Rattlesnake Avoidance Training
Next Training -
August 19-20, 2023
If you missed our current clinic, want to be included in an upcoming clinic, or our dates don't work for you, feel free to add yourself to our notification list at the bottom of the page for future save the date emails and priority sign-up.
Check out our Commonly Asked Questions below!
This training is being offered to our clients, as well as the public. We have been hosting Natural Solution for over 10 years, and we do not recommend nor endorse any other trainers for this speciality training.
Using a trainer that has impeccable timing and training skills is imperative. Natural Solutions also brings in the element of education for the humans. Public education on the dangers of rattlesnakes, how to avoid them, and how to help your dog make the right choices are all discussed.
This training may not be for every dog or family, it is done to teach the avoidance of Rattlesnakes indigenous to our area. This can be a life or death situation that we hope to teach our dogs to avoid. The training helps our dogs make the right choice when we are not with them to keep them safe.
For more information about our chosen trainers, and the methods they use, please visit the Natural Solutions website.
We may add a day, please check back.
Commonly Asked Questions
When do you open up registration? Normally registration is opened up 5-6 weeks prior to our training dates. I send an email to those on my notification list, who will have priority registration for one week prior to opening the clinic to the public. We fill early, being on my notification list is highly recommended.
How old does my dog need to be? It is generally recommended that dogs be at least 6 months of age at the time of the training. This is to ensure that they are developmentally mature enough to make the correct association during the training. This general rule will vary by breed and size of dogs. Smaller dogs mature sooner, while larger dogs mature slower.
How much does it cost and how do I pay? The cost is $80 per dog, paid for at the time of the training with cash or check.
How big does my dog need to be? Any size dog will benefit from this training. Any dog, that can come into contact with a rattlesnake, will benefit no matter the size. Our trainers have equipment that is suitable for all. They have trained Mastiffs and Great Danes to small Teacup Maltese and Chihuahuas.
When should I have my dog trained? NOW! There is not a real "snake season" in Southern California. With our mild temperatures, it is not uncommon to see snakes basking in the sun in January, late Winter, and Early Spring. They are often actively looking for food and potential mates. In the late Summer and early Fall, baby rattlesnakes are born, and are then traveling to find a home of their own. All this happens near our homes, as they are drawn to rodents and water.
How long will the training take? The training process generally takes 10-15 minutes per dog, depending on the dog and the conditions of the training environment. A dog that is more sensitive to different environments or one with severe separation/ stranger anxiety, may take longer to get into a frame of mind where they are capable of engaging in their environment; therefore facilitating the learning process. EVERY dog is treated as an individual and will be given as much time as he/she needs to reach a comfortable state of mind!
How often do I need to have my dog trained? It is strongly recommended training be done once a year for three to four years in a row. Every dog is different. Most dogs retain a single experience for only about 8-18 months. Only a very small percentage of dogs will retain all aspects of the rattlesnake aversion for life, after just a single training. Most need a refresher to “remind them to remember” and build on their retention exponentially. It doesn’t hurt to train every year thereafter either but is often not crucial. Training is really only necessary once a year but can be done twice a year to remain effective. In most cases, we don’t recommend a dog repeat training any sooner than 6 months as it can actually overdo it and cause some dogs to go into a state of learned helplessness.
My dog has behavior issues, can he/she still be trained? Absolutely! In fact, one of the reasons I use Natural Solutions exclusively is due to their excellent reputation, ability, and willingness to work with dogs that are shy, fearful, aggressive, unfocused, hyper-obedient, or that have separation anxiety. The Natural Solutions trainers have a special understanding of animal behavior. As mentioned above, EVERY dog is treated as an individual and will be given as much time as he/she needs to reach a comfortable state of mind!
What should I be aware of after training?
1. Other types of non-venomous snakes like gopher snakes, garter snakes, and king snakes have very different odors. Some dogs will generalize this training across all snakes ("A snake is a snake is a snake!") while many others may not worry about them, or they may even approach other types of snakes as they do have different odors.
2. A dead snake smells VERY different to a dog; when the blood-to-air barrier has been broken (meaning blood and other bodily fluids have been exposed) and/or decay has started to set in, it is emitting a very strong, very different, and tempting odor to a carnivore. Most dogs are likely to go up to a dead rattlesnake or other snake after training.
3. When your dog has alerted you to a snake and/or is jumping back, or staying away from, or even if you aren't sure if he or she has seen it, PLAY IT UP BIG THAT YOU ARE "SCARED" OF THE SNAKE AND RETREAT AWAY FROM IT. Then PLEASE secure your dog before approaching the snake, catching/killing it, or attempting to "shoo it away". Even though your dog has learned to successfully recognize and avoid rattlesnakes, a dog may still feel the need to protect its owner and its protective instincts may overpower self-preservation.
4. Trying to test your dog by leading it up to or encouraging it to approach any type of snake (dead or alive) or snake element can only weaken what they have learned. You, their most trusted leader, are now giving them permission and confidence to approach and check these things out.
5. Your dog has learned the sight, sound, and smell of rattlesnakes but please keep in mind that if they are running full-out through the brush, perhaps chasing a rabbit, and/or the wind is blowing in the wrong direction, there is still the potential that a dog may run into/over a rattlesnake before he/she has any opportunity to detect it.
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