Training Approach

At Arizona Rattlesnake Avoidance, we offer specialized training to keep you dog safe from rattlesnakes and other poisonous snakes.  The best way to do that is to keep you dog from wanting to approach, sniff or play with snakes.  It is important to create an aversion to these creatures so that your dog will give them a wide berth if they run across one.

We want the dogs to fear the:

  • Sight: Because the movement of snakes is very different from any other creature the dog may have seen and evokes the curiosity of almost every dog. And some dogs just want to attack anything that moves at all!!
  • Sound: Because the sound of a rattling rattlesnake is also quite good at arousing a dogs natural curiosity.
  • Smell: The smell of the rattlesnake is the most important thing the dog can fear.  If they are afraid of the smell, they will avoid an area that one is and will never get close enough to see or hear it.  This will also keep you safe when you are out walking your dog since they will be alerted to the snakes presents before you and your dog get to close.

Training Procedures:

We train with live rattlesnakes that are from this area and are the species of snakes your dog will likely encounter in this part of Arizona.  The snakes are de-fanged in the morning before each training session so that there is no chance of any dogs or people getting injected with venom.  This must be done before each lesson as their fangs grow back in 5-7 days. The snakes are wild, and are loose on the ground so there is a chance that a snake may strike and bite. But without the fangs to inject the venom there is no chance of serious injury.

The dogs are fitted with a stimulation collar. The dog is then brought to several different rattlesnakes in several different locations/atmospheres and stimulated by the collar while the dog is concentrating on the snake.  It is important to not point out, or warn the dog the snake is present.  We want the dog to find the snakes on there own, by the smell, sight and sound alone.  The object is to make your dog believe that when they see, smell, or hear a rattlesnake, that the snake will make them experience negative stimulus, and it has nothing to do with humans that may be around.  The stimulation they feel can not physically injure them in any way.

The Retest

After the initial training session, we recommend you return within 6 months for what we call a retest.  This comes with the fee you paid for the initial training.  We will walk your dog up to the snakes without the stimulation collar on and see how they react. Approximately 99% of dogs pass the retest.  If they do not show enough fear, we will re-do the training, and you can bring your dog back again anytime in the next 6 months.  This you can do until they pass.  It is VERY rare `that a dog fails twice.

To sign up  for a class online:

Serving Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, Green Valley, Sahuarita,  and surrounding areas.

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