Training a dog to work with a gun means getting it to the state known as gun broken, that is, when it is accustomed to gunfire. For most dogs, this is done in a procedural way where the dog is introduced to game or birds and gunfire at the same time.
Common method of trainingEdit
- Use puppy feeding time to teach that a soft bang noise is good
- Start by making a soft banging noise seconds prior to feeding your puppy
- Gradually increase the loudness of the bang (bang 2 pans together for example) after a week or so
- After a month of bang then puppy feeding, substitute a child's cap gun for the bang
- In the field:
- The dog, constrained by a long check cord, is introduced to a bumper or ball
- Use the child's cap gun that your puppy heard during feeding time and fire it as you puppy retrieves the bumper
- After a week in at least 3 different locations, repeat the process using a louder starter pistol is fired at least 100 meters from you pup
- After a week in at least 3 different locations, repeat the process using a louder starter pistol is fired at least 50 meters from you pup
- After a week in at least 3 different locations, repeat the process using a louder starter pistol is fired at least 25 meters from you pup
- This process is repeated slowly bringing the distance of the gun fire closer to the dog.
- Your pup should be excited by the shot sound, after a month a new weapon is introduced.
- The same process (steps 1-4) is repeated using a .410 shotgun, then up to a 20 gauge shotgun, and finally a 12 gauge shotgun.
This process associates the exciting activity of the game and gunfire. When gunfire happens, the dog expects the game. When game is found, the dog expects gunfire. Common mistakes include exposing the dog to gunfire too early and too suddenly. Be careful and gradual..rushing this process can produce a gun-shy dog, gradual training over months will produce a dog excited about shots.