A class teaching dogs to avoid rattlesnakes
As of May of 2012, occasional weekend a classes will be offered in Wenatchee to train dogs to detect and avoid rattlesnakes. It is estimated that over 150,000 dogs are bitten by rattlesnakes in the US each year. Dog owners who enjoy living or recreating in Eastern Washington are advised to protect their pets from rattlesnake bites with this training.
“I watched our Scottish Terrier approach a coiled rattlesnake, and learned firsthand that dogs are not naturally afraid of a coiled, rattling snake,” says Darel Ansley, a rattlesnake avoidance trainer in Wenatchee. The training uses a live rattlesnake in a strike-proof cage and a remote training collar for the dog. When the curious dog sees the snake up close and gets the full scent, a shock is administered through the collar. The dog then associates this pain with the sight and smell of a rattlesnake and will avoid them forever.
“Some people don’t like the idea of their pooch getting a shock, but it’s a lot better than learning the hard way with a real snake bite,” says Ansley, whose black lab was trained nine years ago and who still stops the family on a hike if they are approaching a rattlesnake.
With an average annual rainfall of only 8 inches, Eastern Washington attracts visitors for almost every conceivable outdoor sport, which puts recreationalists and their dogs in the rattlesnakes’ backyard. Snake training makes this reality much safer for all parties — dogs, dog owners, and snakes.The training takes place in Wenatchee which is centrally located between Seattle, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities.
Class information is available at the Rattlesnakedog.com website and classes will be held throughout the summer months in Wenatchee. Members of the media are also invited to use the contact information below to participate in a session with their dogs.
This post was originally published on 5/22/2012.