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Discussion Starter #1
My trainer has mentioned that I need to get some ear defenders because she now has moved very close to us when she shoots the starter pistol or dummy launcher. With Christmas just around the corner I thought I would ask my husband for a pair. I haven't priced them yet but considering training is only a hobby I don't need the most expensive but I don't want him to buy rubbish that I will end up replacing and end up paying twice.

Does anyone have any brand recommendations please.

Also is there anything to protect a dogs hearing? I'm slightly embarrassed asking as I can't imagine there being but I would like to buy something for Roxy if there is a product. Thank you in advance for any recommendations.

Amanda
 

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I have never worn ear defenders in my life even on clay drives... where the noise is constant. If I shot and was right next to the gun I would possibly, although many guns don't.

A starter pistol or launcher fired a few times a session would never equate neeeding hearing protection, to my mind or almost anyone else I have ever seen training a gundog :)

I say save your money ;-) With those big buggers on you won't hear how loud you are handling ;-) If you get to trialing standard you won't be able to walk up in line at a training day or trial with them on and you will have 20 and 12 bores firing next to you here and there, so i'd try and get used to it to be honest on the much lesser sound of a starter pistol.

No there is nothing that would give hearing protection to a dog. They cope ;-)

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Di, I appreciate your oppinion as you have such a lot of experience. I definitely don't want to waste money but didn't want to end up damaging my ears either. The ones that trainer uses actually only filters out the crack of the the gun but hers are expensive. I did mention bringing normal ear plugs but she did tell me they wouldn't work for the reasons you mention. As a teenager I used to shoot at the range and they always made us wear ear defenders so I just presumed people always did. I suppose it's only once a week and a few cracks so If its not necessary I will have to think of something else for my stocking. Thank you.
 

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After spending time in VERY noisy test beds I do have hearing damage, and cant afford to loose any more than I have already. So I keep a pair of ear defenders in my bag. One shot wont do you much harm, but the effects are cumulative. If after a loud noise you have ringing in your ears then damage is being done. Not much, but remember what I said, it's cumulative, and it does not heal. A friend of mine when I first started work was working in test beds back in the days before 'elf and safety, and he was using a hearing aid by 25 years old. OK, that was extreme noise almost constant over an 8 hour day, but a gun, often enough and close enough is quite enough to do damage eventually. The first you know is when you realise that the TV sounds slightly muffled, that when you are in a noisy room you have difficulty picking out individual voices out of the general hubbub.

I carry a pair of ear defenders in my game bag. Nothing fancy. Mine are simple, less than £10 on Ebay, but they deaden the noise to a safe level. I use them when I'm using a starting pistol or (particularly) a dummy launcher. Normally on the shoot We are far enough away from the guns, but if for any reason I'm standing beside a gun then I wear them. They take up so little room in my bag that even if I dont need them on a particular day it matters not. But if I do, they are there ready. It's not being macho to ignore the noise, but it is silly to risk your hearing when the answer is so easy and cheap.

These are like mine. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Shooting-Building-Safety-Fold-away-Ear-Defenders-GREEN-/270680716113?pt=UK_BOI_ProtectiveGear_RL&hash=item3f05d3f351

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the link and advice John. I will take a look at yours, for £10.00 it's got to be worth while slipping a pair into my bag and seeing how I get along with them :D

Amanda
 

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I think I'll be sticking a pair of ear plugs into my pocket/bag. Having been out next to a few guns, I'd rather keep my hearing, although Rhuna didn't seem to mind, gunshot seems to be a precursor for excitement as far as she's concerned.
 

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I use 'smart' earplugs (electronic ones) that filters out the noise of the guns but I can hear everything else very clear. You can get those on ebay as well at about £10 as well - I wear them when shooting or if I'm walking in line with the guns and would never go without them.

Natasha
 

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If the humans need ear defenders don't the dogs too?
The ear flap protects a Labrador ear from the worst of the pressure wave, to the extent that Anna, right at the end of her life could still hear a pin drop!

Regards, John
 

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And when handling a dog John and Natasha... you still wear ear protection on a training day or generally when you have a dog to handle?

Di
 

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And when handling a dog John and Natasha...? you still wear ear protection on a training day or generally when you have a dog to handle....

As opposed to shooting yourself or training people when we are tolerating numerous shots rather than just the odd one as a dog handler...? The poster is writing as a dog handler not a gun or a trainer remember...

Di
 

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If I'm in a walked-up line, then yes, I'll be using my electronic earplugs. Both these earplugs and also all electronic ear defenders will only cut out any noise above a certain level of db's where as anything else will go through loud and clear so they wont interfere with handling.

