fire dummy launcher, 22. I also pop a lot of bubble wrap during play times only 8 to 14 weeks. Happy times equals loud pops. I have trained 6 this way by the time they are 7 to 8 months.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
I've always done the work by myself. I take the dog to the field and while they are running around smelling everything I fire my .22 pistol behind my back. The dog is usually 30-40 yards away. I do this several times and the dogs have never paid any attention to the shot. Once they are comfortable with the .22 at closer distances and repeat the process with a .410 shotgun. Shooting in the opposite direction while the dog is a ways away. From there I transition to my regular shotgun. Never had a gun shy dog. Take your time and do this over a period of time.
 
You live rural or urban? I've heard of utilizing pot and pans, never heard of bubble wrap. If you live rural, and your pup can stay in the kennel and see you from 100yds off, I'd walk out that distance and fire one round--28 or 410ga. See what reaction you get. If all is well with the pup fire more rounds...get in closer and fire a few more. Get to the point where you can stand close to the pup. 22 blanks can also be utilized.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Guys get results using various methods but when you take advice be careful, every dog is different. You are not testing the dog "to see what the dogs reaction might be". Instead you are "conditioning". Once you have crossed the line, sometimes there is no way back. For what it is worth, I would never use a 22 or a dummy launcher for gun introduction. Those are worse than using a shotgun. Get yourself a training pistol. They are different from a 22 blank gun. Get a training pistol that uses the small acorn crimps. I will attach a link. Again please do your dog a favor and don't use a 22 blank pistol or dummy launcher. Here is how I condition mine starting at 8 weeks of age. At feeding time, have someone stand 100 yds away and fire a shot with the acorn crimp as the dog is diving into the food bowl. Just shoot one time. If no helper you can feed your dog and then run 100 yds away to fire the shot. Do this every day for a week. Then after 1 week move in to 90 yds and progress 10 yds each week until you hit 50 yds. Then at this point, we start over and fire the gun from 100 yds away as the dog is running towards a mark for a retrieve. And we progress in. You could do this after the flush as the dog is chasing the bird. Move in gradually each week til 50 yds. Then start over using a 20 gauge with a light load. And progress in to 50 yds. At this point you are ready to shoot over the dog. What you have done is condition the sound of a gun to the dogs 2 favorite things, BIRDS and FOOD. Good luck.
 
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Dakotazeb

Well-known member
Lots of different opinions and methods. Just remember you are conditioning the dog to the sound of gun fire. Anytime you get an adverse reaction from the dog, STOP and back off. Take it slow and easy and you should be okay.

I remember having to condition my Brittany to their first beeper collar. The first time I set the collar on their kennel and at the first beep they went ballistic. I moved the collar about 30 feet away where it didn't bother them and let it beep for a few minutes each day. Gradually moving the collar closer. It wasn't long before they were wearing the collar with it beeping and could care less. It's all a matter of conditioning the dog to the sound. Whether it's a beeper collar or gun shot.

Good luck.
 

Glock

Member
Guys get results using various methods but when you take advice be careful, every dog is different. You are not testing the dog "to see what the dogs reaction might be". Instead you are "conditioning". Once you have crossed the line, sometimes there is no way back. For what it is worth, I would never use a 22 or a dummy launcher for gun introduction. Those are worse than using a shotgun. Get yourself a training pistol. They are different from a 22 blank gun. Get a training pistol that uses the small acorn crimps. I will attach a link. Again please do your dog a favor and don't use a 22 blank pistol or dummy launcher. Here is how I condition mine starting at 8 weeks of age. At feeding time, have someone stand 100 yds away and fire a shot with the acorn crimp as the dog is diving into the food bowl. Just shoot one time. If no helper you can feed your dog and then run 100 yds away to fire the shot. Do this every day for a week. Then after 1 week move in to 90 yds and progress 10 yds each week until you hit 50 yds. Then at this point, we start over and fire the gun from 100 yds away as the dog is running towards a mark for a retrieve. And we progress in. You could do this after the flush as the dog is chasing the bird. Move in gradually each week til 50 yds. Then start over using a 20 gauge with a light load. And progress in to 50 yds. At this point you are ready to shoot over the dog. What you have done is condition the sound of a gun to the dogs 2 favorite things, BIRDS and FOOD. Good luck.
We do similar to this but instead of food we use pigeons. We like to use the sound and birds together.
 

5 stand

Active member
Lots of different opinions and methods. Just remember you are conditioning the dog to the sound of gun fire. Anytime you get an adverse reaction from the dog, STOP and back off. Take it slow and easy and you should be okay.

