Snake avoidance.....

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Snake avoidance.....

Postby Willie T » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:54 am

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I made the 4 1/2 hour one way drive to take Cricket to a snake avoidance clinic yesterday. I think it was time well spent. The dogs were all conditioned to avoid rattlesnakes. After that was complete and Cricket was making good decisions regarding rattlesnakes. It was reinforced using both cottonmouth and copperhead. At the first encounter he waded right in and was struck. He would have been bitten. Afterward he wanted no part of a snake and clearly made good decisions. Time will tell how how lasting it is.
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby Texasphez » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:56 am

I plan on taking Case to a clinic next Saturday in Amarillo. We went last year, but they ended up canceling the deal the morning of due to thunderstorms and rain the night before. Kinda hope that happens again! :D
So far we have been lucky and have avoided any run ins with mister rattler, but every dog I've had prior to him has been bitten, so wanting to get this done!
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:34 am

I could not find anything that did not involve long distance travel to get some snake avoidance training, and so failed to do so. Will be getting the vaccine and hoping for the best this season and try again to address next summer ...

Going to SD to pickup a road killed porkie in my buddies freezer, sometime this month and do some work on that here at home. I am more worried about the porkies than the rattlesnakes but both concern me. Without some more avoidance training Spud will be a disaster when we run into a porkie...
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby Willie T » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:58 am

Texasphez wrote:I plan on taking Case to a clinic next Saturday in Amarillo. We went last year, but they ended up canceling the deal the morning of due to thunderstorms and rain the night before. Kinda hope that happens again! :D
So far we have been lucky and have avoided any run ins with mister rattler, but every dog I've had prior to him has been bitten, so wanting to get this done!


I had never had a dog get bit before the old one I still have. It has been bitten on three separate occasions.....hopefully Cricket will have a better track record.
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby Willie T » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:23 pm

AverageGuy wrote:I could not find anything that did not involve long distance travel to get some snake avoidance training, and so failed to do so. Will be getting the vaccine and hoping for the best this season and try again to address next summer ...

Going to SD to pickup a road killed porkie in my buddies freezer, sometime this month and do some work on that here at home. I am more worried about the porkies than the rattlesnakes but both concern me. Without some more avoidance training Spud will be a disaster when we run into a porkie...


That is never pretty when it goes down. Cricket WAS a disaster last fall when he met up with a porky.....
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:34 pm

Few weeks ago I took my daughter down to SE oregon with the horses to some riding. first 5 minutes from camp my mustang walks across the top of one. Doesn't rattle until its underneath me. He did a little hitch to the right and would have kept going if I didn't stop him. Rattlesnake that dont rattle when a horse is coming gets dead real quick. in three miles we saw 4. Reminds why I never hunt chukars until november.

Wifes Cocker ran over the top of one once. It was too cold to strike. Hate snakes. Hate prokies worse, they dont hibernate.
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby JONOV » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:08 am

AverageGuy wrote:I could not find anything that did not involve long distance travel to get some snake avoidance training, and so failed to do so. Will be getting the vaccine and hoping for the best this season and try again to address next summer ...

Going to SD to pickup a road killed porkie in my buddies freezer, sometime this month and do some work on that here at home. I am more worried about the porkies than the rattlesnakes but both concern me. Without some more avoidance training Spud will be a disaster when we run into a porkie...


I've heard enough stories about dogs that have been avoidance trained, but it isn't that they "challenge" or "hunt" the snake, it seems like they get bit incidentally.
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:06 pm

Yes I was in elk camp when a GSP puppy got bit just that way. High on her shoulder while running through cover. She had been vaccinated, got pretty sick but came through ok.

But there is also a percentage of bites to the head when the dog is curious and goes in ...
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby Willie T » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:45 pm

The really high prey drive dogs, though not actively hunting snakes, investigate what they smell, when they see movement, boom, they are on it. Porky, skunk, snake, or possum. It's not premeditated, it's just the way they are wired. That's what you hope to short stop with snake avoidance. Much the same as trash breaking. Vaccine is about the only help I know of for incidental contact.
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Re: Snake avoidance.....

Postby ANick » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:08 pm

Willie T wrote:The really high prey drive dogs, though not actively hunting snakes, investigate what they smell, when they see movement, boom, they are on it. Porky, skunk, snake, or possum. It's not premeditated, it's just the way they are wired. That's what you hope to short stop with snake avoidance. Much the same as trash breaking. Vaccine is about the only help I know of for incidental contact.
Willie


I have yet to run into a real live test of the 'snake breaking' with mine. I'm really not in a rush to collect those data points. However, I did put Herself through the course this Spring. Three stations for sight, scent and sound, seemed to nip Curiosity in the bud. Once clear of the snakes, she was her usual, lively self. So, as far as unintended consequences of the event impacting general attitude, training or 'other', I have to say she's unaffected.

For reference, Dot trains at home usually on a 1 or 2 Low with the Garmin 550, maybe stepping up to 3 low if she is really got her game face on for training days.

Anyway, we also got the first vaccination then and did get the follow up booster (between 3 and 4 weeks after the initial, Doc and literature on it was adamant on the time limits) later.

The downside of the snake break and vaccination seems to be very minor, the upside *may* save some real time pain and anguish.

I'd do it again in a heart beat. Probably will do a repeat of the snake break periodically (annually) just to keep that fresh.
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