How bad did fireworks hurt my dog?

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by duckhunter443, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. BobGlover

    BobGlover Senior Refuge Member

    Feb 6, 2003
    My old lab loved dove hunting with shotgun noise all around her, but was terrified of thunder. When I knew fireworks would be shot, I'd keep her as far away from them as possible.
    pintail2222 likes this.
  2. pintail2222

    pintail2222 Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 8, 2002
    Collier Co. Florida
    If she hasn't been exposed yet - I'd shy on the side of caution and keep her away from it. You want the experience to be fun, positive and you want to be able to control it.

    My BLM doesn't have issues w/ fireworks or shotguns - but thunder still sends him to his crate or under a near by bed.

    He has no issues in a pit w/ shotguns dropping birds - or in his mut hut with shotguns - or bottle rockets being shot up in to the sky or firecrackers going off. But even thunder in the distance bugs the crap out of him.

    The Mrs got a thunder jacket for him to wear. It wraps up tight around the torso to give them calming comfort...

    Worthless - all it did was heat him up while he hid under the bed.
    ElkNuts likes this.
  3. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    I'm no expert but I have always got my dogs exposed and acclimated to loud noises from day one. If there was a thunder storm, regardless of time, we would go outside and play unless it was too intense, then we played inside. Took them to gun ranges at an early age and played with bird wings. Started at a distance that they would notice the sound but not have much reaction and gradually moved closer but always had their attention on me and the bird wing.

    Now when my dogs here thunder or fireworks, they either ignore it completely or just think there is shooting going on outside.

    I will say no matter what, do not think you'll cure your dog by taking them to see fireworks. It might work with some dogs but it won't for a vast majority.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  4. gnpnast

    gnpnast Senior Refuge Member

    Sep 15, 2002
    I have always played it safe with my dogs. Fireworks are shot off across the hill from my house. I always put my dogs in my Suburban in my garage.
  5. Rangerbob

    Rangerbob Senior Refuge Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    I have followed this post from the start and my 1st thought was why hasn't a 9mo. dog not been introduced to gun fire? I started my new pup to the sound of a cap pistol at the age of 8wks when chasing a tennis ball down the hallway then progressed to a blank pistol at 3mo. in the field retrieving frozen birds. He is now 10mo. and now the sound of gunfire just means he is going to get to retrieve something. All of this was done on a gradual basis, starting from a distance then progressively getting closer. But he now is pumped up to retrieve at the sound of a gun.
    I can't help but believe that a big part of this problem could have been avoided. But hindsight is 20/20.
  6. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    Klondike, Louisiana
    Wish I could say "always," but the above has been my course with the last several pups - every one since I had one that was traditionally trained to associate gunfire with birds and hunted for a season get freaked by fireworks and become shy of they, storms and guns. Took months of patient work to get him over the later, and he remained deathly afraid of thunder and fireworks for life. No such problems with the 10(?) since that were acclimated to loud noises much as Banded1 suggests. (No wings for mine, but fun things with the noises at initially great distance and gradually closer.)
    deand1 likes this.
  7. duckhunter443

    duckhunter443 Refuge Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    West Virginia
    Good question I bought the dog at 6 months of age. No gunfire work was done but made loud noises around her. I could bang pots together all she would do is look at me didn't bother her. The dog has a high Drive on birds so I hope she pulls out of this.
  8. Larsen's Labs

    Larsen's Labs Elite Refuge Member

    May 2, 2004
    South Dakota
    I believe I would proceed with your intro to gunfire as if nothing happened. My son's GSP goes pretty much berserk when there are fireworks around but has little problem with gunfire as long as it is not directly over her head. I would start with a cap pistol while feeding the dog either its regular rations or a treat. The important point is to have the dog associate gunfire type noise with something good. Increase the level of noise slowly, always associating it with something enjoyable. I doubt if you will have a problem, but if you do, contact me and I will give you details on how I "cured" a couple of dogs of noise sensitivity. LL
    Hogleg likes this.

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