At what age should you introduce a pup to gunfire? We have a 7 week-old Lab and I was planning on bird hunting with him this next bird season.
Im no expert but my trainer always told me never to take a young young dog out bird hunting until fully trained and co-operative as they can pick up bad habits. Someone might pee on my theory though! When he is old enough to be walked try walking somewhere where bird scarers go off.
It's always a good time to start introducing your pup to gunfire! This is how we start our pups. One of my kids will take the starter pistol a few yard (about 50) and have them fire the gun. I immediatley throw the puppy dokken and off he/she goes! I do this for about 4 -5 days then I have the kids come in a lil closer with the gun and over the course of about 2 weeks I can have the kids stand right beside me and fire the gun, and by this time those lil ears are up and they know what's coming! They get to "Git that bird"!
Hope this helps,
Tina and "kids"
The first time I fired off a cap pistol, there was no response (good or bad). I then tried it with a dummy and she had no ill effects of being scared or anything. I would introduce something like that while training fetch. Shooting the cap pistol and then throwing the dummy. Eventually moving to a louder gunshot sound.
Yep that is pretty much how it is done, start with the gunfire far away and throw a baby bumper for the pup. Gradually move the gunshots closer, there is no hurry. The big thing is to read your pups reaction to the gunfire. if they show concern or at any time look scared move the gunfire farther away and take more time. If your pup isn't interested in retrieving yet the just do it by giving treats after gunfire.
Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. Females should weigh between 55 and 70lbs and Males between 65 and 80lbs. Height females 21.5 to 23.5 inches males 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers.
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Sparty was about 8 weeks old when we started him on gun fire. We shoot right off the back yard..we tied him to a post a few yards off and we started shooting some clays. I was there with him,each time the gun when off, I watched his reaction which was..what was that? But i talked to him..after a while it was nothing as we didn't want him to fear the report.. Then after a shot, I tossed a pheasant wing for him to retrieve. Each time, for multiple shots, I would toss something ..ie dummy or pheasant wing...and he soon learned to look for something after the shot. Part of his early training was - ask Sparty to sit and stay,husband would shoot the gun and I would toss the dummy. We varied the scenario but the point was to get Sparty to mark the fall and wait for the command. Later, I got a dummy launcher which made it easier for me to train the dog without needing a extra hand.
i started ruger at about 12 weeks but i did lots of training before hand i always had him around some what of sudden loud noises but we shot a 22 from about 50 yards the first few shots while i sat next to him and played with him then when we got to about 25 yards i would throw the duck dummy and my buddy would shoot and then about two days later we upgraded to a 20g while throwing the dummy he was never bothered by the gun shots then whenever we got the 20 right next to him we started using the 12g and he was set...good luck dont start too early with the pup and make sure the person the pup is most attached ito is by its side to comfort incase it does somewhat spook them then you just go further away once again good luck keep us updated
Without even having to fire a gun you can introduce your pup to loud noises before you attempt introducing him to gunfire. In your house sneek up behind your pup and clap your hands loudly behind him and then when he turns around comfort him, talk to him nicely, etc. It's just to get him used to loud noises. Then, as others suggest, start far away from the pup with actual gunfire and move closer. Having someone there to comfort the dog as kwaksmaker suggested is a good idea also. I wouldn't introduce the dog to gunfire too soon though. I suggest do the loud noises, etc first for a few months, gain the trust of the pup, and then introduce the gunfire. Good luck!