How to Acclimate a Dog to Guns

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A gunshot for the first time for a puppy can be an unfamiliar and unnatural sound. It is also one that is frightening and disheartening, at first.

While dogs are not genetically afraid or shy of gunshots it can cause fear and issues if it occurs as a bit of a surprise.

Therefore, you should try your best to gently introduce your puppy to guns and remember to  not rush the training. For instance, to start training, use shooting ear protection for your precious pup.

If you acclimate your dog to the guns with proper conditioning, he will be the one who will beg you to head to a field at the mere sight of a gun. 

The Right Time To Acclimate The Dog With Gunshots

The main key to successfully acclimating your dog to guns is to understand that new skills take time to fully develop. You have to understand that new skills will not blossom in one or two weeks. 

You need to let your dog acclimate to guns naturally, don’t make it feel like a marathon session.

Take baby steps during the training process and make sure that your dog is getting more comfortable with every session. 


Generally speaking, most gundog trainers wait until the dog is eight or nine months old. Remember that at this age the dog’s hearing will develop properly. 

But if you still feel confused or worried, consider a professional gundog trainer for advice. Nothing is better than being extra careful. 

Assess The Confidence of Your Dog

Be careful and assess your dog’s progress and maturity before introducing him to guns. Before acclimating him to the guns, make sure he is well-socialized and have gone through foundation training with positive feedback. 

In short, your dog is now confident enough to face a gun. 

Tips For Introducing Puppies to a Gunshot

  • For the first week, don’t fire the gun near or close to your dog. It might frighten him due to the sudden noise. Slowly and carefully introduce him to the guns. 
  • If you think your dog is not comfortable around the sound of gunfire, back off right away. 
  • For the first few days, use shooting ear protection for your dog and let him get accustomed to gun sight at first. Carry an uncocked air rifle over your arms so that he won’t get frightened when he sees you taking it out and shooting it.

Train Slowly and Carefully 

  • For the first few weeks, introduce dead birds for training and play. As mentioned above, train your dog gently and carefully. During the early stages of gun conditioning, provide a positive environment to your dog, and motivate him.
  • After a week or two with dead bird training, assess the progress of your dog, and see if he has enough confidence for the next step. If you think he is ready, introduce him to wing-clipped birds. 
  • When he gets comfortable with wing-clipped, introduce gun fire. Repeat gunshots and let him slowly acclimate to it. Keep training until you think he has completely acclimated to guns. 

There you have it, it is not easy but it can surely be done.