3. Gun Breaking. * 4-5 months *
Updated: Sep 12
This is the most important, sensitive part of the process that requires the highest level of compassion, focus, patience and understanding from the trainer. It is a must that you understand that no dog is born Gun Shy!!! Gun Shyness is always man made!!! That being said, yes some dogs are born more timid than others or more likely to become gun shy than another dog. But by taking the right steps, using common sense and patience all dogs can be given the opportunity to develop a positive relationship between Gun Shots and Birds and to completely understand what the Gun Shot means. At 4-5 months is when I find that puppies are now mature enough and their eye sight has developed enough to see and chase a thrown crippled bird during the gun breaking process. At this age they are generally most malleable and we seem to get the best results. NOTE: A Gun Broke dog is not a dog that is just "ok" with loud noises and gun shots. It is a dog that through proper training has learned that a Gun Shot means that he could potentially get to retrieve a bird. It is through this teaching and development that the positive relationship between Gun Shots and Birds is achieved. There are many ways to skin a cat as they say. And there are many ways to achieve Gun Breaking with your new pup. But the attention to detail, understanding, patience and care that you take in the process should be the same across the board no matter the methods that you use. If you have been affording your youngster the opportunity to develop into a happy, confident, birdy, adventurous pup then achieving a positive association to gun fire and ultimately gun breaking should be a breeze and you should only expect to have to spend a few days in this process. If you have a more timid or shy puppy then use your instincts and take some extra time in development. Take as much time as it takes to build your puppy up and be sure without a doubt that your youngster wants nothing more than birds, completely understand gun fire and has made the positive relationship between the two.
- Ryan Fortier