If I shoot on driven days and bring a dog with me, then I always sit the dog up slightly behind me rather than in front as that will cut out some of the noisy for the dog whereas it will be louder if it's sat in front. They are lower down plus they have their ear flaps that also will protect them.

Natasha
 

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Just my thoughts, but as someone who is trained rather than a trainer, well, some would argue whether I'm that well trained or not, but if a trainer told me I needed some hearing protection for their classes, I would take their word for it, after all, it's their training environment I'm paying for. If I trusted them to be an honest and good trainer, surely it's up to them, if they prefer their clients to protect their hearing somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all, I have decided to buy a pair.
I would kick myself in later years if I didn't for the sake of ten pounds.

I have experience of the ringing sound that John mentioned already. I love my music played extremely loudly and in my younger years have left concerts and clubs with ringing in my ears. Lately I have noticed I struggle to concentrate on a conversation at a party with a lot of background noise so I may have already slightly damaged my ears.

I'm relieved to hear the dogs are okay because of the ear flaps that was a concern of mine.

Thank you all again.

Amanda
 

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Because of my circumstances at the moment Di I tend to train alone, so ear defenders are easy. I can put them on before firing a dummy launcher and slip them down around my neck before sending my dog. On the shoot I only wear them if I'm really close to a gun. For instance, you know our railway line, I'm often standing right beside a gun there and the noise really echoes back off the trees. I'm certainly not wearing them all the time, and many days I dont feel the need to wear them at all. It just depends on where I am and what I'm doing. Mostly, when training in a group we are far enough away from a gun for it to be no problem, and I can also appreciate the problems trying to use them in a trial. I've also never used them on a test because again, by and large the gun is far enough away. Taking a class is also difficult because of the balance between protecting your ears and listening to the class, so again sometimes we take the risk as the lesser of the two evils, but maybe that means that when you CAN protect your ears it's even more important.

My hearing damage was done in a really noisy environment at work. Our testers wore them all day, but I only went into the test beds to sort a problem out. My ear defenders were kept in my office, probably a quarter of a mile away, so when I needed to go in the temptation was to not bother to fetch them. OK, my hearing's not too bad, but the TV is definitely muffled and even at places like Crufts I have great difficulty hearing individual voices.

Regards, John
 

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Jo, I take yoour point. I do know Amanda and I have trained her and I do also know Amanda's trainer and have trained groups at her club for her, so this is not me sticking my oar into the complete unknown here. I know the lay of the land there and the level of the classes.

But, fair enough, I've never ever heard of a trainer suggesting a dog HANDLER wear ear defenders to train a dog in a training class as I know are run where Amanda trains... that was why I suggested it was unecessary, but its true, if a trainer says jump, however odd the demand, ideally the trainee indeed says 'how high?' and who is anyone to judge, indeed.

I stress again hearing protection in loud JOBS, when shooting yourself or as a trainer firing a launcher or starter pistol numerous numerous times right next to oneself might WELL require hearing protection, i'm not dismissing THAT idea at all.

I think the burning question lastly i would have is, Amanda when there i didn't see any trainees with hearing protection on... do others wear them as presumably the advice was for you all... if they do, then c'est le vie!

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't train in a group Di, I have a 1-2-1 once a week. I have only ever trained in a group three times and twice was with you when Roxy was younger puppy so there wasn't any gunshot or dummy launching involved.

The lady I train with is lovely and would never insist any one have to buy anything. She merely suggested that I may like to gets some so she could fire from my side because Roxy isn't bothered by the noise now but it was up to me. To start with she was a long way from us and has gradually moved closer as Roxy has progressed. I am happy to buy them but as I said in the original post I don't feel my training level warrants an expensive pair which is why I asked for recommendations.

I may not strictly need to wear them as I am not exposed regularly but now I know you can get a decent pair for such a reasonable price I am definitely getting some. As I don't have any desire to trial with Roxy as we train for fun only the taking them on and off inconvenience doesn't bother me and I don't walk in a line. If the recommendations came back that I had to spend £100 I may have felt differently and stuck my fingers in my ears. :0)
 

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The expensive ones are great, and a lot more selective on what they blank out and what the let through. But I dont need them often enough to warrant that kind of expense. Also with the electronic ones you have the added complication of needing batteries, then finding when you need them that the batteries have gone flat. :cry:

The cheap passive ones are always usable, even if you have not needed them for a year, are light and take up so little room in your bag that you can bung them in the bag and forget about them content in the knowledge that they are there, and if you find yourself close to a gun you can put them on and relax. When you need to work your dog you can just slip them down round your neck in a second. :D

Regards, John
 

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My apologies, I thought you still trained with the Lady where I saw you. My mistake :)

Di
 
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