Introduction to shot
Holly was introduced to the shot today , 25/04/09. We "killed two birds with one stone" and had a friends Labrador pup there as well. It is a simple procedure and all went well. Holly paid little attention to the shot and the Lab pup paid none what so ever !
For those that have never done this here is my way of doing things. We parked our vehicle in a suitable field, then I walked away from the vehicle and had someone who the dog is very familiar with stay at the vehicle with the gun (shotgun) , a blank firing pistol can be used but they tend to give a "crack" rather than a "bang", and I personally prefer the "real thing" to a blank. I ALWAYS have the wind blowing from me, to the gun, I NEVER have the wind blowing from the gun to me, the bang will be so much louder. When I am about 200yds or so away from the gun I distract the dog with a tiny piece of food or a piece of hide etc, and have the gun fired at that moment. Usually the dog will look up and instantly continue playing, if this is the case I move towards the gun another 30 yd or so and repeat the procedure. If all goes well I continue moving forward and have the gun fired, I eventually reach the gun and have a shot fired when I am standing next to him. If at any point the dog appears nervous, ears down, tail tucked in etc, stop immediately and try another day. I find it very useful to have the dogs mind occupied when the shot is fired. A favorite "toy" or food will help, playing with another dog usually ideal.
Once the pup has been introduced in this way I will repeat the exercise within a few days to make certain she is comfortable with the sound. Then, repeat the whole thing with a rifle, this of course is much louder but by then the pup will probably not mind in the least. And once the pup associaites the "bang" with a deer to find, then the problem of "running in" may arise !