Snake Avoidance Without Shock - The Book
Snake avoidance is purely about teaching a dog that the sight, smell or sound of a rattlesnake is to be avoided. This is no different than teaching a dog not to cross the street without our approval, rush the open front door, beg at the table or poop in the house. It’s also a lot easier then teaching a dog to alert someone to an impending seizure or a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels.
Training a dog is all about teaching it what to do when. It doesn’t matter whether that when is a word, a signal, a smell (detection and medical alert dogs), an object (agility and fly ball), or a shock (avoid pain). If training a dog what to do when wasn’t possible, guide dogs, bomb sniffing dogs, cadaver dogs would none of them exist. Very few of these dogs were trained with the use of a shock collar and even the small percentage that are is lessoning as everyone embraces the fact that dogs are a lot smarter than we’ve given them credit for in the past.
Does it work? Yes. Just two days ago, as I write this, we encountered our first rattlesnake since moving to our current property. I had not yet finished the avoidance training with my own dogs. What they did as soon as the rattle started was: Brynda and Asher ran away and as soon as I opened the back door ran into the house. Micah was barking up a storm at this creature from about five feet away. This is Micah’s normal response to just about anything new or that he feels doesn’t belong in his space. Temperance was trying to herd it in high heeler fashion, but still staying about five feet away and mostly behind Micah.
A frantic, emotionally charged, high pitched “COME” from me pulled the two of them away and into the house.
I have other success stories from clients who took the class, but there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of seeing your own dogs in danger and realizing that your training has worked.