How To Train A Gun Shy Hunting Dog: Training A Labrador Retriever For Duck Hunting

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How to train a gun shy hunting dog is difficult because a gun shy dog can have a well of emotions that a trainer has to overcome in working a gun shy dog away from the problem. In the end, however, we all know that the main reason driving this issue is that a gun shy duck dog is every waterfowl hunter’s nightmare. A hunting retriever is one of your greatest tools as a duck hunter, but we all know that a duck dog must first overcome being gun shy. Even still, many duck dogs can become gun shy over time. We’ve all seen it happen.

This video features Clark Kennington, owner of Kennington Retrievers, who is a nationally known duck dog trainer and waterfowl guide. Clark has trained hundreds of duck dogs, and many have received national acclaim with HRC hunt tests.

How To Train A Gun Shy Hunting Dog: Training A Labrador Retriever For Duck Hunting is part of Mossberg’s Rugged American Hunter series produced by Jason Cruise.

You’ll see in this training video that it is not just that you teach your duck dog how to overcome being guy shy, but it is in how to train your hunting retriever to actually love the sound of a gun that makes all the difference in overcoming the concept of being a gun shy duck dog.

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  1. Adam Labonte

    why is it that humans need hearing protection but not dogs. I thought dogs have way better hearing than us?

  2. Ava11113 AJ

    my dad wants me to train my dog for goose hunting and he has been really hard to work with sometimes bites

  3. chfar072281

    You are reinventing the wheel my friend. The best way to introduce any dog to gunfire is without a doubt, “George Hickox’s” method. You should look into his method.

  4. SpaceNigga From space

    How old do you recommend introducing gunfire to retrieval?

  5. Perthshire Gundog Rescue SCIO

    Why the electic collar?

  6. Carl Snider

    I got my 3rd black lab when she was almost 1 year old.  I began training her to sit, heal,. force fetch etc.  Several months later when I got ready to introduce gunfire I discovered that she was very sensitive,  I used a black powder cap.  I played with her at the end of the yard while it was being shot.  I immediately discovered that gunfire really bothered her.  I backed off about 200 yds and tried it again and it still scared her.  In fear of never getting her accustomed to gunfire I began about a year and a half long process, since I still had the old dog who could still do the work hunting.  I started by clacking two small 2×4’s together and treating her.  Then I  introduced retrieving with it using the old dog to begin with.  I progressed to toy caps and then to primers in an unloaded shell, and finally to actual shells.  One key point is that I used the old dog for demonstration.  This really motivated the pup.  At this point she is totally accustomed to gunfire but it still afraid of fireworks so she has transitioned to being my retrieving dog.

  7. M Gilpin

    female labrador retrievers are the best hunters. .it came natural for me when she was at 7 months old especially when she heard my gunshot the very first time, all got excited when my black lab saw my dead bird” Canada Goose” . . even knows my shotgun as well

    • Nazario Lettiere

      @M Gilpin
      I’m researching reducing shyness naturally and found a fantastic resource at Sebs shy remedy (google it if you are interested)

  8. vishal vish

    This training vid is great! Additionally after going through the videos found at Daryl Arktrom’s website and understanding my dog’s behavior patterns I’m getting better at this every day!

  9. Isaac Bear

    Great video. My hound boxer mix is a bit skittish around loud noises, but she’s an awesome retriever. Even though it should be obvious, I didn’t think to be further away from the gun shot so its not as loud.

    • niniiiii1

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  10. Dan Smith

    Successful approximation at its finest

  11. 332FILMS

    Can this work with a dog that has been abused because my dog could be an excellent hunting dog but she is really scared of guns. She is a border collie mix with beagle.

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