AR15.Com Archives
 Is gunfire bad for dogs?
9mmRandy  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 2:31:34 PM EST
I'm going to be looking for a dog before to long. Is their hearing a issue around gunfire? I've been thinking about that. When I was a kid we always had a dog or two and they never seemed to mind. I used to coon hunt with my BIL's father and of course we shot around those dogs.

I know you have to accumulate them to it so they don't cower but how about their ears?
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SilentType  [Member]
4/30/2012 2:35:35 PM EST
Military will have some of their K9's wear hearing protection when they're onboard helicopters.

I'm no vet, but I would assume they can suffer hearing loss like humans. Loud sustain fire at a high Db will probably cost them some of their hearing. In other words I wouldn't take a dog to the range and shoot off a hundred rounds while I wore hearing protection and he didn't.

The other thing you've got to be aware of is nerve issues. Loud noises can freak a dog out. Start when he is around 6 months or so when he can hold a down and see if he'll stay put with small firecrackers going off. Have to get the dog used to noises in a calm secure environment then you can step them up to handling full report from rifles and shotguns.

TylerF  [Member]
4/30/2012 2:36:56 PM EST
I've heard of bird hunters having their dogs having hearing problems later in life.
SevenMaryThree  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 2:39:11 PM EST
My last hunting dog had several thousand birds shot over her. She was mostly deaf towards the end.

I would not let a dog just hang out at the range or at a place where there repeated gunfire. As for hunting dogs...shotguns are loud when you're standing in front of them and someone is shooting it over your head. It's just the way things are.
CombatMP  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 2:51:15 PM EST
Yes, it's bad for their hearing. A dogs hearing is much more sensitive then our own, and even a few shots can damage our hearing.

They will do what you tell them and can't tell you that it hurts, but only show you the combined effect over time.

Even Steve has doggie eye-pro and ear-pro.
Genin  [Member]
4/30/2012 2:53:40 PM EST
Any animal like dogs, humans, cats, bears, elk, or similar stuff will suffer hearing loss when exposed to loud noises...that is just the way ears work. You can desensitize the animal's normal "startle" response to the noise, but the damage will happen anyhow.

I guess whether you protect your dog from damage just depends on how much you care about your dog's long term health.
Sslous  [Member]
4/30/2012 2:56:20 PM EST
Well duh
NAEP3  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 3:05:09 PM EST
This picture makes me laugh. Very useful for SAR dogs that frequently fly on helos.

SilentType  [Member]
4/30/2012 3:07:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAEP3:
This picture makes me laugh. Very useful for SAR dogs that frequently fly on helos.

http://www.petexpertise.com/images/detailed_images/muttmuffs.jpg


My GSD would hate those though since his ears are pointed.

They do need better hearing pro for dogs. Tactical gear has definitely made leaps forward, but hearing protection is just now starting to come out.
AZBADBOY  [Member]
4/30/2012 3:07:34 PM EST
I wouldn't recommend exposing you dog to loud noises. That's the second best tool your dog has, why ruin it for both of you.
9mmRandy  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 3:11:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By NAEP3:
This picture makes me laugh. Very useful for SAR dogs that frequently fly on helos.

http://www.petexpertise.com/images/detailed_images/muttmuffs.jpg


That's great. I have this mental image of the HSLD guy's parachuting with the dog all geared out

I'd love to show up at my club with a doggy like that

Boom_Stick  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 3:12:49 PM EST
You spelled dogs wrong, it's "dags."
SweetKnuckles  [Member]
4/30/2012 3:13:12 PM EST
Look at that GSP above, just looking all badass!

Good thread, my GSP loves gunfire, but I may look into getting him some hearing pro after reading this.


Regarding acclimating your dog to gunfire, I did it a little differently than poster above who recommended firecrackers @ 6 months.


Got a tip from the breeder, and started mine @ 8 weeks as soon as I got him.

Get a cheap cap gun from WM, and when you play fetch, fire the cap gun a bunch of times.
IIRC, at first, I fired while he was far away actually fetching the ball, but within a couple of days, fired first...made him wait...then commanded fetch.

He was so used to that by the time he was 12 weeks old, that the next step, a .22 rifle didn't phase him...he saw me pull out the rifle and was bouncing-off-the-walls excited.

Also recommended to fire a cap gun when you feed, but I never did that...I did always give him praise around any loud noises, like dropping a pot in the kitchen or working in the garage.

