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Anyone ever have a dog afraid of guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by The Exile, Sep 18, 2022.

  1. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    I really don't understand how this is happening, whenever I pull my guns out of the box she tucks her tail and feels the room. If the door is closed she sees herself to the corner nearest the door, and she moves her head away my hands until I force her to see they're empty at which point she relaxes slightly. Now she has a general phobia of sounds, comes to cower underneath my bed whenever my dad's air compressor goes off and she is practically vibrating constantly on July 3rd and 4th, so it wouldn't be too shocking to me if she didn't want to be around me shooting them, but i've never taken her to the range or anything. Any ideas what could be spooking her? I'm not trying to turn her into a hunting dog given she's clearly uncomfortable with the noise but no clue why she'd be afraid of the actual gun itself like she knows what it does despite having never seen it do anything.
     
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  2. 230RN

    230RN I keep pushing that pendulum back.

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    Your dog watches too much television.

    Or maybe hyperacousis if I'm spelling that right.

    I had a standard poodle who did not like guns, would not cross railroad tracks, and would not swim across a relatively shallow stream. Had to carry her. Pain in the tuchas since the Lab I was also walking would happily splash across the stream and had no trouble with RR tracks. Especially annoying since poodles are supposed to be a water-fowling breed.

    Irrational, gripping phobias are apparently common to more than just people and dogs. You and snakes and spiders maybe, and I'm told that cats and cucumbers don't get along.

    Weird.

    On the other hand, it is said that all science and technology is ultimately based on when someone says, "Gee, that's weird."

    Terry, 230RN
     
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  3. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. I would guess she associates the smell of burnt gun powder with the loud sounds she is afraid of.

    Has she ever been around anyone firing a gun? If not maybe it is the similar smell of fireworks and gun powder residue on the guns that she associates???

    Just a thought.

    My first German Shepherd HATED loud noises. My current German Shepherd could care less. I can take her with me to my favorite shooting spot and she doesn't tense up at all. I assume it has to do with her past life with her past owner.
     
  4. Demi-human

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

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    They probably smell the same as some other things that make sounds she doesn’t like.

    >Jinks, Mike owes me a Yoo-hoo!<

    There was a dog at the shop that would pee when he heard a shotgun pump cycle. He would go nuts looking for a boat to jump in. That sound meant duck hunting and he was ready! The boat could be out and the decoys around, but he know nothing happened without a shotgun. At the noise he’s sit in the boat for an hour, waiting to go.
     
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  5. Bill_in_TR

    Bill_in_TR Member

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    I have a Brittany that is gun shy. She also is very unhappy in a thunderstorm or on fourth of July or on New Year's Eve. She was intended to be a hunting dog. I started her out early on gradually exposing her to the sound of a shot. She was doing fine for quite a while. I don't know what brought about the change or when but loud noises frighten her quite a bit now.

    But just the sight of my guns doesn't bother her, just the loud bang. And it doesn't have to be real loud. My air rifles will do it.

    But other than no hunting with her she has been my faithful companion for 13 1/2 years. I will be sad to see her go.
     
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  6. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    Hard to say. We have had dogs that were terrified of load noises and others that weren’t. One of out bassets would sleep under the shooting bench until we pulled out the really loud stuff. Dads one dog would run for the garage when you shot near the house. In the woods he was Johnny on the spot to see what you had shot.
     
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  7. Otto

    Otto Member

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    My dog would start whining and crying just at sight of nail clippers. Had to blind fold her to trim her nails.
     
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  8. Dirtybob

    Dirtybob Member

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    Had one (manchester terrier) that would take cover & bark if he saw a squirt gun. He wasn't afraid of the 'gun' but didn't like getting wet at all.
     
  9. robin banks

    robin banks member

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    I hope when you got married your wife wasnt blindfolded :D
     
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  10. rust collector

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    A friend had a rescue dog that would disappear when he saw a gun--even an airsoft gun. We figured there had been trauma in his prior life, but he would be found on or under the bed if the pistols, which were never used on the dog, were seen.
     
  11. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    A brother-in-law had a high powered bird dog that would run away with the first gunshot. He introduced her to gun fire by shooting a 12 guage shotgun right over her. Ever time she ran away he would give her a whipping after he finally managed to catch her. If I had been her I would have bit the crap out of him every time he got close .People like that have no business owning animals.
     
  12. desidog

    desidog Member

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    Did you get the dog as a pup?

    The dog in my avatar pic was a rescue; she would cower and tremble if anyone took out a broom, and avoided basements like the plague. I got her young, but someone left a lifelong lasting impression on her.
     
  13. Artg56

    Artg56 Member

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    I had a beagle pup who seemed to be training up just fine, had got him used to loud noises while eating or following scent lures, first time in the field that he heard a gunshot he went down a hole and couldn’t be coaxed out. He was one of four we had from the same pack, the others didn’t scare from the gun at all.

    My current springer spaniel never startled at loud noises and was exposed to noise quite a bit from daily work environment. Around a year or so ago he started getting spooked by thunder, fireworks or gunshots if he hears them from inside the house. When we are outside he doesn’t pay attention to those same sounds.

