One of the first jobs you have when training a hunting dog is to make sure he or she is not gun shy. Hunting dogs are smart creatures. But they are also sensitive - their hearing is a lot more acute than ours. Dogs can hear sounds that are higher and softer than we ever can. Your dog can hear various frequencies at more than twice the range that you can. They can also distinguish sounds with exceptional accuracy, at literally four times the rate of humans. Their sense of hearing is nearly as good as their sense of smell.
Your dog has more than eighteen muscles in their ears. They can tilt them, rotate them, and raise or lower them. Their ears are a lot like antennae or radar when it comes to honing in on sounds. This range of movement, along with his more sensitive range allows him to focus in and determine exactly where a sound is coming from. Loud sounds will bother your dog a lot more than they bother you.
Because of these sensitivities, you need to get your dog, preferably while he or she is still a puppy, used to the sights and sounds of guns. And if you do not, it is very hard to cure gun shyness (although not impossible). Still, it's preferable to treat your dog right and get him or her on the right path from the very start. Your dog is your hunting partner, so introducing him or her correctly will go a long way to making it a more enjoyable experience for your canine buddy, and for you.
Blank pistols and blank ammunition are a great way to safely teach your dog that the loud noise is a part of working with you. Dogs want very much to please us. In return for their loyalty, it pays to condition and gradually introduce them to the sounds and sights of hunting. Have patience and don't just spring it on them! This is a process, and it entails blank pistols and blank ammo.
Blank pistols, also called starter pistols, are ideal for your dog training needs. These come in .22 and .32 caliber, or in shotgun primer.
An advantage to the .22 is that it is better if you are just getting started with gun dog training. A .22 can come with single or double action. A .22 pistol with double action means you will not need to cock the pistol every time you fire. Combined with .22 blanks, you can make fairly low to midrange volume sounds. This is a better choice when your dog or puppy is just getting started. We have found that a gradual introduction to the sights and sounds of hunting works best. The LCS Champ Blank Pistol is a workhorse and comes in both .22 and .32 caliber models.
A .32 is generally a better choice for a professional trainer.
A shotgun primer makes a much louder sound when shot than a .22 caliber starter pistol. Therefore, you would not want to use it for beginning gun dog training. However, one advantage to shotgun primer is that it is easier to find the ammunition for it in any sporting goods store or reloading shop.
Blank ammunition comes in .22 caliber, .32 caliber, and shotgun popper rounds. In addition, you have the option of using 209 primer in our 209 primer pistol or shotgun primer inserts, which are available in all shotgun gauges. For every blank gun, there is the right blank ammunition.
When it comes to a .22, you have some choices and they will vary when it comes to sound lever. For example, .22 crimp blanks are better for a young dog or pup you are first introducing to gunfire. A louder type of .22 blank ammunition is CCI .22 blank ammo, which gives forth a midrange volume report. This makes them ideal for training when live birds are being reused. We recommend this type of blank ammunition for a mature started dog already conditioned to gunfire.
For a .32, the blanks have a louder report and can even release a clearly visible puff of smoke when using black powder rounds. These kinds of .32 blanks are ideal for any dog-training situation where birds are to be reused. Make sure to wear ear protection.
Our exclusive LCS Shotgun Primer Inserts are a great way to turn any shotgun into a training blank gun. Our inserts are precision machined to perfect fit the respective gauge of the shotgun and except any standard 209-shotgun primer. The brass inserts also come engraved with the respective gauge and with LCSUPPLY so there is no questioning what gauge you are using (410 do not have the engraving due to limited rim size).
With all blank rounds, it is important to remember even though they are not firing a projectile, they are still a live round and can cause harm if used inappropriately. Blank rounds still expel burning powder, hot gases, and cardboard disc or other material used to retain the powder in the round. When using blank rounds, use normal gun safety etiquette, making sure to always point the gun away from people and dogs when firing.
Your gun dog deserves proper, patient training. With a wide variety of blank pistols and blank ammunition, you can gradually and correctly train your dog that the sights and sounds of hunting are nothing to be afraid of.
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