Seeing a dog my brother owned who was DEATHLY afraid of gunfire and fireworks, I am sold on the method I used...likely some genetics in there too, but if done wrong, any dog can be gun shy.
Harvster  [Life Member]
4/30/2012 3:15:53 PM EST
toothandnail  [Member]
4/30/2012 3:20:15 PM EST
My dog has SELECTIVE hearing , kinda like my wife

He will lay down and SLEEP right in front of me while shooting if I let him.
Warrior102  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 3:25:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By Boom_Stick:
You spelled dogs wrong, it's "dags."


You would think the ARFCOM spell checker would have flagged that?
AF_K9  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 4:38:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By SilentType:
Military will have some of their K9's wear hearing protection when they're onboard helicopters... if there is I haven't seen them available yet in the six years I've been a handler



Cartha  [Member]
4/30/2012 4:47:08 PM EST
I never wore hearing protection while hunting and neither did my dog. In the end I swear he pretended to be deaf so he didn't have to go to the kennel but if we dropped a piece of food three rooms away he would come running.
Aiden  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 4:56:42 PM EST


Rifle fire hurt his ears, so I ordered earpro for him. He doesn't mind it at all now, good purchase...but cost more than my earpro.
9mmRandy  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 4:59:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By Aiden:
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff260/Aiden80013/Steve/IMG_1014.jpg

Rifle fire hurt his ears, so I ordered earpro for him. He doesn't mind it at all now, good purchase...but cost more than my earpro.


I've seen some cool shit but that might be the coolest thing I've ever seen. That's what I want! Awesome
Aiden  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:00:51 PM EST
Originally Posted By 9mmRandy:
Originally Posted By Aiden:
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff260/Aiden80013/Steve/IMG_1014.jpg

Rifle fire hurt his ears, so I ordered earpro for him. He doesn't mind it at all now, good purchase...but cost more than my earpro.


I've seen some cool shit but that might be the coolest thing I've ever seen. That's what I want! Awesome


That's Steve, as CombatMP mentioned earlier.
SevenMaryThree  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:14:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By AZBADBOY:
I wouldn't recommend exposing you dog to loud noises. That's the second best tool your dog has, why ruin it for both of you.

How do you propose people train dogs and hunt them for quail, dove, grouse, pheasant, woodcock, duck, geese, lion, bear, hog, etc?

southlak9cop  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:25:34 PM EST
Our K9's are exposed to gunfire to measure their response. Not hundreds of rounds, but exposure. Enough so that you know your dog's response to a handgun going off in their presence.
LightningII  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:42:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By TylerF:
I've heard of bird hunters having their dogs having hearing problems later in life.


I know personally ( and have heard of more ) of hunting dogs ruined by careless gunfire. Their hearing isn't necessarily damaged, but they get spooked. Once this happens, you can do some things to get them readjusted, but it obviously isn't a sure thing.
A buddy had an excellent springer spaniel ruined by one shot from one dumbass, who fired the gun about 3 feet behind the dog's head. Always making sure the dog sees you when the shooting starts is probably a good rule of thumb.
My pointer never cared about gunfire, or fireworks, but I was always mindful of that first shot. she's 14 now, and she hears just fine.
LightningII  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:44:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By Aiden:
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff260/Aiden80013/Steve/IMG_1014.jpg

Rifle fire hurt his ears, so I ordered earpro for him. He doesn't mind it at all now, good purchase...but cost more than my earpro.


now that's a guard dog!
Bladeswitcher  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:50:25 PM EST
We adopted an old dog a few months ago. I was shooting airguns in the basement the other day and the dog freaked out and ran out of the house. I'm pretty sure I had shot with the dog in the house before but this time she was having none of it. It wasn't a particularly loud gun (a spring powered rifle, and not a particularly powerful one). It was a gun I just got, so maybe it had a different sound to it. I'm figuring there's some sort of high pitched sound that we can't hear but the dog flat out didn't like.

Not sure how this relates to the OP's question, but it's what I got . . . .
Schlange  [Team Member]
4/30/2012 5:56:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Aiden:
Originally Posted By 9mmRandy:
Originally Posted By Aiden:
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff260/Aiden80013/Steve/IMG_1014.jpg

Rifle fire hurt his ears, so I ordered earpro for him. He doesn't mind it at all now, good purchase...but cost more than my earpro.


I've seen some cool shit but that might be the coolest thing I've ever seen. That's what I want! Awesome


That's Steve, as CombatMP mentioned earlier.
Steve is badass.

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