Rattlesnake Avoidance Training

Tricia

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Since we moved to Reno, we've thought about taking Ziggy to Rattlesnake Avoidance Training, but its one of those things that we've never gotten around to doing.
Meanwhile, we've never seen a rattlesnake since we've been here (going on 6 years).

@Andy Mink shared some information with us that has me thinking about it again
http://thisisreno.com/2016/04/wildlife-professionals-dog-trainers-collaborate-train-pups-snake-bite-prevention/

Has anyone had experience with this type of training?
Would like to hear some feedback.

@pais alto IIRC you talked about rattlesnakes in a conversation and had some good input but I lived in Michigan at the time and didn't pay much attention.
 
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pais alto

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Me? I fear and loathe snakes, it's a deep-seated panicky thing. It's everything I can do not to either run screaming like a little girl or hack the thing into nigiri when I see a snake. That was kind of an emotional handicap during my wildfire days (there are stories), and still kind of crippling on hikes or during spring yard work days.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't have much useful input about snake-training dogs.
 

Don in Morrison

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When my youngest son was a senior in high school, we went up to Mount Falcon Park to take his senior pictures, thereby saving about $100 in the process. I was taking photos of him while wandering back and forth across an area about 10 feet by 15 feet in area.

When we were finished, I started to turn around to leave the area, but my son grabbed me and said "Stop, there's a snake." I froze immediately and looked over my left shoulder, to see a coiled up rattler about three feet away. After a moment, it slowly slithered into a hole in the rock on the opposite side of the place where we had been taking pictures. I had been walking around and stepping over that snake for about five minutes while photographing my son. It never made a sound the whole time.

After the snake departed, we carefully looked around to see if it had any buddies lurking around, and then beat feet back to the car. Our photo session was over. No one in our family has been back to that park since then.

Can't help you with snake-training a dog, though.
 

Monique

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I am 99% sure AltaGirl on skidiva did rattlesnake training with her dog.
 

crgildart

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We have a rescue, formerly feral cat that brings live snakes in the house through the doggie door. There are copperheads in the area, but I've not seen a live one up close, much less on our property...YET?? About every other year there is a story on the news about someone getting bitten by a copperhead while doing yard work. I try not to think about it except when I go to pick up or move something out back that a snake could be hiding under.

Not all that attached to the cat though she does take care of the rodents that used to also venture in through the doggie door. I figure if a copperhead does venture in to the yard the cat will likely either kill it or get killed trying but scare the snake away in the process... unless the snake is big enough to eat the cat:eek:

Dog is a big sissy. She wouldn't try to attack a snake, but she would bark hysterically from a safe distance should she notice one. She ignores the little black ones the cat brings in though..
 

Drahtguy Kevin

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I have my all dogs (except Todd -- he's a prick) go through snake avoidance training. It's cheap and only takes a few minutes. I will send the dogs through the course twice. The first time to get them trained and then I bring them back the next year to see if the training is still reliable. I haven't had a dog where the training didn't stick. I've witnessed my dogs avoid snakes while out hunting. Cheap peace of mind for me.
 

Monique

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I have my all dogs (except Todd -- he's a prick) go through snake avoidance training. It's cheap and only takes a few minutes. I will send the dogs through the course twice. The first time to get them trained and then I bring them back the next year to see if the training is still reliable. I haven't had a dog where the training didn't stick. I've witnessed my dogs avoid snakes while out hunting. Cheap peace of mind for me.
I should do this. I do feel bad for the snake, though. Poor thing must be constantly terrified.
 

Drahtguy Kevin

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I should do this. I do feel bad for the snake, though. Poor thing must be constantly terrified.
Snakes. The training I go to uses 4 snakes per dog -- one for sight (taped rattles in mowed grass), one for scent (taped rattles in tall grass), one for sound placed in tall grass and a proof snake in tall grass. It's really a quite interesting event to watch. The dogs are bothered far more than the snakes seem to be.
 

Monique

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Philpug

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Snakes. The training I go to uses 4 snakes per dog -- one for sight (taped rattles in mowed grass), one for scent (taped rattles in tall grass), one for sound placed in tall grass and a proof snake in tall grass. It's really a quite interesting event to watch. The dogs are bothered far more than the snakes seem to be.
The snakes that are involved in these training, is this like snake community service? They have to do like 100 hours of service for doing something bad? Sounds like a Farside cartoon.
 
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UGASkiDawg

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Talk to any vet in rattlesnake country, it's quick cheap and easy. On the other hand the dogs that the training takes to are likely to avoid snakes to begin with and the others not so much. I've had several vets tell me that if they see a dog for a rattlesnake bite they'll bet their last dollar that stupid dog will be back again at some point bitten again. The other point is that it only helps if the dog knows the snake is there and they quit often don't.
 

Blue Streak

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I have my all dogs (except Todd -- he's a prick) go through snake avoidance training. It's cheap and only takes a few minutes. I will send the dogs through the course twice. The first time to get them trained and then I bring them back the next year to see if the training is still reliable. I haven't had a dog where the training didn't stick. I've witnessed my dogs avoid snakes while out hunting. Cheap peace of mind for me.
+1
 

Myles

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I think it all depends on the dog. We did the rattlesnake training with our Jack Russell, something else mutt, and it seemed to have no effect (she still wanted to investigate all those rattling noises we came across on the slopes of Peavine), but we have friends who swear by it. So, if your dog is willful and clueless like ours (she also like to 'chase' coyotes), maybe just invest in the rattlesnake venom vaccine.
 

Monique

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I'm stuck on "OMG!!! They use REAL snakes?"

Logically, I know they would have to. But my fear of snakes is so bad that I avoid touching a picture of one on a printed page.
I believe they're defanged, or at least de-venomed.
 
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Tricia

Tricia

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Ziggy likes to avoid controversy so I'm pretty sure the avoidance training would work with him.
 

oldschoolskier

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I met a dog years ago aptly named Bush. He didn't like snakes (any snake), they tended to end up in 3 pcs scattered as far as he could with a quick snatch and shake if the head. His fear though was thunder.

Back to the snake issue, rattlers are bad, sidewinders worse and water moccasin is the worst. Good news is you likely don't have water moccasins.
 

Blue Streak

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Very few poisonous snakes at 13,050'.
Just sayin''.
Also very few pheasants. :(
 

VickieH

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Back to the snake issue, rattlers are bad, sidewinders worse and water moccasin is the worst.
Worst what? Venom? Attitude?

What water moccasin ... the cottonmouth? Read an article several years ago about them. Cottonmouth has a reputation for being aggressive. They were explaining how that isn't so. They tested them and reported results ... percentage of times they didn't react when a person walked by, percentage they threatened/warned, percentage they struck. 22% of the time, they did nothing. According to the report, they're not that aggressive. In my book, anything that reacts 4 times out of 5 is bad.
 
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