The Training Process
Rattlesnake aversion training for dogs has been shown to be safe and effective in helping to prevent an envenomation by a rattlesnake. Melanie Barton, a Certified Animal Behaviorist, personally trains every dog to avoid the sight sound and scent of a rattlesnake. Melanie has been training animals for over ten years. Her specialty confirms that both the dogs and snakes to be humanely treated during the training process.
Training Rattlesnake with Surgical Tape Muzzle
The snakes used during the rattlesnake avoidance training are either muzzled or contained in a "blind box" to ensure the safety of the dogs being trained. The rattlesnake aversion training consists of three phases:
First Phase - Smell RecognitionThe handler will take an inanimate object that has been scented like a rattlesnake and introduce it to your dog several times. After the dog shows interest in the scent a low level stimulation will be applied. This teaches your dog to avoid the smell of a rattlesnake. After your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase.
Second Phase - Sound RecognitionThe handler will bring your dog to the "blind box" multiple times and from different angles. A low level stimulus is applied each time your dog acknowledges the rattle from a live rattlesnake. This teaches the dog to avoid the sound of a rattlesnake. Once your dog learns aversion behavior, he/she will proceed to the next phase.
Third Phase - Putting it all TogetherThe handler will bring your dog up to a live rattlesnake multiple times and from multiple angles. The dog has the ability to see, hear and smell the rattlesnake. This is where the animal can put all three together and understand what a rattlesnake is. When your dog shows consistent avoidance behavior they have been successfully trained. Next you will be asked to call your dog to you.
Grab the leash or collar as your dog comes to you. Congratulations you are done!
Yearly FollowupYearly training is recommended. This will re-establish and strengthen your dog's rattlesnake awarenes and avoidance behavior.
The Training Day
Before the training begins please read and sign the services agreement/ informed consent form.
PLEASE remain quiet while observing the training, so you do not distract your dog.
During the training please pay attention to
- What the trainer says, so we all (including animals) can be safe.
- Your dogs body language (this will tell you that a rattlesnake is near)
- The orange cones. This is the closest you can safely get to the snakes.
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