    I’ve had dogs all my life they’re as different in personality as people.
     
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  14. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

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    My labs come running when they hear me shooting out back and generally get excited if I have a long gun in my hands and go ape if I'm wearing camo. They relate guns and camo clothing to fun for them and road trip and retrieving for them. Even when I'm just target shooting my dog will sit behind me and watch me shoot all afternoon and go to the target with me and look around just in case I accidentally killed something he needs to retrieve.

    Most gun dog breeds are not gun shy but as precaution when they are little pups start out with a kids cap pistol and snap the cap pistol for them to come eat or get a treat and go up from there. Then as you start playing fetch with them snap a trainer pistol when you throw a toy or dummy. They start very early on as a gunshot being a good or fun thing for them.
     
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  15. Cowhide Cliff

    Cowhide Cliff Member

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    He just made it worse.
     
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  16. Atavar

    Atavar Member

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    What I have done with some success in the past.
    I had a Brittany who as a pup was extremely shy of loud noises. On the advice of an animal behavioralist I stated dropping muffin tins on the floor every time I fed him and before he started eating. Eventually he changed to being excited and happy at loud noises instead of anxious.
     
  17. wbm

    wbm Member

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    Years ago my uncle bought some sort of short haired pointer...went from NC to VA to get it. Named it Charlie. First time in the field, the dog performed great until the gun went off...Charlie fled the scene. My uncle kept yelling "CHARLIE" but he kept going. Uncle's hunting partner said "try Bob."
     
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  18. Reloadron

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Anyone ever have a dog afraid of guns?

    Only one. Lucky was a dog someone tossed from a car on the freeway on ramp. She would hang out in a tree lawn behind our property before everything was fenced in. When we would put our dogs out she would watch from a distance. My wife began leaving a food plate out for her and a Milk Bone biscuit. This went on for two weeks. She would garbage down the food, grab the biscuit and run. One day she left the food but no treat. The dog looked and my wife went out holding the biscuit out to her. She came and took the biscuit and promptly dropped it just giving my wife affection. Well OK when you have two adding one more is easy enough. She was one of the very best dogs we ever had very loyal and obedient and one of the few who never would leave the property and I could walk less a leash.

    One day I took a rifle out and the dog freaked. Shaking in fear. I am thinking how can this dog fear a long gun? My wife always checks our dogs for fleas and ticks even though we give them medication to prevent fleas and ticks. One day she felt something like a small pimple on Lucky. A few days later using her finger nail she felt something surface and got it. Here is was a damn BB. Someone had shat the dog with a BB gun and the BB finally came to the skin surface. The vet also told us at one time the dog had been choked. We had Lucky for about 7 to 8 years and she was one of the absolute best dogs we have ever had. After the BB told a story I could understand her fear of guns. I will never understand how anyone could have ever hurt that dog but could absolutely understand her fear of guns.

    Ron

     
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  19. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I had a rescued dog that would bolt at the sight of a rifle. I had no idea what sort of bad experience he had.
    I started taking him out when I shot in the forest. He would run when I shot even a .22 rifle so I left the door of my truck open so he could run inside it where he felt safe. He would watch me shoot from the safety of the truck. Eventually, he realized there was nothing to fear from the noise and was missing some of the fun by being inside the truck. He started venturing out while I was shooting. Soon, he was fine around gunfire.
     
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  20. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Someone has hurt that dog with a gun in her past. Not necessarily shot the dog, but possibly beat it with one (or something that, at least to her, resembles a gun.) It will take significant effort on your part, using lots of positive rewards, to overcome that reflex.
     
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  21. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Try associating the scary stimulus with something pleasant. Prop a rifle next to the dog’s food and water dish, or feed the dog next the gun box. Groom the dog where the guns are stored. Be careful to avoid reinforcing the fear response. If you pet and reassure the dog when it acts afraid, the dog thinks, “ I get attention when I act afraid.” Ignore the unwanted behavior and only praise the dog when it acts the way you want.
     
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  22. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I think my dog is a Progressive.
     
  23. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I had a dog that was gun shy. The sight of them didn't bother her. But shooting did. Learned she was gun shy the hard way. 1st time taking out plinking. She ran off for 2 days. I tried to break her in with shooting 22's after that. She never did get used to gun shots.
     
  24. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    My German shepherd is terrified of guns and all loud noises. I’ve always said that if someone broke into our house, she’d rip them into a million pieces…unless they had a gun. They’d never to shoot. Just show it to her and she’d find a corner to cower in.
     
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  25. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    My Wheaten Terrier from a pup has been afraid of loud noises. Fireworks, loud construction noises, garbage truck banging cans, etc. Thunder turns him into a curled up, shivering, panting mess.

    I've never tried to hunt him so my only concern is his feeling okay. Tried Thunder Shirt, minimal effect, if any.

    Rescue dogs may relate long guns to a stick, if its been beaten with one, perhaps that's where the fear of them comes from.
     
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