Wildlife Professionals and Dog Trainers Collaborate to Train Dogs for Snake Bite Prevention
Get Rattled holds important Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic in Penn Valley this April
Penn Valley, CA – Rattlesnakes will be active soon due to the warm temperatures, fostering an earlier and longer snake season. If you enjoy activities that take you and your dogs outdoors, you and your pets may be at risk for encountering rattlesnakes. And as the snakes keep moving in search of food and mates, they may even end up in your own backyard. According to the California Poison Control System, the state’s current warmer-than-average weather means that this spring and summer will likely be a very active rattler season.
“I’d say that most dog owners don’t really think about snake bites until they see a rattlesnake for themselves, in parks, or their backyards, and then realize their dogs can be at risk,” says John Potash co-founder and co-owner of Get Rattled. He adds, “Get Rattled is a unique training clinic designed specifically to teach dogs on rattlesnake avoidance. We have been teaching this clinic for 15 years and have successfully trained thousands of dogs.”
Potash is licensed by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and has over 25 years of experience working with venomous snakes and wildlife in areas of animal control, wildlife rescue, and public education. He works with skilled dog trainer Willie J. Stevens Jr. who has over 20 years of experience training and judging pointing dogs.
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training is a crucial tool for dog owners. Potash says, “Prevention is your number one line of defense in protecting your dogs from venomous snakes. When dogs and their owners go hiking or to the dog parks to go off leash, this training teaches them to be fearful of the rattlesnake. It protects people as well, as the dog becomes an alert system. This training has proven to be an effective tool in teaching rattlesnake avoidance to all dogs from Great Danes to Chihuahuas.
Because rattlesnakes can regulate the amount of venom they inject into another animal, the health risks to dogs from a bite can vary greatly depending on the amount of venom injected, the species and size of rattlesnake, and the size of the dog and where it was bitten. Dogs can also be bitten when owners are not around, so Potash suggests that people know some general signs of a bite along with health risks: “Dogs are usually bitten on their limbs, neck, head, or face so look for severe swelling in those areas. After some time, the venom may produce nausea, vomiting, and the dog can seem lethargic and will begin to act as if something is bothering them. If you see a snake bite happen or notice these symptoms, keep your dog calm and take them to a vet right away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
Get Rattled has partnered with Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park to host a Rattlesnake Avoidance Training Clinic in Penn Valley on April 30, 2016 and area pet owners are highly encouraged to take part. Appointments are scheduled by pre-paid reservations between 9:00am to 3:00pm with sessions lasting between 10 to 30 minutes each. The cost is $85.00 per dog. (Current members of Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park will receive a $10.00 discount.) Refresher training for dogs who have previously gone through this program with Get Rattled is $60.00. Any and all proceeds collected above cost will help to continue improvements and ongoing maintenance at Western Gateway Dog Park.
The clinic does require the use of a remote training collar that will be customized to fit each dog. Please read the registration form carefully. While no dog training is guaranteed, this clinic will help provide local dog owners extra assurance and peace of mind this summer that their dogs will avoid dangerous rattlesnake encounters, protecting their health, and their families from suffering the pain and medical costs of a rattlesnake bite.
For more information, including the exact location of the training sessions, please visit their website at: westerngatewaydogpark.org and click on “upcoming events”. Registration forms can be printed directly from the website, or they may be picked up at the Dog Park and at some of the following locations: local pet supply stores, veterinary clinics and dog trainers. If you have further questions, contact Jeri Stone, President of Friends of Western Gateway Dog Park at 530-432-4949.