Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Rattlesnake Aversion Training
Turbie checking out the baby snake
The trainer trying to get Remo to notice the snake
This is something I've been wanting to do, ever since we had a run in with a rattlesnake a couple years ago on a backpacking trip. We were unprepared and although we got the dogs away from the snake safely, it became a big concern on the rest of our trip.
We drove up to Dunnigan to a hunting reserve for the training. It was very interesting and the training only took about 10 minutes for each dog. They are trained with sight, sound, and smell. First they put an electronic correction collar on the dog and they used a 15 ft leash. The first test is the baby rattlesnake. As the dog sees the snake and starts to sniff it, they give the dog a shock with the correction collar. The collar is set for low intensity and the trainer will change the volume, based on your dogs response/awareness. After this process, they bring the dog back to the baby snake and the dog does not want to go near it. That's the response they want to see. The next part is bringing the dog over to a dead snake skin...same response the dog does not want to go near it. The last test is with the adult snake (they can hear the rattler). The trainer tries to coax the dog toward the snake to check it out, but the dog doesn't want anything to do with it...again this is the correct response. Lastly, they asked me to call the dog while the snake is about 10 ft in front of me. The dog will come to me, but only as they go about 20 ft around the snake.
Remo went first and he had a pathetic look while the trainer was working with him. He was practically standing on the baby snake, because he just stood there and looked at me (help). As the trainer finally got him to acknowledge the snake, he went up to sniff it, the snake was ready to strike...perfect timing, because the trainer gave Remo a shock and he jumped back 5 ft. There was no way the trainer could get Remo to go up to the snake again. Job well done! The training went really well for both dogs.
I highly recommend this training if you live or travel in areas with rattlesnakes.
For more information go to: www.socalrattlesnakeavoidancetraining.com