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Thread: ACWR access near Rabbit Creek Range

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    Default ACWR access near Rabbit Creek Range

    Wanting to take the new pup out on the marsh somewhat close to the range to get him used to the gun shots. Where’s the best way to access it? I see people park down the highway from the range to cross the tracks...is that the best place? I know you’re not supposed to cross the tracks though

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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Correct, "they" don't like you to cross the tracks. There used to be a good parking spot just down the highway from the shooting park, and several years ago, they guard-railed it off for that exact reason. "They" (and I as well) also don't recommend being out on the flats while active shooting is on the range. Even if you are to the sides of it, if you're out on the flats, you are ahead of the firing line, which is not a place I would like to be. There is a trail that heads into the woods along the toe of the bluff to the west of the shooting park, and you could hop out onto the flats from there once you're well away from the shooting area. It's where they set up foam targets for the qualifying shoot for the archery course, past the trap stations. I don't think they would have a problem with you parking down that way and walking your dog into the woods (you probably should ask though). Not sure how far the trail goes, but if your goal is to introduce the dog to shooting, you probably don't want to go too far anyway. Hope that helps -Gr
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    I'm not sure how old your pup is but that is not the way I would want him to get used to gun shots.

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    Go to birchwood on the shot gun side and keep the dog in the truck for a little while so the shots arent as loud. Then after a while you could take the dog for a walk on the road right by the range and then slowly work your way closer to the bull rail. They have a pretty big grassy area by the club house that you could throw a tennis ball for the dog while there is some shooting going on. Just introduce them to it slowly.
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    I'm with AKMarmot on this one. Taking the pup to the gun range is a terrible way to introduce a dog to gun fire--and yes, I know there are lots of guys that will chime in with "nonsense, I've introduced all my 86 dogs to gunfire at the range"
    Some pups handle it ok, but there's no need to risk it. You parents didn't just chuck you into the Kenai river without a life preserver when you were 4 to teach you how to swim. Why would you take a pup somewhere that way more rounds are going off than it will ever deal with out hunting as a way to introduce gunfire?

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    Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear. I have done a bit of noise conditioning with him. My thought was not to take him to the gun range but in the marsh kind of close by where he can hear the gunfire but far enough away it’s not loud enough to spook him. Basically just close enough that’s it’s background noise

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    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycake View Post
    I'm with AKMarmot on this one. Taking the pup to the gun range is a terrible way to introduce a dog to gun fire--and yes, I know there are lots of guys that will chime in with "nonsense, I've introduced all my 86 dogs to gunfire at the range"
    Some pups handle it ok, but there's no need to risk it. You parents didn't just chuck you into the Kenai river without a life preserver when you were 4 to teach you how to swim. Why would you take a pup somewhere that way more rounds are going off than it will ever deal with out hunting as a way to introduce gunfire?
    Just curious. What is the right way to do it?

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    The way I was taught to do it was to have somebody standing about 100-150 yards behind you as your gunner. Meanwhile you stand there with the pup at heel. Throw a bumper and release the pup, have your shooter fire as the bumper hits it's apex in the air. The pup will be running out to get the bumper at this point and shouldn't really focus too much on the gun fire. Obviously have your gunner shooting blanks for safety purpose. If the pup doesn't react to the gun have the gunner move in closer. Then as the pup gets more and more used to the gun he should be starting to associate the sound of the gun with fun. Eventually your gunner should be standing right beside you as you throw the bumper.

    If the dog reacts to the gun, have the gunner back up, and try again.

    Not saying this is necessarily the correct way to do it, just one that I've been taught to do by several dog trainers.
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    Growing up we took our pups hunting, shooting, (lived in a very rural area), and to the range. Never had a gun shy dog.

    Now I find out we were doing it all wrong.
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    I've got a gun shy dog from taking him to the range. Learned my lesson on that one. I've had him for 13 years now, and just never could get him comfortable with guns. He has everything you'd look for in a duck dog, except he just doesn't like loud noises. I still love him to death, but he's pretty much just a fishing dog.
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    A very wise dog trainer once told me that some dogs will be gun shy no matter how they are brought up or trained.
    Same with horses. I have hunted with horses that you could shoot sitting on the saddle to one that if she even saw a gun would turn into bucking bronco.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Not saying this is necessarily the correct way to do it, just one that I've been taught to do by several dog trainers.
    Of course there are gonna be trainers that say one thing is the right way to do it and other trainers that will disagree. Personally I wouldn't do it quite the way you were taught only because my dog was taught to stay on shot and mark where it falls, not to run when while the bumper is in the air. Not too different though really. We simply had the dog stay, the gunner would shoot when the bumper was in the air, THEN send the dog. But that was just another element of training and not the way the dog was introduced to gun shot noise.

    I did it the way Richard Walters taught. He got his pups used to the noise at a VERY young age by firing off cap guns nearby when it came feeding time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    "They" (and I as well) also don't recommend being out on the flats while active shooting is on the range.
    A little off topic, but the last time (about 4-5 years ago) that I was at Rabbit Creek shooting, some kite surfers went back behind the range and they called the range to cease fire. The big guy that used to run the range, called all shooters up to him and started *****ing at us like it was our fault these idiots went kite surfing in an active shooting area. I went back to the bench, gathered my stuff and have never been back to Rabbit Creek to shoot. I'm all for safety and understood why they called the range which I have no problem with. The issue I had was him griping at everyone shooting like we were the ones to blame. My understanding is that particular individual is no longer there, but that left a sour taste in my mouth.

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    I've seen & even helped a pro trainer in the lower 48 who has made videos & offers boarding to try & fix this in ruined dogs. Very long process & like duckslayer said the basic method is to have someone with a blank gun, then eventually progress up to low power 20ga up to 100 yds away while they work with the dog & get them all excited by throwing live pigeons around them. When the dog is focused & excited with the birds they signal the shooter to fire off a shot... eventually closing the distance as the dog allows. A basic start for a lot of people is just banging on pans & other loud noise when the pup eats & progressing to a cap gun then moving outside to a scenario that has been described. Sure lots of dogs don't need to move this slow but when you get the one & it goes wrong you will wish you didn't just take him out & shoot over his head. 4merguide even when using pigeons or domestic birds to get a young pup excited it is easy to still train steadiness to wing, shot, & fall.

    Back to the op's question maybe try one of the parks in ocean view, they should still be close enough to hear gun shots while you play with you pup. The reason I say this is you never know when you will be driving through the parking lot & somebody lets loose with a 50cal or braked magnum & you & your dog both jump.

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