The pros and cons of using a dummy a launcher

Using a dummy launcher, can have its advantages and disadvantages. These devices are commonly used in gundog training to simulate the sound of gunfire when training hunting or field trial dogs. Below are some of the pros and cons of using a dummy launcher:


Gunfire Simulation: A dummy launcher provides a realistic simulation of gunshot sounds, which is crucial for training hunting dogs to be comfortable and steady around firearms.

Controlled Environment: With a dummy launcher, trainers can create a controlled training environment. They can control the timing and frequency of simulated gunfire, ensuring that dogs are gradually exposed to loud noises.

Distance Control: Dummy launchers allow trainers to launch dummies to various distances, replicating different hunting scenarios and helping dogs learn to retrieve from varying distances.

Safety: Dummy launchers are generally safer than using live ammunition. They eliminate the risk of accidental discharge and the potential for injury to dogs or handlers during training.


Startle Response: Some dogs may have a natural aversion to loud noises, including gunshots. Introducing a dummy launcher without proper acclimatization may lead to fear or avoidance behaviors in the dog, hindering their training progress.

Cost: Dummy launchers, especially high-quality ones, can be relatively expensive compared to other dog training tools. Additionally, there may be ongoing costs for blank ammunition.

Maintenance: Dummy launchers require regular maintenance to ensure safe and consistent performance. This includes cleaning, lubrication, and occasional replacement of parts.

Dependency on Equipment: Training dogs using a dummy launcher can create a dependency on the specific training tool. This could lead to issues if the dog becomes reliant on the launcher sound for retrieving behavior.

Limited Training Context: While dummy launchers are effective for firearm desensitization and retrieving training, they don't replicate all hunting scenarios. Real-life hunting situations may involve additional factors like game scent and distractions.

Environmental Impact: The use of blank ammunition for dummy launchers contributes to noise pollution.

Overall, dummy launchers can be valuable tools for gun dog training when used properly and in conjunction with other training methods. However, it's essential to introduce the device gradually and ensure that your gundog is comfortable and responsive to it. Always prioritise safety and consider individual dog temperaments and training needs when deciding to use a dummy launcher.

All our Dummy launchers are from the RRT Range available in the UK through Fullpip Gundogs