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Those of you who hunt with dogs either upland birds or waterfowl, do you do anything to protect their hearing from the report of

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  • Those of you who hunt with dogs either upland birds or waterfowl, do you do anything to protect their hearing from the report of

    Those of you who hunt with dogs either upland birds or waterfowl, do you do anything to protect their hearing from the report of the shotgun. I have shot when my dog was with me and was wondering if it contributed to her deafness?

  • #2
    My dogs range in front of me and there is usually some distance if there is a wild flush. When my dogs are on point, I always approach from the side and shot gun muzzle is in front and up away from dogs. I would pass on a shot if my dog was in muzzle blast area. In waterfowl, my dog is in a blind on the side and behind muzzle blast. I think that ear infections, heredity, and old age are the greatest contributers to deafness. So keep your dogs ears clean.

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    • #3
      PAShooter has covered all the bases very well. When upland hunting the dogs are at ground level and I am usually shooting at something well up in the air, especially if the bird is pushed up by my flushing labs. Not much chance of muzzle blast affecting them. Really, I don't see how it would be possible to hunt uplands with ear protection on a dog. When field hunting for geese my dogs are always hiding in the hedgerow behind me. They know that's where they "are supposed to be." I think if a person field hunted from layout blinds, ear damage could certainly be an issue.

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      • #4
        As others have said, try to refrain from shooting right over the top of your dog. Even with a pointing dog you can aproach the bird so that an over the head shot can be avoided. Age will effect dogs much like it does humans. My sister has adog that is getting up there in years. The dog has never been subjected to loud noises yet she is stone deaf.

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        • #5
          Don't know how you would do hearing protection. I've never had problems with it though. Dogs are usually quite a ways out front for pheasants and quail. They are trained to stay down in the duck/goose blind until given the go-ahead to retrieve. They are trained to sneak behind us when stalking birds. Mainly, the shooter needs to be sensitive to what is in front of the muzzle whether it is a dog or a person. I suspect muzzle blast does affect the dog's hearing to a certain extent; but probably not as bad as it has hurt mine.

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          • #6
            my britt is on the verge of beign ten years old, been hunting since 6 months. has been around probably several hundred, if not a thousand shells being fired. she hears as well as she always has far as i can tell.

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            • #7
              I did not know what i was doing when i first hunted pheasants. I took the family poodle one time, i must have been about 14. She found a pheasant right off the bat. I shot the bird. Not good. Problem was she was about 3" behind my heel the rest of the day. I did not know how to expose the dog to the gun sound. It did not hurt her ears because for 20 to 30 minutes before a thunder storm arrived she would hide behind the couch.

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