I remember having to condition my Brittany to their first beeper collar. The first time I set the collar on their kennel and at the first beep they went ballistic. I moved the collar about 30 feet away where it didn't bother them and let it beep for a few minutes each day. Gradually moving the collar closer. It wasn't long before they were wearing the collar with it beeping and could care less. It's all a matter of conditioning the dog to the sound. Whether it's a beeper collar or gun shot.

Good luck.
Good post.
Especially the first paragraph!
 

Munster927

Active member
Agree with all of the above methods. My method has been with the aid of a partner but it can be done alone using a field like Zeb said above. Try to have a bird involved if at all possible. Food/treats are a good 2nd option. Since I can only give my experiences, I'll share what I've done with my dad for 5 dogs below:

Find somewhere that has tree cover if possible to help deaden the sound. We used our long driveway at our cabin, but somewhere with tree cover will do. Start about 200 yards away from the person shooting the gun (.22 pistol or smaller caliber). Have yourself a pocket of GOOD treats. Hot dog chunks work well. Have the shooter shoot every 30 seconds or so. When a shot goes off, treat. Next shot. Treat. If they seem to care less about the noise, move a little closer. Shot, treat. Continue slowly moving closer. Treating with each shot. Until you can either A: Get close enough to the shooter that you are practically next to them while they shoot and you treat. Or B: The dog shows any sign of hesitation or concern about the shot.

Have yourself a method to notify the shooter to stop. Whistle, phone, etc. A big thing to remember also is to be CALM while doing the whole process. Your dog will pick up on you being nervous and may get scared wondering why you are nervous about the noise. Another thing I've done is talk to them when they shots go off. When a shot goes off saying something like "Find the bird. Good girl/boy" in a happy, playful tone.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Agree with all of the above methods. My method has been with the aid of a partner but it can be done alone using a field like Zeb said above. Try to have a bird involved if at all possible. Food/treats are a good 2nd option. Since I can only give my experiences, I'll share what I've done with my dad for 5 dogs below:

Find somewhere that has tree cover if possible to help deaden the sound. We used our long driveway at our cabin, but somewhere with tree cover will do. Start about 200 yards away from the person shooting the gun (.22 pistol or smaller caliber). Have yourself a pocket of GOOD treats. Hot dog chunks work well. Have the shooter shoot every 30 seconds or so. When a shot goes off, treat. Next shot. Treat. If they seem to care less about the noise, move a little closer. Shot, treat. Continue slowly moving closer. Treating with each shot. Until you can either A: Get close enough to the shooter that you are practically next to them while they shoot and you treat. Or B: The dog shows any sign of hesitation or concern about the shot.

Have yourself a method to notify the shooter to stop. Whistle, phone, etc. A big thing to remember also is to be CALM while doing the whole process. Your dog will pick up on you being nervous and may get scared wondering why you are nervous about the noise. Another thing I've done is talk to them when they shots go off. When a shot goes off saying something like "Find the bird. Good girl/boy" in a happy, playful tone.
I always found tree cover to enhance the sound not deaden it. The echo off of tree's gives off a louder report.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Pots and pans while they are eating has worked for me in the past…
I'm forcing myself to assume the "pots & pans" response is a joke. In which case....haha.
Please don't use pots & pans. Or 2x4's. Or anything of the sort. Please.
I don't have much for you in terms of not having an extra set of hands.
But Perfect Gun Acclimation by Perfection Kennel is a solid method in my opinion.
 

BritChaser

Well-known member
what i did with my Brits: took them out to an area where i could walk and they could hunt even though it wasn't hunting season. had my .44 with me. the dog was always out front. from time to time without warning or prelude i would touch off a mag round and just keep walking as if hearing a loud noise was normal while afield. the dogs acted as if nothing unusual had happened.
 

Munster927

Active member
Something like BritChaser does would probably work for you. Regarding the pots and pans thing, I always make random noises around the house when I have a new puppy. Playing on the floor with a toy or wrestling with my other dogs, I'd clap my hands or make noise with something when they weren't looking. Then just sit there like nothing happened. Eventually they stop caring about noises. That can help carry over to gun conditioning as well.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
A dog should be introduced to gun fire while it is involved with its too favorite things. Food is an easy start but ultimately, you want the dog to associate gun fire with birds. It may not be the only way to accomplish intro but it will always be heads and tails above any other method, and not doing so is taking short cuts. Do your dog a favor and involve birds with the intro to gun fire. No reason at all not to.
 
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