Snake Avoidance Course
You may be wondering what exactly a Snake Avoidance Course is and what is going to happen to my dog.
We use live Diamondback Rattlesnakes and rattlers have the capabilities of replacing extracted fangs very quickly. Our Snake Handler uses a clipping method to keep the old fang partially in place and the snake releases his venom in the process. There is still a possibility that a dog could get pricked where that portion of the fang is and draw blood. The possibility of venom releasing from that portion of the fang is very low. Our Snake Handler has had hundreds of dogs struck during the ’desnaking ’ process and never reported accidental venom extraction. He knows that dog owners are concerned should their dog be struck and this is to advise you of that possibility.
The clinic uses electronic stimulating dog collars for the negative response in teaching the dog that their discomfort comes from the snake. The electronic collar has been proven as a very safe method of training.
There will be two rattlesnakes on the course. The first snake has its rattles taped to simulate a dormant Snake or a Cottonmouth. Rattlesnakes do not necessarily rattle before they strike. The dog is brought in the vicinity of the snake using long check cords. The best response is to get the dog to use its natural senses to SMELL THE SNAKE & SEE THE SNAKE! When the handler of the collar sees that this has occurred stimulation will be given from the e-collar. Some dogs will need to see it again, but most will learn quickly and any curiosity will result as a negative experience.
The second snake is a rattlesnake with the rattles buzzing. The plan is to have the dog use it’s natural senses and HEAR THE SNAKE, SEE THE SNAKE & SMELL THE SNAKE. If the dog responds by leaving the vicinity, no stimulation will be given, but if the dog is still curious he will receive more stimulation to imprint that snake encounters as really bad experiences and to be avoided.
Next is the loyalty check is to have the owner call the dog to him while the rattlesnake is between the dog and the owner. A wide berth around the snake is the final test that the dog knows WHERE THE SNAKE IS…. WHAT THE SNAKE SOUND LIKE…& WHAT THE SNAKE SMELLS LIKE.
Dogs are curious animals and do not have any natural fear of snakes. They usually are attracted to them for some reason. Our course introduces dogs to snakes as a negative experience using shock collars so they blame the snake for the pain. This is an association training and takes about 5 - 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need a reservation?
Your application and payment are your reservation. We will start training those preregistered at 7:30 am on a first come first served basis. You may come either day. The training only takes about 5 - 10 minutes and you need not be there at 7:30 am. Walk-Ins are welcome but be prepared to wait until preregistered dogs are trained.
Reservations ARE required to participate in the International Sportsman's Exposition training in January.
Is there room for my dog?
There is plenty of room for your dogs. We guided over 100 dogs through the course in a day last year and still had time for more. If you arrive by 1:00 pm we will train until all dogs are done, it is too dark or we just can't go on. You have the choice of Saturday or Sunday. Just come on the day most convenient to you.
Pre-registered time slots are required for the International Sportsman's Exposition training.
Is my puppy old enough for this course?
This treatment is not effective for puppies younger than 6 months old.
Do I need to be a member of CGDA to put my dog through this course?
Membership is not required. This program is for all dog breeds, especially those who live and play in snake country. If you do have a pointing dog you may be interested in our club and it's benefits. Please inquire at the check in desk or call an officer listed on the home page.
Does my dog need to take this course again?
A second treatment is important as a refresher course and allows you to judge whether your dog has learned from the first time or may need more. Dogs are like people in this respect, you never know.
We recommend this course once a year.
Can I pay with my credit card?
Sorry we are a small club and are not set up to accept credit cards over the phone.
Will other dates be available?
Unfortunately we are only able to provide this service on the dates listed, usually June and the ISE
We have been training dogs to avoid snakes for over 20 years. The next course will be held January 10th - 13th at the International Sportsman's Exposition in the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. We will be training on a limited basis at specific times, see FAQ's below.
This the best chance to prepare your dog for dangerous snake encounters for the spring snake season! We will be educating all dog breeds. We charge $50 per dog at the ISE. Please forward or share this information with anyone who might be interested in making their dog snake smart.
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