The reason I started getting Golden's over 25 years ago was to take them and my two young boys hunting. Over the years I have learned how to train them properly, and actually run them in hunt tests (which my wife also loves) to sharpen both of our skills. Now my adult son's ask me to go hunting with them, cause I have the trained hunting dogs...that worked out well!Golden retrievers are the best hunters (duck), or any other pheasant chuckers ext... It's Great for bonding giving your retriever a real experience.
I just didn't have available land when Josie was a puppy. Thunder and loud noises do not seem to affect her at all, so there is the possibility I could try it now with her. My cousins have a ton of acreage so I have the space available to me now.Abradshaw71
Gun shyness is usually caused because the dog has not been trained (conditioned) to guns. You can find how to by searching on the internet for how to train....
Basically you go out in the field when they are young and start playing fetch, while someone with a small shotgun stands maybe 100 yds away and shoots, if the dog looks, just keep playing like nothing happened. Then have the shooter start moving closer, slowly conditioning the dog to ignore the noise. After a few times, you will be able to stand with the dog and shoot, he will focus on the retrieve and ignore the gun.
I am lucky as we have a Trap Range near us and I take my dogs when they are young and stand 100yds away (in an open area behind the range parking lot) to play fetch, then work our way back to the shooting area. Many guns are firing, so once we get back to the parking lot, these dogs are not guy shy!