Snake proofing gundogs?

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  • Snake proofing gundogs?

    Hi all,

    recently during a gundog training day with Steve Austin the question was asked about snake proofing dogs. His answer surprised me a little however it made perfect sense to me.

    His answer? He said snake proofing is the most important thing you can do for a dog working in the Australian bush and the only effective way of doing it is by the use of a live snake and a remote shock collar. The dog is released to explore the area with the trainer staying back. Then and only when the dog has recognized the snake is a single shock applied.

    Now bearing in mind these collars are illegal in some states of Australia, most from what i can find but he said that the importance of keeping your best mate safe in the bush far outweighed the inconvenience or cost of traveling interstate with your dog/dogs to have the training done.

    Now I must ask please don't start an argument over the this issue, I am simply asking for trainers who live in shock collar legal states if you have used this technique.

    Thanks in advance, steve

  • #2
    I have read about this being successful overseas. Snake proofing it is something I need to do in the near future.

    I personally don't mind using an electric shock collar for such a serious life preserving training, I would also try it on myself first to make sure it is safe. How do I find I out if it is legal in Qld?

    Are there any other options?

    Comment


    • Send-it
      Send-it commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Chris" post=27852
      I have read about this being successful overseas. Snake proofing it is something I need to do in the near future.

      I personally don't mind using an electric shock collar for such a serious life preserving training, I would also try it on myself first to make sure it is safe. How do I find I out if it is legal in Qld?

      Are there any other options?
      yes,........but you need to be very very good with a shotgun.
      we used to do A LOT of shooting over gun dogs for both quail and rabbits, and still do from time to time.
      one proven method is to see the snake before the dog does, or recognise when the dog is about to head directly for the snake, and as he/she does so, give the dog the "come back here" command (whichever single word terminology you have trained the dog with), and should the dog continue towards the snake, put the shotgun charge "Right in front of the dog"!
      you will need to be spot on with this as there wont be a second chance.
      this has worked really well in the past, and has not effected the bond between master and dog/s, if it was done perfectly.
      this may sound harsh, but its nothing conpared to a snake bight.
      but a good relationship with master and dog is a massive head start.

  • #3
    You'd have to check the legalities in your state, the collars are illegal in nsw except for invisable fencing

    When someone as respected as steve Austin tells me there is no better way to save your dogs life in the bush than having it trained this way I tend to listed.

    Have a read here and look at the table, the shock collars themselves are quite low powered

    http://www.barkcontrol.com.au/choice/working-dog-training-collars/shock-collars-for-dogs-the-not-so-shocking-truth/9


    Steve

    Edit: seems these collars are legal for dog training in Tas, WA and Qld

    http://www.shockcollars.com.au/

    Comment


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by 6602steven" post=27856
      You'd have to check the legalities in your state, the collars are illegal in nsw except for invisable fencing

      When someone as respected as steve Austin tells me there is no better way to save your dogs life in the bush than having it trained this way I tend to listed.

      Have a read here and look at the table, the shock collars themselves are quite low powered

      http://www.barkcontrol.com.au/choice/working-dog-training-collars/shock-collars-for-dogs-the-not-so-shocking-truth/9


      Steve

      Edit: seems these collars are legal for dog training in Tas, WA and Qld

      http://www.shockcollars.com.au/
      Thanks for the quick reply, I can understand why people get upset about the misuse of these type of things but if some lowlife wants to be cruel I'm sure they will find another way.

  • #4
    See below re legalities in dif states.

    RSPCA Electric collars

    Steve is spot on imho. Live snake and shock collar. A dead python would be would be a good place to start. You would also want to do it in different environments. But as it is difficult to find someone willing to lend you their pet snake for this, a shock collar whilst walking in snake areas is a good start. Dogs tend to bark and wind up a snake before going in to bite them. If you see your dog/s barking at something you simply yell 'drop' and hit them with the collar if they dont respond. Chances are the snake will slide off as quickly as possible.

    Electric collars, when used properly, are one of the best tools in dog training. They give you almost perfect control over your dog whilst not on lead. It is outrageous that they are banned. It has saved some potential bad situations for my dogs over the years.

    Pinch collars are also a very effective tool, much better for the dog than your classic choke collar. Australian laws in general about these training tools are ridiculous.

