Introduction to Gunfire
We have been working with this young brittany puppy. He is about seven months old and is starting to hold his points better. Once you get a dog pointing you can introduce the gunfire. We use a blank pistol to simulate gunfire, you can work up to a 12 gauge shotgun as your dog progresses. You can see in the video above that we like to make sure the dog is intent on chasing the bird. Wait until he is a good distance away from the gun and intent on chasing the bird. Then you can fire once or twice. Watch carefully to see if your dog flinches or turns to the noise. You can see Turbo does not even blink. We use a carded pigeon so the bird flies and then eventually drops, simulating a dead bird. You want to have the gunfire before the bird hits so it will be a natural transition when you shoot a real bird for your dog.
After Turbo gets to the downed bird you can see he picks it up and naturally wants to bring it back to us. If you are quick you can head him off and gather him in for some praise. A long lead helps with this so you can grab it if he tries to shy away with his bird. Most young dogs will want to run away so you don’t take their bird. Try not to let this happen. Be sure to pet them and praise them good before you take the bird with your chosen command “Give”or “Release”. If you take the bird right away, they will not enjoy the retrieving as much. I know some trainers that don’t give praise until the bird is released to hand. I don’t get hung up on this with young dogs. They brought the bird back, praise them up big. Simple.