Monty, Cooper's office dog.

Dogs and Rattlesnakes: Preparing your Pup for the Trail

07/11/2019 | by Jessica Nani | Local Area

Planning a trip down to the desert with your dog? Do you often visit Park City’s nature trails with your favorite furry friend? If so, you may want to consider Rattlesnake Aversion Training. 

While us humans know to stay away from these snakes who frequent our neighboring desert ecosystem, our dogs are much more curious. With rattlesnake aversion training, dogs can learn in a safe environment how to identify and avoid these dangerous reptiles. 

The foundation of aversion training was established to introduce a dog to a rattlesnake in a safe environment and teach it to never want to interact with a rattlesnake again.

According to utahsrattlesnakeavoidance.com, “Each class will begin with education of Utah and rattlesnake safety for you and your family! Most dogs have a natural aversion of rattlesnakes, our class capitalizes on those instincts and instills danger associated with the sight, smell and sound of the snake.” 

One of Cooper’s office dogs, Monty, recently learned firsthand at BARLEY’S CANINE RECREATION CENTER how this process works. 

Monty, Cooper's office dog, learns to deal with a rattle snake.
Monty practices reacting to a rattlesnake.

The training focus’ on teaching dogs to recognize a rattlesnake through seeing, hearing and most importantly, smelling the snakes. Once canines have learned how to recognize a rattlesnake, the trainer sets up scenarios where the dog must walk up to the snake.  Upon seeing, hearing and smelling the rattlesnake, a low-level electronic impulse is then applied to the dog to resemble the snake touching them. Measures are taken to ensure the dog knows that it is the rattlesnake, not the human or the place, that is causing the impulse.  

Once the trainer feels certain that the dog realizes that a rattlesnake is something that it does not want to interact with, they do one final test to assure the owners of the effectiveness of the training.

In the end, Monty passed the course and his owner had full confidence Monty would know to avoid these creates in the future. 

It’s no secret that Park City loves its dogs. Let’s all take extra strides to keep our best friends safe from one of Utah’s predators.

By John Tracy, HOA Manager

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