Rattlesnake Aversion Training!!!
You wouldn't have to train me to stay away from them, but our dogs are a different story.
Member, Denise Albright, went to a Rattlesnake Aversion Clinic with her dogs and shared these awesome photos and information.
You and your dog could encounter rattlesnakes almost anywhere: your yard, local park, hiking trail, ranch, etc. Help protect your dog from a painful, costly and often deadly encounter with a rattlesnake!
The purpose of this kind of training is for the dog to understand that he should stay away from the smell, sight, and sound of a rattlesnake. Scent is loud - he'll pick up on it and you have to learn to read his signals that a dangerous snake is near. It could be 100 feet away and you will have no idea what he's reacting to - you need to know your dog and reward that behavior. One thing that owners have to remember - in the dog's mind, the rattlesnake used in the training is giving the correction, not you! That's why he doesn't want to be near the rattlesnake. He never knows the stimulus came from the human. Most importantly, do your research.
While nothing is 100% guaranteed, rattlesnake avoidance training has proven highly effective in preventing envenomation by rattlesnakes. An added bonus is that paying attention to your dog's behavior can help you avoid the snake as well! Many people feel that this is the most effective method out there right now to teach your dogs to stay away from rattlesnakes. If you decide to go through with the training, only do so with a professional trainer.
More Details Rattlesnake aversion training has been shown to be safe and effective in helping to prevent an envenomation by a rattlesnake. Aversion training teaches your dog to avoid the sight, sound and smell of rattlesnakes. NONE of the snakes used for rattlesnake aversion training are harmed during the training process. The snakes are muzzled to ensure the safety of your dog and our trainers. During the rattlesnake training, your dog is led by a handler up to live rattlesnakes. They use live snakes because nothing moves, smells or sounds like a rattlesnake but a real rattlesnake. Your dog is taught aversive behavior using a low level stimulus from a "shock collar".
The snakes used during the rattlesnake avoidance training are either muzzled or contained in a "blind box" to ensure the safety of the dogs being trained.
The rattlesnake aversion training consists of three phases:
First Phase - Smell Recognition
The handler will take an inanimate object that has been scented like a rattlesnake and introduce it to your dog several times. After the dog shows interest in the scent a low level stimulation will be applied. This teaches your dog to avoid the smell of a rattlesnake. After your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase.
Second Phase - Sound Recognition
The handler will bring your dog to the "blind box" multiple times and from different angles. A low level stimulus is applied each time your dog acknowledges the rattle from a live rattlesnake. This teaches the dog to avoid the sound of a rattlesnake. Once your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase.
Third Phase - Putting it all Together
The handler will bring your dog up to a live rattlesnake multiple times and from multiple angles. The dog has the ability to see, hear and smell the rattlesnake. This is where the animal can put all three together and understand what a rattlesnake is. When your dog shows consistent avoidance behavior they have been successfully trained. Next you will be asked to call your dog to you.
Grab the leash or collar as your dog comes to you. Congratulations you are done!
Yearly training is recommended. This will re-establish and strengthen your dog's rattlesnake awareness and avoidance behavior.