snake advodance classes...do they really work?

shdytree

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im another new guy to this forum and since ive read alot of good info i thougt i would to get some i can use.. do snake advodance training really work...i live the deep south (northwest fla.) we have are share of snakes,mostly none poisonous but a few pretty nasty(rattlers- water moccassins-coral snake) i dont see many rattlers anymore manly dead on the highways but in this well waterd country we have an abundance cotten mouths. ive heard that cal. is almost over run with rattlers and since im traveling out to cal. the middel of aug. to visit family and im bring my boykin spaniel with me to pick up all the doves im going to kill on the cal. dove opener 1 sep.( FLA. SEASON OPENS ON THE 1ST SAT. IN OCT. WILL BE BACK BY THEN I HOPE) i would see what advise i could get from the experianced dog men on this site. any help app..
 

bzzboyz

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Cant't say for sure, but I sure hope so. I'm taking my lab to one one next weekend.
 

MexHunter

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I do not think the snake training is perfect but it seems to be worth the effort. I had a friend take her Chessie to snake avoidance clinic. The dog was bit on the nose in her own backyard less than 24 hours later.

My two older Labs went through the training 6 or 7 years ago. This spring while being aired, one of my younger dogs spotted a recently killed rattler on the edge of a dirt road. The other dogs ran over to see what the young one had found. It was as if the two snake-broke dogs hit a glass wall about 15 feet away from the snake. They would not go near. The two younger ones were sniffing it with no fear.

Has anyone heard if the new rattlesnake vaccinations actually work?

Russ
 

DKScott

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I have been told the vaccine is effective, but it is only approved for 2 states, California being one. I think the other might be Texas, but I'm not sure.

The name of the company that's making the vaccine is Red Rock Biologics you can contact them at 866-897-7625 or www.redrockbiologics.com.

As I understand it, its a series of 2-3 shots, depending on the size of the dog, administered 30 days apart. Reactions to the vaccine run about 1/1,000 and it doesn't work on neurotoxins, only hemotoxins, so it will not protect against the Mojave Green. I have heard they are working on a vaccine that will be effective against neurotoxins, but nobody knows when that might be available, if ever. They say if bitten, you should still take the dog to the vet immediately for antibiotics.

Snake breaking definitely works and is money well spent, given the exhorbitant cost of treating snakebites. In CA, for a simple (single) bite, costs begin around $1,000 and go up from there. I have talked to several folks who have spent $2,000 or more. Compare that to $60 or so for a snake break clinic.

It's generally recommended that you repeat the clinic a year or so after the initial one. When I took my dog for his "refresher course" there was no doubt he vivdly remembered the lessons of the first one. He wanted nothing to do with snakes and it took two grown men to wrestle him up to within a few yards of the snakes.

Although he has opportunities most days of the week, I have not seen my dog encounter a snake in the wild. I did see a friend's dog get a whiff of one under a bush while walking on a leash. She just snarled and walked by as far from that bush as the leash would allow. I went back and looked and sure enough, there was a buzzworm under it.

Scott
 

shdytree

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thanks dkscott, you gave alot to think about. i havent heard of any classes here in the deep south but ill start looking around. shdytree
 

BigDaddyB

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50% or more of dove shooting is over agricutural fields, and I have yet to see a rattler in one, not that they aren't there. I've been hunting with dogs in the field since 1980, and knock, knock, knock on wood, have yet to encounter one. I've hunted all over California, along the river in Arizona and in Eastern Oregon during the peak seasons for snakes to be out and about, and fortunately, only ran one over with my truck.
After reading about some of the mishaps of some of the folks here, I am seriously considering attending a clinic, I don't want my luck to run out!
I've killed every rattler I ever came across, I don't like snakes, never have and never will.
As far as coming to Ca. for a dove shoot, I wouldn't give it a lot of consideration, but if you are talking about the overall aspects, then you should look into the training. If you're going to shoot dove in the desert or foothills, you want to keep a sharp eye open for them, but in the ag fields, not many worries!
 

DKScott

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Don't think you won't find them in or around ag fields - they're there. I have encountered several in and out of agriculture. They have water, cover and an abundant food supply. Their food supply is good reason not to indiscriminately kill them. Rattlers are are not aggressive unless they percieve you as a threat and they usually give enough warning. They keep the rodents under control. Rattlers may occasionaly bite, but rodents carry Bubonic plague, Hanta virus and God knows what else
 

duckdog

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Does anyone have a phone number to the person that does the class? The club that I am in wants to put on a snake avoidance class here in the Central Valley. With all the rattlers in the foothills, I don't want to take a chance. I know of a dog that got bite at Mendota refuge during training.
 

Schoettgen

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I was north of Gerlach a few years ago and my dog went past a clump of sage tucked his tail and made a wide circle around it. I was headed right through there but instead I stopped and took a carfull look around to see what was there. I didn't see it at first but then spotted the rattler about three feet off the ground in the sage. The snake break training that day probably kept me from getting bitten.
 

