Rattlesnake bites to dogs' faces are common as they curiously sniff at a snake: the subsequent swelling compromises breathing and can be fatal. For this reason, rattlesnake aversion training is used to teach dogs to fear and avoid the sound, scent, and sight of rattlesnakes.

The training was an unpleasant experience for my dog, no doubt about it. She has environmental sensitivities and her day is easily ruined. That is one reason why I chose a trainer who would come to my house rather than traveling to a one-day clinic. I was surprised that the trainer set the collar at a level that barely even got a twitch from my dog. It took about two hours to go through the whole program. He was very obliging about letting ME decide when my dog was ready for another go around, and at what distance. I left the snake handling to him and he left the dog handling to me.

My dog is easily spooked so she really only needed a hint that the snake was No Good. After the first 2 or 3 encounters, the dog actively avoided the snake so got no more shocks, just praise for taking a wide road around it. We played frisbee and strolled around a lot in between sessions to decompress, took an AC break inside, ate cookies, etc. If your dog responds to milder aversives than the e-collar, like scaring the dog with a yell and running away, discuss with your trainer starting out at that level.

Cody Will of Cottonwood (53O-200-188O Will's Skillz on Facebook) offers private on-site training using muzzled rattlers and conservative e-collar use.

Video about Cody Will's aversion-training

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