Snake avoidance training teaches dogs to steer clear of snakes - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Snake avoidance training teaches dogs to steer clear of snakes

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - We're starting to feel summer-like temperatures, and that means rattlesnakes have come out of hiding. We know that they can be dangerous, but our dogs do not.
    
Their curiosity could get them killed or seriously injured. FOX10 checked out a training program today in cave creek and in a matter of seconds dogs learn to stay away from snakes based on how they smell and sound.
    
When you see a snake you know to run, and proper training could teach your furry friend to do the same.
    
Leighton Oosthuisen is the owner of Partners Dog Training; he starts snake avoidance a lesson by exposing the dog to a live rattlesnake, in a cage.

The first time Koba the dog approaches the snake she's curious but Leighton activates a stimuli collar to let her know the snake is bad.

"We will introduce the dog to the odor, and the moment he picks up the association with the odor we give him a small little nick with a collar. Once the dog gets that nick they'll jump back away from the snake and learn that association," said Leighton Ooosthuisen.

Many people assume that the stimuli collar is hurting the dog. Leighton says it does not cause any pain; it just surprises them. It just comes as a big shock to you but not physically shocking, just mentally surprising.

You can tell how effective the training is by watching Azzura, a Dutch shepherd, in her second round of training.

Even without a stimuli collar, the snake's sound and smell let her know she wants to stay away.

"If everything goes right the training is over in twenty to thirty seconds," said Oosthuisen.

Hiker Aaron Abbott says his dog Ruby steers clear from snakes since the training.

"She thinks rattle snakes shoot fire out of their butts," said Abbott.

The training costs 89 dollars.
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