Rattlesnake avoidance training - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Rattlesnake avoidance training

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/...-training.html

If you live in an area that has rattlesnakes, this training is well worth the money.

Happy and safe trails,

Rod aka redbirddog
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:19 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake avoidance training

I plan on doing this training with Ruby since she was already bitten in the face in our backyard at 4 months old. Our breeder recommended on waiting until she is older to go through the training. We are waiting until she is closer to a year old. I keep seeing more and more snakes here in Florida so it is a must. I hate not feeling safe in our own backyard.

Ruby - born 12/24/10....our Christmas Eve baby!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:38 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake avoidance training

Great stuff RBD.

You guys are lucky, rattlers make some noise!! Australian snakes are silent for the most part. Some are also very aggressive. In summer, it is just not worth entering any thick bushland. Especially in areas which have Tiger snakes or King Browns which are nasty buggers who are very agressive. They will chase you and if you don't have a good five or more metre (about 15 foot for you still using the imperial system) head start, they well catch you. I can remember hitting third gear on the farm bike before a king Brown stopped gaining ground on me. Scary stuff. We lost a lot of working dogs from snakes. We had a few get bitten and survive too. Some dogs are just HARD I guess!

As it's winter here in the southern hemisphere, it's fantastic. We can run through thick bushland without fear of a snake. Come September, we will have to start restricting bush walks to the trails and only with me in front, as the dogs paws don't create enough vibration to warn the snakes we are coming. Plus, if it's a tiger or a King Brown, it won't move anyway! A taipan or urrrrgggghhhh ....a Death Adder......they will slither off once they sense something coming. But, if you sneak up on a death adder unexpectedly, it's not going to be a good outcome regardless of how close to medical help you are. Their poison is nasty.

We also have some pretty nasty spiders too. Funnel Web spiders and the infamous Redback Spider are two which can kill a dog. Do the same to a human too, especially the funnel web. Once again, more a summer spider. Winter is pretty safe down south in Oz.

Up north....well....it doesn't matter....the Crocodiles are there summer and winter. Only difference being, in winter, they eat a little less!!!

Snakes are about the only animal I have a phobia about. I have dived with very large sharks, sat down next to a massive tiger, bottle fed an 18 month old tiger (they are adult size by then almost...huge), handled lizards and spiders, but snakes freak me out. I guess my farm experiences growing up have sowed a mental path whereby snakes are the enemy!!! They used to steal the eggs, amongst the other issues and hence, if we found one, we shot it. I can't tell you how many snakes I have hung over the fence for the crows to eat over the years. I hate the buggers....!






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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:14 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake avoidance training

I tell people that I love all animals, but the truth is, I am not at all fond of the reptiles or insects. Just can't warm up to them.

We have a snake called the "Michigan Rattler" and they tend to lie across the walking trails in the county park to bask in the sun sometimes. When I encounter one, I just have to turn around and go back the way I came. At least they will not give chase. They are fairly shy and avoid confrontations.

The rules of the park state that all dogs must be on a 6' leash, so the snakes are only a worry if you break the rules and let your dog run ahead. I don't break the rules over there.

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can make him wag his tail." -- Kinky Friedman
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:26 AM
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Re: Rattlesnake avoidance training

It's harder to snake-proof in countries like Australia and here in South Africa because of the wide variety of highly venomous snakes our dogs can encounter. They all smell different so you have to proof-by-species which just isn't feasible.

Luckily dogs seem to have superior tolerance to cytotoxins than humans. My GSP has survived 3 hits from massive Puff Adders both with and without the multivalent antivenom. She's sick for 3 or 4 days but as soon as the swelling and bruising go down she's right as rain. Amazing. Neurotoxin is a whole different story. A hit from one of those and it's curtains :'(
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 06:35 PM
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Re: Rattlesnake avoidance training

Perhaps that is why Aussies and South Africans seem to get on so well. We both live in countries where there is a whole heap of stuff that can kill you!!!

Coming from a farm, it was easier to snake train the dogs, as the bitch and the dog would teach the pups that type of stuff. As we had chickens, we had lots of snakes. So the dogs got used to sighting them, then letting us know they were around with a certain bark. I could tell from the house it was a snake just by the bark. That was the signal to grab the 410 and go get rid of the offending slitherer! The buggers can eat a whole lot of chook eggs in one sitting if you don't get them out.

But yeah, apart from a dogs natural instinct when it comes to snakes, it is harder to train them over here in Oz with the huge variety of snakes all in one area.

I live in the city of Melbourne in a suburb which is 36 klms from the Melbourne city centre. It is typically Australian, with lots of gum trees and greenery. But it is suburbia, not rural. We even get the buggers in our back yard occasionally. So it's a constant vigilance during the warmer months. Within a radius of 2 or 3 klms, if I were to go out looking, I would find brown snakes, red bellied black snakes, taipans, death adders, king browns and several other species of snake. ALL highly venomous.

Like Afroviz said, some dogs can handle a snake bite without too much issue. I have had small kelpies survive a bite from a king brown or a red bellied black without any anti venom.
In those days, we were too far from town to worry about taking a dog to the vet for anti venom. By the time we got there, the dog would either have died, or handled the venom and lived without treatment. Dogs are bloody tough. I have seen a few who I though just were not going to make it, pull through. I spent many nights nursing a bitten dog on the back verandah through the process. Some worse than others. I guess it depends how much venom they take in.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 01:07 PM
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Yes its a old post, but worth bringing back to life. Ranger got his first taste of snake avoidance training today.
He went from putting his nose to the rattlesnake for a sniff. To Oh **** No in a matter of seconds.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:44 PM
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This is so helpful, many thanks for bringing this posting back. Definitely something i will do with both boys.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 12:40 AM
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The guy in the picture with Ranger is Wayne Lain. He has been doing the snake avoidance clinics in Texas for 15 years.
I felt Shine was just a little to young this year, but she will go next summer. Ranger got to see, and smell rattlesnakes, a copperhead, and a water moccasin. I think the rattlers, made the biggest impression on him. He wanted no part of being anywhere near one, after the first encounter. He will get a refresher next year. If he shows the same response, then it will be the last clinic for him.
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Not all those who wander are lost.

Life is just a leap of faith.
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 12:26 PM
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Need to go through a training session with Sadie at some point. Last time we saw a rattlesnake in California she ran toward it before I intercepted her. We went through a session with our beagle mix that likely worked. Since the rattlesnakes were kept under white buckets she also avoided white buckets after that. Interesting thing is that the snakes attracted a "wild" rattlesnake that came out of the bushes to visit the group during the session.
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