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Sorry to bring this to the board. I've looked online and haven't been able to find anything. I'm looking for snake avoidance training for dogs in Alabama.
I would appreciate any help if someone knows where I can find this. TIA
Snake avoidance training is super easy. You don't really need a class to get this done. Here is the short of it:
To teach a dog that snakes are bad, first, you must start at a young age, preferably before they have been bitten. If a dog has been bitten already, a deep seeded hatred usually develops and in most cases, dogs that hate snakes will actually seek them out to attack them. This is the direct opposite of what we want. So, we start young....
We want to make a negative impression on the dog. We call this negative association. Kinda like the feeling you get when you see an Alabama fan. You probably don't know the guy/girl, but due to your previous experience, the person is bound to be an idiot.
Here is what we normally do. Take a snake, preferably a rattle snake for the noise they make, and clip the fangs(grab snake by back of head, work scissors into the snakes mouth, make the fangs come out, clip the fangs down to the gum line). It doesn't have to be a big snake, but the bigger the better. We are trying to make a big impression so providing a big visual doesn't hurt. Recap: We have rattlesnake, we have made it 100% harmless, so no matter what happens, my dog is safe.
Take said "safe snake" into a flat, very visible area where it can't easily slither away(pavement, white gravel, ect..). Let the dog see you do it. With dog, electric collar on and hot, lead dog BY LEASH out to the down wind side of the snake. The dog will bark at the snake initially or be very curious or in some cases scared. Make sure you let the pup get a good sniff of the snake but don't let him get to close where he can be struck at. Without letting the dog get anymore then 10' from the snake turn the shock collar up and let him have it. I mean a real good one. Shock the crap out of him. It doesn't have to be 100% but it should be high enough to get the point across. The dog will yelp or flinch. Let the dog back off the snake, let him think about it a second, and then lead the dog in for round two. Repeat till the dog is beside himself about the snake. You will probably have to drag the dog in for round two and three. I did three rounds with my dog, at which time, I couldn't make him do a fourth.
Don't feel bad about this either. You could potentially be saving the dogs life. This is super important and it is for the dog. Your associating the smell, sound, look of the snake with pain. So when afield, when the dog runs into the snake, he won't be curious, he'll be scared......as he should be. This should be repeated every few years. With hunting dogs, a refresher every year before the season doesn't hurt anything.
As with any training using the shock collar or e-collar, never turn the collar up higher then you would be willing to shock yourself around the neck. I usually try a new shock collar out on myself before my pup. I do this by putting it on my thigh. I go through ALL the setting, all the way to the top. From personal experience, the top range of most e-collars are way to high to shock your dog with. 70% is as high as I ever go with good conscience and the only time I go that high is for stuff like this.
Hope that helps. Go find a snake or find someone who is willing to let you use theirs.
As a side note: Clipping the fangs on a snake like stated above....does NOT hurt the snake. Snakes in a natural environment break fangs all the time. Like sharks, they simply grow new ones.
MENTAL NOTE: Make sure pup has his collar on tight so he can't come out of it. It is very important to have complete control of your dog every second during this training exercise.
I'm going to have to try this. Don't know about using a rattle snake though. Only Rattle snake i'm touching is a dead one.
Never really thought having to teach her to avoid snakes but yesterday i was running her in the park and she walked within 5' of a Water Moccacin. Lucky see didn't see it she was more interested in the frisbee i was throwing.
This post was edited by wde_tailgate 18 months ago
Also, I would like to note, there is no 100% proven method in snake avoidance. Like humans, this only works if the dog sees the snake or smells it first. People get bitten all the time because they didn't realize the snake was in the area. Same for your pup. What this WILL do is prevent a curiosity strike and make your pup aware of the dangers of snakes by associating it with past negative experiences. If your dog is hauling tail across a field and ends up bitten, nothing you can do about that but grab Fido and hit the road.
Thanks for the advice. I was able to call my dog away Saturday afternoon. He had a rattler coiled up and rattling fast at him.
They're definitely on the move these days. I've seen 3 rattlesnakes in the past 5 days.
No joke. I do appreciate the advice, but it starts out "super easy" and includes "grabbing a rattlesnake and clipping out it's fangs." To me it's like some weird medieval quest, like "first get a dragon's claw".
Thanks. Can I bring my dog to your place for training? I don't see me defanging or grabbing a rattlesnake. I just can't do that.
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