Introducing Your Dog To Gunfire

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Introducing Your Dog To Gunfire



0:31 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dog.

Brought to you by George Hickox Bird Dogs. 

0:45 Hi, I'm George Hickox. We're in North Dakota, out in the prairies at our summer training ground. Today we're going to talk about introducing a puppy to the gun.

We have a benchmark for that. I want to see the pup has pointed, is hunting and aggressively chasing. If he's not aggressively chasing birds, it's premature to introduce him to the gun.

1:04 So in order to do this, I'm going to plant a bird. I will take a lock wing pigeon, lock the wings, I'm going to sweep plenty of scent around to help the puppy smell it and I'm going to hide the bird so the pup can't see it. I like to have a piece of orange survey tape so when I'm bringing the dog in, I know exactly where the bird's going to be.

1:21 I would bring the dog in perpendicular to the scent cone, wind's blowing from me to you. I'm going to bring him in this way so I can get a hard point and see exactly when he smelled it. When he smells it and points, I'm going to move quickly to get in front. When I'm in front, I'm going to throw a clipped wing pigeon. You can take a clipped wing pigeon, tie a couple of rubber bands around the long flight feathers with Velcro. The pigeon can't fly very far.

When I move in front, I'm going to throw this bird. The pup's going to chase it. Just as the bird hits the ground, I'm going to fire a .22 crimp. Now that's the gun we start with. It's a low, flat sound. We start with a .22 crimp. Just as the pup gets to the bird, I'm going to fire it. The dog is all over that bird like a dirty shirt and hopefully he never hears the gun.

2:07 If he does hear the gun, you go back to more birds. If he acknowledges it, you're at all paranoid, that you think they're might be a problem with that, don't keep doing more gun work. Go back to more birds. So we've got our planted birds here. I'm going to go grab this pup, introduce him to the gun and see how it goes.

2:27-2:36 (sound of dog and moving through the grass)

2:37-2:38 (sound of bird and dog chasing through grass)

2:39 (.22 gun shot)

2:43 So it's important to remember that the benchmark for when you introduce your dog to the gun, is the dog must be birdy and aggressively chasing. That's the right time to introduce the dog to the gun. And remember, it's not a retrieving drill. If the dog gets the bird and runs away with it, that's okay. You're not working on retrieving. You're only working on introducing the dog to the gun.

Once you've gotten by the .22 crimp, then go to a CC 209, a 410 shot gun, a .28 and save that .12 gauge for much later down the road.

3:18 [Closing]

3:40 Announcer: helping you get the most from your hunting dog.

Brought to you by George Hickox Bird Dogs.

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