Dawn found us at the Llano Estacado Bird Hunting Assn.’s annual De-Snaking Clinic. This is a clinic which exposes dogs to rattlesnakes, training the dogs that rattlesnakes are hazardous to their health.
Basically, the snake’s mouth is sewn shut, and an e-collar is placed on the dog. Another trainer takes your dog out, and if the dog shows any curiosity at all towards the snake, the dog is shocked. This makes the dog associate pain with the rattlesnake.
Zanna was very curious - one time. On her second try, she smelled the snake, and wouldn’t go close. And that, folks, is exactly what you want.
By the way - local vets are suggesting the rattlesnake vaccination shot...and we get our dogs vaccinated bi-annually with the rattlesnake vaccination. Rattlesnakes have, in recent years, been migrating into populated areas in Midland County. Check with your veterinary professional to see if the vaccine is available in your area.