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Snake avoidance clinic for dogs

'Tis the season for rattlesnake avoidance clinics for dogs. Last week in Outposts, I mentioned a clinic going on Saturday and Sunday at Tapia Park in Calabasas, sponsored by the Mountains Restoration Trust.

Baby rattler For you San Gabriel Valleyites, there's a snake avoidance clinic for dogs sponsored by Quail Unlimited, also on Saturday and Sunday. This one will be at Sierra Madre Dog Park, costs $65 and will be conducted by Robert Kettle, a herpetologist from Nevada who's done similar clinics for various wildlife agencies and the military.

Even if your dog gets a rattlesnake vaccine, these clinics are a good idea for anyone who takes their dogs on SoCal trails. Anyone who's had a dog struck by a rattler knows it's a losing proposition. Getting a bitten dog off the trail and to a vet that has antivenin on hand is no easy task. Best to train Fido to avoid snakes in the first place, and hopefully alert you to rattlers on the trail, one of the goals of these clinics.

— Julie Sheer.

Photo: A baby rattlesnake at Will Rogers State Historic Park. Credit: Julie Sheer

 
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Comments (5)

I just posted a link to a video from a vet that conducts these classes on my Facebook public page.

It used to be that it was hard to find anyone to teach them but today they are more humane and a lot of different groups sponsor the training which is supplied by trainers and veterinarians who humanely handle the snakes.

We have a lot of rattlesnakes that have been coming down into our rural town but it is the dogs and the people who have been drinking that get into the most trouble.

Since we have six different species of snakes and mountainous terrain--it is vital to have an option because getting a pet to emergency or somewhere that has the right antivenin is tough.

I took my dog to a similar program. Its a very sensible thing to do.

usedtocare, too bad the glass is always half empty for you. I have two dogs that have gone through that training in So. OC. and it is a wonderful class. My dogs are much safer now and I can let them be dogs on hikes and trials. They won't go anywhere near a snake now. Great class.

65 bucks to "train" your dog out of his own instincts. Like training airport security to take away your nail clippers.

Keep your dog on a leash while hiking and the odds of being bitten go way down.


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