    If people misuse these, they should be charged with misuse rather than banning an effective tool. They are so bloody expensive (mine was around $800) there are a lot easier, cheaper ways to be cruel to an animal.

    The problem with them is you need to use them correctly. When misused or your dont read your dog properly it can destroy their confidence/ drive.

    A couple of simple tips for anyone that is interested.

    The first issue is the dog can quickly become aware when its on or not. So you need to take the collar on and off many times (for weeks) before using it. You should continue to take it on and off on different days after first use just to keep them guessing.

    The second issue is under setting it. People start with a low setting then work their way up. A strong dog will get used to it this way. It will also slowly destroy the dogs confidence. Much better to hit once on a decent higher level (level setting depends on the individual dogs pain threshold). The dog gets a decent jolt. You then only need to continue corrections on the lowest setting (when put on your own skin you virtually cant feel it). My last dog had a strong pain threshold. Cut his head badly one when he was a pup needing several stitches, didnt yelp and I couldnt tell it bothered him at all. I put collar on highest setting for first use, then only needed on absolute lowest setting. If he wouldnt respond (very rarely) I would put back to highest setting once, then back to lowest.

    When your dog is off lead you should be able to put him/her into an immediate 'drop' (laying position) at any time. Anyone who cant do this with their dog should not have them off lead in public (esp an intact male or any dog aggressive dog). The electric collar gives you certainty to be able to do this even if your dog has no intention of listening to you!

    People ask me what it is on my dogs collar, I simple tell them its a GPS tracker. Saves ignorant people bothering me.

    Innotek make great collars and are distributed in QLD.

    Innotek

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    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      thanks Vromme,

      yes the advice i was given was once the dog is acclimatized to wearing the collar and the time comes to introduce the snake. with the handler at a distance the dog is given one hit of the collar at full power (as you say you don't want the dog becoming used to the sensation) as soon as the dog recognizes the snake, in the dogs mind it was the snake that caused the shock and he will be quite reluctant to go near one again.

      steve


      Originally posted by Vromme" post=28151
      See below re legalities in dif states.

      RSPCA Electric collars

      Steve is spot on imho. Live snake and shock collar. A dead python would be would be a good place to start. You would also want to do it in different environments. But as it is difficult to find someone willing to lend you their pet snake for this, a shock collar whilst walking in snake areas is a good start. Dogs tend to bark and wind up a snake before going in to bite them. If you see your dog/s barking at something you simply yell 'drop' and hit them with the collar if they dont respond. Chances are the snake will slide off as quickly as possible.

      Electric collars, when used properly, are one of the best tools in dog training. They give you almost perfect control over your dog whilst not on lead. It is outrageous that they are banned. It has saved some potential bad situations for my dogs over the years.

      Pinch collars are also a very effective tool, much better for the dog than your classic choke collar. Australian laws in general about these training tools are ridiculous.

      If people misuse these, they should be charged with misuse rather than banning an effective tool. They are so bloody expensive (mine was around $800) there are a lot easier, cheaper ways to be cruel to an animal.

      The problem with them is you need to use them correctly. When misused or your dont read your dog properly it can destroy their confidence/ drive.

      A couple of simple tips for anyone that is interested.

      The first issue is the dog can quickly become aware when its on or not. So you need to take the collar on and off many times (for weeks) before using it. You should continue to take it on and off on different days after first use just to keep them guessing.

      The second issue is under setting it. People start with a low setting then work their way up. A strong dog will get used to it this way. It will also slowly destroy the dogs confidence. Much better to hit once on a decent higher level (level setting depends on the individual dogs pain threshold). The dog gets a decent jolt. You then only need to continue corrections on the lowest setting (when put on your own skin you virtually cant feel it). My last dog had a strong pain threshold. Cut his head badly one when he was a pup needing several stitches, didnt yelp and I couldnt tell it bothered him at all. I put collar on highest setting for first use, then only needed on absolute lowest setting. If he wouldnt respond (very rarely) I would put back to highest setting once, then back to lowest.

      When your dog is off lead you should be able to put him/her into an immediate 'drop' (laying position) at any time. Anyone who cant do this with their dog should not have them off lead in public (esp an intact male or any dog aggressive dog). The electric collar gives you certainty to be able to do this even if your dog has no intention of listening to you!

