Rattlesnake Alert- Rattlesnake Aversion Training for Dogs



FOR DOGS - Salt Lake City, UTAH


Why rattlesnake aversion training?

          You will be able to put your mind at ease whether you are playing or working with your canine in rattlesnake terrain.  Typically, upon seeing, smelling and/or hearing a rattlesnake in the wild, a dog’s first instinct is to approach it for further investigation.  This unfortunately results in either the dog or the snake getting bit, injured or possibly killed.  After completing aversion training, the dog will be able to identify a rattlesnake through its senses of sight, sound and smell and avoid the snake altogether.  Ideally, this will also alert you, the owner, to the potential danger ahead.


Why this training?

     This proven method of Snake Safe training, developed by Web Parton, has been in practice for over 30 years.  Defanged rattlesnakes are used so your dog can be in close proximity to a rattlesnake without worry of being envenomated.  This will ensure the dog is able to see the snake move around, hear the rattle clearly, and most importantly pick up the distinct smell of the rattlesnake.  At least two different species of rattlesnakes are used to cover the gamut of different scents among species. Once I am confident that your dog can identify a rattlesnake, I will apply low level stimulation from an e collar to simulate a bite.  After this training, your dog will remember to avoid this present danger for the rest of it's life.


Great Basin Rattlesnake


Learning to identify a rattlesnake through smell


Discovering a rattlesnake for the first time

Rattlesnake factoids:

Rattlesnakes don't want to harm us

Rattlesnakes do not seek out humans or dogs so they can attack us.  They would much rather be left alone and save their venom for killing prey.  Most venomous snake bites in the US are caused by humans startling the snake or trying to handle it.  


how to identify a rattlesnake

The most distinguishing characteristic of a rattlesnake is it's rattle.  They do not always use their rattle before they strike.  Very young rattlesnakes may only have one rattle which will not make noise.  Rattlesnakes tend to protect their rattle by raising it in the air as they move around.  Other snakes may mimic a rattlesnake by vibrating their tail.  Another characteristic of a rattlesnake it a triangular shaped head which leads into a narrow neck and fat body.

rattlesnakes are important to our environment

Rattlesnakes help to keep an ecological balance by feeding on mice and rats.  These rodents carry diseases, ruin crops and can destroy personal property.  We would be overrun by these nuisance mammals without the presence of rattlesnakes. 

rattlesnakes can't hear us

Rattlesnakes do not have ears.  They have three ways of detecting an approaching object.  A rattlesnake will either see you, feel you coming though vibrations in the ground or detect you through heat sensors in the pits located behind their nostrils.


what to do if you or your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake

Remain calm!  If possible, immobilize and keep the affected area below the heart.  Make your way to the nearest hospital or veterinary clinic as calmly and quickly as possible.  Anything else you have read about how to treat a venomous snake bite in the field is outdated and will likely cause more harm than good.

I introduced Sam to a rattlesnake 3 years after his initial training.  Here is the result: