Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

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ageofegos
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Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by ageofegos » Sun Aug 21, 2022 7:06 am

Maybe a bit of a strange question but my first dog, so please bear with me!

I have a 10 month old pointing lab and I've been following the Knutson method for training. I've had great success and my little buddy is coming along nice. He's steady to shot, starting to be strong on point and retrieves like---well like a cliche lab. He has bird drive for daaaaayyyyssss and I perhaps have done 'too good' of a job training him to be excited about shooting. I mean, if I get any gun out that he recognizes as a bang bang tool, he goes nuts! If someone shoots a gun near him, he instantly follows where they're pointing and starts running around, assuming he missed where it went and goes into 'dead bird' mode. I love that of course and certainly want to keep that passion/drive.

However, my son and I shoot trap and I waffle if I should bring him along. I've done it once, where I would throw a dead bird after my son shot at a clay--and he would retrieve the bird, then go back to see where the skeet went. I understand they are toxic, etc. and can call him off no prob---but I wonder if this is poor for training. While I will miss birds from time to time, I also worry about associating the gun with non-fun (nothing happened) time too. This would go for normal target practice, etc.

So does anyone take their trained dog when they shoot trap on their own land? If so, how do you handle a dog that looovesss the sound of a gun?

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Aug 21, 2022 7:07 pm

I belong to a small skeet-trap club and there are quite a few of us take their dog's to the club to sharpen them up. Yours is still fairly young and what he is exhibiting is a simple lack of obedience. SIT means SIT and the dog should do it until commanded to do any other command or is released from SIT. It's as simple as that. If the dog goes ballistic when it sees or hears a gun, don't let it. Command SIT and reinforce the command.
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CDN_Cocker
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by CDN_Cocker » Mon Aug 22, 2022 5:16 am

Introducing a dog to gun fire at a gun range is a fantastic method for creating a gun shy dog. Just because it's convenient doesn't mean it's a good idea. I'm sure lots of people will chime in with " I did it with my dog and he's great" but that is not a risk I would take on a dog you want to hunt with for the next 12 years. And if the dog is already conditioned its a decent way to speed up his road to deafness.
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Dakotazeb
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by Dakotazeb » Mon Aug 22, 2022 8:22 am

I personally don't believe a dog should be taken to skeet/trap shoot. There is a chance more bad things could develop than any positives. And I also agree with what gonehuntin' said. Sounds like your pup is coming along fine, don't screw it up now.
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by Steve007 » Mon Aug 22, 2022 9:44 am

CDN_Cocker wrote:
Mon Aug 22, 2022 5:16 am
Introducing a dog to gun fire at a gun range is a fantastic method for creating a gun shy dog. Just because it's convenient doesn't mean it's a good idea. I'm sure lots of people will chime in with " I did it with my dog and he's great" but that is not a risk I would take on a dog you want to hunt with for the next 12 years. And if the dog is already conditioned its a decent way to speed up his road to deafness.
+1.

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Aug 22, 2022 10:47 am

CDN_Cocker wrote:
Mon Aug 22, 2022 5:16 am
Introducing a dog to gun fire at a gun range is a fantastic method for creating a gun shy dog. Just because it's convenient doesn't mean it's a good idea. I'm sure lots of people will chime in with " I did it with my dog and he's great" but that is not a risk I would take on a dog you want to hunt with for the next 12 years. And if the dog is already conditioned its a decent way to speed up his road to deafness.
He said the dog is all ready accustomed to the gun, loves it, and goes nuts when he sees or hears one. IF that is true, a skeet range is a nice way to control the dog. He's steadying him to shot now. Unless I'm interpreting the thread wrong.
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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by Vonzeppelinkennels » Mon Aug 22, 2022 11:23 am

I wouldn't do it but it's your dog. I have owned dogs that didn't like gunfire unless they were in the field hunting. 2of my best dogs one male & one female would cower down over gun fire unless hunting then they were hunting & retrieving fools. The male would go to his dog house if he even seen a gun unless he was in the field hunting then he would swim to retrieve birds. Like I said your dog but I wouldn't do it. JMO!

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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by shags » Mon Aug 22, 2022 1:17 pm

I wouldn't do it; seen several dogs like VonZ's that are good with guns and gunfire in a hunting or trialing situation, but not good with otherwise. I wouldn't chance pushing a dog over the cliff to gunshy. All it takes is one incident, and we don't know when/where/why.
Your dog goes nuts with gunfire now because he's allowed to act the fool and misbehave. Do you think he's going to enjoy random gunfire when it means he has to sit there *without* misbehaving, or being corrected for it?

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Re: Skeet/Trap + Training a bird dog :)

Post by ckirsch » Tue Aug 23, 2022 4:40 pm

I guess I'd also be concerned about potential long-term impacts on the dog's hearing. It's one thing being exposed to a half-dozen shots during a hunt. Sitting through hundreds of shots at a trap cub seems like an unnecessary risk. As my own hearing has deteriorated over the years, I've become more cautious about my dogs' exposure to gunfire. I will avoid shooting close to them whenever possible - prefer to get ahead of them to flush before pulling the trigger. Maybe that's going overboard, but I've been around a number of older bird dogs whose hearing was clearly gone. Tough to know if that was due to gunfire or just old age, but it seems prudent to minimize the risk.

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