Written by Colin Seal
It is important that we get a bit of a background about snakes as we teach our dogs to avoid them. In the video and content below, we discuss how snakes generally behave and the reasons why dogs get bitten by these creatures.
Take note that snake bite is the second highest cause of violent death in dogs. Thus, snake avoidance training is really vital especially if you live in Australia where snakes widely roam around.
First of all, you need to understand that dogs are very inquisitive creatures and they love the smell of reptiles… this is basically the number one reason why dogs get bitten by snakes.
As what Emma, The Snake Wrangler from Slithers and Slides, said in the video - “for dogs, it’s just a game but for the snakes, it’s life or death”...
...and just like us humans, we tend to “flight or fight” - we run if there’s a danger but we fight if the danger is near.
This is why it is very important that we keep our dogs away from snakes and teach them to avoid snakes when the situation calls for it.
So, below are 3 ways you can do to keep snakes away from your dogs.
Another thing that you need to know is that snakes don’t create homes - they are generally wide-roaming species (prevalent in Australia), moving from one area to another.
However, snakes are solitary beings. So, if you find one, that does not always mean that they’re a bunch of them hiding in your property.
Their primary objective is to find food. So, if you don’t want them to sneak around your property, get rid of possible food scraps and pests such as mice and rats.
Here are a few tips on how to keep snakes away from your property:
1. Make your yard clutter-free - Clear the areas where snakes can hide. Prevent surprise attacks from snakes hiding on some rubbish.
2. Keep your grass low and mowed - Keeping the grass cut low is a must. So, it would be easier for you to see if there are snakes around the property.
Once you see a snake, you can then make distractions - maybe turn on the lawn-mower to scare the snake away.
3. Patch up holes in your fences - If you have traditional fences, it would be best to check for holes on the fence and under it as well.
If there are holes found, patch or cover it up immediately no matter how small the hole is.
4. Get rid of possible foods - Snakes do love mice and insects - what more can the snake want in your property if there are no foods it can eat in your yard
5. Look for snake repellants - There are a few in the market that emits sonic frequencies and bright light that snakes do not like.
Therefore, decluttering your property, especially your yards… cleaning your area and patching up holes should be the first step in keeping snakes away.
Now, if you suspect that there are snakes in your property, contact your local animal officers and/or snake movers or relocators to make sure the procedure of moving the snake is done safely and legally.
Remember, Snake Traps and killing snakes are illegal in Australia - snakes are just trying to survive and they will do what they have to. If you find one in your property, get a relocator and get them removed.
Having a good Dog Containment System is one of the best precautions that you can implement to keep your dog secured and away from snakes.
An Electric Dog Fence will keep your dog contained in the safe-zone of your area where he is allowed to stay and play.
This system is also known as the Invisible Dog Fence - it keeps your dog from escaping, jumping on fences, digging up holes in the garden and beneath the fence just to escape.
If your dog escapes - he will most likely go to bushy and shady places where snakes like to roam and stay… or worse, your dog may get hit by a car or truck. Let’s just hope the pound rangers will find him safe and sound.
Well, it’s best to not wait for the rangers and bail your dog out of the pound - here’s how a dog fence work:
Teaching dogs to avoid snakes is basically helping dogs understand mentally, instinctively and emotionally that snakes should be avoided at all times and in all circumstances.
This is also known as snake aversion training for dogs - the training involves stimulation or static corrections from Dog Training Collars to help dogs associate the zap to the presence of the snakes.
So, they will learn that snakes cause the zaps and they should not come near these reptiles.
The training also includes operant-conditioning - wherein a reward is given to dogs (usually food treats) for avoiding snakes.
The training can happen in your home or in a training facility with different materials and methods used and implemented by a professional dog trainer.
Now, some people would argue that aversion training is cruel… when in fact, proper use of these remote dog training collars DO NOT even hurt dogs and it actually brings huge success in obedience training - this includes teaching your dogs to stay away from venomous snakes.