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#5803178 - 06/24/15 05:58 AM Snakes and Dogs - Training
kry226 Offline


Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 4784
Loc: Germany
In anticipation of purchasing a gun dog once I hang these boots up and settle down, I poke my nose in here from time to time to catch up and ask an elementary question or two. I've had dogs before, but I was a lot younger, and they were pets. Never had my own gun dog and certainly never in snake country.

We'll probably end up with a GSP professionally trained for quail (and an occasional dove retrieve) and we'll be living at our place in the panhandle. So far, I'm sold on the rattler vaccine and avoidance classes.

But my wife and I have two younger children (currently 10 and 7 years) and of course I have a great concern for them regarding snake bites. They each have a good pair of chaps and will have snake boots eventually, but wearing them 100% of the time or every time they walk outside isn't very practical. (I saw the pic of the cottonmouth on Wal's porch eek ).

Here's where I need advice and an azimuth check: While I certainly want my dog to avoid the snake and potential bite, I don't want the dog turning inside out and running and hiding under the truck. I would like the dog to alert me to the snake with a healthy dose of "freak out" but stay in the neighborhood while I get the nearest dose of snake medicine.

I don't want my dog bitten, it's family of course. But I desire much less having my wife and kids bitten. Last November, I killed four rattlers within 24 hours and all within 20 yards of my wife and kids. Two of the rattlers were 15 inch yearlings and one rattled at me from 10 feet away all coiled up in his "strike pose". The largest one, a 4 footer with nine rattles and a button, let me get within 12 inches of him before rattling. There's no telling how many more were around that I didn't see.

I would like a dog trained to avoid being bitten but also able to keep the snake located for me for dispatch.

Are these wants or expectations reasonable? Is it reasonable to ask this of any dog, much less a GSP?

Thanks in advance for entertaining what might be a dumb, long winded question. up
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#5803360 - 06/24/15 08:41 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
Sniper John Online   happy

gumshoe

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16317
Loc: North Texas
After spending hours and days hunting with my dogs, I am almost always able to read their body language when near a snake. I don't know how many times I have been hunting behind my Vizsla and say "there is a snake in there" and be right. I never dispatch a snake in front of the dog BTW. Just "leave it" and move on. My thought on it is from repetition on shooting game a dog's instinct is going to be to hunt what you shoot in front of it.
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#5803370 - 06/24/15 08:53 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
MS1454 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2705
Loc: Houston/Sealy
Yes the dog should indicate somehow there is a snake there. The problem is they won't always be able to and the can get bite.
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Originally Posted By: Fooshman
I'll take a Black Female every time.


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#5803417 - 06/24/15 09:29 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: MS1454]
First_Chance Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2311
Loc: dfw
This is kind of a catch-22 thing in that you are training a dog to "avoid" and encounter with a snake, but would like to have the dog alert you to it's presence. I've been around plenty of house, ranch and hunting dogs that will bark and go nuts if a snake comes up into the yard or pen areas, but I don't believe I have ever seen a hunting dog stop and bark at a snake while hunting birds. Typically, like Sniper said, it's a subtle reaction from the dog that you would only see by knowing the dog and recognizing it when they show an out of character reaction like turning their head and making a non-graceful abrupt move downwind when typically a gun dog will get pulled around by it's nose into the wind.

The school of thought for the most part is if the dog is trained to avoid snakes, then by following your dog or working through the area that he has worked through, then it is rare that you will encounter a snake.
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#5803536 - 06/24/15 10:49 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
bill oxner Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 32705
Loc: Richmond
I've seen less than a half dozen snakes in my 50 years of hunting in Texas. I had one dog that jumped back on her first encounter. I was a couple hundred yards away. I figured what it was when she jumped. I have killed two.
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Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill




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#5803584 - 06/24/15 11:15 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
kry226 Offline


Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 4784
Loc: Germany
Points well taken. Thanks.

As far as alerting on the snake, I may have not been as clear as I should have been in the OP. I'm not really talking about during hunting, but actually just around the house and barns where my family would frequent. Yes the dog will be a gun dog, but also a friend to the kids when they're playing outside, etc.
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#5803604 - 06/24/15 11:23 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
Catch Dog Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/11/14
Posts: 574
Loc: Texas
Kyle is will give you one of my black mouth curs, you won't have to worry if a snake comes around cause they will raise hell until you shoot it.

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#5803666 - 06/24/15 11:54 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: Catch Dog]
kry226 Offline


Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 4784
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Catch Dog
Kyle is will give you one of my black mouth curs, you won't have to worry if a snake comes around cause they will raise hell until you shoot it.


Much obliged, Jason. I may have to take you up on that. grin
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#5803691 - 06/24/15 12:05 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
MS1454 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2705
Loc: Houston/Sealy
If you do snake avoidance, I would think the dog will not do Mich other than run the opposite way.mine will bark and mess with so it's easy for me to know when and where they are in the yard
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Fooshman
I'll take a Black Female every time.