      People ask me what it is on my dogs collar, I simple tell them its a GPS tracker. Saves ignorant people bothering me.

      Innotek make great collars and are distributed in QLD.

      Innotek

  • #5
    Not keen on shock collars but it would train the dog to stay clear of a snake . However they can still get bit from the one they don't see or smell . The training would also allow them to get the scent of a snake which they would remember and that helps also.

    Comment


    • CE
      CE commented
      Editing a comment
      My GSP stuck her wet nose on an electric fence when she was a puppy. Shock went straight through her , up the lead and out through my bare feet!

      She never forget and was petrified of all fences thereafter...would not go near one! It had no scent of course but her reaction thereafter taught me that dogs use their eyes as well as their nose.

    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      I really doubt a dog would be able to avoid a snake by smell, snakes don't usually have much scent and the smells they make are often where the snake may not be, eg. a skin or crap.

      If a dog knew to avoid snakes when they could detect them which usually is by sound or sight of a disturbed, mating, fighting or feeding snake it would avoid the virtually all preventable bites. There is still a small risk of them standing on a snake that is hidden, especially something that would be close to impossible for even a human to see such as a death adder.

  • #6
    I've worked with both dogs and snakes for about 20 years.....it's how I make my living.

    I know nothing about "snake training" a dog, and I'm not gonna enter a discussion on the use of shock collars.

    What I will say is that snakes certainly do smell. Anyone who's encountered a fired up Red Bellied Black will tell you of the pungently odourous defense mechanism they exude..............once you've smelled it you do not forget it.

    From my own experience, pet dogs are stupid! When they see a snake they tend to jump around barking and inflaming the situation, firing up the snake and endangering themselves. As a snake catcher when I get a call I always ask if there are either pets or children present, and inform home owners that they should be removed from the area until I arrive.

    I dont have the answers for you, yet I do believe that a well trained working dog is intent on working rather than concentrating on other distractions such as snakes, and a well trained working dog will be within sight, and will/should instantly return on command by the owner, even if it is distracted by a snake.

    If the dog leaves the snake alone, the danger is minimised, and the snake will continue on its way.

    I really dont see any great need for "snake training".

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      Guest commented
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      Originally posted by Ranger" post=71509
      What I will say is that snakes certainly do smell. Anyone who's encountered a fired up Red Bellied Black will tell you of the pungently odourous defense mechanism they exude..............once you've smelled it you do not forget it.

      I really dont see any great need for "snake training".
      I agree with everything else you have said.

      Snakes will use stink defence but by the time a snake is agitated enough to be using it's stink defence it would normally be moving and making noise which will give it away anyway. When a snake is not stressed it will usually smell like it's environment.

      IMO snake training is a good idea for any dog that lives or visits an area that is likely to have snakes. With dangerous snakes it benefits the dogs and with harmless snakes it benefits the snakes. I fail to see how there isn't a great need for training dogs to avoid snakes.

  • #7
    I have had heaps of experience with working dogs , pig dogs and snakes , I have killed about 50 brown snakes in my time around station houses and buildings and had dogs find about a dozen or more in the bush . I have been chased by the b*stards and had one bite my boot and one leave fang marks and venom on my army trousers. I have been woken up at night by my Dingo cross barking and growling to see a 8 foot brown 10 feet from my bunk bed and the dog dodging back and forth keeping it away from me . It is a good idea to try and train your dog to not attack a snake and to stay off it but it is unwise to train a dog to ignore the presence of a snake all together as it just might kill you . I never kill a snake in the bush that a dog finds if possible as that just teaches the dog to attack . When you display fear and caution of the snake and order your dog back , come behind whatever the dog learns after a while that it's ok to find the snake but to stay back and be cautious , it's something dangerous to be avoided .
    Trouble is most people don't see enough snakes to do it . That is why I would not use a shock collar for that. I might well use a live non venomous snake but I would just use natural training methods and praise the dog if he found one and kept tabs on it but stayed back so I could get hold of him and move off . However it's the b*stard you don't see that gets you . I have been very lucky . I would use a shock collar to stop stock chasing if all else failed.

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