If your dog is in danger of encountering rattlesnakes one of the best preventative measures available is to have your dog trained to recognize and AVOID them. Many dogs do not instinctively know to stay away from rattlesnakes and instead are curious and try to get closer for a better look or a better smell and end up being bitten, usually on the face or neck.
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training (R.A.T.) is a process of conditioning an avoidance response with the sight, sound and scent of rattlesnakes. The training takes place in a controlled environment using a remote training collar system (spray, vibrate, or static shock) adjusted to each dogs’ temperament, and physical response characteristics.
Live rattlesnakes which have been double muzzled to prevent them from being able to bite are used. Every precaution is taken to minimize danger to dogs, snakes and humans.
Training sessions are done on a realistic ‘trail-like’ course with 9 training stations that alternate between exposing the dog to the sight, sound and scent of live rattlesnakes, teaching them to recognize & avoid each clue to a rattlesnake’s presence independently. (They are also introduced to a baby rattlesnake, so they will know they come in that size as well!). Throughout the training sessions, dog owners accompany their dog through the course and participate, learning their dog’s own specific avoidance behaviors. Not only can it save your dog’s life, but after the training if you are observant of your dog’s body language it can alert you to the presence of a rattlesnake and prevent you from being bitten as well.
Professional dog trainer since 1991 Gina Gables of Ma & Paw Kennel – Canine Training Services conducts R.A.T. clinics across many Southern & Central California counties. Check out www.MAnPAW.com or call 805.523.3432 for more information on dates/locations or private training sessions that can be done at your home or ranch.