German Shepherd Dog > gun shyness....or not...opinions please... (36 replies)
gun shyness....or not...opinions please...
by judron55 on 16 May 2012 - 12:29
|Dog passes BH during the time when gunshot was used...dog is now going on four yrs....won't stay on down when gun is fired...on or off field....I say you can mask this problem but, you will never know when it will show up...but, it will show up...opinions please|
by RLHAR on 16 May 2012 - 12:47
|Is it gun shyness or gun reactive?|
My bitch (before I switched focus to tracking titles) required a lot of aggitation in bitework a lot of whip cracks and the like. As a result when she heard the startle pistol she was up like a shot looking for the guy with the sleeve.
Shotguns or any weapon with a deeper report she wouldn't even blink at but something about that starter pistol crack = whip crack to her and it meant time for BITEWORK! Had to go back and reproof her platz and heeling for obedience and she is still very, very alert whenever she hears the pistol.
by Bob McKown on 16 May 2012 - 12:56
What type of response are you geting?. My Axel was responsive to gun fire same as RLHAR shot gun or 45. never bothered him both a 22 made him fire up. I,ve got some old video,s of Schutzhund work where they line up the dogs and fire the gun many of the dogs lept forward and barked aggresivley to the gun fire bur only the ones that went backwards away from the gun fire were dismissed. Reactiveness can be rorked thru. Pissing them selves and runnig away is another story. JMHO
by judron55 on 16 May 2012 - 14:28
|running away.....won't come to handler...cowering...slouching behavior....I know the aggressive/reactive response...I'd much rather deal with that then the other:-) If I'm working her in protection (I'm the helper) she is ok if gun is fired....I'll pay attention tonight concerning heeling...|
by Bob McKown on 16 May 2012 - 14:37
In my opinion those first 4 reactions you mentioned are tought to work thru. Yes i,d like to know what the dog does during healing and obedience. Good Luck. Just wondering what lines are the dog out of?
by duke1965 on 16 May 2012 - 16:21
|judron , must be no surprise to you that a dog can take more pressure in protection when drives are higher , did you see the BH trail when dog passed ? or was the dog purchased already with BH?|
by judron55 on 16 May 2012 - 16:42
|duke1965....you're right about the drive comment....I did not see the BH but she did it here in the states...|
by Gustav on 16 May 2012 - 19:52
|Whether it is reactive or gun shyness, a 4 year old dog who has been given the command platz and won't maintain it under gunfire indicates nerve issues to me. All nerve issues are not shyness.....but solid nerve works in drive or out of drive....that's why it is so important.JMO|
by joanro on 17 May 2012 - 00:12
|Could be a training issue if the dog thinks crack of gun is crack of whip. Povlovian response...Reward is imminent in the way of bite work.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 17 May 2012 - 00:43
|Joanro, if the dog is reacting like Ron said, it isn't the whip theory.|
by joanro on 17 May 2012 - 00:57
|No, you're correct. I was commenting on Gustav's post concerning nerves being the issue when a dog reacts without shyness.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 17 May 2012 - 01:18
|Yeah, that sucks. Perhaps, that is why the dog did a Bh and now is owned by someone else.|
by BoCRon on 17 May 2012 - 02:41
|Too bad. I had a a girl that had no problem with gunfire until she was almost 8 years old. I left the house on a sunny July 4th and left her out in the dog pen with her then 4yo son in the pen next to her. While I was gone a freak storm blew up and lightning hit the house and a tree on the fenceline of the dog yard. I knew nothing about it because where I was the sky was still clear and sunny. I get in my car and DH is frantically trying to call my cell to figure out how to disarm the alarm system which is blaring out of the attic, "Evacuate the premises" over and over. (it would have been funny had we not thought the house was about to burn down). Anyway I get home 15 minutes later and get the alarm straightened out and we figure out the house isn't going up in flames and I remember the dogs. When I let them out of the pen they were absolutely panicked, foaming at the mouth, whining, circling us, etc. I felt so bad for them. Anyway from that day forward she hated storms (she never became a basket case, just would rather head down to the basement during bad weather) and couldn't tolerate gunfire. It took me years to get her to the point where she would hold the down again during gunfire, I had to work on her down while the gun was fired from a ridiculously long distance. We would also use the crack of the whip to help re-associate the sound to something she liked (she loved bitework til the day she died). I wasn't ever going to breed her or trial her again at that age, it was more to see if we could help her. Since I knew the fear was event motivated I wanted to see if it could be remedied. Not a fast fix by any means.|
by judron55 on 17 May 2012 - 11:28
|The person that owns the dog now did the BH:-) but, I think she is incorrect about gunfire as she just did it this past June, I believe. I'll check my USCA magazine.|
by Rass on 17 May 2012 - 12:10
|Had a dog as solid as a rock that was never afraid on gun fire or thunder.. and she herded cattle (it takes a LOT of dog to herd cattle). A GSD. |
Then one day we had a terrible storm just as we finished milking the cows. A lightning "leader" hit the lightning rod and sent current through the barn (through the pipes and the concrete floor with Re-rod in it). Hired man was leaning on the bulk tank and he got knocked across the milk house. Cows all got a mild shock as did the dog (and us). No one was hurt... but from then on the dog was afraid of loud noises (including gunfire).
She would pant and walk and not hold position... and head for the basement in a thunderstorm. She never ran away and would come when called.
A few years later when the cows were sold she became my Father's hearing dog. He liked to shoot squirrels with a .22 and the dog liked to chase/kill squirrels. She learned to tolerate the gun firing to get the squirrel he dropped from the tree. It was interesting.. he would put the gun to his shoulder and the dog would squint and look like she wanted to bolt (but she did not).. waiting for the report. The instant the report came she was open eyed and looking for the squirrel to drop. She didn't LIKE gun fire but she used her nerve to tolerate it to get the squirrel.
by Dobermannman on 17 May 2012 - 14:26
|Why does it matter if it's gun shyness or a reaction to whip stimulation or a learned response?|
If the bite work and everything else is good, just fix the problem. I llike to desensitise dogs to gunfire whille they're doing something. I start with a cap gun in my right hand while heeling, progress to a 22. Shoot off a capgun then 22 while playing tug. The gunfire while on the long down is probably the hardest to do since the dog isn't thinking about anything else. Once you've got the dog used to gunfire while heeling. Do the long down.
Next to the dog, gunfire tug bite, gunfire 1 sec bite, gunfire 3 seconds bite etc.
Even have other people give the dog a tug bite. Helps with the long down and the gunfire if you get to a trial and the dog thinks anyone on the field (including the judge:-)) could be the person that will come give them a reward
by Rass on 17 May 2012 - 14:35
|It does not matter UNLESS the fear is weak nerves and the dog is slated for breeding.|
by Dobermannman on 17 May 2012 - 16:42
|I wouldn't assume bad nerves just based on gun shyness. Could be sensitive hearing or a bad experience?|
If anyone has a dog that does good protection work (hard, full grips) but is gun shy. You can give him to me :-)
by Gustav on 17 May 2012 - 17:59
by hexe on 18 May 2012 - 01:55
|I presume the dog has been checked for, and found clear of, any possible ear problem such as a middle ear infection, a foreign object (like a grass awn) lodged deep in the ear, or a previously ruptured eardrum? Despite any healing, once an eardrum ruptures it becomes MUCH more sensitive (read: expriences pain) to loud sounds. Dogs don't go from gun-steady to gun-shy without a reason...a veterinary exam is in order before you try to work the problem out, as subjecting her to gunfire if it causes her physical pain would just be cruel.|