It is common knowledge to most people by now that a dog’s hearing is much keener than a human’s. In fact, the range of a dog’s hearing is estimated to be between 40 to 60,000 Hz while a human range is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This means that dogs have a difficult time with loud noises. This is why they often hide during thunderstorms or when fireworks are being set off. But how do you handle a dog that you wish to take hunting with you that is even more sensitive to loud noises than other dogs? Discharging your firearm is sure to send it cringing in fear. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case. You can train your dog to overcome its gun-shyness whether this fear was acquired or not. Here are some of the best ways to cure your gun shy dog of this fear.
- Get them used to loud noises: Start by making loud noises around your dogs of increasing intensity. Then, try to link these noises with a positive event such as feeding time. The goal with this exercise is to slowly train your dog to associate loud noises with something positive. Caution: Do this gradually since you do not want to traumatize your dog.
- Slowly introduce loud sounds in the field: In order to further have you dog associate loud noises with pleasant events, take it hunting with you. Make progressively louder noises as it chases rabbits and birds, etc. This will increase your dog’s confidence around loud noises.
- Get help from a professional hunting dog trainer: There is no shame in needing outside help when it comes to ridding a timid dog of gun shyness. An expert will be able to help gauge your dog’s level of gun shyness and trace it to specific causes. Trainers will be able to help put you on the track to enjoying the wonderful sport of hunting with your best friend.
The point to all this is that just because your dog is gun shy initially does not mean that it cannot be overcome. You still may have an excellent hunting dog in the making. It just takes patience, planning and perhaps even professional help. Who knows? Before you know it you may even be Argentina bird hunting with your dog as soon as this summer. Dove hunting in Argentina is an excellent way to bond with man’s best friend.