If a dog isn’t exposed to loud noises when still a puppy, it’s not uncommon for it to develop a fear of fireworks and loud bangs as it gets older. This is even more serious with gundogs who should be trained from a young age that the sight of a gun will bring pleasure and not fear of a loud bang.

When training a young gundog, it’s essential they learn that loud bangs are not scary and should be ignored. The best way to do this is to associate something pleasant with the explosions.

A reader wrote to Shooting Times looking for advice on curing their puppy’s firework fear. An expert advised the reader to adopt a careful desensitisation process to cure firework fear in adult gundogs. An example was given of a six-year-old labrador bitch that was terrified of explosions and cured by sound immersion. She was taken to a fireworks display and for an hour she was fed a nugget of food at each bang. Her fear vanished for good!

It’s also worth considering a visit to the vet to make sure there are no health reasons why the dog may shy away from explosions, such as an infection that could make loud noises painful.

More useful gundog training tips:
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