Since I live in Canada, I never have to think about the possibility of my dogs interacting with poisonous snakes. The only dangerous snake that lives in Ontario is the Massasauga Rattlesnake, and it’s territory is so limited that the chance of meeting one in the wild is slim to none.
So when Terrierman wrote this post today, it gave me a little food for thought. He linked to an article about how San Diego dog trainers that teach rattlesnake aversion classes with real snakes and e-collars for the dogs are being forced to go “underground” due to new city by-laws regarding snakes.
While some people swear that their dogs lives were saved by the training, there are others that claim shock collars teach a dog nothing, are painful and the best way to not get bitten is to avoid places snakes frequent.
I am of the opinion that using an e-collar to teach rattlesnake avoidance to a dog is quite effective. Think of the thousands of hunting dogs trampling though the bush every day that come home at night BECAUSE of that training. If you live in “snake country” and have dogs, I don’t think that simply trying to avoid snakes is going to keep a dog safe. Dogs frequently go out of sight on walks and snakes tend to show up in the darndest of places when you’re not expecting them.
So, if you lived in an area that had a lot of poisonous snakes, would you go to a dog trainer that used an e-collar to teach snake avoidance? I would certainly be first in line. I think that the discomfort of an e-collar for an hour or two is far better than this happening to my dogs.