Dogs instinctively react to sight, sound, and smell, but can also be conditioned or trained to react in a specific manner in specific situations. Training a dog to respond to the sight, sound, and smell of snakes is not a difficult process. What's more, snakes are not the only animals that a dog can learn to avoid. We’ve worked with rattle snakes, poisonous toads, centipedes, scorpions, and black widow spiders. If you can get the scent for an animal, you can train your dog what to do (move away) when encountering that scent by using the games in this class.
This class uses your dog’s intelligence, his fantastic nose, and his ability to navigate the environment via that nose. Your dog will learn self-control when investigating new or interesting things, impulse control when movement catches his attention and kicks in the need to chase, the understanding of what to do when encountering a specific scent, sight, and/or sound, and how to alert any humans to the presence of a dangerous animal.
Teach your dog self control in all situations
Self control, distraction training, scent training and actually consulting your dog's understaning of what to do when seeing, hearing or smelling a snake.
Play simple games that teach your dog what to do when it senses a snake. These games are easy, require very little learning for the human or the dog, and pack quite a training punch !
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.
Come join us in a three week class where we meet twice a week to teach not only snake aversion, but self control, impulse control and how to ignore distractions.
I have been playing games with my dogs from your Rattlesnake Avoidance Without Shock book. We are not yet through the six weeks of games. Last night we were able to use "leave it, away and outside" in real world application. My dogs were sniffing and acting unusual at something on the carpet. I didn't know what it was so I said "leave it!" and got off the couch to investigate. It was a scorpion! I yelled "Away!" as taught in the book, they backed up. I called for my daughter because I had no shoes, four dogs surrounding me, interested in the commotion, a tan scorpion on tan carpet, and nothing to kill it with. She came in to help me and I asked her to put the dogs out quickly. She said "outside" and they walked outside; we didn't have to chase them around or drag them out. I killed the scorpion and then used it for more avoidance games, just to be sure. Thanks for my training! I could have had an emergency vet visit! The avoidance games, whether they are for snakes, toads, or scorpions really work.
I do not think I would have been brave enough to let her off leash to start but the ghost game let me know she was going to be ok.
Jamie , I want to thank you for this class. You have helped me relax and trust my dog. Like you said prey is harder than avoidance but the games you showed us and the work we have put in has really really helped my dog (and me)
I am not sure if i will be silver or bronze in prey 1 (as per our discussion ) but I shall be there working on the sidelines. I hope the snow does not interfere.
Take care and see you on FB
I just want to apologize for not posting any Wk 6 videos. Speaking of the randomness of life, some issues cropped up at home that demand most of my attention this week. However, I have worked through Wk 6 Games 1-3, some of which are familiar to him. And I especially like game 4, the drunken walk. I have a whole lot of distraction toys tucked away that he's never seen and I love the idea of confronting him on a winding walk, around each turn.
I want to thank you so much for the detailed steps you've taken to give the dog the skills needed to make good choices, and to respond quickly when choice is not an option. We will keep working away and I have no doubt Deacon will become very trustworthy around snakes.
Love the approach to teaching avoidance based on fundamental skills that have already taken us far. I am confident that applying these skills will serve us well and I will have a dog who understands what to do when confronting a snake. I also look forward to applying these principles to add other things to avoid.
I really had fun, even though I had some set backs to keeping up with the games each week due to my busy schedule and then illness. I really enjoyed it, and more importantly my pups really enjoyed it. Would take it again any time. Highly recommend it. Learned some very fun games that taught my pups just what they needed in rattlesnake avoidance. sharon california