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Posted by azpowell on September 07, 2002 at 23:28:38:
I have heard a friend speak of a local dog trainer conducts snake avoidance clases once a week. It was said that they 'defang' the snakes and tape there rattles with duc tape.
I am also told that this is an extremelly effective training, that the dogs will almost never forget even when tested years later. The process involves fitting the dog with a training shock collar and allowing the dog to find the snake. The neuro-association of the distinct smell along with the visual image seems to invite curosity from nearly every dog. The dogs would be bitten in most of the cases since all (vast majority) place thier nose right within 6" - 10" proximity of the snake for a smell.
The moment the nose goes down to the snake, on highest setting, the remote launches the collar and the dog a couple of feet straight in the air and the process is complete.
They won't come within 20 feet of a rattler again and they will protect their owner from ever seeing them if they are leashed and unaware of the dogs avoidance manouvers.
If a dog is bitten by the first snake they meet they don't learn to avoid them because the pain of the bite is minor contrary to what we would think it would be.
The collar is definatly a great way to instruct for this challenging avoidance problem and live rattlers are the only way it is done successfully that I have heard of.
I want to know if anyone knows or is interested in testing of a way to muzzle a snake? I want to see if there is a way to use sometihing to protect the snake and dog that is easily removable that doesn't injur or kill anything. The thought of sowing the mouth shut is cruel beyond sanity.
I have an idea for a unique snake muzzle that I want to test but I am not a professional handler. I would be willing to work with someone in Tucson or Phoenix to give it a try. email me if your interested - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, as an opinion. I think snakes are much safer if we train the dogs with absolute avoidance techniques and thus we avoid the dog owner killing in retaliation or revenge all the snakes that are like the one that killed his dog. And this type of life long human behavior is impossible to correct with a dog size shock collar!