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  #1  
Old 04-07-2010, 11:26 AM
grayada1 grayada1 is offline
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Default Keeping dog away from snakes

I live in the baton rouge area and have found a couple snakes around the house. I know there are venomous snakes in the area and i would like to keep my dog from getting bit by one of them. Is there anyway to teach them to stay away from snakes safely?

Maybe using a fake snake and teach them to stay away from it?
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:57 PM
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I'm interested in that, too. You'd think it'd be an instinctive thing - heavens knows I run the other way when confronted by a snake, but my 7 month old puppy is WAY too curious if he does see one. My 2 older dogs will alert me if there's a snake near the house by barking at it but they're very careful to stay out of reach. Unfortunately I didn't train them to do that, that's how they were when I got them (both were found as adults). I sure wish Riley would follow their lead...
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:19 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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The only way I've heard to do it is to "plant" a snake - I think it would have to be a real, dead one - and give the dog something EXTREMELY aversive when he approched to investigate it. Put it this way: I have a snake phobia, when I see one I have a panic attack (did the other day ). In this training for your dog, the aversive has to be so bad that your dog feels that same sense of panic just by looking at a snake. Of course there are LOADS of side-effects to this method, I would certainly never be able to do it.

I think a REALLY good "leave it" and recall would be better in the long run.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:09 PM
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colliewog colliewog is offline
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The problem with a fake snake is that it has no odor (or has a plastic "toy" odor, so it's not the same). The problem with a dead real snake is (1) you've got to catch and kill it (not nice) or (2) luck into a dead one somewhere. The problem here is you're not getting the realistic movement and action/reaction of the snake - you can wiggle it around, but it's not the same nor as interesting as the real thing slithering in front of them.

Personally, I catch a non-venomous snake (it helps that I know the difference, am not afraid of them and know how to catch them) and let it threaten and even bite the dogs if they pursue it. It sounds cruel, but in the long run, it saves the dog AND the snake in question - if I do this in a controlled area and encourage their 'back off' behaviors, this snake can go back in my yard and know he won't get killed. And it helps make sure my dogs won't chase a snake that might not be the good kind. Of course, instead they bark and come get me to show me every time Mr Blacksnake comes to visit. It's been too cold lately so he hasn't come to visit ... I need him to come back so I can train the puppy!

I know some people that attend snake training 'classes' where they have a venomous snake (defanged or with its mouth taped shut) and they use shock collars. Every time the dog shows interest, it is shocked. It seems cruel, but considering the alternative (dead dog), I don't think it's that bad. I would reserve this, however, for dogs that you know could be exposed, like if you lived in an area where venomous snakes are prevalent.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:44 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colliewog View Post
I would reserve this, however, for dogs that you know could be exposed, like if you lived in an area where venomous snakes are prevalent.
Yeah, they're a pretty big deal around here (though I'm quite sure they don't live on MY property ), so I know that a lot of people do the hard core snake training with their dogs. Luckily (in this case) I can't let Luna off leash on my property, so I pretty much see what she's doing.... and I don't think her first reaction would be to chase a snake. Fingers crossed it's not something I'll have to worry about.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:45 PM
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I know my dad wrapped a dead snake around his dog's neck to teach her to stay away from them. (On a side note my dad's training techniques were less than superb with this dog.... ) But it worked incredibly well, so well in fact that she knocked my sister down to get away from a bullsnake when we were kids. And honestly it probably was necessary because there were a lot of rattlesnakes around our house and she was an outside hunting dog so odds are good she would have gotten into one. I don't think I could do it to my dogs though....hopefully we never run into a poisonous snake.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:20 PM
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I once knew a woman who did tracking with her dog and took her to an aversion event, because in south Florida, you are guaranteed to run into a venomous snake sooner or later. And of course, the first thing a tracking dog does is take a good sniff, which is why so many of them die from snake strikes to the face.

The original snake owner with the de-venomed snake didn't show up; he sent his half-witted pal with a large, definitely still venomous snake instead. Snake was supposed to be in a cage. Theory was that dog would come up, start to sniff snake, get a serious zap, rinse and repeat as necessary. Which, I am told, it rarely is.

Things went just a tad astray. They got to the cage, all right-- and it was empty. Seems that the pal didn't know how to fasten it properly. You then had a whole tracking club shrieking and doing the "Oh, my god, there's a snake down there!" dance.

I understand that the dogs were pretty amused.
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:34 PM
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smkie smkie is offline
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Mary must have come up on one of her own at some point that I ddin't know about. I found a snake skin and brought it in. From the second she smelled it she was all kinds of upset...backing off from it, showing her teeth at it, but NOt sniffing it.
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:07 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPP View Post
The original snake owner with the de-venomed snake didn't show up; he sent his half-witted pal with a large, definitely still venomous snake instead. Snake was supposed to be in a cage. Theory was that dog would come up, start to sniff snake, get a serious zap, rinse and repeat as necessary. Which, I am told, it rarely is.

Things went just a tad astray. They got to the cage, all right-- and it was empty. Seems that the pal didn't know how to fasten it properly. You then had a whole tracking club shrieking and doing the "Oh, my god, there's a snake down there!" dance.

I understand that the dogs were pretty amused.
LOL, that's hilarious.
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