My lab just turned 4 months last week. Im an avid shooter and go out shooting several times a year. i would love to bring Sherlock along but im not sure how he will react to gunfire. How do i get him used to the loud shots and how do i keep his ears safe. I would assume this is possible because labs are used as hunting dogs. What age is appropriate to introduce gunshots and how do i do it safely is my main question.
Start low caliber and move up to a shot gun. I took Hershe (2.5-3 mo.) with me around my ranch and just shot around with a .22LR. During dove season she didn't seem to mind the other hunters shooting around the house. Loud noises don't naturally seem to be a problem for labs. My Uncle's German Shepherd is very scared of loud noises while my now 4 mo. old lab could care less.
From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog. ~Mabel Louise Robinson
Here is as good an explanation as any: Keeping Your Dog from Becoming Gun Shy.
I don't know much, but as to hearing safety, have him sit behind the line of the gun where it is quieter. For safety you are going to want to train him to be steady (stay where told) while you shoot anyway. There is a thread on dog hearing loss right now on RTF, RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF - Powered by vBulletin
Thank you both for the answers, i appreciate your help.