I have a very beautiful chocolate lab named Rocky and she is almost two. I wanted to train her to hunt but I never got around to it. And there's a little snag. She is afraid of large noises. Is there any way to still train her around guns to hunt or do I just need to start the training over with a new hunting dog.
We always started them as soon as they were weened from their mother. Put their food bowls down and fire a .22 off. Then when they got use to that we would use a shot gun. May sound crazy but it works. Take her out and start with a .22 and see how she acts as she may come around after a couple of trips. If nothing works an old Lab is about as good a dog as you can get to be with the family.
super64: Sir; "Baldy's" early on experiences with shooting and different sounding devices works.
Older dogs sometimes will take issue and a problem begins.
What has worked: find some old pots and pans [metal, tin, noisy] tie them
together; Yard work obviously, Have said 'puppy out and about with you; have said 'puppy' smell and play around the device; have said 'puppy' see you swinging the device about. Drop it; call 'puppy' to you and let it explore the noise; kick it with your foot while 'puppy' is watching; pick it up and explore device while puppy is with you. Drop device; tie a rope to device and 'you' drag it around while you and 'puppy' are doing nothing. Let 'pup' have all the time to explore the device; Leave it available at all times close to where pup will be. Occasional kicking or bumping into while pup is watching. After about a week of 'daily' training; [15min each session 3 or 4 times daily] start throwing device at very very short distance; watch 'pup' tell him its okay. Do the other exercises as well; after second week examine your progress. If 'pup' seems to be getting along with YOU and the device; advance with throwing the device higher into the air for racket when it hits. Continue with this practice for a month or more.
The Premise: Let the "puppy" recognize that you and your "joy" are one in the same;[it's called by association] Set a time frame 6-8 weeks; should 'pup' still have the 'skits'
give 'pup' time; just maybe you'll end up with a hunting buddy. Don't shoot around the pup during any of this. Pup need to know; you and pup are the "Happy" noises. Labs historically are 'puppies' there entire life with love and respond well with consistent gentleness; and a whole bunch of LOVIN
Good Luck; follow up with your experiences