Idaho Ron

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I have ran my dog through one of these. The problem I see with them is the way they are ran. The one I went to had the snakes in three stations. Each dog had to go to each station.
As I watched I saw the dogs as they entered the station area start to act scared, before they even got close to the snake. These were dogs that had NEVER seen a snake or a class on snake breaking. These dogs were up wind and were walking with their belly's on the ground, tail down ears down.
I told the guys putting it on that the dogs discharge from their anal glands under a
HIGH electric shock they are not used to. It was my belief that the dogs were reacting to the scent of the other dogs that had gone before them.
The guys putting it on didn't want to move the stations so each dog went to the same place.
I am still in the belief that if your are lucky to be one of the first your dog might get something out of it. If you are WAY down the list I tend to doubt the effectiveness of the class.
Since the class I went to I have noticed that other areas like Vets offices have spots where a dog is likely to get around Anal gland secretion. Every time my dog is around a area with intense scent of this type she gets scared. I have seen her around snakes and it is my belief she reacts no different to snakes now as she did before the class.
I feel that to be a affective class, the snakes need to be moved to a new location so the dogs are focusing on the scent and sight of the snake. Not the dogs before them.
Ron
 

bzzboyz

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Idaho Ron. I had never thought of that. I'm glad mine was the 3rd dog to run this morning. And with that said, I think it worked well. She went straight to that first rattlerless rattler so fast that the guy with the remote didn't have time to hit it before the rattler struck her (fangs removed), But when he hit her, well, lets just say I didn't know she could jump that high
. I'm tempted to enter her in the Outdoors Games big air competiotin after seeing that move.


Any way I guess the first one wasn't enough and she decided to go back and take a second look. Bamm, she got it again. Now mind you this is a dog that has never had a shock collar on her. I was a little aprehensive because I am trying to do everything this time without one, but the trainer said that that was a good thing. Since she had never experienced one that this would definately stick in her mind.

After a few more trips near the snake, she wouldn't even look it's way. Next he put the snake between me and her and I called her. He had her on a 15' rope and she used everybit of that rope to go around that snake to get to me.

Next he took her to the snake that had it's rattler. She really liked that noise. Well at least till she got zapped again for going to check it out. She bit her own tongue on that one. Not bad though. Well that was about all she needed. She went around the snake again to get to me and wouldn't even look towards the snake. We ran the course again without the collar to see how she did and everything went perfect.

So in closing I'd say it was a success and worked well. I would imagine that the refresher courses are necessary as well. I watched some seasoned hunting dogs who were there for a refresher that needed a few zaps of their own to get the point.
 

DKScott

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Ron,

That's an interesting observation. How long would the smell linger in the immediate vicinity once the source has left? The clinics I have attended had very sparse, short cover and a breeze. You mentioned that the dogs were upwind. How would they get the scent until right on top of it?

I've been to two of these things now and didn't notice any of the naive dogs, including mine the first time, showing any hesitation to get in the vicinity of the snakes. My dog's struggling in the second trial was clearly related to the presence of the snakes and was one of the very first dogs that morning. Neither did I notice any unusual interactions or avoidances between dogs waiting to be "instructed" and dogs that had just been through the procedure - not that I was specifically looking for anything, but I usually watch the dogs' behavior when I am at these kind of group things. I do remember the trainer's assistant saying he didn't want the waiting dogs watching the other dogs go through the procedure. Could that be a contaminant? Could it have been something in the manner or demeanor of the handler that let the dogs know something was up? Ever notice how your dog knows he's in trouble just from a look you give him?

I haven't noticed dogs generally shy away from that anal gland smell - in fact, I have seen them attracted to it. As one example, just the other night I was at a neighbor's house and her female dog had that rotting fish smell caused by some kind of irritation to the gland. Another friend came over with her dog - a young male (both dogs are neutered) and both played in the yard. Within 15 minutes, he had that smell all over him to point of requiring an immediate bath.

Scott
 

Idaho Ron

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The way they had it set up was this. It was in a park with short grass. The dogs were kept in the shade of a picnic area. They could here the dogs getting
but they could not see them. A handler took all the dogs through the course.
The wind was at our backs as we walked up to the first snake. No scenting was done on the first location, just as soon as the dog saw the snake
. Then the dog was walked around the snake, and that was the first time they smelled it, but no shock here. Then they were led down wind of the second snake and

The final station was another sight and scent at the same time.
I Watched several dogs walk happy right up to the point where they could start smelling the area where the dogs had been zapped. Then some dogs mine included, started to crouch down and had tail down belly on the ground. It was a display of what I would call fear. Some dogs did not have a problem with it at all. I saw one lab attack the snake and the owner SAID it would. They had two collars on the dogs neck and two around the dogs waist. This was a refresher course for this dog! They lit him up BIG TIME! They gave the guy his money back in the end because the dog would not quit attacking the snakes, even with four collars on.
On dog was a HUGE Great dane. This dog crumbled like a house of cards. For him I believe it worked fine. Since this class I have seen my dog eat a snake skin. So I am not real sure it was of any value.
Ron
 

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