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#5803697 - 06/24/15 12:11 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: Sniper John]
rborn Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/25/14
Posts: 166
Loc: Cypress, Texas
Originally Posted By: Sniper John
After spending hours and days hunting with my dogs, I am almost always able to read their body language when near a snake. I don't know how many times I have been hunting behind my Vizsla and say "there is a snake in there" and be right. I never dispatch a snake in front of the dog BTW. Just "leave it" and move on. My thought on it is from repetition on shooting game a dog's instinct is going to be to hunt what you shoot in front of it.


Sir, well said concerning not dispatching in front of your dog.

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#5813387 - 07/01/15 01:15 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
wal1809 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 10864
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: kry226
In anticipation of purchasing a gun dog once I hang these boots up and settle down, I poke my nose in here from time to time to catch up and ask an elementary question or two. I've had dogs before, but I was a lot younger, and they were pets. Never had my own gun dog and certainly never in snake country.

We'll probably end up with a GSP professionally trained for quail (and an occasional dove retrieve) and we'll be living at our place in the panhandle. So far, I'm sold on the rattler vaccine and avoidance classes.

But my wife and I have two younger children (currently 10 and 7 years) and of course I have a great concern for them regarding snake bites. They each have a good pair of chaps and will have snake boots eventually, but wearing them 100% of the time or every time they walk outside isn't very practical. (I saw the pic of the cottonmouth on Wal's porch eek ).

Here's where I need advice and an azimuth check: While I certainly want my dog to avoid the snake and potential bite, I don't want the dog turning inside out and running and hiding under the truck. I would like the dog to alert me to the snake with a healthy dose of "freak out" but stay in the neighborhood while I get the nearest dose of snake medicine.

I don't want my dog bitten, it's family of course. But I desire much less having my wife and kids bitten. Last November, I killed four rattlers within 24 hours and all within 20 yards of my wife and kids. Two of the rattlers were 15 inch yearlings and one rattled at me from 10 feet away all coiled up in his "strike pose". The largest one, a 4 footer with nine rattles and a button, let me get within 12 inches of him before rattling. There's no telling how many more were around that I didn't see.

I would like a dog trained to avoid being bitten but also able to keep the snake located for me for dispatch.

Are these wants or expectations reasonable? Is it reasonable to ask this of any dog, much less a GSP?

Thanks in advance for entertaining what might be a dumb, long winded question. up


What your asking is not going to happen, at least not on purpose. The training is a one time deal may be two per year. You have to get a heavy payload so far as correction, while you have that opportunity. From the minute that correction occurs, all equations are changing. Much like that toy game called Jenga. Time is also a factor as the training starts to fade over a year period for some, never for others. Could we train into the dog what you desire, sure. Would it be worth months of training above and beyond what you are already purchasing. Even then you would have to find a trainer willing to handle that type of training. I for one would not take on that task as there are way too many pieces to a puzzle like that.
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Ruffling Feathers Guide Service

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#5813911 - 07/01/15 06:42 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
blanked Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 1302
Loc: magnolia tx
As mentioned the dog is going to avoid the snake Kids playing in the yard are not going to be paying attention to this detail. I say keep the grass short and wood picked up. What's left over that is snakey tell the kids to stay out of it


Edited by blanked (07/01/15 06:43 PM)

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#5814220 - 07/01/15 09:37 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
jorge Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 02/01/11
Posts: 3944
Loc: Lake Jackson, TX
Do most of yalls gun dogs avoid snakes? My lab (Bo) who has been a great retrieving companion for dove and occassional duck NEVER avoids snakes. In fact i notice them wayyy before he does. Bo is actually clueless. Ive always worried about this.
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South Texas Trophy Outfitters

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GEORGE.SAKAI@YAHOO.COM

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#5814690 - 07/02/15 10:11 AM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
kry226 Offline


Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 4784
Loc: Germany
I appreciate the feedback, gents. Thanks. up
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#5828830 - 07/12/15 04:31 PM Re: Snakes and Dogs - Training [Re: kry226]
catchrcall Offline


Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 755
Loc: Kempner, tx
We see several rattlers a year while we're hog hunting, and you can usually tell whats there by how the dog acts. They'll perk up for a second until they figure out what it is and then go around it usually. That's indicator enough for us to find it if need be most of the time. I haven't had one yet that was bad to mess with a snake but if and when I do I'll have him boxed up and rolling toward a clinic as soon as I can. I can't imagine that a snake bite vet bill is cheaper than an avoidance class.

Pretty much I just tell my boys that if the dog won't walk there you don't walk there either.

I have one old dog that stays with the kids a lot that will raise cane if he sees a snake and they're around, but that's just how he is. He's one of those once in a lifetime dogs that thinks our kids and property are his responsibility too and I have no idea how you'd train that.


Edited by catchrcall (07/12/15 04:32 PM)
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