Dog training to avoid rattlesnakes

Discussion in 'Arizona Flyway Forum' started by field-n-feathers, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. field-n-feathers

    field-n-feathers Elite Refuge Member

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    Hey guys. Making the move to Phoenix soon. Thinking about taking my dogs, who have lived in Michigan their entire life, to snake avoidance training and getting them vaccinated for snake bites. Any tips, experience, or opinion on this training? Thanks guys.
     
  2. migr82az

    migr82az Refuge Member

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    I'm not sure there is a vaccine that is guaranteed to work before the bite as we have over a dozen species of rattlers. I would definitely do avoidance training though.

    Recommended from a coworker, Jim Walkington with Viper Avoidance was a great guy and my dog immediately figured it out through his process.

    The fee is $60 and includes a free re-test about a month after the initial. Feel free to ask me more about how he does it, I would use him again.

    http://www.vipervoidance.com/
     
  3. field-n-feathers

    field-n-feathers Elite Refuge Member

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    That's the one we are considering using. As far as the vaccine, I've read that many vets recommend it. But, like you said, it doesn't necessarily mean it's guaranteed to work with them all.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. JuvieCoot

    JuvieCoot Elite Refuge Member

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    I have a couple friends in veterinary school who said that no actual tests have been done on the vaccine.

    That being said, my dog has been to avoidance clinics and is on the vaccine. God forbid if she does ever gets bit and it goes the wrong way at least I'll have done everything I could.
     
  5. pbd

    pbd Senior Refuge Member

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    Avoidance is well worth the cost. It's a little painful to watch but can save a life.

    We lost a dog in our group during the dove opener last year. Got her to the vet and she appeared to be on the mend. Died 2 days after the bite.

    If you're going to be running around the desert particularly in warmer temps, make the investment.
     
  6. field-n-feathers

    field-n-feathers Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. This is all new for me. I've lived in Michigan my entire life, so we haven't had to worry about these things. I have no problem with shock collar training, as long as it may help to save their lives and potentially mine too. It will definitely take some getting used to regarding the various snakes out there. I'm thinking the days of letting the dogs off leash on our adventures may be delayed.
     
  7. field-n-feathers

    field-n-feathers Elite Refuge Member

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    Just an update on this guys. Made the move to AZ last October. Got our lab into Viper Voidance training about 1 month ago. It was money well spent. Took her back for the recheck and she had those things smelled out 30 yards away and alerted us to their presence.

    Highly recommend it.
     
  8. migr82az

    migr82az Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the update! He'll talk your ear off, but Jim knows what he is doing, glad you got that done.

    Fortunately, my lab has not encountered a rattlesnake since avoidance training 3 years ago. Yet, I'm pretty sure I'm going to shell out another $60 and get him trained again. Had him lakeside yesterday evening retrieving dummies out of thick cover and all I could think of was if he remembered the smell and avoidance or not..
     
  9. field-n-feathers

    field-n-feathers Elite Refuge Member

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    Yep, he's a great guy and fun to talk to. It was a bit funny how my lab acted when I first pulled in and opened the door for her to get out for her recheck. She was excited to get out until the door opened, then she backed up and jumped into the front seat of my wife's Grand Cherokee. We figured out she didn't want to get out because the wind was blowing at the Jeep from the snake cage about 40 yards away. I ended up moving it to another spot and she got out.
     

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