Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't Let Your Dog Become Gun Shy Over Fireworks

 Happy Fourth Of July!  Hopefully you have fully conditioned your hunting dog to LOVE the sound of loud gun fire.  You have gotten your dog really excited about retrieving and introduced your dog to soft gun fire from a distance out of a starter pistol--the sound perhaps muted by the white noise of a nearby freeway.  You have slowly worked your dog up to closer and louder gunfire and now you have a maniac that eagerly looks for birds anytime she hears the sound.

If you have not done this--whoa!  Get ready to take precautions over the Fourth of July!  Close the windows and get plenty of noisy things going--such as television, radio, air conditioner, etc.  Whatever you do, do not baby the dog and try to reassure her that "it's OK," when she startles over the explosions.  If you are tempted to do that, better to put her in a kennel, as far away from outside noise as possible, masked by white noise.  And leave her alone. 

Telling her "It's Ok," when she is frightened can communicate to her that you are anxious or concerned about it.  And that will make everything worse.

A gun shy dog is a very common problem, and one that can be easily avoided with a little advance planning and plenty of common sense. 

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