rattlesnake training

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rattlesnake training

Postby Boxertwin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I'm taking my fairly soft 9 month old Pudelpointer for a rattlesnake awareness class this weekend.
My concern is, will she associate the field with a bad experience?
She has been in the field plenty of times but I put a bell on her collar a couple of weeks ago and she about froze up. We went out, had a good time, she got a bird on a drag just fine but the bell spooks her. I am trying to get her to see the bell as "a good time is about to happen" but it has been slow.

Any opinions?
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby orhunter » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:35 pm

Why are you using a bell?

The rattlesnake education course is pretty brutal. I probably wouldn't do it bases on your use of the word, "soft."

Maybe you could give us a more detailed explanation of soft and why the dog is this way?
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby Dakotazeb » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:11 pm

I would agree with orhhunter. If she is only 9 months and somewhat "soft" I would wait. In snake avoidance training the dog is going to get shocked quite severely with an e-collar.
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby Boxertwin » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:56 pm

By soft I mean her general temperament. She tends to get scared at things and tucks tail…..now she is also pretty headstrong at the same time. Not the least gun shy and I take her everywhere so she is good with new experiences but bad ones seem to stick with her for a while. I'm probably over-thinking it and she will be fine. We are in snaky territory, she has a strong prey drive and curiosity so I think the risk for her is greater to not have the training.


Why the bell?
We hunt some thick stuff and when she gets on a trail she is on a mission and will not come when called at all. If there are no rabbits, birds, ground squirrels or other animals, she comes right away….strong prey drive.
One time I had a coyote coming after her, I knew her general direction but in the thick bushes we have here, I could not tell where she was. She turned out to be about 30 yards away but she could have been 300 and I would not have known….thus a bell to know her position.
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby JONOV » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:59 am

A trainer I once talked to mentioned that he thinks those things are really loud to the dog. He actually told me to put it on his flank. Honestly, I've used it once.

Just a thought, save some dough and buy a GPS? I know, not cheap. I used the dogtra and Sportdog Tek models and like the Dogtra. It allows you to see what the dog is doing...so if the dog is stopped in thick cover you can find it and see if its on point, or halfway down a badger hole. It saved me from a trip for staples at least once.
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby orhunter » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:13 am

A bell works only when you can hear it and 300 yards is a long way. If the dog is pointing, you won't hear it then either. I can understand your want to use one but not the need. GPS.....

In the end, you are the best judge of your dogs mental stability so giving on-line advice can be hit or miss. I would try to work on your pups confidence level by exposure to various settings where the dog may not be perfectly comfortable. Let dog work out these situations on its own without human interference, no coddling, no nothing. Sometimes humans get into a protective mode when it comes to their dogs and this works against the dogs confidence and mental toughness.
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby Boxertwin » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:33 pm

yeah, the GPS collar is probably what would be best.
You like the Tek 2.0 well enough?
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby greg moyer » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:35 pm

Get the Garmin alpha you won't be disappointed.
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby J D Patrick » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:39 pm

greg moyer wrote:Get the Garmin alpha you won't be disappointed.



concur
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Re: rattlesnake training

Postby ryanr » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:05 pm

I'm a,relative newbie but here's my 2 cents. That sorta reaction to a bell is not uncommon IMO. When my Drahthaar was about the same age I put one on him and he was like "what the heck just happened?" And he is by no means soft. The drive to hunt and find game won out though. IMO, if rattlesnakes are a concern where you live or hunt then do the training. It's supposed to be harsh in order to leave a lasting impression and as long as it's done professionally the dog should associate the harsh treatment with the snake and not the field. Doesnt mean it might not be a little apprehensive the first coupls times in the field after that though. However, if your dog is naturally cautious you could just have faith, at least for now, that cautiousness will serve it well should it encounter a rattlesnake.

My Drahthaar's first encounter with a porcupine resulted in him diving right in on it, repeatedly. He's going on 6 yrs old and has had 2 run-ins, and he's also gone thru 2 rounds of porcupine training in those 5+ years. After his second encounter I felt he likely learned his lesson but signed him up for a porky avoidance clinic anyway about a year later. He hit the scent of the porcupine and before he was even zapped he was turning away from it. Now my young female, at only 4 months old came face to face with a small porky. It flicked its tail a tiny bit and she jumped right back. She's got prey drive for sure but she is much more cautious than my male. She's 10 months old now and will soon be at conditioned and sometime later this summer or early fall, if opportunity comes, she will still receive the same porcupine avoidance training.

And BTW, I switched from bells/beepers to a Garmin Alpha as soon as I could.
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